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The memoir of one of Pakistan’s most prominent businessmen in exile ‘I reached to see not the beautiful hotel that we had so lovingly built, but a war zone. . . . We found bodies of our dear guests, colleagues, friends: faces I recognized, faces I had worked with and smiled at. The sight that stunned me was the crater—60 feet wide and 20 feet deep. It had been created by ov The memoir of one of Pakistan’s most prominent businessmen in exile ‘I reached to see not the beautiful hotel that we had so lovingly built, but a war zone. . . . We found bodies of our dear guests, colleagues, friends: faces I recognized, faces I had worked with and smiled at. The sight that stunned me was the crater—60 feet wide and 20 feet deep. It had been created by over 1000 kg of RDX. The hotel had not been attacked, it had been brutalized. Dead bodies and dismembered limbs, little pools of blood—it was a massacre. I had thought of myself as a hardened man who had seen violence and gristly sights—but what I saw that day left me shaken.’ Truth Always Prevails is the memoir of one of Pakistan’s most prominent businessmen, Sadruddin Hashwani, chairman of the internationally renowned Hashoo Group. From sleeping in the back of trucks in the cold deserts of Balochistan to now owning a brand of luxury hotels as well as numerous other businesses, Sadruddin Hashwani has led a remarkable life. He has struggled against corrupt politicians and uncooperative government officials to build and sustain an extensive business empire. He has faced near-death experiences, most remarkably the 2008 bombing of his own hotel, the Marriott Islamabad, and has overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Filled with fascinating anecdotes and telling sketches of prominent Pakistani personalities, his is an extraordinary story that will inspire and entertain readers.


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The memoir of one of Pakistan’s most prominent businessmen in exile ‘I reached to see not the beautiful hotel that we had so lovingly built, but a war zone. . . . We found bodies of our dear guests, colleagues, friends: faces I recognized, faces I had worked with and smiled at. The sight that stunned me was the crater—60 feet wide and 20 feet deep. It had been created by ov The memoir of one of Pakistan’s most prominent businessmen in exile ‘I reached to see not the beautiful hotel that we had so lovingly built, but a war zone. . . . We found bodies of our dear guests, colleagues, friends: faces I recognized, faces I had worked with and smiled at. The sight that stunned me was the crater—60 feet wide and 20 feet deep. It had been created by over 1000 kg of RDX. The hotel had not been attacked, it had been brutalized. Dead bodies and dismembered limbs, little pools of blood—it was a massacre. I had thought of myself as a hardened man who had seen violence and gristly sights—but what I saw that day left me shaken.’ Truth Always Prevails is the memoir of one of Pakistan’s most prominent businessmen, Sadruddin Hashwani, chairman of the internationally renowned Hashoo Group. From sleeping in the back of trucks in the cold deserts of Balochistan to now owning a brand of luxury hotels as well as numerous other businesses, Sadruddin Hashwani has led a remarkable life. He has struggled against corrupt politicians and uncooperative government officials to build and sustain an extensive business empire. He has faced near-death experiences, most remarkably the 2008 bombing of his own hotel, the Marriott Islamabad, and has overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Filled with fascinating anecdotes and telling sketches of prominent Pakistani personalities, his is an extraordinary story that will inspire and entertain readers.

30 review for Truth Always Prevails: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Omair Mahmood

    Year: 1983. It was 11.30 pm. Sadruddin Hashwani got a call. “There is a chaos in disco!” GM of Marriott Hotel Karachi was on the other side, “We’ve had a fight between two men and their groups…guns and firing.” Hashwani ordered GM to use guards and kick those fellows out. Later, it turned out that one of the men involved in fight was Asif Ali Zardari. The same man who later became husband of the Prime Minister, and eventually, President of Pakistan. This is an excerpt from “Truth Always Prevails,” Year: 1983. It was 11.30 pm. Sadruddin Hashwani got a call. “There is a chaos in disco!” GM of Marriott Hotel Karachi was on the other side, “We’ve had a fight between two men and their groups…guns and firing.” Hashwani ordered GM to use guards and kick those fellows out. Later, it turned out that one of the men involved in fight was Asif Ali Zardari. The same man who later became husband of the Prime Minister, and eventually, President of Pakistan. This is an excerpt from “Truth Always Prevails,” a memoir by Sadruddin Hashwani. Hashwani is a prominent businessman in Pakistan, who runs the country’s largest hotel operations. The book narrates his journey from humble beginnings to overwhelming success. But even more than that, the book reveals his struggle against corrupt politicians, and uncooperative government officials. Hashwani says Asif Ali Zardari took it as a commercial opportunity, when his wife became Prime Minister of Pakistan. And because of hotel incident, Zardari held a grudge against Hashwani. One day Zardari called him. He wanted to buy some of Hashwani’s land. Hashwani offered to sell that land at purchase price (even though the value had shot up in the years). When Zardari came to finalize the deal, Hashwani says he could tell Zardari wanted that land for free. Plot to kill Corps commander Karachi, General Asif Nawaz called him in his office to tell a very disturbing thing. Two noted criminals, Qureshi and Laghari, were released from prison, contracted to abduct and kill Sadruddin Hashwani. Orders of their release came from Islamabad, the capital. He was to be abducted, forced to sign papers giving away his properties, and killed. Worried and frightened Hashwani left country with his family. Naughtiness continued During Benazir’s second term, Zardari continued with his naughtiness. Government invited offers to build a new five-star hotel in Karachi. Hashwani also bade for it. A few days later, he got a telephone call from Zardari, who wanted to give the hotel project to his friend Tufail alias Tony Shaikh. Hashwani understood the message and withdrew his bid. A dismissive Zardari Once Zardari travelled to several countries with his PM wife. Hashwani asked him to relate experience of meeting with international leaders. Zardari’s reply: “They are all stupid and below average… No understanding of ground realities.” A smiling Zardari When Zardari became President, a British journalist told Hashwani, “For a man whose country is in crisis and who’s lost his wife in awful tragedy only a few months ago, he certainly seems to smile a lot.” Back with old tricks According to Hashwani, President Zardari was back to his old tricks, and started running presidency like a cartel. So, there were attempts on Hashwani’s life. His house was set on fire. His office was burned, and his hotel in Peshawar was subject of a bomb attack. And this time, Zardari had an alibi – he could blame all disturbances to ‘terrorism.’ Attempts to his life continued, and one day, Hashwani’s hotel in Islamabad, the Marriott, was attacked with an explosive-laden truck. 1000 kg of RDX was used. Hashwani wonders that Islamabad Marriott hotel is located at a high-security zone. The Parliament, the Supreme Court, the President’s and Prime Minister’s residence – all are located close by. It is not an area where you can simply drive around for the sake of it. So it was odd that a whole truck, packed with explosives reached there without being stopped. The truck was apparently escorted by a car. A strange fire After 1000 kg of explosives were exploded, another strange thing happened. Fires broke out in rooms on the fourth and fifth floors of the hotel building. But those flames were blue in colour, indicating that those fires were caused by chemicals. An official call And then a senior government official called Hashwani. “You must tell the media that the President was intended to be the target of the bombing.” Zardari and his office told international media that he was scheduled to have dinner at the Marriott, and the bombing had been planned to kill him. Minister’s investigation The same night, the then interior minister, Rehman Malik, invited Hashwani to tea. While having tea, Hashwani wondered aloud, “Who did this?” “Obviously Baitullah Mehsud.” Came a prompt reply by Rehman Malik. Hashwani was surprised. How did the minister know so quickly, within five hours? Could Hashwani ignore the signs? Of course he could not. So he shifted overseas, only to return when Zardari was no more president. The memoir is blunt, and offers an insight into corrupt political culture of Pakistan. For a journalist, the book is full of explosive news.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Muhammad Abdullah

    Amazing read. I have extracted a few lessons from the biography which I like the most. 1: Hardwork always pays you off. 2: A person is what, what he thinks about himself. 3: Wise men learn from other's mistakes and fools do the opposite. 4: Do follow your passion and let the world make it close to you. A great biography of a lower middle class towards the journey of higher upper class. Amazing read. I have extracted a few lessons from the biography which I like the most. 1: Hardwork always pays you off. 2: A person is what, what he thinks about himself. 3: Wise men learn from other's mistakes and fools do the opposite. 4: Do follow your passion and let the world make it close to you. A great biography of a lower middle class towards the journey of higher upper class.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Aayan Mirza

    A highly captivating and a simply unputdownable account of Sadruddin Hashwani's long and roller-coaster life. Easily one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. The book takes its actual start from the very start of Mr Hashwani's blood lineage and then builds up on it in a very interesting manner. The very first chapter of the book sets its pace which remains with it till the very end. The start-up part of the book, the one that highlights Mr. Hashwani's initial taste with self-employment an A highly captivating and a simply unputdownable account of Sadruddin Hashwani's long and roller-coaster life. Easily one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. The book takes its actual start from the very start of Mr Hashwani's blood lineage and then builds up on it in a very interesting manner. The very first chapter of the book sets its pace which remains with it till the very end. The start-up part of the book, the one that highlights Mr. Hashwani's initial taste with self-employment and entrepreneurship in a predominantly influential corporate structure of the country, is absolutely an amazing and a lesson giving portion. There is simply enough for everyone to take something from that part. That, without any doubt, remains my favourite part in the book If a line has to be drawn in the book, dissecting it in two halves, it should be drawn between the pre-Zia and the post-Zia period. The pre-Zia half is not only less violent to Mr. Hashwani personally, but in the book it also keeps a constant smile on face while reading it. It is more rich in terms of the ethics, corporate strategies and values the man lives by. The post-Zia era is comparatively more violent, as it has personally been to Mr. Hashwani, and Pakistan as well of course. But what remains amazingly constant is the book's fast pace. It just never lets you get bored. Interesting life instances one after another, crazy anecdotes and hell lot of personal experience keeps you pretty much intact with the book. It get's a tad more pacy and a little shallow in the chapter that narrates Mr. Hashwani's life in Musharraf era. That was the only bit of the book that flew-off without offering much. The accounts at times, to a common mind, may seem a little superficial, but what must be remembered is that the book is about a person who has actually achieved extraordinary things in life. Nevertheless, the book is as blunt as it could get, it openly names a few names, and offers a lot of insights into the rotten political structure of Pakistan. An amazing read overall, and a great book to have in your shelves. A must-read I would say. I now await the next book Mr. Hashwani authors (as he promises at the end of this one) as there is so much the man has to offer in terms of life-learned experiences to everyone, specially the youth of Pakistan.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tariq Mahmood

    If every entrepreneur in Pakistan decide to pen their lives it would certainly clear a lot of mystery surrounding these exceptional individual. The book has enlightened me in many ways, Hashwani's businessman quest has not been easy. For an owner of five star multiple hotels, Hashwani sahib has spent number of months hiding from authorities living rough. He is a very courageous and resolute individual as very few businessmen would recount their side of the story against the most powerful politic If every entrepreneur in Pakistan decide to pen their lives it would certainly clear a lot of mystery surrounding these exceptional individual. The book has enlightened me in many ways, Hashwani's businessman quest has not been easy. For an owner of five star multiple hotels, Hashwani sahib has spent number of months hiding from authorities living rough. He is a very courageous and resolute individual as very few businessmen would recount their side of the story against the most powerful politicians of the country. I have always wondered why at the lack of businessmen and entrepreneurs from Pakistan. This story has answered many of my questions. After reading this story, it is clear that in order to succeed in Pakistan, he has to have his own intelligence network, exceptional amount of raw courage, and exemplary work ethic to acquire the single most important factor in every successful business; integrity. I found the book very very engaging and inspiring.

  5. 4 out of 5

    W

    The autobiography of Pakistan's most prominent hotelier,owner of the Marriotte and Pearl Continental chains.Generally a boring book,but comes to life when he talks about his relationship with various Pakistani rulers.He had trouble with most of them.Claims that he had Asif Ali Zardari,the future President evicted from one of his hotels when he was a young man and how Zardari never forgave him.Wonders how the Marriotte hotel in Islamabad was destroyed in a terrorist attack in 2008,when Zardari wa The autobiography of Pakistan's most prominent hotelier,owner of the Marriotte and Pearl Continental chains.Generally a boring book,but comes to life when he talks about his relationship with various Pakistani rulers.He had trouble with most of them.Claims that he had Asif Ali Zardari,the future President evicted from one of his hotels when he was a young man and how Zardari never forgave him.Wonders how the Marriotte hotel in Islamabad was destroyed in a terrorist attack in 2008,when Zardari was President,despite being in a high security zone.Full of a lot of praise for his own self.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Its a beautifully written memoir. Sadruddin Hashwani's struggle throughout his life and the business acumen is commendable. Explains how tough it is to work honestly in a dishonest environment.This book is very readable and inspirational. Highly recommended to the youth and upcoming entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Its a beautifully written memoir. Sadruddin Hashwani's struggle throughout his life and the business acumen is commendable. Explains how tough it is to work honestly in a dishonest environment.This book is very readable and inspirational. Highly recommended to the youth and upcoming entrepreneurs in Pakistan.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Saqib Shaikh

    Over all good book with insights in Pakistan business world... First biography of business tycoon of Pakistan. I like it.....

  8. 5 out of 5

    Khalil Ullah

    The only thing I liked in this book is that it gives and insight of Pakistan politics and how corrupt politicians use their powers to exploit people. But I was expecting something more inspirational from a person who is a business tycoon in Pakistan. He starts from scratch and builds a chain of five star hotels. It would be better if he had written in detail about how he succeeded in making this business empire,his business experiences and challenges. This would give hope to new generation. But The only thing I liked in this book is that it gives and insight of Pakistan politics and how corrupt politicians use their powers to exploit people. But I was expecting something more inspirational from a person who is a business tycoon in Pakistan. He starts from scratch and builds a chain of five star hotels. It would be better if he had written in detail about how he succeeded in making this business empire,his business experiences and challenges. This would give hope to new generation. But his focus was more on his own family background and his cold war against politicians. Good thing is he published this book as a memoir and not a biography.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bakhsh Rehman

    This book Explains how tough it is to work honestly in a dishonest environment. He faced all the hurdles manfully. We all should have the courage to tell the truth and learn from our failure. Every next page of this book is filled with suspense it compelled me to read the complete book in one session.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Haani

    certain good insights but expected better from one of the most prominent Pakistani businessmen.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Yasir Malik

    Very interesting read. you will enjoy his anecdotes. he is scathing in his criticism of almost all leaders but is too soft on #GoNawazGo

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mian Usama

    wonderful story, shows the struggle & problems faced by one of the most successful business personalities of country by the hands of corrupt ruling elite.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Asif

    When this memoir was launched during PPP government, book was almost immediately banned either officially or unofficially for the reasons that writer had defamed then President of Pakistan and had alleged various serious charges against him. When I read this book, it appears that writer had defamed every single government that Pakistan ever had whether civilian or military and as such this plethora of allegations devoid this writing from any credibility whatsoever. Writer cherishes this fact tha When this memoir was launched during PPP government, book was almost immediately banned either officially or unofficially for the reasons that writer had defamed then President of Pakistan and had alleged various serious charges against him. When I read this book, it appears that writer had defamed every single government that Pakistan ever had whether civilian or military and as such this plethora of allegations devoid this writing from any credibility whatsoever. Writer cherishes this fact that all governments tried to sabotage his business interests and framed false charges against him but he remained unhurt. However, one is left wondering that how did he acquire lot of precious land at important places to construct his empire? And the land was acquired by him from respective governments and at the places of his own choice. The book discusses more of Pakistan politics with Hashwani’s (probably myopic) perspective rather than discussing the challenges he faced to achieve what he has and his business philosophy, vision and his future goals.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Muhammad Khan

    Apart from opening a Pandora Box of scandals against Pakistani politicians, this book only contains a huge stock of self praising stories.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mohammad Khan

    Interesting and close view of politics vs individual struggle in Pakistan.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mala Chhatwal

    The best thing about the book is u don’t want to leave … it’s a heart touching memoirs u r not safe in ur own country it’s very well written must read

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mhd Xia

    An interesting book .

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zaka Rasool

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Struggling in life is essential while the line in book I just can't forget"Dog bark but the Carwan move on" .... Struggling in life is essential while the line in book I just can't forget"Dog bark but the Carwan move on" ....

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anal Riaz

    Very good read. Beautifully written.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Majid Paracha

    Wonderful read.. Very informative and great lessons from successful businessman and a pure heart human being..

  21. 4 out of 5

    Farhan Ahmed

    One of the best biographies I have ever read. I wish this book had more pages. Mr. Hashwani could have included more stories about his failures and successes but it was quite breif and to the point.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maryam Shoaib

    I want to read about Mr Sadruddin Hashwani and how a person get success in his life along with truth because its common in our society that if you want success in life be silent and ignore or hide a panic truth and this is reality but what we do by getting such success by hiding truth and prevail lie after this we get meaningless life and meaningless life is worse than death so I want to appreciate his journey of success with reality.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sehrish Qayyyum

    One of the Finest and Provoking memoir. it can urge anyone with a little spark to motivate oneself to touch sky high horizons with hard work and believe in ALMIGHTY.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wasio Abbasi

    Truth Always Prevails is an interesting memoir. Firstly, it is written by Sadruddin Hashwani who owns hotel business in Pakistan and the central figure of the famed Hashoo Group. Secondly, the memoir takes us through business lanes of Karachi from 1950s till as recent as 2013, engulfing more than 50 years of business and development. The memoir takes us through the perils Sadruddin faced both as a young man trying to find his place in the world and as a businessman surviving the intricacies of cu Truth Always Prevails is an interesting memoir. Firstly, it is written by Sadruddin Hashwani who owns hotel business in Pakistan and the central figure of the famed Hashoo Group. Secondly, the memoir takes us through business lanes of Karachi from 1950s till as recent as 2013, engulfing more than 50 years of business and development. The memoir takes us through the perils Sadruddin faced both as a young man trying to find his place in the world and as a businessman surviving the intricacies of cutthroat business, political under dealings and assassination attempts. Being a powerhouse, especially after the fall of 22 families in 1970s as a result of Nationalisation, it was not possible to avoid notice of forces that play great games both inside and outside the country. Dealings with governments starting from Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto right down to Asif Ali Zardari's stint as President of Pakistan have been amply described, particularly the later quarter of the book where Asif Ali Zardari's harassment of Sadruddin Hashwani has been detailed thoroughly. An animosity that began with expulsion of Asif Ali Zardari from Hashwani's hotel for brandishing weapons and openly firing mere days before his wedding with Benazir, continues even now despite passage of 3 decades. The book, while thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking, is not without flaws. As is often the case with memoirs, the writer has come out in the end as the most innocent and with best intentions and no wrongdoings. Many of the people described are one-dimentional as if the other side didn't exist. They are either good or bad or a shade here and there. If anything wrong has been done by the Mr. Hashwani, it's not in this book. Still, it is a great addition to the literature on development of Karachi as a business center and give a glimpse to the intricacies of dealing with politicians, military, bureaucrats and diplomats in Pakistan. A must read book by all accounts.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Umar Tosheeb

    Hashwani is one of the richest man in Pakistan. The book is autobiographical. It starts with his childhood in Karachi up to 2014. It is clear from the book that doing business in Pakistan is not easy. Almost all the governments, from Ayub Khan to Asif Ali Zardari, harassed Hashwani and his companies in different ways. It seems Asif Ali Zardari had special animosity toward Hashwani. And Hashnwani enjoyed better relation with Nawaz Sharif. Overall, one comes up with the impression that PPP governm Hashwani is one of the richest man in Pakistan. The book is autobiographical. It starts with his childhood in Karachi up to 2014. It is clear from the book that doing business in Pakistan is not easy. Almost all the governments, from Ayub Khan to Asif Ali Zardari, harassed Hashwani and his companies in different ways. It seems Asif Ali Zardari had special animosity toward Hashwani. And Hashnwani enjoyed better relation with Nawaz Sharif. Overall, one comes up with the impression that PPP governments over the years--especially Zulfiqar Ali Buhutto in the 70s--were not friendly toward big business.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Imran

    Finally, I knew why this Book was banned by Sindh Government. It was more anti-Zardari than anti-Bhutto. Hashwani does show soft corner for ZAB, who nationalised his companies, but he doesn't forgive Zardari at any place. Even, there are some positive comments about Zia ul Haq in the book. This is more of commenting on political personalities in Pakistan than autobiography of a business tycoon. May be interaction (interruption from these personalities) affected the writer most. Finally, I knew why this Book was banned by Sindh Government. It was more anti-Zardari than anti-Bhutto. Hashwani does show soft corner for ZAB, who nationalised his companies, but he doesn't forgive Zardari at any place. Even, there are some positive comments about Zia ul Haq in the book. This is more of commenting on political personalities in Pakistan than autobiography of a business tycoon. May be interaction (interruption from these personalities) affected the writer most.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kamil

    A very interesting read which does open your eyes about some of the political figures of Pakistan. Though I would love to hear the other side of the story. I am giving it four stars because it was a good read and kept my interest but did feel there was a bias and some of the political figures got away fairly lightly.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amir Jahangir

    A good memoir with a few occasions of missing details on author's part of action during the troubled times. Also the emphasis on family traditions and history should have been explored more. Overall good and candidate writing on the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in transitional economies. A good memoir with a few occasions of missing details on author's part of action during the troubled times. Also the emphasis on family traditions and history should have been explored more. Overall good and candidate writing on the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in transitional economies.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ayaz Zafar

    All the criticism on political figures and personalities can be divided into two group. Those who are in power and those who are not. There is stark difference in criticism to people that are out of power vs people that are currently in power. This biasing shows his business acumen as well.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nasir Soomro

    This book is lately removed from Karachi outlets!

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