As I talk to a nurse about her experiences, at the edge of my field of vision, I watch another guest succumbing to a pair of beautiful thorn-detailed heels.It is a slightly dissonant image, I later suggest to Fatima.
A couple of weeks later, I see Fatima again at an event in the Roger Vivier shoe shop on Sloane Street.She replies that against the backdrop of Britain’s high standard of living, such indulgence is OK, but back home in Pakistan, it isn’t.“I don’t really belong to the fashion crowd in Karachi,” she says.After being told her aunt was too busy to come to the phone and hearing wailing in the background, she was eventually put on the line to Benazir’s husband, Asif Ali Zardari.The first she heard of her father’s murder was Zardari’s remark, “Oh, don’t you know?The pretext is ‘breakfast’ – delicious macaroons and tiny, effective ristrettos – and the purpose is to introduce her favoured charity, Merlin.Sending medical experts to work with local staff at the frontline of global emergencies, Merlin currently supports over 1,000 doctors working in Pakistan in the wake of last August’s devastating floods.His elder son, Mir Murtaza, Fatima’s father, was gunned down in 1996.And his eldest child, daughter Benazir, was assassinated at a political rally in 2007. In the opening image, she wears a black dress with leather sleeves by BALLY. In the midst of all this, Fatima was born in Afghanistan in 1982, where Mir and Shahnawaz were the founders of a movement committed to the violent resistance of General Zia’s regime.Here, Fatima is wearing a white jumpsuit with a leather belt, both by PAUL SMITH. After Shahnawaz’s death in 1985, Fatima and her father moved to Damascus, and the movement was disbanded.Within a couple of years, her father had separated from her biological mother, Fauzia, and married Ghinwa, a young exile from Lebanon. These days, Fatima lives with Ghinwa, her half-brother, Zulfi, and her six-year-old adopted brother, Mir Ali, in 70 Clifton, the Bhutto family compound in Karachi her grandfather built in 1954.