An unmissable discussion of the recent past and long-term future of Pakistan, India and Afghanistan : Pakistan’s geopolitical role as a strategic ally in fighting terrorism, conflicts in Afghanistan, rapprochement with India, the foreign policy challenges presented by the Trump presidency, and the role of the West in conflict resolution and in socioeconomic uplift for the less developed Muslim world.
As President of Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, General Pervez Musharraf had what Time magazine described as ‘the most dangerous job in the world’. He played a crucial role in the global war on terrorism, survived several assassination attempts and still remains a target for those who would see a world divided between ‘the West and the Rest’.
When General Musharraf assumed office as head of state in October 1999 Pakistan faced diplomatic isolation and was mired in economic and constitutional crisis. His administration’s achievement in transforming an almost bankrupt state and removing it from the list of indebted countries has been widely acknowledged.
Over the course of his nine years at the helm, Pakistan saw structural reforms ranging from economic and social development to administrative and political restructuring. A local government system was introduced, women were empowered, freedom of expression restored and human resources prioritised, in pursuit of Musharraf’s vision for Pakistan as a progressive and prosperous Islamic state.
On the international stage, Musharraf has stood for moderation and dialogue, and believes in finding just and honourable solutions to international disputes within the framework of UN resolutions. A general who has had an illustrious military career and fought in several conflicts, he is not a man of war but something rarer, ‘a man of peace who has experienced the ravages of war’.
Pervez Musharraf was born in Delhi during the British Raj in 1943. He spent his early childhood in Ankara, Turkey, where his father was posted on diplomatic assignment from 1949 to 1956. His parents chose to settle in Karachi after the creation of Pakistan and Musharraf entered the Pakistan Military Academy in 1961 and was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in 1964. He went on to play an active role in the Afghan civil war and fought in two wars against India in 1965 and 1971. He assumed the office of President of Pakistan in June 2001, restored the constitution and after holding a referendum in April 2002 took a fresh oath of office as President of Pakistan for five years.
In addition to her presenting duties on Impact, Yalda continues to deliver hard hitting journalism not only for the Our World strand, but also for BBC News. Her interview with Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan led to headlines across the globe as he accused NATO of causing ‘great suffering’, as did her interview with the Indonesian Premier discussing chemical castration to tackle paedophilia.
Yalda has reported extensively on the rise of the so called Islamic State in Iraq. Most recently she travelled to the world’s youngest nation South Sudan which is embroiled in a brutal civil war. She reported that more than 4 million people are now on the brink of famine in the devastated country. In the last year she has also highlighted the plight of people in the secretive state of Eritrea, kidnapping by drug cartels in Mexico, and jihadism in Sweden.
Yalda was born in Afghanistan and moved to Australia in the late 1980s after her father fled Kabul with his family when the Soviet Union invaded.