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ORG in Conversation: Ahmed Rashid on Pakistan (Audio Interview)

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Oxford Research Group
1 May 2012

Ahmed Rashid, the leading Pakistani journalist and author, whose latest book, "Pakistan on the Brink", has just been published, spoke recently to Oxford Research Group (ORG) about Pakistan's perilous security situation in a fascinating recorded audio conversation.


In our interview, we asked Ahmed Rashid: 

  • How does he see Pakistan's long term problems, if they are not tackled immediately: Will this plant Pakistan in the failed state category?
  • In his book, Ahmed Rashid talks about the need for change and reform being on the agenda, or Pakistan will face a loss of political control, growing anarchy and violence in the provinces. We asked: Why is he being so pessimistic, or even apocalyptic? And, where could any possible reforms come from?
  • About Pakistan's relationship with the West: Can the U.S. be blamed for all that went wrong? Does he see any common grown possible emerging, which can somehow at least hold the decline, if not reverse it? How could such common ground be found?
  • About the new role of China: Are China now the new 'reliable partner', implicitly saying that the U.S. are no longer so?

Listen to the Interview



For more on the subject, read our 'ORG Liddite Conversation' piece 'Pakistan on a Precipice?'

About Ahmed Rashid

Ahmed Rashid has been the Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia correspondent for the past twenty years for London’s Daily Telegraph and The Far Eastern Economic Review, until it recently closed down. Rashid also writes for the Lahore, Pakistan newspaper The Nation. He is a regular contributor to BBC Online, The International Herald Tribune, The New York Review of Books and The Washington Post. He has lectured widely around the world on Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central and South Asia.

Rashid is the author of three best-selling books including Taliban, which was translated into twenty-six languages, sold over 1.5 million copies in English alone, and is a course book at 200 American and British universities. His next book, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, has been translated into sixteen languages and is also a course book at more than 100 U.S., British, and Japanese universities. Penguin then published his book, Descent into Chaos: U.S. Policy and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, in June 2008, which was followed up by his latest book Pakistan on the Brink in March 2012 (published by Penguin) on the ongoing instability in the region.

At the invitation of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, he became the first journalist to address the UN General Assembly in New York in September 2002 and the first journalist to address NATO ambassadors in Brussels in September 2003.

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