by Senator (r) Javed Jabbar launched

‘A General in Particular’

April 2023

Dr. Masuma Hasan,
Chairperson PIIA

The book ‘A General in Particular: Intonations with Pervez Musharraf’ by Senator (r) Javed Jabbar was recently launched at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs (PIIA).

Javed Jabbar’s latest book is a political memoir which focuses primarily on this writer’s personal and working relationship with General Pervez Musharraf. Javed Jabbar has brought out the very humane aspects of General Musharraf’s personality that people would like to know more about. Based on first-hand experiences and the writer’s recollections of them, the text comprises written notes recorded during or soon after those experiences, other documents, as also material available in the public domain.

Hosting the book launch event, Dr. Masuma Hasan, the former cabinet secretary and currently the Chairperson of PIIA, said, ‘A General in Particular: Intonations with Pervez Musharraf’ by Senator (R) Javed Jabbar is one of his numerous memoirs which is particularly significant because it contains the unreported closed-door dialogue between former president and army chief General Pervez Musharraf and former U.S. president Bill Clinton.

Dr. Masuma Hasan said that Clinton’s visit to Pakistan in March 2000 was a landmark visit in many ways, since the former U.S. president was against military dictators and had an aversion to them. But he came to Pakistan on his way back from India where he spent many days.

According to Pakistan’s former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, the real purpose of Clinton’s visit was to save the life of Nawaz Sharif who he thought could be sent to the gallows by General Musharraf, she added.
Addressing the book launch ceremony, Senator (r) Javed Jabbar talked in detail about the U.S.-Pakistan relations and threw light on the importance of bilateral dialogue between both countries. He said that we should stop supplicating before the U.S. as we have to establish strong diplomatic ties with the US rather than demeaning ourselves.

In his address, he emphasised the need of making collective efforts to turn Pakistan into a strong and stable state, and we have to stop blaming India, the IMF and others and must take responsibility for the errors that we have made.

Talking about former US president Bill Clinton’s visit to Pakistan in 2000, Jabbar said that India had tried to create hurdles in his visit to Pakistan. For this, India even staged an attack on the Sikh community in Kashmir and started blaming Pakistan, but that plot didn’t work.

He said that before joining the camp of the war against terror, Bill Clinton held a series of meetings with Pervez Musharraf and discussed various issues in a very tentative way. The former US president, at that time, informed Gen. Pervez Musharraf that terrorists can pose a serious threat to Pakistan. “A meeting between Clinton and Musharraf was scheduled for 35 minutes only, but when it started both the leaders took around 85 minutes ignoring all the reminders to end the meeting,” Senator (r) Javed Jabbar said.

The former senator said Gen. Pervez Musharraf had no intention to execute the deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif because he knew that General Zia had committed a grave mistake by executing Pakistan’s former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

He said Gen. Musharraf was a president in uniform and also some of the generals became part of the cabinet, which created difficulties for him and the people around him. “I joined Musharraf because I thought there was a possibility to implement something positive and make reforms. I believe that Musharraf was a man with a constructive personality.”

He acknowledged the fact that the military has had strong interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan, but this is not an exception, as the militaries of the most powerful countries also have a say in foreign relations and policies of their countries.

A question and answer session concluded the book launch ceremony.