I had dinner with Benazir Bhutto and a group of other people in London in October, shortly before Ms. Bhutto returned to Pakistan.
It was an amazing chance to see the charismatic Pakistani opposition leader up close and personal. While she was in high gear, preparing frantically for her return to her country after eight years in exile, there was no evidence of fatigue on her face, nor in her body language. She was glowing in anticipation of a trip she had been waiting for, for very many years. She said she would pray for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Even at that time, it was obvious that Bhutto knew her life would be in danger in a country that was in turmoil — a country where she had a huge support base, but also many enemies. Despite all of this, the bravery and resolve she still exhibited was striking. She had been preparing for her return for eight years, but quite simply, did not know what awaited her upon that return.
What I saw was a woman of conviction, but also a woman of great warmth and humor, a woman from a strong political dynasty in Pakistan, and as far as I understand, she was the last standard-bearer of that dynasty.
On that night in October, Benazir Bhutto spoke of her personal losses: two brothers, who were murdered, and her father, a former Pakistani president and prime minister, who was hanged — on what many would say was on trumped up charges. These are details that often are forgotten amidst the focus on her political goals and the discussion of the future of Pakistan. And yet, despite being vilified herself at times around the corruption charges against her that were ultimately dropped in September, she never lost her faith in herself, her people, her party ... and she never lost her dignity.
Ms. Bhutto has two daughters and a son, all teenagers, and she has been the focal point of her family, as her husband spent many years in jail while those children were growing up. She spanned east and west, having received an education at Harvard and Oxford, but being fiercely patriotic.
While religious, and reportedly meticulous about observing her traditions, she felt Islam should be respected as a religion and not a political force.
Benazir Bhutto wanted to work hard in Pakistan for greater rights for women, she wanted to do away with extremism, but she wanted to do all this through dialogue, yet she died with a mission as yet unaccomplished.
Amy Kellogg is a London-based correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). She joined FNC in 1999 as a Moscow-based correspondent. You can read her complete bio here.
Amy Kellogg currently serves as a Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent based in Milan. She joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 1999 as a Moscow-based correspondent. Follow her on Twitter: @amykelloggfox