Diplomatic Footprints by Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry: A Memoir
Foreign policy decision-making entails making difficult choices; sometimes they fare well, and sometimes not. Where and why did Pakistan succeed in its foreign policy decisions, and where and why did it not? How effectively did the Foreign Service of Pakistan assist the country’s leadership in navigating Pakistan’s ties with the outside world, and particularly with some of its most sensitive relationships, including India, China, the US, Afghanistan, and others? How did Pakistan manage in its quest for security that had become a survival imperative right from the beginning? How did it navigate its alliances, cope with deceptions and disappointments, and contribute towards ensuring a future of peace and prosperity for the people of the country?
This memoir offers commentary and first-hand accounts on these topics and more from the perspective of an experienced diplomat. Readers would benefit from valuable insights that explain the intricacies of navigating through options in diplomacy, a profession which requires diligence, finesse and tact. How did Pakistan fare? Let the reader be the judge!
More about the Book:
This book narrates two stories running in parallel - the first being the experiences of the author who has spent more than 40 years of his life in diplomacy. This dovetails the story of Pakistan itself, and its journey towards finding a place in the comity of nations. As someone directly engaged with Pakistan’s most monumental foreign policy challenges of the late 20th and early 21st century, the author offers a unique vantage point to understand Pakistan’s foreign policy choices.
As Director General South Asia, the author was intricately involved with the Pakistan-India peace process, and he was serving in New York when the events of 9/11 transpired. Through describing his time as the Spokesperson and in various other prominent positions in the Ministry, he provides insight into how Pakistan faced some of its most pivotal foreign policy challenges, including the nuclearization of South Asia, the Kargil fallout, the crisis in Yemen, and others. The author also served as the country’s Foreign Secretary and Ambassador to the US during a particularly testing time, when Pakistan was presented with daunting trials in managing its relations with the US, Afghanistan and India. This memoir describes meetings with world leaders like Biden, Obama, Ghani, Karzai, Xi, Putin, Modi, and other high officials, and explains from the perspective of a practitioner some of the difficult choices faced by the country’s leadership and its diplomats.
Through sharing his experiences, the author offers an insider view towards the making of foreign policy and its execution, making it a fascinating account for anyone interested in diplomacy or foreign affairs.
About the Author:
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry has served as a member of the Foreign Service of Pakistan for 37 years, rising to the rank of the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan. Mr. Chaudhry’s last diplomatic assignment was as Ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, and he has also served as Ambassador of Pakistan to the Netherlands.
In addition to his Ambassadorial assignments, Mr. Chaudhry has served as the Foreign Office Spokesman, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in New York, and as the Director General for South Asia, where he remained closely associated with the peace process with India. He has also worked as an Additional Foreign Secretary, where he dealt with the issues of arms control and multilateralism.
He is presently serving as the Director General of Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad. Mr. Chaudhry has also authored a book “Pakistan mirrored to Dutch eyes”, narrating an experiment in public diplomacy. He holds a Masters in International Relations from Tufts University, Massachusetts, and a First Class First Bachelor of Science from Punjab University, Lahore.
Title: Diplomatic Footprints: A Memoir
Author: Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry
Subject: Memoirs, Autobiography
Number of Pages: 654
Absolutely loved reading this book, a brilliant read full of anecdotes and one that paints a vivid and comprehensive picture of a remarkable diplomatic career. Really is one of the finest memoirs I have ever read. The author has beautifully incorporated his own life's story with that of his diplomatic career and marvelously weaves in the story of Pakistan itself.
A must read for anyone interested in not just diplomacy or Pakistan (although those interested in these two would especially enjoy it), but also for anyone looking for inspiration on how to navigate a life and career based on integrity, dedication, and a committment to work for something bigger than yourself.
Do yourself a favor and read it!
Diplomatic Footprints - Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry
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