ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN, AUG. 6 -- She sat on a couch in the living room of her official residence here in the capital, surrounded on all sides by aides and bodyguards. Speaking in Urdu, she sometimes joked and smiled. In English, she was poised and solemn and articulate, every bit the Oxford University debater.

Less than two hours after Benazir Bhutto's dismissal as Pakistan's premier was announced on television, the woman who won international renown with her intelligence, beauty and stated devotion to democracy exuded those same traits.

But there seemed to be another face, too, and another voice tonight. This was the Benazir Bhutto who ruled shakily over Pakistan for 20 months, who had difficulty sharing power and who seemed to have come to the world as composed of two groups -- those who were with her and those who were against her.

It was all a conspiracy against her, she seemed to say this evening. "They killed my father because they knew that he would win any election he stood for," she said. "They know that I will win any election that I stand for."

Bhutto won election in 1988 and since then headed the government dismissed tonight by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan. The president, apparently backed by the military, cited riots, charges of widespread corruption and inertia in her government as reasons for intervening.

Bhutto listed the moves she said her foes directed against her: "Street agitation failed. Ethnic riots in Sind failed. The dissident plot failed. And there was no other alternative left for those that did not wish to see a Pakistan People's Party government, other than its dissolution" by presidential order.

"They" -- the conspirators, as she sees them, the generals and industrialists -- have loomed large in Benazir Bhutto's life and career, which has been an extraordinary odyssey from privilege to prison to political power.

"They" hung her father, the former prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, in a Rawalpindi jail in the dead of night 11 years ago.

"They" tossed her into a squalid, baking prison cell where her hair fell out and her mind raced with fear, as she recounts in her autobiography. And after Bhutto fled and returned and came to power, "they" battled her every step of the way, making certain that she could not govern.

"I repeatedly received reports about the attempts being made by certain quarters to destabilize my government," she said tonight, her eyes never wavering.

Would "they" give her a fair chance to win back her office? "I doubt it. I doubt it," she said. "I don't believe that they can face me politically. They couldn't face me politically yesterday and they can't face me politically today."

For a year, friends have been telling Bhutto that the enemies she saw around her would best her if she did not make peace with them, if she did not broaden the base of her power in Pakistan, if she did not insist that those associated with her be honest or at least subtle in their financial dealings.

"Half these people {in the army and the political opposition} she saw as her father's murderers," Maleeha Lodi, an editor and female contemporary of Bhutto, said in an interview just one day before Bhutto's dismissal. "It couldn't have been easy. . . . I just feel so sorry for her, personally. She had such an opportunity. And she's come very close to blowing it for herself."

Others less sympathetic who invested their own hopes in Bhutto for a different Pakistan -- a Pakistan in which women might emerge from the social restrictions of the country's feudal Islam and in which there could be regular elections and free and independent institutions -- reacted to Bhutto's political unraveling with anger.

Tahira Abdulla, director of the Women's Action Forum, a Pakistani women's-rights group, said in an interview Sunday: "Have you seen her on {American} TV? Charm just oozes out of her. There she was in her diamonds and pearls talking {on CBS' "60 Minutes"} about the poor women of Pakistan. It stinks. It's hypocrisy of the highest order."

For the moment, Benazir Bhutto would appear to have little space in her universe for other people's expectations. She said she plans to leave Islamabad in a day or two for Karachi, where she has a home.

"I think that these last 20 months have been extremely hectic. So I hope that I can now find a little bit of time to reflect on what all has happened in the past and also to think about what should be there in the future."