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In The Line Of Fire

28 September, 2006

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President Pervez Musharraf`s much-publicised but controversial book " In the Line of Fire " is making waves worldwide especially in USA and Pakistan amid contesting statements issued by the Indian authorities, and Pakistani opposition parties.The book was released on Monday last in New York by The Free Press, and imprinted by Simon and Schuster. With the launch of his book, General Musharraf has become the first ever government servant in the history of Pakistan, who has written a book. Ources say that the book has been drafted by Hummayun Gohar, a son of late Altaf Gohar, who had written the famous book “friends not Masters for General Ayub Khan.

The opposition parties have charged General Musharraf with leaking secret information, while the legal experts are of the view that no in-service government servant, especially when he is holding the sensitive office of the chief of army staff cannot write any book. General Musharraf has earned a sum of one million dollars as royalty of his book, which he said he would disburse for philanthropy.

In his book, General Musharraf has painted a bleak picture for Pakistan had it not joined the United States in the war on terrorism and says that the 1999 Kargil standoff with India boosted the cause of freedom for Kashmir.

However, the former assistant US foreign secretary, Richard Armitage, who is blamed for issuing such harsh threat to Pakistan, has denied that he had ever used such a threat.

General Musharraf has also disclosed that India was responsible for turning the Kargil skirmish into a full-fledged war, however, the former Indian Premier Atal Bihari Vajpaee has contested the former`s claim saying that Indian army was in defensive position when the war started.

Here are some questions.
1) What do you think about the contents of the book?
2) Do you agree with the legal experts that no in-service government servant can write a book?
3) Has General Musharraf leaked any state secrets in his book?
4) Hasn`t General Musharraf used state resources for publicity of his book as he is in America on an official visit?

Reader Comments:

"In the Line of Fire"

The book is the first from a South Asian in recognized top best seller lists. A fact that has disaapointed many a Indians. It is truly a courageous piece, for President Musharraf has said much that should put to rest the dumb cases many of Pakistan's foes try making against us.
It shows that Musharraf is not afraid of ayone or toeing any lines. He took decisions in the best interest of Pakistan, disappointing those who want us destroyed.
Legal experts, who think of them as such, should first make people understand about the failure of the civilian society at large. Musharraf is President and has not spilled any state secrets, as if we have any.
Is it a secret that we are under-developed and in need of global integration to break out of the poverty shackles. Only so-called experts are commenting at why this book should not have been written.

State secrets is a thing of the past, nothing can be kept a secret in this time and age.
The audience of the book is the west and it does well to explain his posture, which may not be upto everyones satisfaction, even mine, but then he has a right to express his opinion and that is what he has done.
His memoirs do tell a very interesting story, a story we all need to know.
The publisher of the book is Simon and Shuster, who are the biggest publishers in the world. The timing of the launch was tied with Musharraf's UN assembly address, which is an anual affair, which he goes for every year. He used this opportunity to launch his book also and take on the hostile media and did the rounds on the electronic circuit. For all those following his trip, will appreciate that he defended Pakistan's position to the best of his ability. We must always remember he is no diplomat or politician and shoots from the hip. He is better understood by Bush then anyone else.

Malik Shahid, Pakistan - 28 September, 2006

Let the west read you

Mr. Pervez Mushraf's book 'In the Line of Fire' is a effective effort by a Pakistani leader to demonstrate proper skills of penetrating in the western mind. We are well aware that we the Muslims are maligned by some unscrupulous leaders. Our enemy is using books, internet and television to distort the actual picture of our religion and beliefs. Pakistan being the pivotal country of Islamic world is under perennial attack. No one spare a chance to dub Pakistan an extremist and fundamentalist state. Mushraf's effort will dispel some of these notions nurture by the west. This is a good attempt of catching the attention western media and new generation. I hope that this book will do good to our country's position.


Raheel Rao

Raheel Rao, Pakistan - 29 September, 2006


I wonder if Gen Mush is a case of split personality. He acts more like a CEO of a PRIVATE COMPANY called PAKISTAN LTD.
His book is one the products lauched and he seems to be on a launching mission.

BHARAT GAJRIA, Hungary - 29 September, 2006

understanding a general

Is the issue a book or that Musharraf has more brains then Nawaz, Benizer, and Qazi. I have heard him speak on a few occasions and found him a very intelligent man. Belonging to a political family myself, I have had the honour of listening and speaking to some of the previous leaders and politicians. Trust me they have a brain of a peanut.
As regard to the book it helps put the view of an individual in the public domain for why he sided with the United State and the reason for him doing so and gives an insight into his personal life. Politicians in England have written books too while in office.
I can count a few books written on about Tony Blair (with his approval). If Nawaz, Benzir and Qazi or any other politician has any issue they should write their own book and set the record straight. Reason for objecting is that in the book he talks about previous corruption and the leaders do not like to be remembered how they took the wealth out of the country and that is no state secret. If Nawaz ,Benzier or any other politician has an issue they should write there own book to but I am sure that it will not be a bestseller.

shujaat ali, United Arab Emirates - 29 September, 2006

In the line of friendly fire…!

Undoubtedly late Bhutto was the real hero, architect & father of the Muslim nuclear bomb, our most successful foreign policy/relations especially with the peoples republic of China, Pakistan steel mills where the generals very happily line up to become MDs, Aeronautical engineering complex at Kamra and Taxla heavy complex as these both are fulfilling domestic needs as well as giving billions of dollar in export deals, Super Indus highway as the second line of defence, 1973 constitution, The historic Lahore Islamic summit of 1974, export of labour to the Middle East, provision of military help to brother Muslim countries in the 1973 war with Israel while you Mr President, in uniform, kept low profile in the recent Israeli aggression against our brothers & sisters in Lebanon.

Where are the missing Pakistanis under you Mr Musharraf? Late Bhutto didn’t sell out or handed over his good or bad countrymen to any other nation. He broke the monopoly of certain group (who are even considered as Pakistani Jews) and gave equal rights to the marginalised majority in the Sindh province perhaps that way you call him fascist. He gave socio-economic and political consciousness to the common masses which also very clearly annoyed the so-called ruling classes.

When Bhutto got letter of threat with unreasonable demands from the US he went to the masses in the street and defended Pakistan’s stand, sovereignty & right over nuclear technology. But unfortunately the treacherous generals, instead of helping their own leader, came forward to the help of Uncle Sam and dismantled the democratic government only to let Pakistan be used as the jumping bow for the American adventurism against the USSR and subsequently the birth of international terrorism took place which is the direct result of the undemocratic and unconstitutional military takeover in July1977. (To be continued)

Ahmed bin Babar

Ahmed bin Babar, Pakistan - 29 September, 2006

In the line of friendly fire…!

President Pervez Musharraf does enjoy the right to write books or express himself but only when he, as his position demands, is discreet & impartial in his comments about our national history or heroes who rendered unprecedented and valuable services for Pakistan.

His harsh remarks about late Bhutto is an indiscreet rather futile attempt as the love & respect for late Bhutto is still alive and illuminates the hearts of millions from Khyber to Karachi.

The 1971 tragedy had its roots in the politics of socio-economic injustice done to our Bengali brethren over a period of decades by our overwhelming Urdu & Punjabi speaking civil and military bureaucracy while this situation was exploited and further deteriorated by the domestic Hindu lobby and the Indian interference in the internal affairs of East Pakistan.

Late Bhutto highlighted the equal importance of both provinces by making this statement that you have majority in the East (Udhar tum) and we have majority in the West (Idhar ham) and we both matter in our national politics. So here we see nothing wrong if he pressed upon and asked the separatist leader to come down to Islamabad instead of Dhaka which was not, in accordance with the existing constitution, the capital of Pakistan.

While late Mujib-ur-Rehman, the man who was accused & convicted in Agartala conspiracy and the architect of six-points, refused to come to Islamabad as he had already reached, in the mind of his minds, the point of no return. A gathering in Dhaka, where at that moment the West Pakistanis were being butchered indiscriminately, was extremely dangerous and could have resulted in humiliation and total break up of Pakistan with the separatists dominating the parliament.

Late Bhutto indeed became, rather was made, Chief Martial law administrator. He accepted this offer as the country was in deep crises and post-dismemberment trauma and there had been potential dangers to the national security, sovereignty and integrity. Musharraf is also not shunning off his uniform in the presumed national interest.

Musharraf accuses late Bhutto of dalai-camp but what about his own handing over of innocent Pakistan nationals and other Muslims to US prisons rather torcher camps like Guantanmo ? How he, as a uniform man, can ask or suggest to the national politicians not to stay in Pakistan or participate in the country’s politics? Isn’t this breach of the UN charter on human rights…? One wonders why he has not touched the black days of his own boot-brothers, late Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan or Zia-ul-Haq’s fascist regimes.

Ahmed bin Babar, Pakistan - 29 September, 2006

No Comment

No one leek secrets either President nor Gen. but make sure tht General is an army personnel n President is a politician. Gen can be President but can a president b gen.?????????

malik, Pakistan - 30 September, 2006

'Breaking The Silence'

After the book was presented, Pakistani could struggle for justice not through expressing an inner identity, but serving a transit point or vector for discourse:"As gendered subjects, Pakistani speak/write in multiple voices. It is this subjective plurality that, finally, allows the Pakistani to become an expressive site for a dialectic/dialogics of identity and difference." The transformation in theory that made it possible to have one's identity politics and one's anti-essentialism, too, occurred gradually, indeed, almost inperceptibly. When we dare to speak in a liberatory voice, we threaten even those who may initially claim to want our words. In the act of overcoming our fear of speech, in the process of learning to speak as subjects, we participate in the global struggle to end domination. When we end our silence, when we speak in a liberated voice, our words connect us with anyone, anywhere who lives in silence. "Talking back 'In the Line of Fire'" was the expression of our movement from object to subject - the liberated voice. Well done Mr.President!

Shokat Saleem, Georgia - 30 September, 2006

In the line of fire

Does Gen.Pervez not find a publisher available in Pak to publisize his work? What prompt him to run after US?

Pak leader Gen. Pervez is playing an elite role to his counter part Afghan leader Mr. Karzai by publishing this book. Just an efimeral image he made for himself to sell off book.

To contain local political envies, amaze money, boost image among Islamic world, particularly to Mr. Karzai, this book is aimed at. If Gen. Pervez Musharraf feels he is doing a dangerous job, he can better move to a safer job by stepping down and paving way to others.Rather than doing an elite business by misleading people in the image of " The President".

S.K.Moorthy, Kuwait - 30 September, 2006


Never thought there is some one in pakistan who can write such a couragouse book.
Many in pakistan speciaally the politicians will make the issue out of it but trust me they are just nothing.
If Nawaz Sharif and benazir is somethin against the book he is a liar coz they were the ones who went on to say the shit about pakistan and the poeple of pakistan think that they are the only politicians in pakistan.
I think Mr Musharraf is the great leader and he had enough courage to say anything on the face of america and europe.
Pakistan for the time being needs the leader like Musharraf and that how we can make it to one of the high rated countries in the world inshallah.

Ammad Khan, United Arab Emirates - 30 September, 2006

In The Line Of Fire .......4 Bush

GEN Musharraf has disclosed his love affairs in his book which has certainly harmed each pakistani and has distorted the beautiful Islamic image of Pakistan.The Gen has certainly done it to show himself a moderate and temporary muslim to his counter part....Bushy

Yasin khan, Pakistan - 01 October, 2006

Justice must be done to every mother's son!

I have no doubt in mind that the General has leaked state serects. He must be prosecuted for disclosure of sensitive information.

He done great damage to the country and time will tell it. He has provided an opportunity to the West to cite his book as proof to justify its wrong actions. Western media is abuzz with speculations that US go after alquaida in Pakistan.This whole so called civilian government is based on vested interests of army bigwigs, industrialists, feudal lords, politicians and bureaucrats. I also know that nobody would dare say a word against the General.

A Pakistani, Pakistan - 02 October, 2006



adeel, Pakistan - 02 October, 2006

Good book

It is a pretty interesting book. Please read the book and then write your analysis. Let's not read passages published by the media becase reading the book will clearify those things which seem contradictory.

Imran Siddiqui, Canada - 04 October, 2006

Good job!

This book did what 50 years of public relations effort had not done. It brought the broad cross section of the west a view that is very directly Pakistani and in terms that they understand. Even if books like this were written they were not read in the west. Or talked about in every major news show. It is sold out on Amazon, the local Barnes and Noble, Borders everywhere.

The book does more for Pakistan foreign policy and public relations than any multi-billion dollar PR campaign by Saatchi & Saatchi could do.

The news talk shows in the US have not been able to stop talking about it. Note that they may not be always positive about it. Sometimes it is not exactly accurate, sometimes it is controversial, so what! It is a personal account and at times it is self agrandizing. But in the end it causes many people to read the book. By and large it is about Pakistan's point of view which is well represented.

So forget about your complaints. Read the book take some of it with a grain of salt. Think how somebody abroad will read it. Yes Indians will hate it... most westerners actually don't dislike it.... but it does paint a picture of Pakistan that is positive... not perfect ... but atleast we are people and yes we are flawed ... but we also want what everybody in the world wants. We are not just the 30 second reels that the 9:00 o'clock news runs which show us as bearded mullahs burning effigies. Let us talk about us to people for a change...

Aamer Khan, United Kingdom - 05 October, 2006

How Pervez Mushraf became a GREAT PR for Pakistan

The United States of America was impressed with Musraf's visit and book opening in America. He was flashed on all popular shows seen by the American public, he started a terrific PR campaign to show the world that Pakistan is a force to be reckoned with. Lets face it all you Pakistanis are always screaming about the non-Islamic forces in America while India's PR machine is busy working showing the world the talent Indian display. Pakistani are more intelligent and talented but we are lost in the transalation of the global internet. We need to be proud of our women and men and showcase their huge contributions in education, TV films, music and Musharaf has started the ball.
Do the rest of the Pakistani crowd ready to carry on this huge PR success?

Padma Poori, Faroe Islands - 05 October, 2006

Showcase Pakistan in America

The book by President Pervez Mushraf has started a deep interest in Pakistan by the citizens of America. Our embassy in Washington is doing a poor job of displaying our rich culture and values to the masses in America. We Americans are hungry to know about the strides women have made in the various fields, of our talented brothers who excel in others. There is a cable channel of COMCAST called AZN that is used by the Indian Propaganda machine to highlight the acheievements of all Indian folk but there is never any mention of Pakistani. GEO TV..HUM TV...etc have got to contact this AZN and other media giants like CNN and CNBC - America and request them to broadcast the great strides in television cricket ..and fashion from Pakistan so we Americans can understand that Pakistani are not living under a cloud of terrorist fanatism. So all media people need to contact international media outlets to start the Pakistani media blitz. Let the games commence.

Zeenat Abbas, United Kingdom - 06 October, 2006

Singing the blues!

The General has sung blues of his aggrandizement,by looking down upon his course mates who professionally were top in their class.Demeaning the late Prime Minister Mr Bhutto may win him laurels with some but not the nation.

Khalid Rahim, Canada - 07 October, 2006

Message conveyed

I duly appreciate the book Musharraf wrote recently. The time it was released not only helped in clearing so much complicated issues within Pakistan but also it was an easy and fair way to convey his message to entire world. People should know the truth he was telling to different media and countries again and again. He made an effort and it should be appreciated.

Obaid Khan, Fiji - 09 October, 2006

Excellent Effort

I really appreciate President Musharraf. He has really written a good book "In The Line Of Fire", I think this was the most effective way to penetrate into the western society/media. The Launching of the book was done at the crucial time when the whole world was been attracted to the bloosheding of lebonon the killings of iraqis and the iran issue, wll at this time President launched a book which have not only had impact on the pakistani soceity, politics but it has also attracted other countries like INDIA, IRAN, NORTH KOREA. in one way or other these countries are involved in the completion of the book.and as far as the leaking of the secrets is concerned, this is the era of new dimensions new technology so how could all the facts be hidden. I my self really appreciate the work of our President.

Yasir Awan, Pakistan - 18 October, 2006

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