Benazir Bhutto’s Boston Connection

The news that former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today has brought back a flood of memories from those who knew her during her time in Boston. She was a student at Harvard, and also appeared on NECN while she was still in exile. has the story of Bhutto’s experience at Harvard in the late 60s and early 70s. She arrived at Radcliffe at the age of 16 and, according to the piece, she grew with the times.

“I quickly shed the shalwar khameez [traditional South Asian dress] and reemerged in jeans and sweatshirts from the Harvard Coop,” Bhutto wrote in her autobiography, according to the Crimson story. “I let my hair grow long and straight and was flattered when my friends in Eliot Hall told me I looked like Joan Baez.”

The story also has reaction from Boston’s Pakistani community and is well worth the click.

Jack Gray, a former producer at NECN who currently works on Anderson Cooper’s CNN show, also shared his recollections of the time he snared Bhutto for an interview.

Hardly a diva, all she asked for was a cup of tea and access to a room in which she could touch up her hair and make-up. Later she would ask me one more question — where could she buy a DVD for her children? They really wanted to see Jim Carrey’s movie, “Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events.'” Benazir Bhutto, just your average mom. I think I recommended she go to Best Buy. I wonder if she ever did.