According to Time magazine, Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf holds `the world’s most dangerous job’. He has twice come within inches of assassination. His forces have caught over 670 members of Al Qaeda, yet many others remain at large and active, including Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al Zawahiri. Long locked in a deadly embrace with its nuclear neighbour India, Pakistan has twice come close to full-scale war since it first exploded a nuclear bomb in 1998. As President Musharraf struggles for the security and political future of his nation, the stakes could not be higher for the world at large.
It is unprecedented for a sitting head of state to write a memoir as revelatory, detailed and gripping as In the Line of Fire. Here, for the first time, readers can get a first-hand view of the war on terror in its central theatre. President Musharraf details the manhunts for Bin Laden and Zawahiri, and their top lieutenants, complete with harrowing cat-and-mouse games, informants, interceptions, and bloody firefights. He tells the stories of the near-miss assassination attempts not only against himself, but against Shaukut Aziz (later elected Prime Minister) and one of his top army officers, and the fatal abduction and beheading of the US journalist Daniel Pearl – as well as the investigations that uncovered the perpetrators. He details the army’s mountain operations that have swept several valleys clean, and he talks about the areas of North Waziristan where Al Qaeda is still operating.
Yet the war on terror is just one of the many headline-making subjects in In the Line of Fire. The full story of the events that brought Musharraf to power in 1999; new details of the confrontation with India in Kashmir, and a proposal for resolving that dispute; telling portraits of Mullah Omar and A. Q an, among many other key figures; and fascinating insights into the Muslim world in the twenty-first century, including Musharraf’s views on Israel and the emancipation of women.
Pervez Musharraf’s life has mirrored that of his country, ever since Pakistan’s creation, when he was a four-year-old boy. His and Pakistan’s stories are dramatic, fateful, and crucial to the entire world.
IN THE BEGINNING
LIFE IN THE ARMY
THE HIJACKING DRAMA
REBUILDING THE NATION
THE WAR ON TERROR