IN THE LINE OF FIRE
In the Line of Fire
Year of Pub
With the publication of his memoir, In the Line of Fire, Pervez Musharraf has virtually launched his campaign for the next presidential election due towards the end of 2007. Through the medium of this book he intends to convey to the people of Pakistan what he has accomplished for his country, and to the world community, how he has endeavored to counter the forces of extremism and obscurantism that have brought bad name to Pakistan. .
About The Author
The title, In the Line of Fire, serves to project Musharraf’s image as a bold and courageous leader of a country beset by innumerable internal and external difficulties and threats. The idea is to make him appear as a man of crisis and saviour of the nation ,a leader who salvaged the sinking ship of Pakistan.
SUMMARY Of THE BOOK
Divided into six parts and thirty-two chapters, In the Line of Fire contains a “Prologue” and an “Epilogue”. Inclusive of “Index”, the book is spread over three hundred and fifty-two pages, and contains several memorable photographs.
The book’s part one, “In the Beginning”, comprises chapters 1 to 5 and is devoted to Musharraf’s early life and youthful years.
The chapter 1. Entitled same as Khushwant Singh’s famous novel, “Train to Pakistan”, opens with the words: “These were troubled times. These were momentous times. There was the light of freedom; there was the darkness of genocide. It was the dawn of hope; it was the twilight of empire.” (p. 11) Any student of English literature would immediately gather that the source of inspiration for this paragraph is Charles Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities. Set in the background of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities begins thus:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair . . . .”
Chapter 2. The Chapter 2 “Settling in Karachi”, narrates the story of housing and other problems faced by Musharraf’s family in their new homeland. Representing the ordeal of nearly every Mohajir household, Musharraf states: “Other uprooted members of our family assorted aunts and uncles and cousins came to live with us. At one time there were eighteen of us living in those two rooms.” (p.15) Ultimately, Musharraf’s family settles down, and he as “an uprooted little boy found earth that was natural to him. He took root in it forever.” (p.18) There is the commitment emanating from the innermost depth of his heart: “I would protect that earth with my life.” (p. 18) This represents the crisis of Mohajir identity: preoccupation with the search for roots after having been uprooted, and a desire to monopolize patriotism.
In chapter 3, “Turkey: The Formative Years”, Musharraf talks about his adolescent years in that country where his father was posted in Pakistan’s embassy. It was here that he developed admiration for the founder of modern Turkey: “With the fall of the Ottoman caliphate, Mustafa Kemal had saved Turkey from balkanization and modernized it by dragging it out of dogma and obscurantism.” (p. 19) Ataturk is the role model, Musharraf is in search of his footsteps but the terrain is entirely different. As if to prove that his family was not “obscurantist”, the author says, “Both my parents loved music and dancing, especially ballroom dancing,” (p. 20) He seems to be conscious of the controversy that was created by the photograph in which he was carrying two puppies, as he reminds, “My love of dogs began in Turkey.”(p. 24).
The chapter 4. “Home”,...
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