Ahmed Rashid speaking at a Chatham House event in January 2014
|Born||1948 (age 70–71)|
After graduating, Rashid spent ten years in the hills of Balochistan, western Pakistan attempting to organise an uprising against the Pakistani military dictatorships of Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan. He ended his guerrilla fighting days frustrated and defeated and turned his attention to writing about his homeland.
He has been the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph for more than 20 years and a correspondent for Far Eastern Economic Review. He also writes for the Wall Street Journal, The Nation, Daily Times (Pakistan) and academic journals. He appears regularly on international TV channels and radio networks such as CNN, BBC World and many Pakistani TV channels.
"Now something of an elder statesman, Mr. Rashid is sought after for advice by diplomats in Islamabad and Kabul, and by policy makers in NATO capitals and Washington."
He is a well known and vocal critic of the Bush administration in relation to the Iraq war and its alleged neglect of the Taliban issue. Rashid's 2000 book, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, was a The New York Times bestseller for five weeks, translated into 22 languages, and has sold 1.5 million copies since the September 11, 2001 attacks, "an astonishing number for an academic press." The book was used extensively by American analysts in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Rashid charged that former President George W. Bush plagiarized his work in writing his memoirs.
His commentary also appears in The Washington Post's PostGlobal segment. "Rashid is a regular columnist for leading national and international publications and a frequent guest on NPR's (National Public Radio) Fresh Air."
"An expert on the Taliban -- until 9/11 he knew them better than almost any outsider -- Mr. Rashid has over the decades turned out to be something of a prophet in the region, though mostly of the Cassandra type, issuing repeated warnings that are ignored by policy makers."