Jamsheed Kaikobad Ardeshir Marker, HI (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". 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". Coming from a lucrative shipping business background with its offices in Keamari 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.
He obtained his early education from The Doon School, 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 commentator.
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 (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.
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, 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. 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." 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.'"
The British journalist Richard Lloyd Parry, in his book In the Time of Madness, 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.
Currently, Marker is teaching international relations for the Spring semester at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida (where he has been teaching since 1995) and is Eckerd College's diplomat in residence. He usually teaches a course on "Diplomacy in International Relations."
In September 2004, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz named Jamsheed Marker as ambassador-at-large for his years of service. In June 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Forman Christian College University, Lahore, at Commencement of 2011–12.
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. He was earlier married to Diana Faridoon Dinshaw (d. 1979) with whom he had two daughters, Niloufer and Feroza. His niece is the Pakistani environmentalist, Aban Kabraji. His background is from the Parsi community of Pakistan.
- 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
- Jamshed Marker: The not-so-quiet Ambassador Retrieved 10 June 2010.
- Martin, Susan Taylor (29 October 2002), "Militants on run, Pakistan says", St. Petersburg Times (South Pinellas ed.), St. Petersburg, FL, p. 2A.
- 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.
- "Jamsheed Marker — eminent Parsi, the first amongst the equals". www.dawn.com.
- Robert Pear, WASHINGTON TALK/Working Profile: Jamsheed K. A. Marker; Linchpin of U.S.-Pakistan Alliance, The New York Times, September 1, 1988.
- The International Who's Who 1992–93, Taylor & Francis, 1992, p. 1065.
- Soraiya Qadir, "Quiet Diplomacy by Jamsheed Marker", Blue Chip: The Business People's Magazine.
- Frontline, Volume 27 – Issue 05, February 27 – March 12, 2010.
- Video on YouTube
- Jamsheed Marker. "East Timor: A Memoir of the Negotiations for Independence" McFarland, 2003, 220pp
- Eckerd College Faculty Directory, Jamsheed K. A. Marker, St. Petersburg, FL: Eckerd College
- Pakistan Newswire (30 October 2004), Turning LoC into border not to solve Kashmir issue: Marker, Karachi: PN
- Martin, Susan Taylor (15 August 2004), "How the U.N. got one right", St. Petersburg Times (South Pinellas ed.), St. Petersburg, FL, p. 4P.
- Lloyd Parry, Richard, In the Time of Madness, Cape, 2005, p. 254.
- Minai, Leanora (29 August 2001), "Eckerd instructor injured in car crash", St. Petersburg Times (South Pinellas ed.), St. Petersburg, FL, p. 3B.
- Park, Mary Jane (18 March 2007), "Elegant in honor of Dali", St. Petersburg Times (South Pinellas ed.), St. Petersburg, FL, p. 22.
- Inspirational Women: Arnaz Marker, The Asha Centre.
- Marker, Kekobad Ardeshir, A Petal from the Rose Karachi, 1985, vol. II, p. 240.
- Interviews and Speeches
- PBS Newshour interview after India's nuclear tests; May 26, 1998
- Ambassador Marker addresses AKU students
- Jamsheed Marker talking about his cricket commentator days on YouTube.
- East Timor
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