Ahmed Rashid a Pakistani journalist and author has been the â€˜Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asiaâ€™ correspondent for the past 20 years for Londonâ€™s â€˜Daily Telegraphâ€™ and â€˜The Far Eastern Economic Reviewâ€™ until it recently closed down. He also writes for â€˜The Nationâ€™ Lahore. 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, Central and South Asia.
He is the author of three best selling books including â€˜Talibanâ€™ which was translated into 26 languages, sold over 1.5 million copies in English alone and is a course book at 200 US and British universities. His last book â€˜Jihad â€“ The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia,â€™ has been translated into 16 languages and is also a course book at over 100 US, British and Japanese universities. In June 2008 Penguin will publish his latest book â€˜â€™Descent into Chaos : US Policy and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.â€™â€™
He has addressed numerous universities, think tanks and international meetings around the world and has won numerous awards in Britain, the US and Pakistan including the â€˜The Nisar Osmani Courage in Journalism Award,â€™ given by the Human Rights Society of Pakistan.
He is a member of the Advisory Board of Eurasia Net of the Soros Foundation, a scholar of the Davos World Economic Forum and a consultant for Human Rights Watch. In 2004 he was appointed to the Board of Advisers to the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva.
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
After the 2001 war in Afghanistan he donated one third of his book earnings to set up the â€˜Open Media Fund for Afghanistanâ€™, which has handed out nearly US $ 400,000 in start up funds for newspapers and magazines all over Afghanistan in all the Afghan languages.
Ahmed Rashid was born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in 1948 and was educated at Malvern College England, Government College Lahore and at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University. He is married with two children and lives in Lahore.