Imran Khan denies affair with Benazir in biography

Imran Khan pooh-poohs suggestions that he was romantically involved with Benazir Bhutto.

Last Updated: Jul 07, 2011, 23:42 PM IST

Islamabad: A new biography of Pakistani
cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan pooh-poohs suggestions
that he was romantically involved with slain former premier
Benazir Bhutto.

"One of my cousins was interested in her (Bhutto) and
she also took an interest when I introduced them to each
other. At one point, marriage was virtually on the cards,"
Khan told Frank Huzur, his Indian biographer.

Khan, who now heads the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf
party, described Bhutto as a "personal friend" and said there
was "mutual admiration between them".

According to Khan, Bhutto had an affair with the
"spotlight".
"She trusted my instincts for counsel. Politics was
not her calling, but she was able to make it her calling. She
would have made a great ambassador for Pakistan," Khan is
quoted as saying in an excerpt from Huzur`s book "Imran
Vs Imran".

"Talking glibly came easy to her. Retorting is not
everyone`s forte. Benazir had the ability to retort with
thunderous impact followed by one of her crystal-eyed stares.
She wanted to stay in charge for ever," Khan said.

Nearly two years ago, author Christopher Sandford
claimed in his biography of Khan that Bhutto became infatuated
with Khan during their student days at Oxford University in
the 1970s and the pair enjoyed a "close" and possibly a
"sexual" relationship.

Sandford also claimed Khan`s mother unsuccessfully
tried to organise an arranged marriage between the pair.
In "Imran Vs Imran", Khan further said: "When Benazir
was sworn in as the first Muslim prime minister, I thought I
had lost a friend to the murky game of power politics. I
enjoyed her confidence."

He added, "...While among friends, she would brag
about her father`s political skills. A number of us would
chuckle over her confident brag, but she would
put up a sparkling show.

"In Oxford debates, she would roar over the issues of
human rights abuse, rule of law, gender justice,
discrimination and fiscal corruption. But when she found
herself in the middle of the power pitch, she metamorphosed
into a venal, self-centred political empress. She tasted the
blood of power, and got drunk."

Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber shortly after
she had addressed an election rally in the garrison city of
Rawalpindi in December 2007.

PTI