A good book about general Zia and his era but not an excellent one….. but it is a nice attempt given there is no attempt at fictionalizing the life of this most hated dictator of Pakistan. It is told through the story of Ali Shigri, his friend Obaid or “Baby O” and Colonel Shigri. It has glimpses of an obscure Major Kiani(I wonder if that major is General Ashfaq Pervez Kiani who knows…),General Akhtar or Brother Akhtar for Zia and Arnold Raphael then US Ambassador to Pakistan with cameo appearance of OBL(Osama Bin Ladin). Overall its narrative is disjointed and sometimes it is discontinued but I can easily forgive Hanif given the immature novel writing in Pakistan, nonetheless novel, to a certain degree convey the message of exposing the follies of, this so called religious dictator, although writer has mentioned more of his domestic life and relations with colleagues than about the political circumstances of the era if a reader is expecting to have socio-cultural glimpses of the era and regime he/she may be disappointed but if he/she expect a comical dictatorial life glimpses this book is a good start….. This book is unique because it has Islamic and religious comic elements in it that i think is its added beauty.
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