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Musharraf's book is a 'pack of lies'
September 27, 2006 16:35 IST
Terming Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's book In the Line of Fire as a "pack of lies" and a "national shame", the Opposition Wednesday slammed him for disclosing state secrets in his memoir and demanded a special session of Parliament to discuss it.
In a statement published in the media, deposed prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's spokesman Nadir Chowdhri Chaudhri described the book as "anti-Pakistan" and "a pack of lies" aimed at rewriting history.
He said Musharraf seemed to have decided to make some money, realising that his "political demise" was near. He said the general had made personal attacks on Sharif and lied about the Kargil disaster and the "illegal coup" he mounted to overthrow a democratically elected government in 1999.
He condemned attempts at maligning Pakistan nuclear scientist A Q Khan and said it was reprehensible and unprecedented that an army chief had presented such a negative image of Pakistan.
The general's "sorry explanation" or his post-9/11 decision to take a U-turn on Afghanistan had exposed his decision-making process as seriously limited, flawed and defeatist that had led to the present gloom in Pakistan, he was quoted by Dawn newspaper as saying.
Acting parliamentary leader of Pakistan Muslim League-(Nawaz) Nisar Ali Khan said the Opposition would summon a special session of National Assembly to discuss the President's book, which was a "pack of lies," adding it was illegal for a public servant to write a book revealing state secrets. "Whatever he has written is a national shame."
He said Musharraf could not disclose state secrets, adding the joint Opposition would discuss if it should take the President to court.
Khan said Musharraf's revelation in the book, released in New York this week, that the US had paid millions of dollars to Pakistan for capturing al Qaeda operatives was a humiliation for the country. Under the law, he pointed out, the US could not give the prize money to any government or the institution and speculated that the money might have gone to some private bank accounts.
Ahsan Iqbal, PML-N information secretary said the general wrote his own FIR in his book, adding now there was no need to file a case against Musharraf as his book itself was a charge-sheet against him.
Former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party accused Musharraf of using state resources to promote his book. Spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the book had raised the "moral and political" questions whether a sitting army chief and President should take public position on national policy issues and whether he should spend public funds for promoting his book.
"It has set a new and dangerous precedent for the chiefs of air force and navy to also record their memoirs while in service and then take official jets to set out on tour to Europe and America on promotional campaigns," he said, adding Musharraf's visit to the US along with a dozen ministers was less for promoting national interests and more for boosting the sale of his book.
At best, Babar said, the book is a one-sided version of critical events namely nuclear proliferation, the war on terror, the Kargil conflict and the October 12, 1999 military takeover.
The book might have boosted Musharraf's financial standing but it had neither served the cause of truth nor the country, he said.
The grouping of Islamic parties, the Muthaida Majlis Amal, said Musharraf had violated his oath of office. Leader of MMA in the National Assembly Hafiz Hussain Ahmad said Musharraf had revealed certain army secrets besides narrating incidents of his "cowardice."
Musharraf had been claiming for the past five years that the decision to support the war on terror was a principled stand but now he has said it was because of US threats, he said. On the claims about A Q Khan's role in developing the nuclear programme, he said Musharraf tried to bail out certain generals and other influential people involved in the nuclear proliferation.