Mushahid Hussain

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Mushahid Hussain

"As Federal Cabinet member and as Information Minister from 1997 to 1999, Mushahid was the country’s principal spokesman when Pakistan went nuclear and appeared frequently on television and radio to present Pakistan’s position on issues ranging from nuclear weapons to Islam and foreign policy. He has been a guest on the CBS ‘Face the Nation’, BBC ‘Hard Talk’, CNN, ABC, NBC, C-Span and ‘Al Jazeerah’.

"Mushahid was held without any charges as a political prisoner of the military government for 440 days, including a period in solitary imprisonment. Amnesty International declared him a ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ making him the first such Pakistani for the year 2000. Pursuant to an invitation, he wrote about his unique experiences in a special Op-Ed piece in The New York Times “In the Cage, In Search of Grace” on February 12, 2001. His articles have also appeared in The Washington Post (which profiled him in detention on September 15, 2000, “Pakistan Keeps Gag on Former Spokesman”), the International Herald Tribune, and Jane’s Defence Weekly.

"He has extensive diplomatic experience having led Pakistan’s delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission at Geneva (where the US delegation was led by Geraldine Ferraro) in 1993, leader of Pakistan’s delegation to the funeral ceremonies of Mother Theresa in India (the US delegation was led by First Lady Hillary Clinton) and headed Pakistan’s delegation to China on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. He was a member of Pakistan’s 5-member delegation led by Prime Minister Muhammed Nawaz Sharif, which was received by President Clinton for parleys at the White House in December 1998. He was also Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Central Asia in 1992-1993, which planned policy initiatives towards that region after the break-up of the Soviet Union.

"During the state visits of President Nelson Mandela, Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Yasser Arafat to Pakistan, he was attached to them as Minister-in-Waiting.

"He has been a guest lecturer at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, Harvard University, MIT, the Middle East Institute, the Stimson Center, Oxford University and Georgetown University’s Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding.

"Mushahid Hussain has a Master’s degree from the School of Foreign Service in Georgetown University. He represented Georgetown University at the Student Conference on US Affairs (SCUSA) at the US Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy Foreign Affairs Conference (NAFAC) at Annapolis and the US State Department’s “Crossroads” program for foreign students. He was also part of the International student group received by President Gerald Ford at the White House. He was awarded Congressional Internship, rare for a foreign student, to work in the US Congress in the summer of 1974.

"After graduation from Georgetown, he returned to Pakistan and joined the faculty of the country’s prestigious institution for civil servants, the Pakistan Administrative Staff College, training new entrants to the diplomatic corps. He then joined Pakistan’s oldest seat of learning, the Punjab University, as Lecturer in International Relations, and was among the four dissident teachers removed from the university in October 1979 for their campus activism during Martial Law.

"In 1982, at age 29, he became the youngest Editor of a national English daily, The Muslim, published from the capital Islamabad, which was respected for its independent positions on foreign policy and domestic politics by being a proponent for democracy during military rule.

"In December 1983, he was elected Co-Chairman of the Non Aligned Media (NAMEDIA) Conference, representing over 75 countries, at New Delhi. As a journalist, he has a broad range of professional experiences including covering summits, interviewing leaders and reporting on conflicts like Palestine, the guerrilla war in Western Sahara and the Iran-Iraq war. During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, he was one of the first journalists from the area to personally visit Kabul and interview leaders there.

"Currently, Mushahid Hussain’s syndicated columns were carried, among others, by the Dubai-based “Gulf News” and “Saudi Gazette”, and the Rome-based Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency. He is author of three books on politics, foreign policy and issues of governance. He is Secretary General of the Pakistan Muslim League, Chairman Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Pakistan’s Representative to the 15-member Commission of Eminent Persons formed to reform and restructure the OIC." [1]