|A Journey to Disillusionment
Sherbaz Khan Mazari
ISBN 984 05 1525 X 2000 678pp 215x136mm HB Tk.650.00 US$30.00
This is an outstanding account of Pakistan’s political Intrigues. In 1954 the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Maulvl Tamizuddin Khan flied it petition In the Chief Court of Pakistan challenging the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly by the Governor-General. Sirdar Sherbaz Khan Mazarl discloses in the book how Pakistan’s Chief Justice Muhammad Munir ‘manipulated’ the composition of the Bench to suit the Governor-General In upholding the dismissal of the Constituent Assembly. This decision ‘devastated the political structure of Pakistan. It hits since been called a momentous ruling, one from which Pakistan has never fully recovered’.
Mazari describes in detail the various intrigues and conspiracies resorted to by Yahya’s ‘Hawk’ Generals and how they colluded with Zulflkar Bhutto In ‘advocating a hard line against Awaml League’, the party with majority in 1970 Pakistan General Elections , He goes on to describe how the emergence of Bangladesh became An obvious consequence of the goings-on In the corridors of power In Pakistan of 1971.
Though primarily the memoirs of it leading Opposition figure during the Bhutto And Zia ears, the book is Also, In pan, it history of Pakistan written with an uncommonly frank and original perspective, The author’s eventual despair can be determined from the title of this book,
The early chapters deal with Sirdar Sherbaz Khan Mazari’s career in politics as a young man entering the fray in opposition to the Ayub Khan government, against it background of events that shaped the history of the country. This is followed by an indepth account of the Bhutto and Zia periods.
The book not only makes for a fascinating chronicle but also provides future historians with the necessary hard facts that are the very essence of history. It should be an essential reading for Pakistan watchers.
Sirdar Sherbaz Khan Mazari, a scion of a leading Baloch chief’s family, actively entered politics by supporting Miss Fatima Jinnah against Ayub Khan in the presidential election of 1964. In 1970 he was elected to the National Assembly as an Independent candidate. After the Bhutto-led army action in Balochistan and the subsequent banning of the National Awami Party, Sherbaz Khan Mazari formed the National Democratic Party in an effort to challenge Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s autocratic rule. He was to play a leading role in the Pakistan National Alliance agitation that eventually led to the downfall of Bhutto. During the subsequent army rule, he became a leading opponent of Zia during the twelve-year dictatorship, as Chairman of Movement for the Restoration of Democracy’s Pakistan Bachao Committee. Not surprisingly, Sherbaz Khan Mazari was to suffer imprisonment on numerous occasions during the Bhutto and Zia regimes. He retired from active politics in 1988.