Does it matter whether Imran Khan had a roaring or a purring affair with Benazir Bhutto? Does it say anything about how it affected their psyches and, therefore, Pakistani politics? It could…
Christopher Sandford has written a biography of Imran Khan and it will probably have a lot of stuff on the cricketer-playboy-politician. The author has been called ‘respected’, which means we are to be suitably impressed. The respected Sandford has come up with gems about how Benazir might even have been the first to call Imran the ‘Lion of Lahore’. Quite a revelation, eh?
Our own Times of India, however, indulged in a rather cheap title for the report: ‘Loin of Lahore?’ Adding a question mark is irrelevant. You do not do a front page story and use a term such as this, even if it is about an affair. This is not some stupid Ajit joke; it amounts to juvenile smarts. But, then, must we be surprised at all?
What I find truly funny is this quote from the author in an interview to the Telegraph:
“In any event, it seems fairly clear that for at least some time the couple was close. There was a lot of giggling and blushing whenever they appeared together in public. It also seems fair to say that the relationship was ‘sexual’, in the sense that it could only have existed between a man and a woman. The reason some supposed it went further was because, to quote one Oxford friend, ‘Imran slept with everyone’.”
Make of the portions I have italicised what you will. And if he slept with everyone, then it is rather slanderous that Benazir would have been merely one of his conquests. I was strangely touched by Imran’s assertion that they were “only friends”. It reminded me so much of Bollywood.
Having said all this, I do think they would have made for a great couple. Both with feudal mentalities, arrogance and the ability to pass of dictatorial tendencies as democratic.
Asif Zardari has all those qualities, except that his appeal could never have been so international. He manages to dazzle a few Sindh belt types or the Lahore halwa-puri (attempting to pronounce it as puree) set. Isn’t that why he was so overwhelmed with Sarah Palin?
One only hopes this man does not try and make political capital out of it. He is anyway willing and able to inherit anything.