Bhutto used Net to develop rapport: Pak journo

Written by Agencies | Islamabad, December 29: | Updated: Dec 29 2007, 20:10pm hrs
A New York-based veteran Pakistani journalist, who had a long association with slain former premier Benazir Bhutto, says she was not arrogant and used the internet to the maximum to develop a direct rapport with everyone.

"Her years of exile taught her more about politics and how to handle people than her years in power. She developed a direct rapport with anyone and everyone and used the Internet to the maximum," wrote Shaheen Sehbai, who often met Bhutto in New York or Washington while she was in self-exile.

"Her email politics, as her critics used to joke, did wonders for her. She was in direct touch with all and she got feedback instantly, helping her make quick and right decisions. That style of politics kept her ahead of her opponents and kept the cadres engaged, giving them a feeling of intimacy and a feeling of access to the top leadership,"wrote Sehbai, who learnt about Bhutto's death after he returned from work at 3 am.

Sehbai says Bhutto was inexperienced and a little nave in her early years of power but with trials and tribulations of horrendous magnitude she matured into a polished politician, a diplomat par excellence and a pragmatic leader.

On his numerous exclusive sessions with Bhutto, he says, "what we talked about was everything probably no one else would ever dare to raise with her, friend or critic. Like once she asked how she could correct the perception created about her that she was corrupt and prompt was (a friend's) reply: Divorce Asif Ali Zardari.