Juggernaut by Akbar Agha

Comment by the author

The book is available in stores and can be ordered from our website here: http://www.libertybooks.com/bookdetail.aspx?pid=26314

Juggernaut is listed as a thriller and indeed it is packed with all the action and excitement a thriller contains, with sprinklings of humour throughout. However, as the reader gets deeper into the story, a stark political reality begins to surface—Pakistan’s relations with India and the constant tensions at the Line of Command as well as with the ruling BJP.

The 71 war and the loss of East Pakistan was traumatic for the nation , but today we seem to have forgotten about the pain and humiliation the thousands of POWs went through at the hands of their captors. Were they just supposed to forgive and forget? It is here the thriller takes on a more serious and topical turn—What if a few  of our  POWs were  tormented by their captors, and what if, after all these years, one of these young POWs who was specifically chosen for exemplary punishment for trying to escape, has lived with the dream of one day wreaking revenge on those who tortured and tormented him? Forty years have passed, but revenge is a dish best served cold, and he is now a general nearing retirement  in  charge of Pakistan’s strategic nuclear command, in an ideal position to order a nuclear strike.  He shares the view with those who hold that “We did not make nukes to fire on Shab-e-barat.” Of course, no one general  can take such action on his own, but the human mind is susceptible enough to psychological techniques such as subliminal hypnosis and neuro linguistic programming  to convince other generals into joining him to strike the enemy , so that the Juggernaut—the unstoppable nuclear force—can be employed to punish India  for the atrocities during  partition,  the injustice in Kashmir, the severing of East Pakistan — all because of one man’s personal vendetta that began with torture and humiliation in a POW camp.

Juggernaut is a whodunit and a thriller , but also delves deep into the dark emotion of  revenge,  and it is by tracing the telltale signs of this human need for retribution  that our protagonist Captain Gul Khan is able to discover the author of the plot and thereby avert a nuclear crisis between two neighbours who already have a surfeit of missiles trained on each other.

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