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Army attemps to prevent book sales

The Army has bought all copies of a book written by a former intelligence chief fearing it may explode the myth victory in the 1965 war with India, a source has said.

Gulf News

Lahore: The Army has bought all copies of a book written by a former intelligence chief fearing it may explode the myth victory in the 1965 war with India, a source has said.

The source said the General Head Quarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army bought up 22,000 copies of the book by Lt Gen Mahmood Ahmed, fearing that its contents could malign its image.

The book titled The Myth of 1965 Victory, which was published by the Oxford University Press, was found to be "too sensitive" by none other than the Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf.

The sources said that General Mahmood Ahmed had submitted the manuscript of his book to the GHQ as per the rules in vogue.

Manuscript

However, after going through the contents, the GHQ referred the manuscript to General Musharraf who noted on the file that Mahmood should review some sensitive parts of the book as well as the title especially use of the word myth in relation to the 1965 war.

As General Mahmood was subsequently suggested some major deletions by the GHQ, he refused to oblige, saying that it was already in the printing stage.

Under these circumstances, the sources said, the GHQ directed the Army Book Club to immediately buy all the 22,000 copies worth millions of rupees directly from the publishers to stop it from being marketed.

When some leading distribution houses contacted the Oxford University Press, they were informed that the book has already been sold out.

Even otherwise, the sources said, there was a binding on the publishers under a revised contract not to provide it for general distribution.

The sources said that Gen Mahmood, who is considered a hawkish pan-Islamist himself, tried to get a few hundred copies for his own library but could not get permission from the GHQ.

Being a former ISI chief, Mahmood is already at the centre of a controversy for having quoted former American Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage of threatening to "bomb Pakistan back to stone age" in September 2001.

Interviews

Musharraf recently made a mention of Mahmood's book in one of his interviews to foreign press in the US while describing his former aide's post-retirement activities and referring to it as unpublished yet.

The sources said Mahmood has already joined the Tableeghi Jamaat after being relieved of his post-retirement assignment to head Fauji Fertiliser Corporation.

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