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'Pak lacked the services of a figure like Nehru'

india Updated: Mar 29, 2008 22:14 IST

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Pakistan lacked a central figure like Jawaharlal Nehru to guide the new state after the partition and Mohammad Ali Jinnah's early death only compounded matters, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto wrote in her last book.

"India had the advantage of having its father of independence -- Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru -- live long enough to establish a genuine working democracy," she wrote in Benazir Bhutto: Reconciliation, Islam, Democracy & the West, released both in London and Islamabad on Tuesday.

"Pakistan's founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, tragically died in September 1948, in the first year of Pakistan's life, long before his work was done, indeed just as it was beginning," Bhutto, who was assassinated during an election rally at Rawalpindi on December 27, said.

According to Bhutto, the post-nuclear tests period in Pakistan when the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif froze private foreign accounts in response to the economic sanctions imposed by the international community led the economy into a tailspin.

The economy at that time, according to her, was already under strain from Sharif's profligate ways. Sharif, she said, went ahead with the tests, despite pleas of Washington and London, to "match India's feat of May 1998 rpt 1998 (Pokhran)".

To Bhutto, the Kargil episode was the most humiliating moment for the Pakistani military since the fall of Dhaka.

Pakistan's decision to withdraw troops from Kargil on the advice of the USA left Sharif "weakened and embarrassed", Bhutto felt.