Musharraf's Book Tour

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's promotion of his new memoir, "In the Line of Fire," has to be among the most unusual and successful book tours ever.

While visiting Washington and London, Musharraf managed to get a plug from President Bush and cracked wise on Jon Stewart's "Daily Show." The round of appearances ahead of the book's Sept. 25 release generated a steady stream of headlines that has yet to abate, but the reviews have not always been kind.

"The book reveals that he's a military dictator, a mediocre man, and intellectually of low calibre," Mohammed Ziauddin, Islamabad editor for the Dawn newspaper, told the BBC. One reviewer for Outlook, the Indian newsweekly, likened Musharraf's book to "Mein Kampf," Adolf Hitler's autobiography.

But sales are strong -- "In the Line of Fire" is already a best-seller in the U.S., Pakistan and India.

Musharraf's book, says the Financial Times in London, "is a manifesto for 2007, when he will need to renew such legitimacy as he currently enjoys through the ballot box. Its publication marks the start of his twin-track campaign: to the domestic audience he plays up his ambivalence over US foreign policy, while to the White House he stresses his commitment, as a target of two breathlessly described assassination attempts, to rooting out terror."

In the United States, Musharraf's claim that then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage told him the U.S. would bomb Pakistan "back to the Stone Age" if it didn't cooperate in the war on terror after 9/11. Armitage denies making the threat.

But in the international online media, Musharraf's revelations about alleged CIA payments in exchange for al-Qaeda suspects, the India-Pakistan mini-war of 1999 and Pakistani nuclear scientist and alleged spy A.Q. Kahn have attracted as much, if not more, coverage.

"We've captured 689 [suspected terrorists] and handed over 369 to the United States. We've earned bounties totalling millions of dollars," wrote the president. "Those who habitually accuse us of 'not doing enough' in the war on terror should simply ask the CIA how much prize money it has paid to the government of Pakistan."

The U.K. daily The Times headlined the CIA story, noting that "the US government has strict rules banning such reward payments to foreign powers involved in the war on terror. General Musharraf does not say how much the CIA gave in return for the 369 al-Qaeda figures that he ordered should be passed to the US."

The newspaper quotes a U.S. Departmenf of Justice official as saying, "We didn't know about this. It should not happen. These bounty payments are for private individuals who help to trace terrorists on the FBI's most wanted list, not foreign governments." From the CIA: "Our relationships with international leaders is not something we are prepared to talk about."

Another of Musharraf's claims garnered more attention from Pakistan's neighbor. National security observers in India took issue with Musharraf's depiction of the two-month conflict in the Kargil region in 1999. In an AFP report, picked up by Pakistan's Daily Times, former Indian National Security Advisory Brajesh Mishra is quoted calling Musharraf a liar. "India did not cross the Line of Control (dividing Kashmir)," Mishra said. "The Pakistan Army did and it was defeated."

"He's rewriting history with an eye on the 2007 elections in Pakistan -- he wants to project himself and the army as entities to be counted on," veteran Indian security analyst Uday Bhaskar told the AFP.

The Hindustan Times also reported on the Indian Army's rejection of Musharraf's account, though the report is based entirely on the complaints of an anonymous Army official. "Everyone knows who got a bloody nose and the circumstances under which the fighting ended," the official said.

Musharraf's attempt to balance foreign and domestic politics was especially evident in his treatment of A.Q. Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist who is now under house arrest for passing nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya.

In the book, Musharraf says Khan sent a letter to his daughter, Dina, asking her to "go public on Pakistan's nuclear secrets" through British journalists. In a statement provided to the BBC, Dina Khan described Musharraf's claim as "ludicrous," saying the letter was sent to her mother and contained no mention of nuclear information. "The letter gave his version of what actually transpired and requested my mother release those details in the event of my father being killed or made to disappear," Dina Khan said.

Musharraf's story is explosive because Khan remains, in the words of BBC, "intensely popular in parts of Pakistan thanks to his role in building Pakistan's own nuclear bomb. He also knew a lot of secrets about the country, including who at the top might have known about his illicit activities passing on technology. It has long been assumed that one of the reasons he has never been put on trial - or interrogated by the CIA - was because of who he might be able to implicate."

Even among his critics, Musharraf gets credit for his audacity.

"Never before has a head of state stoked raging controversies through a book; never before has a national leader so insouciantly made public sensitive state secrets; never before has a president embarked on a foreign tour to promote his autobiography," writes Ashish Kumar Sen in Outlook. "But then, he's General Pervez Musharraf, always irrepressible."

Other Reviews

"The truth is that Musharraf is muddling through like most of Pakistan's previous rulers and offers little better in key areas such as domestic steadiness, reduction of corruption and external strength. If anything his regime's performance is becoming poorer with each passing day."
-- "Musharraf's rule is no better than others," Gulf News

"He is also one of the few world leaders suave enough to pull off slamming the U.S. from an American platform."
-- "Pakistan's Musharraf Markets Himself," Forbes

"Gen Musharraf has now been demonstrated to be an inveterate, compulsive and unashamed liar. This, of course, is not news to those who have watched Pakistan and its leader through the clear eye of realism over the past seven years. The Indian and global discourse has, however, been dominated by the many who have tended to grant the General extraordinary latitude, and others who were seduced into believing his every past falsehood."
-- "General Bluster," Outlook (India)

Excerpts from "In the Line of Fire"

"I fell in love with a Bengali girl" (Outlook, India)

"Suddenly there was a huge explosion." (Gulf News, UAE)

By Jefferson Morley |  October 4, 2006; 8:12 AM ET  | Category:  Asia
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

Yesterday under subject of "Canadia Man Tortured, etc." already mentioned that focus should be on fruit-of-the-loom Mark Foley and related hide-and-seek in Congress - starting with Speaker Dennis Hastert. That's were the attention is of the USA reader (see NYTimes, Washingtonpost, etc.). What Musharraf is cooking up these days is no longer relevant. His disrespect towards USA during Bush conference in the White House last week and his silly jokes during various TV interviews suddenly made the real smirky person surface. As former PM, Benazir Bhutto once said Usama bin Laden is sleeping with Musharraf - perhaps a bit far fetched but not too far off. I suddenly don't trust this man. Of course neither do I trust Mark Fooley and Dennis Hastert. Tough choice of who is the most irrelevant.

Posted by: googleheregoogle-etc | October 4, 2006 11:50 AM

This guy is willfully harboring the leadership of the Taliban and Osama Bin laden, not to mention AQ Kahn, the man responsible for giving Nuclear technology to the North Koreans and Iran (and god knows who else).

He has signed a treaty with the ethnic tribes in the region that borders Afgahnistan (who are harboring Bin laden and teh Taliban) that essentially says "we will leave you alone if you don't cause problems in Pakistan for me. (apparently, they can cause all the problems they want for afgahnistan and the US.

The Pakistani Military and Intelligence, who happen to symathize with the Taliban (and consider AQ Khan a national hero) swear they are trying really hard to look for the bad guys, but still will not allow us to send in our military to root them out under any circumstances.

So, apparently because Pakistan has the bomb, we allow them to commit every possible act that violates the "with us or against us" policy, while other countries are being threatened or even invaded based on just the suspicion that they have committed one or two of these acts. In fact, no other country that we have attacked or are trying to attack is guilty of simultaneaously threatening US security in as many ways as Pakistan.

This administration is teaching every country in the world that the best way to get the US off their backs is to immediatley get the Bomb. Apparently, there is nothing that a Nuclear armed country can do that will cause this administation to act. Or, maybe, they are happy with the status quo because it gives greater pretext (maintains a high fear level in the US) for war with Iran, Syria, and anyone else that they deem to be a threat to the Israeli settler movement.

This is, certainly, the worst administration, not to mention Congress and House, that this country has ever had the bad luck to have to endure. They are incompetent, have chiseled away at our constitutional rights, our world standing, and apparently are so obsessed with protecting the interests of the Ultra right wing Israeli Settler movement, that they have failed in almost every conceivable way in the war on terror.


Posted by: J | October 4, 2006 03:46 PM

Certainly Musharraf is playing to very different audiences domestically and internationally. The issue of maintaining sovereignty against US unilaterism is vital domestically as he is at risk electorally in the North West Frontier Province and Balochistan due to failures to deliver services and the domination of the economy and the government by the Punjabi PML-Q. These areas are strongholds of anti-US sentiment. Musharaff has played with fire in protecting and promoting the consertive religious alliance in both regions. There's a widely shared view that he simply cannot control ISI - that he can neither reduce its power or refocus its work to something more constructive such as actually shutting down the likes of Lashka-e-Toiba (as opposed to actively assisting it). Many ordinary Pakistanis yearn for a funtioning democracy and an end to corruption and had hopes early on that Musharraf could deliver on both but he has not. He has weakened government institutions by installing army retirees into key posts, failed to deliver on the emergency earthquake response, and wasted scarce resources in an economy already bled dry by excessive military expenditure.

Posted by: AnneT | October 4, 2006 04:24 PM

Musharraf is a pathological liar. To ennumerate some (there are so many) of his lies and distortions:

1. His entire recollection of Kargil War is a bald faced lie. Any number of neutral references on the Web or books will contradict his entire account, including the memoirs of Nawaj Sharif, Pakistan's PM during that period.

2. Musharraf was behind the Indian Airline hijacking in 1999 (Strobe Talbott -- Engaging India).

3. His account of Siachen is another white lie. He was the architect of the Siachen misadventure and like Kargil it turned out to be a fiasco. Basically, Musharraf is an entirely incompetent general and he has no real achievement as a commander or a soldier.

4. His recount of the 1971 war (India backstabbed Pak) is another huge misrepresentation. He does not mention the genocide of historic magnitude that the Pakistanis were committing in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Some sources say upto 3 million Bangladeshis were murdered. India did the most righteous thing which was to liberate Bangladesh.

5. His wanton and entirely incorrect speculation of how India achieved its nuclear capabilities reflects the perennial inferiority complex of Pak leaders vis-a-vis India.

6. He has boasted about ridding Pakistan of Al Qaeda, though the truth is Al Qaeda has simply morphed into LeT, Jaish-Mohammad etc. and their various 'avatars'. Their numerous training camps flourish with his ISI's encouragment and tutelage.

As India and the world has learned the hard way, it's hard to trust anything that comes out of his mouth, though the Bush administration and the state dept. still seems to be in a state of denial. His audacity to rewrite living history with concocted lies is unparalleled in literary world.

Posted by: Pak=Terrorism | October 4, 2006 08:16 PM

Musharrafs book is an accurate description of the world in which we live post 9/11.

I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to understand the 'War on Terror' and its ramifications, needless to say the majority of the material is both accurate and indepth.

The critics are mostly Indians who are angry at the publicity generated by the media savvy, and charasmatic Musharraf and his recollection of the 'severe and harsh' punishment that Musharraf masterminded during the Kargil Conflict and the subesquent defeat inflicted on India.

Its not our fault, that a Pakistani general can write books, appear on the 'Daily Show' and still defeat India in wars.

"Buy the Book!"

Posted by: David Paul | October 4, 2006 09:40 PM

Prophets of doom and gloom are trying their best to portray Pakistan as a failed state. Their propaganda machine is working overtime to propagate stereotypical images of Pakistan.

Read More ...

Posted by: Muhammad Azeem Akhter | October 6, 2006 04:43 PM

I never post blogs. I enjoy seeing people argue and fight for their statements. Infact, I finished reading this blog and moved on to the next. However, Mr. David Paul's statement was making me smile all the while, so I had to respond to it. No no, dont worry, I wont embark into a hatred and anger filled cursing to you (unlike all other Indians who, for some unknown reason keep on hating Pakistan).

You said,

1) Musharrafs book is an accurate description of the world in which we live post 9/11. -

Well. Not read the book. So cant comment on that. But what is appearing in the media makes me doubt your definition of "accurate".

2) I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to understand the 'War on Terror' and its ramifications, needless to say the majority of the material is both accurate and indepth. -

Well... the word "accurate" again. And this time accompanied with "indepth". Response is same as above. Read on...

3) The critics are mostly Indians who are angry at the publicity generated by the media savvy, and charasmatic Musharraf and his recollection of the 'severe and harsh' punishment that Musharraf masterminded during the Kargil Conflict and the subesquent defeat inflicted on India -

I agree to the adjectives - media savvy and charismatic. But his recollection of the severe and harsh punishment during Kargil conflict? punishment to whom? How is nobody (either in India, or anywhere in the world) seem to be aware about such severe and harsh punishment, except Mr. Musharraf and of course, Mr. David Paul now.

4) Its not our fault, that a Pakistani general can write books, appear on the 'Daily Show' and still defeat India in wars. -

I agree. He IS smart. He has Bin Laden? He Doesnt? He is with the war against terror? His country supplied nuclear technology to other countries? How can anybody be so multi-talented? I reiterate. He IS smart.

Now, please allow me to get back to one of your earlier statements:

"his recollection of the 'severe and harsh' punishment that Musharraf masterminded during the Kargil Conflict and the subesquent defeat inflicted on India"

Musharraf masterminded the conflict? But I guess all this while he has been quoting rather vaciferously that the Prime Minister (then - Mr. Nawaz Sharif) had also been in discussion regarding this conflict. Tch tch tch. Its rather ungamely and unbecoming for a charismatic and suave person like Mr. Musharraf to take entire credit for a "successful" war when the head of state also was involved in it. But, wait a minute. During Kargil, wasnt Pakistan shouting at the top of its voice that the operation was by Kashmiri "freedom fighters" and Pakistani army did not have anything to do with it?

As far as the defeat inflicted to India, I must say that India is still wounded and cannot get up on its knees after that defeat. Infact, it still needs beg to the West for Grants in return of imaginary assistance to the war on terror.

Wait a minute.. my memory is going weak... I think it isnt India... This sounds more like Pakistan... oops...

Also, if you want your love for the Pakistani charismatic General / President / Dictator / Author / Politician / Cricket Lover to increase, just visit the following link.

This is specific to the Kargil war and dont worry, it is not written by any Indian. Infact all the facts are supported by International Articles (sources mentioned at the end. So you could confirm it yourself). If we have to talk about all Pakistani exploits and victories, it would take ages since Pakistan is still scoring victories over India upto as recent as the Bombay Train Bombings.

I apologise to Mr. David Paul, if after reading this he becomes disillusioned with Mr. Musharraf. I sincerely hope Mr. Musharraf is not his first love as the scars of first love take ages to heal...

Posted by: Rohit Mishra | October 7, 2006 03:37 AM

Who is killing innocent civilians in Kashmir? Who is acting as a terrorist since 1947? Who is trying to sabotage United Nations' resolutions to organize free and impartial plebiscite to decide future of Kashmir?

Who is involved in crimes against humanity, extra judicial executions, deaths in custody and disappearances of innocent Kashmiris?

Thousands of Kashmiri have been killed by Indian army science 1947.

According to Amnesty International's Report 2006 "In July, four juveniles aged between 11 and 15 were shot dead by [INDIAN] paramilitary Rashtriya Rifles in Kupwara district. Local people said that the boys had participated in a marriage party and gone for a stroll but ran away when ordered to stop. They said that the army had been informed of possible movements of people attending the party late at night."

"The Indian troops-to-Kashmiri people ratio in the occupied Kashmir is the largest ever soldiers-to-civilians ratio in the world." according to Pakistan.

United Nations passed a resolution demanding that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.

India is consistently denying to organize a plebiscite according to United Nations' resolution.

Read More ...

Posted by: Muhammad Azeem Akhter | October 7, 2006 06:03 PM

This is a tremendous achievement of the president of Pakistan.He proved that he is not only a good leader but also a good writer.In this book he made Pakistan's strategy of fight against terroris clear to all over the world.This book will play a major role in the future planning of foreign policy of Pakistan.In this President has made clear to everyone that he has an optimistic mind,he(President) is a great asset of Pakistan,may he live long.
Long Live Musharraf and Loang Live Pakistan.

Posted by: Ali Usman Ch | October 11, 2006 12:31 AM


Well from all the reviews I just feel that the book is selling more for its fictional value than facts.

It is common knowledge that Pakistan had always been bosting of victories while been humiliated every time.

eg: 1965 war

1971 war , it recorded largest amount of troop surrender after WWII.
Even then with superior strength, battle at Longowal remains in history as larget grave yard of tanks merely 50 in couple of hours.
Was this India that was humilated??? History says controrary.
May Allah show these ignorant dictator ruled people some light.

Now Kargil thats interesting Mr /Gen Musharraf should make up his mind wether they were :

Pakistanis,Kashmiris,Regular army!! On Indian side or Pakistan side. Who withdrew?? as in victory I am sure Pakistan gained lot of territory. Now he claims of lost Pak lives I am sure he duly awarded these brave soldiers in death during Kargil else Shame! shame.

So much so on terror even now a Masood Azhar and few other high jack exchanged terrorist roam freely in Pakistan, now if I recall there is a Geneva convention about giving asylum to such people so much so for scant regard to world and peace order.

All I can say is : As you sow so shall you reap. The problems faced by Pakistan are there and alone there doings.

May they continue to have lots and lots more of such victories.

Posted by: Nawab | October 24, 2006 06:40 AM

Irony the book begins with:

Islam Bad

If this is typo so it seems our gud Ol gen said those at kargil are Paki regular but some how the typist put NOT in between lets give him a benefit of doubt.

I am sure the Pak citizens can very well verify the fact by the Nishan E -so so given to their soldiers given during the period.

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Posted by: Zack | November 1, 2006 01:09 PM

musharraf is trying a cheap way to show himself as a great leader of pakistan.
He has failed in proving to be a capable leader of pakistan.
He trying to impress pakistan people through his book & wants to make people belive he is the only person who can run pakistan country rightly.
Also he desparately wants to impress USA, & make them belive that his support is with them, which is not.
one knows it is difficult to satisfy pakistan people & USA govt. at one time.
he just wants to rule pakistan without taking efforts to work for the wel-being of pak. people.
As the pakistan country is not so advanced in technology, very basic needs of infrastructure, poverty, food, water, electrcity, should be given first priority to get it solved.
For which a person like him fails because of his immaturity.

Posted by: jj | November 2, 2006 01:29 AM

I visited a very interesting site, they have a vast collection of books which have been categories and are presented to viewers in an easy-to-search format. You should check it out.

Posted by: Donald | November 2, 2006 02:28 AM

A book very well-written by a great leader of a small nation.

Posted by: John Carson | November 7, 2006 07:32 PM

There are lots of good, bad and average reviews. Most of the bad ones are (no surprise) written by Pakistan's neighbors. I will just say one thing, "Don't hate Pakistan just because you were brought up like that, Grow up and accept the Pakistan right to exist as an independant nation."

Posted by: Haroon Sarwar | November 7, 2006 07:35 PM

I believe that Musharraf's book is getting more publicity and is selling more because of all the negative publicity from Indians.

Posted by: Mahesh Singh | November 7, 2006 07:37 PM

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