I've never believed in such things as astrology, palmistry, numerology and black magic influencing our lives. But most Pakistanis and Indians are firm believers. In fact, almost all our political leaders are deeply superstitious. Zardari used to sacrifice black goats daily, Imran Khan believed in djinns, while Nawaz Sharif used to visit a holy man frequently in the mountains. Benazir was also very superstitious, she tied a black thread on her arm before boarding the plane that brought her back to Pakistan.

Fifty years ago, I bought a book on palmistry. I remember it predicted an early death for me. Then there was this book on numerology, according to which I should have been a great leader. This didn't happen. This is why I don't believe in the occult sciences.

The reason I'm writing about it today is because today is the late Benazir Bhutto's birthday. The number 9 was dominant in her life (just as the number 5 is in mine). Benazir was born on 21 June 1953. 21 June adds up to 9 (2+1+6). 1953 also adds up to 9 (1+9+53=63, 6+3=9). And 21 June 1953 also adds up to 9 (21+6+19+53=99, 9+9=18, 1+8=9). She died on December 27 (2+7=9) in the year 2007 (2+7=9). 

Obviously, it was pure coincidence. But I've met people who are convinced that if she hadn't ventured out on the day she was killed, she'd be alive today.