By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s veteran diplomat and world’s longest serving ambassador , Jamsheed Marker passed away in port city of Karachi on Thursday.
He is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having been “ambassador to more countries than any other person in the world, according to media reports.
Marker was Pakistan’s top envoy to the United States and more than a dozen other countries for more than three decades and earned the distinction as the “world’s longest-serving ambassador”.
Born to a Parsi family on November 24, 1922 , he obtained his early education from The Dera Dhun School in India and Foreman Christian College , Lahore. Being a polyglot, he had the ability to speak English, Urdu, Gujarati, French, German and Russian with all the proficiency.
According to the journalist Susan Taylor, he originally worked in his family’s “shipping and pharmaceutical” businesses, and moved into diplomacy in 1965 when he was appointed Pakistan’s ambassador to Ghana.
Marker was appointed as Pakistan High Commissioner to Ghana, with concurrent accreditation to Guinea and Mali in April 1965. He has since represented Pakistan in Romania, the former Soviet Union for three years, Canada, East Germany, Japan, United Nations Office at Geneva, West Germany, France, the United States and finally the United Nations in New York City. Marker served as Ambassador of Pakistan continually for thirty years, in ten different capitals.
He became Ambassador to the United States of America in 1986 and is said to have helped “negotiate” the Soviet military withdrawal from Afghanistan. He has also served as United Nations Under-secretary General, as a special advisor to United Nations ex-Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Pakistan’s foreign office has termed the death of Jamsheed Marker as great loss .
“I and my colleagues in the Foreign Ministry are deeply saddened and grieved over the passing away of Ambassador Jamshed K. Marker ,“ Foreign office spokesman, Dr. Muhammad Faisal said.
Ambassador Marker was a distinguished Pakistani diplomat and a strong proponent of Pakistan’s global outreach. His quiet diplomacy and dignified demeanor made him one of the most effective Ambassadors in Pakistan’s history, and won him friends and accolades the world over, the spokesman said.
The renowned diplomat penned three books- East Timor. A Memoir of the Negotiations for Independence, The American Papers. Secret and Confidential India-Pakistan-Bangladesh Documents ; and Quiet Diplomacy: Memoirs of an Ambassador of Pakistan.