July Issue 2010

By | Society | Published 14 years ago

In a small, intimate gathering of close friends and acquaintances, Javed Jabbar’s new book, Criss-Cross Times: Selected Writings About Conflict and Confluence 2001-2009, was launched by the Royal Book Company at the Goethe Institut last month. Several speakers praised the author on his professional versatility. Mr Jabbar is known as an activist, media person, environmentalist, cabinet minister, senator, writer and filmmaker.

Dr Naveed Ahmed Tahir, an eminent scholar, remarked that Mr Jabbar has “always been a pragmatist and an idealist at the same time … but never an opportunist.” Dr Khalida Ghaus, the managing director of the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC), lauded the range of issues that the author had covered in his book. Dr Ishrat Hussain, the dean of IBA, said that after looking for a “theme” in the book he discovered that the compilation of writings represent the author’s search for himself.

And Mr Jabbar, in his closing remarks, agreed. He said, “life is well spent searching for oneself.” Later he quipped that it would indeed be horrifying to actually know oneself. After saying his thank yous, he dedicated the book to his family and went on to say that it is for all the citizens of Pakistan.

The book is a compilation of his analyses of national and international issues — a selection of his writings over the years as he shifted in and out of the corridors of power. These are the views of a person who may not always be the ultimate insider, but he is never a mere spectator and is almost always an analyst.