Nothing about the Panama leaks or cricket from me: four books containing valuable information will be discussed instead. However, first something about the successful Economic Cooperation Organisation meeting held in Islamabad.
The prime minister, Sartaj Aziz, Tariq Fatemi and their colleagues deserve praise for successfully organising this conference. The participation of the presidents of Turkey and Iran and senior officials from Central Asian countries clearly demonstrates the importance of Pakistan in the eyes of these countries. One reason for this respect is our status as a nuclear power. Many Pakistanis who have travelled abroad tell me that the nationals of Islamic countries show great respect for them and stress that they greatly appreciate the fact that Pakistan was able to achieve – 33 years ago – what none of them have been able to do till now. We are not only a nuclear power, but also a missile power. Because of this combined capability, our adversaries dare not indulge in any misadventure against us. Yes, Pakistan Zindabad and Pakistanis Paendabad.
With the development of the ECO nexus, we can expect many important foreign dignitaries. In order to avoid any inconvenience to the general public – tightened security checks and road blocks – the government should follow the example set by China and establish a series of guest houses following the pattern of the Diao Yutai State Guest House in Beijing. This is a well-constructed, purpose-built structure of excellent quality, has beautifully laid out gardens and many services like an auditorium, conference room(s), a kitchen, a restaurant, laundry facilities, a gift shop and a barber/beauty parlour.
Now back to books. The first is entitled ‘America’ and is written by a young, talented Pakistani analyst, Israr Ahmad Kisana. The book has been published by Afzaal Ahmad of Sang-e-Meel Publications, Lahore. It contains articles previously published by the author in the dailies Nawa-e-Waqt and Jang. Kisana has dealt with the situation before and after 9/11 and the psyche of the Americans.
He has done a great job of analysing the US politics, and has, in particular, discussed Musharraf’s visit to the US and his subsequent behaviour as President Bush’s lackey – selling our sovereignty for a few dollars. Even Gen Colin Powell, former US national security adviser, was shocked when Musharraf, not only agreed to their demands, but also added many more important facilities – an airport, port facilities, air space passage – of his own. Musharraf’s decision to hand over the air bases was what really infuriated CAS Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir. In short, this book is a treasure of information and both Kisana and Ahmad deserve commendation for it.
The second book is a special edition of the monthly ‘Tameer-e-Afkar’ and consists of 576 pages. It is an excellent monthly publication and this special edition is no exception. It deals with Islamic affairs like education, culture and research and contains many research papers. The editor is Prof Dr Syed Azizur Rahman and the publishing authority is Zawwar Academy Publications, Nazimabad, Karachi. This book is a must read for all religious scholars and should be kept in the libraries of all religious schools and all other schools that have religious departments. Rahman is a former colleague of my dear friend, late Prof Dr Mahmood Ghazi, founder of the International Islamic University in Islamabad.
The third book has as its subject our most respected and dear Holy Prophet, Rasul-e-Azam (pbuh). It has been compiled by the famous religious scholar Prof Khayal Aafaqui and has been published by Bait us Salam, Karachi. It is actually like a Seeratun Nabi. Prof Aafaqui has done a lot of research and investigation before compiling this book. He has read almost all the well-known books on Seeratun Nabi, the caliphs, Ahadees etc.
It is a very informative book and is of important interest to Islamic scholars and educational institutions. Unfortunately, however, it lacks a table of contents section. Aafaqui informed me that this would be added in the next edition.
The fourth book is written by an eminent cardiologist, a medical specialist and my dear friend, Dr Abdul Rashid Seyal, from Multan. He has been very successful in treating cancer and thalassaemia. For those of you who might want to utilise his services, his clinic is opposite Sharif Plaza in Multan. This book is in Urdu and is entitled ‘Ramuze Takhliq’ (secrets of creation).
The book contains informative articles on the miracle of the Quran, the journey of life, unseen faith, the Quran and the philosophy of life, the ascension to heaven of our Holy Prophet (pbuh), the Quran and the creation of Adam, the undisputed truth of the Quran, Be (Kun Faya Kun) and many articles and lectures. It is a treasure of knowledge and of interest and importance to Islamic scholars and educational institutions.
Seyal has written many books, some of which are being taught in the US. His books ‘Divine Philosophy and Modern Day Science’, ‘Poetic Stance of The Holy Qur’an: Philosophical Discernment In the light of Modern Day Science’ and ‘Faith in the Unseen’ are very popular. He has also published many research papers in well-known scientific journals.