27 July, 2021

Self-Titled Hero

The general's 'frank' memoir leaves his countrymen unimpressed

Self-Titled Hero
At the upscale Ferozesons Book Store in Lahore, people invariably head straight for the New Arrivals section. Invariably again, they reach out for the hardbound book, In the Line of Fire—A Memoir, that their president, Pervez Musharraf, has written. The curiosity about the book is incredible—and understandable. Rarely has a head of state chosen to pen his autobiography; and scarcely has an autobiography generated such headlines worldwide as Musharraf's has.

Journalism student Jameel Yousaf is sitting cross-legged on the floor of the store and leafing through the book. Its price of Rs 1,295 is beyond him. Jameel's bespectacled friend nudges him and mutters, "It's the same old crap." They think they have already read the more "gripping" sections in excerpts in newspapers. Standing there is retired government official Azam Qureshi, who is curious to know "what lies Musharraf has to offer this time". The problem is, he says, "I can't force myself to spend Rs 1,295 and let that man benefit."

The elderly man at the sales counter...

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