Jamsheed Marker

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Jamsheed Kaikobad Ardeshir[citation needed] Marker Hilal-e-Imtiaz Award recipient (جمشید كيقباد اردشیر مارکر, b. 24 November 1922), is a veteran Pakistani diplomat. He is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having been "ambassador to more countries than any other person".[1] He speaks English, Urdu, Gujarati, French, German and Russian, and 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".[2] Coming from a lucrative shipping business background with its offices in Keamari, Karachi, he kept his interest in the game fresh even when he roamed the world as Pakistan’s ambassador and high commissioner in more countries than any other diplomat in the world did before him and after.[3]

Early life[edit]

Marker is from a Parsi family of Pakistan. He obtained his early education from The Doon School,[4][5][6][7] and from the well-known university of Pakistan, Forman Christian College University, Lahore. In early days at school level in Dehradun located in India, Jamsheed Marker played cricket there and later at F.C. College Lahore. Marker knew his cricket well to become a top-notch radio cricket match commentator.


Cricket commentator[edit]

He was a radio cricket match commentator. His first broadcast was from the Lahore stadium when India visited Pakistan on their first cricket tour in 1954. He then teamed up with cricket commentator Omar Kureishi for the first time as a Radio Pakistan cricket commentator.[8]


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.[2]

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 (conc. accr. to Bulgaria), the former Soviet Union (conc. accr. to Finland) for three years, Canada (conc. accr. to Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago), East Germany (conc. accr. to Iceland), 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, and nine further concurrent accreditation.[9]

He became Ambassador to the United States of America in 1986 and is said to have helped "negotiate" the Soviet military withdrawal from Afghanistan.[10] He has also served as United Nations Under-secretary General, as a special advisor to United Nations ex-Secretary-General Kofi Annan,[11] and the journalist Susan Taylor praised him for his role in bringing about the resolution of the East Timor conflict and the independence of that nation.[12] Marker was the U.N. special envoy to East Timor in 1999. Annan, the former U.N. secretary-general, is reported to have hailed Marker's "empathy for both sides in the talks."[2] Reportedly, the Portuguese foreign minister praised Marker's "sophisticated and calm approach" while the Indonesian foreign minister said Marker's "diplomatic skills smoothed the way whenever there was a 'snag in the negotiations.'"[2]

The British journalist Richard Lloyd Parry, in his book In the Time of Madness,[13] recalls Marker's warm words of praise for the Indonesian police and the "superb leadership" of their commander Timbul Silaien after the referendum and its bloody preamble. Within days, these same Indonesian security forces were engaged in the deportation and, in some cases, the killing of East Timorese.[13]


Currently, Marker is teaching international relations for the Spring semester at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida (where he has been teaching since 1995[14]) and is Eckerd College's diplomat in residence.[15] He usually teaches a course on "Diplomacy in International Relations."[2]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In September 2004, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz named Jamsheed Marker as ambassador-at-large for his years of service.[15] In June 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Forman Christian College University, Lahore, at Commencement of 2011–12. Jamsheed Marker has received the Hilal-i-Imtiaz Award (Crescent of Excellence) by the President of Pakistan.

Family background[edit]

Ambassador Marker is the son of Kekobad Ardeshir Marker and Meherbano Pestonji, the grandson of Ardeshir Marker, and the great-nephew of Peshotanji Dossabhai Marker. He is currently married to Arnaz Minwalla.[15][16] He was earlier married to Diana Faridoon Dinshaw (d. 1979) with whom he had two daughters, Niloufer and Feroza.[17] His niece is the Pakistani environmentalist, Aban Kabraji. His background is from the Parsi community of Pakistan.

Published works[edit]

  • Marker, Jamsheed (2003), East Timor. A Memoir of the Negotiations for Independence, Jefferson: McFarland, ISBN 0-7864-1571-1 
  • Khan, Roedad; Marker, Jamsheed (1999), The American Papers. Secret and Confidential India-Pakistan-Bangladesh Documents, 1965–1973, London: OUP, ISBN 0-19-579190-8 
  • Marker, Jamsheed (2010), Quiet Diplomacy: Memoirs of an Ambassador of Pakistan, Karachi: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-547779-0 


  1. ^ Martin, Susan Taylor (29 October 2002), "Militants on run, Pakistan says", St. Petersburg Times (South Pinellas ed.), St. Petersburg, FL , p. 2A.
  2. ^ a b c d e Martin, Susan Taylor (22 September 1999), "Call came to Tampa Bay for help in East Timor", St. Petersburg Times (South Pinellas ed.), St. Petersburg, FL , p. 1A.
  3. ^ "Jamsheed Marker — eminent Parsi, the first amongst the equals". www.dawn.com. , Retrieved 14 March 2016
  4. ^ Robert Pear, WASHINGTON TALK/Working Profile: Jamsheed K. A. Marker; Linchpin of U.S.-Pakistan Alliance, The New York Times, September 1, 1988., Retrieved 14 March 2016
  5. ^ The International Who's Who 1992–93, Taylor & Francis, 1992, p. 1065., Retrieved 14 March 2016
  6. ^ Soraiya Qadir, "Quiet Diplomacy by Jamsheed Marker", Blue Chip: The Business People's Magazine., Retrieved 14 March 2016
  7. ^ Frontline, Volume 27 – Issue 05, February 27 – March 12, 2010.
  8. ^ http://www.dawn.com/news/1102573, Profile of Jamsheed Marker on Dawn, Karachi newspaper, published 27 April 2014, Retrieved 14 March 2016
  9. ^ Jamsheed Marker. "East Timor: A Memoir of the Negotiations for Independence" McFarland, 2003, 220pp
  10. ^ Eckerd College Faculty Directory, Jamsheed K. A. Marker, St. Petersburg, FL: Eckerd College 
  11. ^ Pakistan Newswire (30 October 2004), Turning LoC into border not to solve Kashmir issue: Marker, Karachi: PN 
  12. ^ Martin, Susan Taylor (15 August 2004), "How the U.N. got one right", St. Petersburg Times (South Pinellas ed.), St. Petersburg, FL , p. 4P.
  13. ^ a b Lloyd Parry, Richard, In the Time of Madness, Cape, 2005, p. 254.
  14. ^ Minai, Leanora (29 August 2001), "Eckerd instructor injured in car crash", St. Petersburg Times (South Pinellas ed.), St. Petersburg, FL , p. 3B.
  15. ^ a b c Park, Mary Jane (18 March 2007), "Elegant in honor of Dali", St. Petersburg Times (South Pinellas ed.), St. Petersburg, FL , p. 22.
  16. ^ Inspirational Women: Arnaz Marker, The Asha Centre., Retrieved 14 March 2016
  17. ^ Marker, Kekobad Ardeshir, A Petal from the Rose Karachi, 1985, vol. II, p. 240.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ejaz Azim
Pakistan Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Zulfiqar Ali Khan
Preceded by
Sardar Shah Nawaz
Pakistan Ambassador to the United Nations
Succeeded by
Ahmad Kamal