I had been struggling to refuel my hobby of reading since a long time. Some weeks before, I took a stand against laziness by starting Al Chemist. As more time was dedicated for electronic gadgets, it took me nearly two months to finish a little novel that I could have finished in just two three days.
After that, I was planning to start eleven minutes by same writer Paulo Coelho as I really liked his mystic sense to capture the attention of reader and style of inspiring the masses through simple magic of words. After reading his book, I realised the reason behind sale of millions of copies of his books.
Some days back, in Javed Chaudhry and Rauf Clasra’s daily columns, both praised a book and urged the readers to read the master piece. “Sach ka safar or truth always prevails” is written by chairman of Hashoo group, Sadaruddin Haswani. This group owns Pearl Continental hotels along with Holiday Inns. This Hashoo group also has an oil and gas subsidiary that is searching and drilling for oil and gas in twelve countries outside Pakistan.
I started reading it. The book is actually divided into chapters and early chapters cover the details of his ancestors, family struggle and childhood. He maintains the rhythm throughout the books and the interest of the reader starts to develop right from the beginning.
Hashwani started his career as an assistant to his brother-in-law and had to travel faraway places of Balochistan and other parts of country for the business of food and cotton. In early struggle explanation, he touches the topics of Ayub khan’s economic reforms and the way he settled his own business.
The book also gives a brief perspective of the economic atrocities by Bhutto regime through nationalisation in early 70’s. He discusses how pitilessly the regime implemented the socialist agenda and did not even spare the education.
The author, who is a hotel business magnate, turns to describe entry in hotel industry after explaining the nationalisation of popular businesses of food and steel. In the middle chapters, he briefs about the early difficulties in establishing hotels in Pakistan. The way he received permissions and how some of his industrial opponents used the bureaucracy and political elite against him.
The book grips your senses more violently, when the chapter of business under Zia regime starts. The most difficult time of his life was in Zia’s era. He was considered one of the well-wishers of Bhutto and had to face the consequences of Zia’s anger. He was arrested, had to hide at different places in the country. Then he explains how a political figure helped him out of the crisis.
He gave a proposal to start a polyester plant but was rejected by the government. He also writes some very interesting incidents like when PM Junejo tried to sell him his Mercedes car through an aide, which was imported through illegal mean and he was persuaded or forced to buy it so that Junejo could enjoy heavy profit but he denied and eventually faced the rude attitude of country’s premier.
PPP regime was also one the toughest periods for him as he escaped a murder attack, which according to him was planned by an elite political figure during the Benazir Bhutto’s government. He was saved by then corps commander Karachi, General Asif Nawaz Janjua, who was also his closest friend. He had to leave the country for the sake of his and family’s life.
To some extent he looks a bit satisfied with the governments of Nawaz Sharif and president Musharraf. He also explains the motivations behind making hotels in some of difficult areas and provides information about his foreign investment especially in hotel business of America.
He tries to justify less investment in oil and gas sector of Pakistan through mentioning some past experiences and criticises the policies of government on preferring foreign companies.
Some facts have also been given about the terrorist attack on 20th September 2008 on Marriott hotel Islamabad. According to him, it was not the Taliban but some political figures.
On the whole, this is a worthy piece of writing as our businessmen don’t have the hobby to write books. The book unveils the massive flaws in our system and how laws are used as a tool to oppress the opponents and for the economic gains.
This is not just a book actually but as said by Javed Chaudhry, ”mourning of Pakistan’s history”. After so many years, a book has come, which you can read in just a single sitting and it does not let you to turn eyes on anything else.
A must read for every sensible citizen to know some of the basic realities of this state. Believe me these 233 pages would add valuable knowledge to your mind, so try it.