Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Ambassador Jamsheed Marker Passes Away

We are extremely saddened to hear about the passing away of Ambassador Jamsheed Kekobad Ardeshir Marker today June 21, 2018. He was one of the most illustrious Zarathushtis of the 20th Century and rose to become one of the most beloved diplomats of Pakistan and a man loved and respected all over the world.

I had the amazing fortune of meeting Ambassador Marker on two separate trips to Karachi. His fame was legendary. His stature as one of the most famous Pakistani diplomats on the world scene is beautifully documented in books and articles. However what really struck me was his humility, genuine demeanour and harked back to the time when men were honorable human beings, and as is said “they don’t make them like him anymore”. He graciously agreed to a video interview, that was far ranging on a variety of topics both about his professional and personal life. His candour, clarity of thought and nuanced opinions on what ails the world today was a masterclass from one of the great diplomats of the world.

Our deep condolences to his entire family and loved ones. While his loss is huge, it is also the opportunity to celebrate his life and all he stood for.

Garothman Behest Uncle Jamsheed.

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Veteran Pakistani diplomat Jamsheed Marker passed away in Karachi on Thursday.

jamsheedmarkerIsphanyar Bhandara confirmed the news to Dawn, saying that Marker, 95, had been quite frail of late.

Marker served the country as a diplomat for an illustrious 30-year-long career in more countries than any other diplomat including the United States, Ghana, France, Japan and Geneva.

Marker, born in 1922 to a Parsi family with ties to Pakistan’s shipping and pharmaceutical business, attended The Doon School in India’s Uttarakhand state for his early education. He later attended Forman Christian College University in Lahore.

Marker at the United Nations. ─ Photo courtesy Jamsheed Marker

He had a passion for cricket, and began playing cricket at FC College. He went on to become one of Pakistan’s earliest radio cricket commentators, along with Omar Kureishi. The two had amazing chemistry that made cricket commentary in Pakistan as popular as the sport itself.

According to journalist Susan Taylor, he joined the diplomatic service in 1965 and was appointed Pakistan’s ambassador to Ghana.

He has served in 10 different capitals, with nine further concurrent accreditations.

As ambassador to the US in 1986, he is said to have helped “negotiate” the Soviet military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Taylor has lauded Marker for his role in bringing out resolution of the East Timor conflict and its independence.

Marker with former UN secretary general Kofi Annan. ─ Photo courtesy Jamsheed Marker

Marker also served as under-secretary general at the United Nations, and as a special adviser to Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general.

In September 2004, then prime minister Shaukat Aziz named Marker as ambassador-at-large for his years of service.

Marker was a lover of music and the arts. He spent a lot of time in his study where the walls are lined with bookracks, memorabilia, paintings and photographs.

He was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz for his services in 2003.

‘World’s longest-serving’ Pakistani ambassador Jamsheed Marker passes away

Veteran Pakistani diplomat Jamsheed Marker  on Thursday passed away in Karachi, family sources said.

He is  listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having been “ambassador to more countries than any other person, according to Geo News.

He 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”.

Geo News reported that Marker’s funeral ceremony will be held at 3:30pm in Bath Island after which his body will be taken to the Tower of Silence in Mehmoodabad.