A Journey to Disillusionment
||Sherbaz Khan Mazari |
||Oxford University Press
- Who Killed Zia?
- How did Benazir (really) get into Harvard?
Read this book and find out!
“If ever there was a book worth buying, this is it” The Herald, October 1999
"If there is one book needed to remind the global audience of why Pakistan is in such a mess, A Journey to Disillusionment is it… This book is erudite, urbane and written with a degree of sophistication that is unique in Pakistani political biographies." The Far Eastern Economic Review, Hong Kong, 13 January 2000
“Mazari’s book is simply the best political autobiography in the last fifty years. It offers a substantial analysis of how and why Pakistan veered between military dictatorship and democratic authoritarianism and gives a stunning insider view of the venal, corrupt and even criminal nature of the country’s political elite…." Ahmed Rashid, in The Nation, 15 Nov, 1999.
A prominent Pakistani politician's look at Pakistan’s political history. The events are well documented and either first-hand observations or those backed by many authentic sources.
Excerpts from the Herald, October 1999
Mazari’s journey is a highly sensitive and perceptive account of a world rent apart by soldiers and politicians ruthlessly vying for their pound of flesh. Refreshingly honest in its assumptions as well as details, a Journey to Disillusionment goes far beyond being Mazari’s personalized version of key events that shaped Pakistan’s history. Where he himself was not involved, he has drawn upon a plethora of sources ranging from his own remarkably detailed diary to declassified official documents as well as painstakingly foot-noted conversations between key players at various points in Pakistani history. The result must have been hugely satisfying for Mazari, as well as for his son Sheheryar, who has actually authored the book.
From the quiet, effervescent mornings of Rojhan in the early ’50s, to private evenings in Islamabad thick with intrigue and expectation, the unpretentious narrative helps the reader zip through the life and times of Pakistan at breakneck speed. And however unpalatable the subject, the book continues to sizzle with mouth-watering detail.
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The mid-70s, leading up to the political armegeddon collectively engineered by the politicians, form the centerpiece of Mazari’s Journey. As a man forced by fate to continuously opt for the lesser evil, Mazari makes it clear that on a personal level, he was not deceived in the slightest by the ambitions of the coterie of politicians that were part of the anti-Bhutto alliance of the ‘70s. But at the same time, he never categorically states the one thing that kept them together-an unforgiving hatred of Bhutto’s total regard for the established norms of social and political decency.
Mazari’s journey is replete with incisive digs at his fellow politicians, with only some of the Baloch leaders such as Marri and Mengal escaping his caustic pen. His treatment of Nawabzada Nasrullah, for example, despite being arrogantly dismissive, nevertheless includes a footnote on four of the octogenarian’s early years in politics in which he is found switching sides as many times. Almost 50 years later, the old man is still doing the same.
A Journey to Disillusionment is not a book which is crying out for a judgement, for the simple reason that it passes none itself. True that it unreservedly indicts Ayub, Bhutto and Zia as megalomaniacs who neither had the time or inclination to spare a thought for the country they aspired to lead. But this indictment comes more as a logical conclusion of the events surrounding the lives of these men than a moral judgement. And read as a pure narrative, it promises a fascinating time even if one is not too enamoured of the excellent references from which it draws the bulk of its matter.
If ever there was a book worth buying, this is it.
A Journey to Disillusionment