On My Desk, Under The Reading Lamp.

I am not getting time to do a lot of reading these days but I try to keep my reading desk alive with new and vibrant topics every now and then. It was not very hard to decide which book I will be placing under my reading lamp this time. The book is all over the news, almost every person who wants to know more about Gen. Pervez Musharraf wants to get one, so did I. Although I have not yet given it a good read but the book does let us peek into the life of Gen. Pervez Musharraf from a more personal and upclose angle. I have browsed through different chapters in the book and have found it really interesting and as the book is dedicated to us “The People of Pakistan” I think we should give it a read.

This book ” In The Line of Fire (a memoir of Pervez Musharraf) ” is available for Rs.1295/= at Liberty Book outlets around Karachi.

The second book which ended up under my reading lamp will defiantly steer some enthusiasm in those who are art enthusiasts. It’s a Monograph on the life and work of Abdul Rahim Nagori, an out standing artist who highlighted social, religious and political issues which surround us, through his work. “The monograph follows Nagori’s life in it’s stature beginning with his birth and ending at his present”. Sadly the socio-political elements which influenced the artist’s work needed to be explained are missing from the book but as every art work is well titles it is not very hard to figure out the motive and message behind each painting. Also each and every painting has so much to talk about as every issue painted with vivid colors on a small canvas can each make a volumes topic.

The book “NAGORI Voice Of Conscience” published by FOMMA (Foundation for Museum of Modern Art) and Oxford University press, Karachi is available at all OUP bookshops around Karachi.

35 Comments so far

  1. Kashif (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 1:30 am

    15% discount in Liberty if bought on credit card. Here are my pre-reading comments:


  2. Saamia Khan (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 2:00 am

    Ok guys so how was it? Is it worth reading or what? Being in an another country i surely love logging onto this metroblogging Karachi and getting local info from you all. Well, i know its gonna be a long wait for me to get my hands on this one.So do me keep me posted if its worth the wait or just waste of time.

  3. naveed (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 2:31 am

    Another must read these days is “The Loss of Inheritance” by Kiran Desai. The writer is a young Indian and has recently won a Booker prize for this novel.


  4. Ahmed (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 3:30 am

    I read abt 16 chapters from “In the line of Fire” its an interesting read since I dont read many books except textbooks ofcourse :). In the 16 chapters he talks about partition how he migrated with parents bashes the indian govt of that time who didnt give assets to Pakistan which brings up my memory of Pakistan Studies. Talks abt his 7 years in Turkey. his crush with a bengali girl. The Hijacking chapter is really interesting can be a successful script for a hijacking drama. Further bashes nawaz sharif, bhutto, and zia. He calls Nawaz a person with no facial expressions which I found hillarious. Talks very briefly abt Balochistan as he was involved in the operation after east pakistan broke away. Talks abt his near death experience when suicide bombers tried to blow his motorcade it also contains some graphic images and yes Kargil mush gives his perspective on the war. I would say interesting read so far. Grab a copy if you can.

  5. Ahmed (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 3:38 am

    @Saamia Khan
    If you are in the US/Europe region you can order via amazon. I got a good deal on amazon. By the way the book was completly sold out first day at my university bookstore and it was in the top 5 list on amazon the first week

  6. Da-Man (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 3:59 am

    Book is a sellout in the U.S. Maybe the publicity stunt about “bombing Pakistan to the stone age” did the trick.

  7. Tariq (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 7:41 am

    “Although I have not yet given it a good read but the book does let us peak into the life of Gen. Pervez Musharraf…”
    I believe you wanted to say ‘peek’ instead of ‘peak’, but then again the book you are reviewing has its share of errors as well.

  8. Captain's Log (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 7:47 am

    First of all Mush is a dictator so it’s not worth it of spending so much money for such book. 1295 Rs is a hell of money. Even in US you could get it for $15 and when you compare it with purchasing power of people in US , that is nothing. Do not buy this book and wait till Urdu Bazar publishes it or Mush goes away and then you would get in 50 Rs.

    Any how after looking few posts here, I believe there is no poverty in Karachi. 125 for a liter ice cream , 1295 for a lame book , 395 plus tax for a pizza hut buffet. How much money do you people make to spend so much?

    One more thing , Jamash , you are not Chomsky that we want to know what books are you reading. Post such things in your personal blog. This post has literally nothing to do with Khi but then I like your energy too. Any how pls. be cautious in future

  9. haha (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 8:36 am

    poo poo head… just because you changed ur alias to captain’s log doesnt mean no one will recognize you… a fox in sheep’s skin is still a fox.

  10. IllusionFS (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 8:44 am

    Jamash: Excellent photo jam bhai.

    To begin with, the US version of the book has a different cover, I like the UK/Pakistan cover of the book better. The US cover can be seen at:

    What bothered me as an amateur photographer, was the low level of work done in Photoshopping the Presidents face in the cover, which looks weird. If you look carefully, the right left side of his face has a different skin tone than the right side of this face. Its almost like he is 10+ years younger on one side of his face than the other. :D

    Then, the pose in his US version is confusing. At one time it looks like the President is confused and at another, it looks like he is Saluting the American People/Government.

    Errm. I havent read a whole lot of the book, just a few extracts. I have read a few complaints about the lies or distortion of facts in his book, most prominent was by General Ali Kuli Khan which can be accessed at:


    Positive things: He is a dictator ruler of Pakistan yet til date he is the most democratic ruler our country has ever seen. Thats what I believe. So much is said *mostly negative* about him and his tour and all, still none of the commentors are jailed nor beaten. Just imagine something like this in Zias times or for that matter our democratic rules Benazirs time .. things would have been different.

    He might have taken a lot of wrong decisions, but it seems to me that he is sincere to Pakistan.

    Agay Allah Maalik hai :)

  11. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 9:56 am

    I read the book.

    It simply says in between lines – Am born muslim in sub-continent but I believe in secularism of west and that is where I wish to be when I finish the JOB at hand.

    Kargil affair is presented with great twist,. Abondoning the troops, dubbing them as Mujahideen (freedom fighters from Kashmir) is shere humiliation and insult to the SHAHEEDs of Kargil.

    Kargil is another defeat Pakistan Army suffered on hands of Indians. It will go as 2nd defeat in history of Pakistan after 1971. Attribute that to anyone but backing off without any bargain from the acquired places is surrender and it is a DEFEAT.

    On Nuclear issue he made AQ KHAN an escape goat to protect and save skin of all HAZIR SERVICE & RETIRED people in uniform.

    A big question – We Nation as whole will ever forgive him for such humiliation of MOHSIN-E-PAKISTAN.?

    Ghulam Ishaq Khan (91 years of age), AQ Khan are under lifetime NAZAR BANDI within the country, reason. They are the NUCLEAR FATHERS of the Pakistan., and Khaki feels threatened of them. Only these 2 can expose the corruption and proliferation scams handled by the Khaki.

    The least I will never forget to do on ROZ Ay Kayamat, Grab the grayban of Musharraf slap on his face for only one reason, You humilaited the father of Islamic bomb which made you soldiers look eye to eye with the enemy who humiliated you in EAST PAKISTAN and Later in Kargil.

    On Balochistan issue he did not addressed the miseries of common people of the place, he addressed and exposed the previliged class which is setteled in other metros of Pakistan and GOTO Balochistan only when in power.

    to summerize, book is self praise and to elevate the image of Khaki with the commoners,.

    People with open mind tagged with wide perception and grasp of History they may find it ‘NOT Money Worth’

  12. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 10:32 am

    Jamash and Chomsky? Eww

  13. turab (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 10:42 am

    Hi ALL,

    Here is a list of most of the appearances by the President of Islamic Republic Of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf.














    Cornell University Address ( if link doesn’t work just do a search in the search box)


    Pakistan Paa-indabad

  14. turab (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 10:44 am

    why are my comments being held for approval??

  15. Abdul Sami (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 11:49 am

    Ghulam Ishaq Khan (91 years of age), AQ Khan are under lifetime NAZAR BANDI within the country, reason. They are the NUCLEAR FATHERS of the Pakistan., and Khaki feels threatened of them. Only these 2 can expose the corruption and proliferation scams handled by the Khaki.

    Yes and then get a declaration of Rogue State and all sort of bans.

  16. turab (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

    @jamal Shamsi,

    Had Mushi not made AQ khan escape goat you would have been bombed left and right by USA and your Nuclear program would have been blown into smitheriens. Hard choices which you would not want to take,,,,

    Mushi has saved the country and put, if not all, but big chunk of things in the right perspective. We are soverign nation with increasing credibility in the eyes of the International community.

    I could go on lengths but obviously your narrow vision would repel all the realities and facts of time.

  17. Jamash (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 1:06 pm

    Thank you Tariq for pointing out the error, I have made corrections.

  18. Saamia (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

    Thank you @ Ahmed will do that.

  19. Haseeb A (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 5:01 pm

    I would never spend my money for this dictator who uses public money (and position, which is also illegal) for his personal purposes (like promoting the book?)
    We all know he started kargil, the Hijacking was a drama.. the coup plan was already made up and whatever he says won’t change that.

  20. Ramla A. (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 5:02 pm

    My POV:

    Musharraf is certainly not without fault – and personally, I had lost a good deal of faith in the man by earlier this year – because of the condition of the economy and the lines on which the economy continues to develop. I feel there is often a reckless development – I have studied some of it first-hand by visiting the non-urban Pakistan. More thought had to go in the development of economy and the specific actions of the government. building roads so that people will have still no access to hospitals, but Coke willl have access to the Oracle’s seat on K2 is not right.

    BUT – it is also true that given the geo-political sensitiviy of our area, and the reality of the siege that Pakistan is in – we the Pakistani must understand one thing: we cannot give away to foreign forces, expecting that iPod and Indian dancers will flood in somehow taking us to a Balaji Telefilms utopia.

    The fact is, Pakistan is THE MOST IMPORTANT (not strong, not most influential either, but CRITICALLY IMPORTANT) COUNTRY in the world. There is only one real conflict in the world today: Islam, and everybody else – as much as we may be weary of the situation.

    THE ONLY COUNTRY in the world which is in anyway to “lead” the Muslim opinion is Pakistan. Pak can be right, Pak can be wrong, but it is the only country in the unique circumstances to lead the “Islamic” world. Iran and Syria and Lebanon are not mainstream enough.

    Therefore, each Pakistani – especially us, who can read and communicate in international languages, on Internet and otherwise – have to be mindful of our opinions, and their sources, and their implications. We have to be practical, and look at the result of the countries which invited foreign invasion… and after all that we have seen in this world, it should be beyond doubt that the moment we flag our country with and label like: terrorist, dissident, fanatic, military, dictator, women suppressors, blah-blah… we must expect any kind of invasion. If Iraq and Afghanistan do not open our eyes, if Lebanon doesn’t teach us a lesson, and if we aren’t listening to the threats made to Iran and Syria, then what have our eyes and ears been doing?

    Whatever problems we have, we have to solve them ourselves and be realistic. And while we are at it, we have to know that our words in the hands of our enemies our weapons against ourselves.

    It’s the good old rule: if you don’t like your family, do not tell it to people outside who can exploit you. Because they will exploit you.

    This is the reality of the world around us, and not the imagination of any one person. When we communicate on international forums, we must not in-fight or weaken our own positions – especially when none of us here is privy to what really happened. Do we know what happened? Did Uncle Mush, Bush, or AQ Khan share their private documents and state secrets with any of us? No.

    So let’s save our country from our own invitation to foreign intruders. Be critical, of course, but in measured tones. And let’s not endanger our country by opinionating on issues that none of us have a knowledge about.

  21. Ramla A. (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 5:08 pm

    But the poor fact-checking, editing, and other silly mistakes are completely unacceptable. Why did the publisher not fact-check it? And why did Mush get such an important book written apparantly by a single author – Humayun Gohar – who was not even thorough enough with his numbers is a disgrace.

    These minor mistakes can discredit any book… and were below the status of a book that has set upon itself the task of “setting record straight,” i.e. promoting Pak’s point of view.

    If Mush is bold enough, he must get these mistakes edited out in the second edition. Terrible oversight. And at times, hasty writing.

    Anyhow, it’s an important book. And, sigh!, we may have to give up editorial nazism in favor of the content of the book – and indeed the LARGER PURPOSE of the book!

  22. Adnan K (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 8:27 pm

    Well said Ramla!

    I completely agree with you. I am here in the US and have been talking to a lot of people lately about Mush and Pakistan especially because he was all over the news on his visit here and the UK. Heres an interesting comment made by an Indian colleague during a discussion” Whatever his faults, he does come across as a strong, articulate leader who can get his point across quite lucidly” I was proud of being Pakistani right there. And if any of you havent heard his interview on the BBC you should definitely listen to it. He really came across as someone who is not going to accept or apologize for mistakes that are unnecceraily thrust on Pakistan. I have also spoken to many friends who currently reside in Pakistan who seem to have quite an anti Mush stance and i understand that too. Like many of us on this forum have felt, he does have his faults, but we need someone like him at the forefront who is not willing to compromise on issues of respect and dignity for the country and continue doing his best to save us from the Bush-Cheney monstrosity that rules the world like a dictator today.

  23. turab (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

    well said adnan,
    and haseeb you need to wake up

  24. Adnan K (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 9:06 pm

    I am an infrequesnt contributor to this board but a VERY regular observer. i have to say that its good that for once we have a discussion here about books, coz i have see too much junk on this board about porsches in karachi, and which cafe is the best, and what number plates are cooler and the lot and frankly i was starting to lose hope in this place. sure, Jamash isnt chomsky or vidal but he should be given credit for bringing up a meaningful topic of discussion that not only karachi, but the whole country should be talking about. and that topic is about reading, literacy, making an effort to keep ourselves intellectually stimulated as we move forward in our quest to becoming better human beings and thus a better, more prosperous nation.

  25. Jamash (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 10:54 pm

    Very will said Ramla.
    Thank you all for your compliments and comments :)

  26. turab (unregistered) on October 13th, 2006 @ 10:56 pm

    Positives of Mushi,

    Has anyone seen 10 freakin flyovers being built at the same time in karachi?? so many projects. This time when i was there i have never seen so may garbage trucks, removers, workers and the local body system is 10 times more effective than anything i have seen in pakistan.

    the money he invested in getting the book published, and the return he is gonna get is 100 times more. Mushi said he will be donating it to a chairity in pakistan.

    Our reserve balance was $233 million in oct 1999. and our debt was $36 Billion!!!
    Now are reserves are at 13BILLION and our debts are i guess 32 Billion.

    The rural areas were like this during the last 30 years and Mushi does not have a magic wand to perfect evrything in 10 mins…..

    We have had the worst governments from 70s to the late 90s…. how can the 30 years of wrong doiings be undone in such a short time??

    Instead of blindly bashing Mushi, atleast accept the good things he has done and he is not perfect and prositive critisism is always welcome.

    But just don’t go about bashing left and right with your brain closed


  27. Ramla A. (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 12:08 am

    I think that man Mush needs the help of the educated, the balanced-minded Pakistanis. If we have good enough time to devote to the Internet, we can quietly build support for Pakistan with even going out of our way.

    Just an example of how the eloquence of the common person has power in this world, and how it’s often to the disadvantage of/lost opportunity for Pakistan: Jvalant N. Sampat, an Indian, wrote the first preview of the book at Amazon.com, written pre-launch. As the world rushed to the e-store looking for the book, this early review became the core reference of many. It was indeed sad – and Jvalant wrote to DAWN – that many in Pakistan quoted his review near verbatim. The first line “It is not too often that a sitting head of state pens his memoirs while still in office” was seen replicated across media, especialy Pakistani… and undoubtedly Mr. Jvalant’s review was the source. Even leading opinion-makers and columnists, primarily in non-English media, copied this line.

    That was why on the Lahore Metblog post about ITLOF, I asked that we realize where are thoughts and words are coming from.

    What also happened was that the world media, and if I may be unapologetic, the INDIAN media, played up the fact that Pakistanis did not support this book, and were splitting hair. This book had indeed not been read by most Pakistanis when they commented on it and the President. Indians had, on the other hand, had purportedly got access to the book via the publisher who’s preparing the Hindi translation.

    And that’s where I think we Pakistanis have a legit complaint: Why, Uncle Mush why, did you not take us into confidence?

    And then my heart answers: b/c we would have made sure that we punctured his idea before the balloon floated up. It may be flawed, but it is our (only) voice.

    I think the solution is that Mush must, in addition to ocmmunicating with the press, also communicate with a group of citizens somehow… and take that group of representatives of all walks of life – not just big shots, but normal persons, and young people – into confidence. Turn them into advocates. Not of himself, but of Pakistan.

    As citizens with education, we must be aware of the “line” that Pakistan is going to take so we can form opinions on it, and support what is right. Particularly in these times, when it is obvious that air is being built up against Pakistan.

    In fact, on this tour, Mush seems to have managed to avert some really nasty plans against our nation. But “bakray ki maan kab tak khair manaye gi?” If need be, a corpus of able Pakistanis must be ready to defend our natioanl point of view on all global forums we have access to.

    {{And I am just realizing that extensive exposure to SMS lingo and Orkut Pinglish seems to have shaved the fine edge off my language. Excuse the typos and all.}}

  28. IllusionFS (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 12:08 am

    Turab: I am a Pro-Musharraf myself, but our foriegn debt is still the same. Our reserves increased becasue of the money brought into the country after 9/11. Had it not been for the remitannces that we recieve from the ‘Mazdoor’ tabqa and Foriegn Residing Pakistanis, our foriegn reserves would have been really low because of the high trade deficit, high imports in Pakistan of Oil, Machinery . .

    As far as the flyovers and garbage trucks, that is because of the fact that now ‘Local Governments’ run the cities and they get all the funding and budget whereas previously it wasnt like this. And the people who get the tenders for cleaning and construction of Karachi, are friends of the present local Government and the local governments have a share in it. Atleast we see some development right. But I think for a city of this magnitude, its not enough, but I wish that the allocated funds are properly managed.

    The thing is, Musharraf alone cannot change the country when the entire nation is curropt, well almost everyone.

    To end it all, there is not a single ‘Ghareeb Admi’ who is happy with the present government because of the inflation & ‘Mehngaaii’. But the fact is that things could have been worst if it was BBs or Sharifs government.

    Allah Maalik hai

  29. naveed (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 2:04 am

    Besides economy revival.. Musharraf’s two greatest successes are the freedom of expression his govt. gave to the media (and the resultant growth in the media industry) and the empowerment of women in parliament and local bodies. No govt. could ever do that.
    And yes I am also a pro-Musharraf.

  30. Salman Ahmed (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 2:30 am

    north korean nuke(even the credibility of the test is questionable) gets US to be cautious in dealing with north korean and are calling for dailogue and dealing with it through peacefull means… i totally agree with jamal Shamsi and Captain’s Log ….
    what good are nukes for pakistan when our dictator just melts away with one phone call from colin powell(even he was surprised and did’nt expect it all to be so easy going) …. one may recall that turks easily deflected the US pressure and denied the United States permission to use its territory as a staging area for military operations when its parliment vetoed that option…. but here we have a dummy parliment controlled by ISI and MI and poor ruling coalition
    partners calls each other turn coats(lota) and swindlers

  31. Ramla A. (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 2:53 am

    Welcome, Jamash!

    @ Adnan K: Any link to that video online? Mush has been saying a lot of very important things lately – my faith-in-Mush meter has registered a rise.

    His meeting with the Pakistani media reps and its Q&A session revealed much of his b/g thinking. He all but gave it away.

  32. Captain's Log (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 7:53 am

    I join Pakistan foreign services and my goal is to become the ambassador of Pakistan in US(highest prestige in foreign services). I work hard all my life and when I am sure I would get the position, some dictator comes up and appoints one of his friend/colleague/ex boss. This story is such common these days in Pakistan that BBC published list of 600 posts where dictator has appointed his Army friends.

    Hoodbhoy just wrote in Dawn

    Musharraf and his generals are determined to stay in power. They will protect the source of their power — the army. They will accommodate those they must — the Americans. They will pander to the mullahs. They will crush those who threaten their power and privilege, and ignore the rest. No price is too high for them. They are the reason why Pakistan fails.

    Those who think Mush as genuine leader are day dreamers, they just want easy results,they don’t know the definition of suffering and sacrifice.

    Mush is just a media actor. He will act in a way that you would believe that he is the most sincere person in Pakistan. He is no different from bibi and sharifs. They all have common goal.Rule Pakistan at every cost.

    Mush has done nothing special, do you think that his decision to co-operate with America after 9/11 was some thing special? If you really think so then sorry no one could help you. Any body could have done that except some one who has fear of Allah. All that constructions is done from money that expats have send Pakistan after 9/11. Who think Pakistan has made real progress? People are still suffering. Don’t judge the progress by cars and roads. Take a look at micro level and you would realize that all is drama. People are leasing/financing every thing and if some thing bad happens with China/Korea economy then all these cars would make people to sell their houses.

    Mush knows that he is not answerable to any one, he owns Green card and would fly when ever he has to. He himself admits that he made PML(q) which has all corrupt people in it. What is the difference between PML(N) and PML(Q) :-) No difference I guess.

    I feel sorry when educated people like you look at shallow results. Muhatir did not need any one from outside to help him. He brought changes within country.

    I would take democracy of any even bibi/sharifs over democracy becuase I know one thing people learn from mistakes. We have to give them chance to do miatakes but if you keep suppressing them then no one would learn any thing at all.

    In 1988 election , MQM got like 85% of votes and in last year election, they lost many seats and where ever they won, they had only 60-65% results. People started realizing that what is good for them? Held free elections continuously for next 20 years and you would see that good people would come up from the same system but when you stop democracy , people forget what ever they have learnt. In 1999 , people wre disappointed with Bibi and Sharifs but now again they are heroes. Mush clearly said couple of days ago that every tom and harry could stand in elections but Bibi/Sharifs. He knows that people would elect them if he lets them participate. If only the last democracy cycle could go for 10 more years then we might have poeple like Imran Khan as PM/President.

  33. Kashif (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    Mush’s days are counted. He is going to do a deal with PPP which will eventually seal his fate. He is as corrupt as previous rulers. He should be held accountable for the anarchy in Balochistan and Tribal Areas as well as giving Karachi to the dogs.

  34. turab (unregistered) on October 14th, 2006 @ 11:22 am

    Any educated person knows that the inflation is a gloabal problem rite now and anyone who has taken a single class of econ knows that growth leads to inflation. Its that simple period.

    @Ramla, very impressive comments.

    @Captain’s Log, God Forbid we see the day when Imran becomes PM. People in West lease everything… why is it a sin if Pakistanis do the same?? Its one thing to get killed by BB and NS but third time is SUICIDE! Who in these blogs can forget the worst days of karachi when people didn’t come out of home after 8 , 100 busses burned everyday and targetted kiling, esp in mosques were ever so High……….

  35. Adnan K (unregistered) on October 16th, 2006 @ 7:38 pm


    If you go to the BBC website and click on more audio/video news and search for musharraf you’ll find his interview there. Unfortunately I have not seen a link therefore i was unable to post it.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.