Ahmed Rashid and Barnett Rubin: A Discussion on Pakistan and Afghanistan

L to R: Ahmed Rashid, Nermeen Shaikh, and Barnett Rubin at Asia Society New York on December 14, 2007.

NEW YORK, Dec. 14, 2007 - The Asia Society's Nermeen Shaikh interviews leading experts Barnett Rubin and Ahmed Rashid on Pakistan and Afghanistan. Topics include the resurgence of the Taliban, the relationship between Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons, the reasons behind the increasing numbers of suicide attacks in both countries, and Iran and US policy objectives in the region.


Nermeen Shaikh is the Managing Editor of Asia Society Online. Her book The Present as History: Critical Perspectives on Global Power has just been published by Columbia University Press. She studied politics at Cambridge University in England and at Queen’s University in Canada.


Barnett R. Rubin is Director of Studies and Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation of New York University, where he directs the program on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan. He has worked at CIC since July 2000. During 1994-2000 he was Director of the Center for Preventive Action, and Director, Peace and Conflict Studies, at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Rubin was Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for the Study of Central Asia at Columbia University from 1990 to 1996. Previously, he was a Jennings Randolph Peace Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University.

Dr. Rubin is a Director of Gulestan Ariana Ltd., a private company manufacturing essential oils and related consumer products in Afghanistan. In November-December 2001 he served as special advisor to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, during the negotiations that produced the Bonn Agreement. He advised the United Nations on the drafting of the constitution of Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Compact, and the Afghanistan National Development Strategy.

Dr. Rubin received a Ph.D. (1982) and M.A. (1976) from the University of Chicago and a B.A. (1972) from Yale University. He also received a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris in 1977-1978. He is currently chair of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (a program of the Social Science Research Council), a member of the Executive Board of Human Rights Watch/Asia, and the Board of the Open Society Institute's Central Eurasia Project. During 1996-98 he served on the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom Abroad.

Ahmed Rashid


Ahmed Rashid, a Pakistani journalist based in Lahore is author of three books including the best sellers Taliban and most recently Jihad. He has covered Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia for the past 25 years and writes for the Daily Telegraph, the Wall Street Journal, among other publications.