Pakistanâ€™s former ambassador to Qatar, Arif Kamal, is to release his book â€˜Reminiscences of My Wanderingsâ€™ in Islamabad on Friday, March 26.In his book, Kamal, who was ambassador in Doha from 1999 to 2003, chronicles his diplomatic career across the world, spanning over 34 years from 1973 to 2007. These â€œdecades of diplomacyâ€ exposed him to processes and events that were critical in the making of the contemporary world scene.In his â€œReminiscencesâ€, ambassador Kamal takes the reader down memory lane, starting with a peek into his roots. Born into a Kashmiri family in Jammu in January 1947, Kamal had to leave his birthplace at the age of nine months. He describes in the book the pangs of displacement and â€œhomelessnessâ€.The book unfolds narratives of the authorâ€™s exposure to a variety of political and cultural settings. The long journey as a professional diplomat is intertwined with his migration from Kashmir and a passion for rekindling links with his roots.The wanderings, as he calls them, brought Kamal to the processes vital to the makeup of modern Gulf. His first assignment was to Kuwait while he reverted to the Middle Eastern arena time and again: Consul-General at Jeddah, ambassador to Qatar, Jordan and Palestine.Assignments as ambassador to Qatar (1999-2003) and Jordan (2003-2007) made Kamal privy to the shaping of the contemporary Middle Eastern scene in the wake of Iraqi wars and lack of progress in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.Recalling his three-year tenure in Qatar, ambassador Kamal says the high point in his professional diplomatic career was the conferring of Qatari civil award: â€œSash of Merit.â€He also served in the north for 12 years: Tokyo, Moscow and Ottawa.As Desk Officer on Iran (1979-81), he was a witness to the advent of the Iranian Revolution, the US hostage crisis and sanctions against Iran as well as the beginning of the Iran-Iraq war, and the OIC peace making endeavours.A passion for history, cross-civilization dialogue and conflict resolution remain a continued source of motivation and special interest to him.Kamalâ€™s lucid narration of diplomatic intricacies in anecdotal manner makes it easy for a casual reader to grasp the message effortlessly.
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