State of play: In conversation with Ahmed Rashid

KARACHI: If you look up Ahmed Rashid on Wikipedia, the entry describes him as a journalist, a best-selling author and a former Pakistani militant.

This is how he was introduced as the first speaker of the Dean’s lecture series at Habib University on Friday evening.

The crowd chuckled as many audience members were well-aware of Rashid’s body of work — his books have been republished in several languages, including Pashto, Dari and Hindi. Many of his books, including Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, are on the core reading lists for many international relations and policy courses around the globe.

As he came up on stage, Rashid, who has written extensively on foreign policy issues in South and Central Asia, said despite his ‘guerilla’ past he used to be a lecturer at the National Defence University — then a college, where he was eventually banned. According to Rashid, his teachings were not in line with the government’s policy so before he could start his lesson, General Hamid Gul used to give his lecture where he would explain the students what the government wanted them to know. Rashid was the ‘alternative point of view’ on Afghanistan, the Taliban and America.

Read complete story at Express Tribune


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