In his early army days, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf used to sneak off for all-night sessions along with three other friends to play bridge.
He revealed that the four friends used to tell their wives that they were on "war manoeuvres," which proved a successful ploy until the ruse was discovered by one of the wives who sent a message saying that there would be a real war unless they returned home immediately.
Musharraf disclosed this in an informal chat with the famous Pakistani bridge champion Zia Mahmood, who now lives in the US, in which he described how he grew to love the card game.
Mahmood was to receive an award from the President of Pakistan and play in a tournament.
He said that the bridge session with Musharraf at the elegant Islamabad Club was a success.
"Although there are not too many tournament players in Pakistan, those who are there are true aficionados. General Musharraf is quite unique in his active support of the game," the Dawn quoted him as saying.
"The highlight of the trip (from US to Pak) for me was being asked after the dinner to play with the President against two of his top generals.
It was a fun game with the leg-pulling and interplay as important as the actual play. The Generals were no mean performers and, though my partner and I were in harmony (we both bid and doubled too much!), it wasn't long before we fell behind," said Mahmood.