Bhutto was born on 29 May 1982 to Murtaza Bhutto and an Afghan mother, Fauzia Fasihudin Bhutto, the daughter of Afghanistan’s former foreign affairs official in Kabul.Her father was in exile during the military regime of general Zia-ul-Haq. Her parents divorced when she was three years old and her father took Bhutto with him moving from country to country and she grew up effectively stateless. Her father met Ghinwa Bhutto, a Lebanese ballet teacher in 1989 during his exile in Syria and they married.
Bhutto considers Ghinwa as her real mother. She is the granddaughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Nusrat Bhutto, an Iranian Kurd, niece of Benazir Bhutto.
Her father was killed by the police in 1996 in Karachi during the premiership of his sister, Benazir Bhutto. Her biological mother Fauzia Fasihudin unsuccessfully tried to gain parental custody of Bhutto.She lives with her stepmother and her half-brother Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr. in Old Clifton, Karachi.
Bhutto received her secondary education at the Karachi American School. She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University in New York, U.S.A with a B.A. degree in 2004, where she majored in Middle Eastern and Asian languages and cultures. She received her M.A in South Asian Studies from the SOAS, University of London in 2005, there she wrote her dissertation on the resistance movement in Pakistan.
In 1998, at the age of 15, Bhutto published her first book named Whispers of The Desert. Her second book 8.50 a.m. 8 October 2005 marks the moment of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake; it records accounts of those affected.
In 2010 her family memoir Songs of Blood and Sword was published with acclaim. In the book Bhutto accuses her aunt Benazir and her husband Asif Zardari for killing her father Murtaza. The book got mixed to negative review from critics for being biased on history of her family. Several family members have accused her of falsifying information.
In November 2013, her first fictional novel The Shadow Of The Crescent Moon published. The book had long-listed in 2014 for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. In 2015 Bhutto’s short story titled Democracy, an e-book, under Penguin Books was released.
Bhutto’s latest novel The Runaways is published by Penguin Viking.
Following the assassination of her aunt, Benazir Bhutto, there was speculation over her entrance into politics. In an interview, she has stated that for now she prefers to remain active through her activism and writing, rather than through elected office and that she has to “rule a political career out entirely because of the effect of dynasties on Pakistan”, referring to the Bhutto family dynasty and its ties to Pakistani politics. Although Bhutto is politically active, she is not affiliated with any political party.
About her religious faith, Bhutto said at an interview, that she is non religious Muslim and describes herself as a secularist. Though Bhutto has many time defended Islam and supported Muslim women’s right to choose their dress.
- Whispers of The DesertKarachi : Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 9780195778441, OCLC
- 50 a.m. 8 October 2005Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN 9780195474039, OCLC 225160670
- Songs of Blood and SwordNew York : Nation Books, 2011. ISBN 9781568586762, OCLC 720599400
- The Shadow of the Crescent MoonNew York : Penguin Books, 2013. ISBN 9780670922987, OCLC 1062282246
- The RunawaysLondon : Viking, 2018. ISBN 9780241347003, OCLC 090206617