Mods: this might be better suited for Café Society, since it deals with the plot of a novel; but since I’m also looking for factual answers, I figured it would fit better here. Feel free to move it if you see fit.
I just finished re-reading (and thoroughly enjoying) Shame, by Salman Rushdie. I know that much of the plot of the novel mirrors modern Pakistani history, and that two of the main characters, Iskander Harappa and Raza Hyder, are thinly veiled portraits of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, respectively. On the other hand, Rushdie did change some of the story around (most notably, Hyder’s fate in the novel is rather different from Zia-ul-Haq’s.) But how faithful is the rest of the novel to history, and how much did Rushdie embroider to make a better novel? More specifically, I was wondering about the following things:
[ul][li]Haroun Harappa seems to be a portrayal of Ahmed Reza Kasuri, the politician that Bhutto was accused of trying to have killed. Was Kasuri involved in the government of Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, as Haroun Harappa is in the novel? Was he related to Bhutto, as the novel implies?[/li][li] Talvar Ulhaq seems to be Rushdie’s version of Masood Mahmood. Was Mahmood a polo player before becoming head of the FSF? Was he actually Zia-ul-Haq’s son-in-law?[/li][li] Did a real person corresponding to Omar Khayyam Shakil (the third “main character” of the novel) exist? A doctor who was a good friend of Bhutto’s, and/or married Zia-ul-Haq’s feeble-minded daughter? (Come to think of it, did Zia-ul-Haq actually have a feeble-minded daughter?)[/li][/ul]
Obscure questions, I know, but I figured if anyone on the web could help me, they’d be on the SDMB.