Former envoy opens ‘new chapter’ in IndoPak ties with book

February 29th, 2008 - 12:26 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 29 (IANS) He is a former pilot, ambassador and had a unique ringside view to developments in Pakistan as aide to not one or two but three rulers - Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. And Arshad Sami Khan has coalesced his many experiences in his book “”Three Presidents and an Aide: Life, Power & Politics”. The book, released Thursday evening by former prime minister I.K. Gujral, is a first hand story narrated through a personal perspective. It covers the period between 1965 and 1972, an era most turbulent not only for Pakistan but for the entire subcontinent.

Sami, who served as aide to the three Pakistani presidents for a record six years from 1966 to 1972, provides a glimpse into the minds of the Pakistani leadership as its military fought two wars with India.

At the launch, Sami read out a few excerpts from the book and said: “The friendship that I have always received here in India is the reason that brought me to launch the book here. It is time we combine ranks and forget all differences.”

Sami, who has served as ambassador in several countries, said: “This book is not history. It is a factual story. I have written it as I have seen it. May this book open a new chapter in Indo-Pak relations.”

Gujral said at the event: “I want to congratulate Arshad for this book that you have written and most importantly for the human touch that you have added in writing the book.”

“I am overwhelmed with your gesture of launching your book here in India even when you could have launched it in Pakistan.”

Sami, who also happens to be the father of the popular singer and composer Adnan Sami, was awarded the ‘Sitara-I-Juraat’ for exceptional courage and dedication to duty during the 1965 war.

Also present at the event was former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. The Pentagon Press has published the 280-page book, priced at Rs.495 per copy.

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