Tuesday May 17, 2022

Interesting books

December 18, 2017

The political blame game is continuing. The Model Town massacre report has been made public and everyone is giving their own interpretation of it, mostly according to their own wishes. No more about that here. We see enough of it on TV. I turn, instead, to ever-fascinating books.

The first is an autobiography of a fine soldier, a competent police officer and a successful diplomat – Jamil Ahmad Khan – who has been a good friend for almost 35 years. After completing a BSc degree he joined the Pakistan Army, passed the course with flying colours and worked for some time at Embarkation Head Quarters, Karachi. This was run by Col Masood Ahmad Khan who later served as the KRL’s chief liaison in Karachi. We came to know Jamil Khan during this time. After Karachi, he spent some time on deputation in Saudi Arabia. On his return to Pakistan, he joined the police.

I then requested Shahid Hamid to have him posted with the KRL to take care of security. After obtaining a scholarship to do LLM in England, he was later selected by the UN to serve in East Timor. His next posting was in New York, where he became head of the UN police force. He was later posted as ambassador to Libya and the UAE. His autobiography is titled ‘From Soldier to Diplomat – Sipahgari Se Sifarat Kari Tak’. The book is available from

Two very senior and experienced Pakistani officials have given their reviews of the book. Gen Moinuddin Haider, former governor of Sindh and former interior minister, writes: “I first met Jamil Ahmad Khan in Jhelum Cant. In 1977. We were both looking after the Kashmir border. Then he moved from the army to the police service and I met him in 1997 when he was SSP (East) and I was governor of Sindh. He was then promoted to Grade 20 and appointed by the UN as advisor. We were in touch all these years. Later he served as ambassador to Libya and the UAE. He has had a brilliant career all these years. He is highly knowledgeable about UN police activities and foreign affairs. I am glad that he wrote his autobiography and transferred his invaluable knowledge to Pakistanis. I am sure that the young generation will be inspired by his glorious career and will strive to reach the top in their profession.”

Jamsheed Marker, former ambassador and former advisor to the UN secretary general, writes: “Jamil Ahmad Khan has been a highly competent civil servant who has served efficiently in army, police and foreign service. He did an excellent job as UN Officer for Peace Keeping Force. He started his professional career in the scorching deserts of Sindh. No wonder he always got top grades in the army and later in [the] police service. I first met Jamil Ahmad Khan when he joined the UN as advisor for peace missions. I was at that time Special Envoy of the UN secretary general for East Timor and we were busy with setting up administrative institutions for the new country.

“Jamil Ahmed Khan performed his duties with great expertise and competence and won laurels from senior UN officials. ...Jamil Ahmad Khan’s autobiography is a heart-warming story of adventures and service to Pakistan. The book will serve as a beacon for the young generation.”

The second book has been written by well-known journalist, Zia Shahid. The book is titled ‘Talk about politicians from Ayub Khan to Imran Khan – Baten Siasat danon ki Ayub Khan se Imran Khan tak’. In this book he has mentioned interviews with Yahya Khan, Bhutto, Shaikh Mujibur Rahman, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, Syed Abul Ala Maudoodi, Gen Zia, etc. He has described the political situation at that time. Zia Shahid has held senior positions with almost all the best newspapers and journals.

I would like to clarify a few things written about Ghulam Ishaq Khan. He was not the rector of the GIK Institute, but the president of SOPREST, an NGO under which GIKI functioned. After designing and planning the concept of the institute, I named it after Ghulam Ishaq Khan in recognition of his honest, efficient services to Pakistan. I remained project director for more than 10 years. He was in charge of the KRL as chairman of the coordination committee for 17 years until his retirement, during which time he visited Kahuta regularly. His letters to the late Zahid Malik and to Shahidur Rahman are a testimony to our work and success.

It is wrong to say that Ghulam Ishaq Khan did not allow Benazir Sahiba to visit Kahuta. She was taken in full confidence in the presidency on many occasions and I visited her regularly to keep her informed of our progress. Her dismissal had nothing to do with the nuclear programme. Zardari’s activities, together with reliable information that she knew about them, led to her downfall. She was generally considered to be patronising him.

Zia Shahid’s book is a treasure of information for students and scholars of Pakistan Studies. It has been published by Qalam Foundation International, Lahore. My best wishes and regards to him.

The third book is written by Maulana Muhammad Asif Qasm, Amir Jamia Islamia, Canada and my friend Dr Muhammad Imran Yousuf Jofa. Dr Jofa is a specialist in mental sciences and spiritual treatment. The book has been published by the Transformation International Society, Karachi. It contains many Quranic verses which are beneficial for many illnesses and for the treatment of mental disorders. It is available for free from Dr Imran Jofa. I feel that this book is a must for all Muslims who can read Urdu. It is essential for all religious students and scholars.

I wish all the authors the best of both worlds. May Allah shower His blessings on them all – Ameen.