You may hate them, you may love them or you may not simply pay heed to them. Yet, these political heavyweights authored books at certain points in their lives which captured their journeys of political struggle, recording their milestones and lamenting their tragedies and letting the world know where they stand on certain issues. Others penned fantasy and poems. Here’s a list of 10 Pakistani politicians we compiled, who scribbled something of worth.
1. Ayub Khan (Friends, not masters)
A political biography by the former military ruler, Ayub dwelt in depth about the problems of Pakistan and her relations with neighboring India. Ayub detailed his childhood and his service in the British Indian Army before partition. After partition, the general talks about the problems he had to deal as Pakistan’s army chief and the future obstacles he had to deal with.
2. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (If I Am Assassinated)
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the charismatic Pakistani politician who scaled the heights of power in Pakistan by being the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, was found guilty in a controversial trial and hanged. Bhutto authored If I Am Assassinated from his jail cell. The imprisoned popular prime minister went to great lengths in his book to unmask controversies to unseat him and the resulting chaos that was to come in the future, if he were to be hanged. A veracious criticism and tirade against the military rule was unleashed in the book.
3. Benazir Bhutto (Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West)
Benazir’s book Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West criticizes some western countries, mainly the USA and UK on counts of supporting General Zia Ul Haq. She cites the dangers and ill effects of that regime on Pakistan including suspension of human rights and religious extremism. She also implores Muslims globally to represent Islam in its true fashion, as a liberal religion acceptable to the world.
4. Pervez Musharraf (In The Line Of Fire)
General Pervez Musharraf’s autobiography details his early childhood memories from his street smart antics in Nazimabad to his disciplined days in service as an officer of the Pakistan Army. Repainting the scenario of the three wars fought between the two nations, Musharraf moves on to elaborate his role in propelling Pakistan as a Western ally when he took the reigns of the country in 1998. From then on, a must read, the book offers insight into Musharraf’s personality and understanding of the decisions he took when in power.
5. Imran Khan (Pakistan: A personal History)
The charismatic Kaptaan, who has authored quite a few books before, wrote this after his political party swelled in ranks and became an overnight sensation after the famous Lahore rally in 2011. The book offers an inside look into Khan’s cricketing days as well as his endeavors to build Shaukat Khanum Hospital. Khan’s vision for Pakistan and his hopeful message for the youth is also detailed in the book.
6. Altaf Hussain (Philosophy of Love)
MQM party chief Altaf Hussain recently wrote a book titled The Philosophy of Love. Altaf Hussian dives deep into the concept of love and its many facets such as the bond of love between a child and her parents, romance with an ideology and romance with a leader. For all those who seem interested to discover love in many other directions, grab this book!
7. Aitzaz Ahsan (The Indus Saga and the Making of Pakistan)
A shrewd and successful lawyer, a veteran politician and a poet as well, Aitzaz has also written a couple of books himself. Being a man fond of culture and traditions, Aitzaz authored “The Indus Saga and the Making of Pakistan” and its Urdu translation, “Sindh Sagar Aur Qyam-e-Pakistan”. For those who are fascinated by the culture of the country and need to enhance their knowledge of Pakistani culture, this is a must read for them!
8. Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani (Chah-e-Yousuf se Sadaa)
Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani who led Pakistan People’s Party government from 2008 to 2012 authored a book Chah-e-Yousaf Say Sadaa in Urdu during his jail days.
Gillani served as the 16th prime minister of Pakistan from 25 March 2008 until his disqualification and ouster by the Supreme Court of Pakistan on 26 April 2012.
9. Javed Hashmi (Haan Mai Baghi Hun)
Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, the veteran politician who rendered countless sacrifices and braved military imprisonment for numerous years, details his records in the book Han Mai Baghi Hun. Commonly referred to as Baaghi or The Rebel, Hashmi’s struggle for democracy in Pakistan and battle against military dictatorship is also penned in this book.
10. Sheikh Rasheed (Farzand-e-Pakistan)
He is famous for his trademark street smart language and witty jibes. His predictions and satirical sentences are full of humor and diatribe for the elite. The owner of Rawalpindi’s Lal Haveli, Sheikh Rashid has been a politician since his early years. He has contested and won his National Assembly seat many times from the garrison city and also switched parties quite a few times. In his book, he records his triumphs, failures and political observations.