Karachi Photo Blog

Monday, June 30, 2008



Ahmed Rashid
Journalism is a tough field to be in. You can spend a big portion of your life placed in an obscured corner. Only a small portion of journalists makes very good money--most just wait for their time in the sun. Ahmed Rashid too has spent a very long time—20 years to be precise—waiting to be recognized. The recognition came violently, with 911. As the sky-kissing floors of the World Trade Center came crashing down, Ahmed Rashid's writing career shot up towards the heavens. The West was eager to learn about the Taliban, the benefactors of Osama Bin Laden. Ahmed Rashid had just published a book on the Taliban. The west embraced Ahmed Rashid and Rashid embraced stardom. It is not surprising that these days Ahmed Rashid is making the most of the limelight shining bright on him. He is churning out books as if there is no tomorrow. Earlier this month Ahmed Rashid made an appearance in the Bay Area. This correspondent went to listen to him. It was shocking to hear Rashid speak the language of the State Department: how the world cannot be a peaceful place till the Taliban are completely wiped off, etc. Obviously Ahmed Rashid is saying things that a lot of people in the Bush administration want to hear. How would his books sell if he would tell the world that the Taliban are as human as anybody else and that though it is getting tougher with the passing of every violent day, it is still possible to politically deal with the Taliban?

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