Reminiscences of My Wanderings
Ambassador Arif Kamal
March 26, 2021
The Centre for Strategic Perspectives (CSP) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) hosted a virtual launch of the book “Reminiscences of My Wanderings,” by Ambassador Arif Kamal. Review panelists at the launch included: Gen. Ehsan ul Haq, former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Ambassador Riaz M. Khan, former Foreign Secretary, Mr. Ejaz Rahim, former Federal Cabinet Secretary, and Dr. Moeed Pirzada, Anchorperson 92 News. The event was moderated by Mr. Najam Rafique, Director, Centre for Strategic Perspectives.
Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry in his welcome remarks stated that the book is a kind of legacy that one leaves behind and Ambassador Arif Kamal has penned all experiences that he came across, his impressions and commentary through his book.
Author of the book, Ambassador Arif Kamal while presenting an overview of his book stated that the book is a humble attempt to place on record the request for peace building with respect to the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Besides touching upon Jammu and Kashmir, the book is an amalgamation of his personal glimpses of historically significant moments including the Iranian Revolution, the final years of the Soviet Union, war in Afghanistan and the Middle East cauldron. The book presents the thoughts and experiences of his life in the bureaucracy and the roles that he has played in his personal capacity as a diplomat.
General Ehsan ul Haq in his comments on the book said that it is more than just reminiscences, as it not only focuses on the political and strategic aspects, but goes beyond that and highlights socio-cultural aspects of countries and region where the author had served during critical times of the 80’s and 90’s.
Ambassador Riaz Mohammad Khan referred to the book as a delightful read, engaging, emotional and meaningful. The book, he said, is a blend of socio-political landscapes, diverse societies, varying from the Arab lands to Japan, Russia, and Canada. The book encapsulates an elegant and simple style and brings out the flavors of the societies that the author has lived in and reveals their soul.
Mr. Ejaz Rahim opined that some biographies are written though the eyes, some through the mind, and some through the heart, but the book by Ambassador Kamal encapsulates all these three elements. He said that the book is not a reassertion of ideological self, but a fresh foray and exploration of one’s self. He highlighted that the book presents a personal and a non-prescriptive approach and elaborates on the centrality of identity and self actualization.
Dr. Moeed Pirzada praised Ambassador Kamal’s effort to have penned the book and said that it is a valuable contribution and its timing is apt as the word is witnessing a lot of turmoil and transition and change in Indian occupied Kashmir and the Middle East. The book, he said, makes the reader understand the evolution of Pakistan’s foreign policy and its relationship across the Middle East from the 70’s to post 9/11.
Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman Board of Governors, ISSI while making his vote of thanks said that the book is a great contribution by Ambassador Arif Kamal that not only reflects his mind, but also his heart.