Wednesday October 04, 2023

Books to read

December 28, 2020

Here are some interesting books. The first one is an autobiography titled 'Journey Through History' by Lt-Gen Zahid Ali Akbar Khan, published by Ferozsons, Lahore. The book details his very interesting career and personal experiences. He has had a chequered career and is well-known in Pakistan as a dashing, go-getter officer who was also chairman Wapda and chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

I have known him very well as a person from his association with KRL in its early formative years. After KRL (then Engineering Research Laboratories and renamed by Gen Zia) was established as a separate entity and given into my charge, I requested Gen Zia (then COAS) to give me a team of civil engineers from the army.

The very next day Brig Zahid came to see me. During our initial discussions I told him that I would give him sketches of the buildings required, of which he would have to get detailed work drawings and estimates made and, after my approval, the finances would be released according to the needs and progress of the work. Brig Zahid brought with him a team of excellent engineers, enabling us to go all out to get the work done.

After martial law was declared, he was posted to Sindh as deputy martial law administrator. Due to his hard work and efficiency, Brig Zahid rose to the rank of Lt-Gen, was AG of Pakistan Army; corps commander, Rawalpindi; and chairman Wapda. He later suffered at the hands of Gen Musharraf.

Another interesting book is 'From Wicket to Wicket – A History of Pakistan Cricket', written by Peter Osborne and published by Jumhoori Publications, Lahore. It has been beautifully translated into Urdu by a dear friend, famous sports journalist Mr Najum Latif. The book starts from the period of Hafeez Kadar (1947-1975) and then goes on to Imran Khan’s period and then the period of reverse swing (Sarfraz Ahmed, Waqar Ahmad). He has also discussed the curse of match fixing by players everywhere in the world, the formation of a women’s cricket team, financial bonanza and the end of the peaceful period.

The last portion deals with the period between 2001 to 2014. This portion has been edited by Najum Latif and covers the tragic tour of the Sri Lankan Team to Lahore, the rise of Misbahul Haq (a former player of the KRL team, as also Shoaib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq, etc.). The Imran Khan period contains some insightful information on his life and his career in cricket. In short, the book is a treasure of information on Pakistan’s cricket history, our players and some of the world players. Every cricket fan will enjoy reading it.

The third, very informative book is the Syeda Fatimazzuhra edition of 'Anware Riza Magazine' published by International Ghausia Forum, Raja Town, Joharabad. Mr Malik Mahboobur Rasul Qadri is a symbol of hard work, perseverance, love, honesty, religion and steadfastness. He is doing a great service by publishing the magazine in book form. This issue is about the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) beloved daughter, Hazrat Fatima (a.s) It contains very useful and informative articles on Hazrat Fatimazzuhra’s life and its various aspects written by well-known Islamic historians Firdaus Naseer Banu, Shazia Khatoon, Razia Naveed, Prof Muhammad Ejaz Hussain Janjua, Allama Muhammad Anwar Shah Qadri Bokhari, Batool Fatima and Dr Syed Mahmoodul Hassan. It also contains natia kalam by Allama Iqbal, Hafeez Taib, etc.

It is an excellent, highly informative book about the beloved daughter of our dear, Holy Prophet (pbuh). I believe our religious students, teachers and scholars would benefit greatly from this special edition.