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The Shah of Pakistan

While enjoying American support and largesse, Pakistan's president has crushed domestic opposition and done little to combat religious extremism

By Pervez Hoodbhoy   December 2006

In the Line of Fire by Pervez Musharraf (Simon & Schuster, £18.99)

General Pervez Musharraf is a busy man. He is preparing for 2007, when, if all goes well for him, elections will extend his seven-year quasi-military rule for a further five. He doesn’t want to stay president because he’s power-hungry; it’s just that no one else can reform Pakistan. Who else can keep fanatical Islamic radicals at bay while making the economy soar? “Democratic dictatorship,” he says, is what the country needs.

This narrative has sold well in the US, where Musharraf’s recent book tour—complete with an entourage of…

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