Nov 4 (APP): Oxford University Press launched on Tuesday the political memoirs
of Air Marshal (Retd) M. Asghar Khan, one of country’s leading politicians.
volume entitled “My Political Struggle” is based on extracts from the diaries of
M. Asghar Khan and from Tehrik‑i‑lstiqlal’s record of events from 1971 to 1975.
ceremony was attended by diplomats, bureaucrats, academics and
events, experiences, and reflections of the author provide a full picture of his
political journey and his perception of
the events that
have contributed to the crises being faced by Pakistan today.
book outlines his efforts to propel Pakistan towards democracy, and completes
the picture of his life in politics presented in his earlier work We’ve Learnt
Nothing from History.
Khan commanded the Pakistan Air Force from 1957‑65 and was its first Pakistani
Speaking on the occasion, M. Asghar Khan expressed the hope that Pakistan would
have a bright future and emphasized that
it is incumbent
on all citizens to continue to work for peace and harmony, root out corruption,
and differentiate between right and wrong.
He said the
misrule of the Ziaul Haq period left far‑reaching effects on Pakistan and added
that his interference in Afghanistan was a mistake from which the nation was
suffering even today.
Afghan war suited the US to support Jehadi culture and as US money poured in
Pakistan, Zia ul Haq declared Jehad against Soviet Union.
said it was ironic that same Jehadi culture that the US did so much to promote,
has turned against them.
lauding M. Asghar Khan as having made his mark as a man of integrity and
standing in political circles, the guest speaker, Asma Jahangir, human rights
activist and lawyer, was of the view that his political struggle was made
possible by his belief in certain values that are the foundation of a just
underlined the need for taking concrete steps to strengthen democracy in the
country, which she added presented solutions to all evils.
Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director, Oxford University Press, in her introductory
address said that the book gives an
precise account of everything it touches on, and combined with M Asghar Khan’s
reputation for honesty and integrity, it should provide a very reliable account
of the history it covers.
added that the book will prove to be good source material for researchers.
entered the political arena in 1968, and led a movement for the restoration of
democracy in Pakistan. M. Asghar Khan formed his own political party, the Tehrik‑i‑Istiqlal,
in 1972 and was elected to the National Assembly in 1977.
continued to oppose dictatorial and autocratic rule through the difficult years
of Ayub Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and Ziaul Haq.
has recently been awarded the Jinnah Award by the
Jinnah Society for outstanding services to the
cause of democracy and human rights in Pakistan. M. Asghar Khan is the author of
a number of books, Pakistan at the Cross Roads; Generals in Politics; Islam,
Politics and the State‑The Pakistan Experience; and We’ve Learnt Nothing from
History: Pakistan‑Politics and Military Power.