Washington, DC, June 27th, 2009. Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Executive Director, Kashmiri American Council/Kashmir Center, lavished praise on Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton for her prudent decision in honoring a Kashmiri American, Farah Pandith, as the United States Representative to the Muslim World. Dr. Fai stated ‘Farah Pandith comes from a deeply respected family and her grandfather was known as an honorable businessman in the Valley of Kashmir. We wholeheartedly congratulate her on this achievement and are confident she will brilliantly fulfill her responsibilities.’
Farah Pandith is a young and bright Kashmiri-American who has the tremendous responsibility of planting the seeds for a new beginning for Islam-West relations. This, undoubtedly, is an enormous responsibility, however, her credentials are remarkable. She is an Alumnus from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, completed her post-graduate studies on the subject of Kashmiri conflict and has worked in Afghanistan with USAID. She was previously adviser on Muslim engagement at the State Department, serving as a senior adviser to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs. Collectively, both her life experiences, academic and hands-on training have uniquely tailored her to confidently confront opposing perspectives and offer insightful solutions. Adding to that, Dr. Fai stated that Farah Pandith ‘has made the entire Kashmiri people in general and Kashmiri American community in particular proud with this achievement.’
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state said Pandith would play a leading role in US efforts to “engage Muslims around the world on a people to people and organizational level.”
In other words, she will be the American Muslim face to the Muslim world at large and work tirelessly to improve relations between Muslims and the United States and to combat negative views of the United States abroad. Dr. Fai said that it is, altogether, not surprising that a Kashmiri American has been given the responsibility of ‘bringing people together.’ This, clearly, has been the primary cultural strength of Kashmiris since their evolution as a distinct and diverse community centuries ago.
The Kashmiri American Council is committed to finding a just and lasting peace to the disputed territory of Kashmir through a fair and impartial plebiscite. It fully endorses the beginning of tripartite talks and a Kashmir Peace Process, including India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leaders, to resolve this longstanding dispute. It urges the international community to intervene on humanitarian grounds to ease the suffering of the innocent and unarmed Kashmiri population.
June 27, 2009