Senator Mushahid Hussain P’11 of Pakistan, a leading elected official whose life has been described as “full of success stories” by the Associated Press of Pakistan, is an accomplished politician, journalist, writer and analyst. During Pakistani Martial Law, he was a political prisoner for more than a year and was removed from a teaching position at Pakistan’s oldest institution of learning, the Punjab University. Senator Hussain brings decades of experience in international politics and policy-making to the President’s Forum Series as its next speaker, on Wednesday, April 15.
He will deliver, “Pakistan and Afghanistan: The Changing Regional Scenario,” at 7:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library.
As Information Minister from 1997 to 1999, Hussain was Pakistan’s principal spokesman and appeared frequently on international television and radio to present his country’s position on issues ranging from nuclear weapons to Islamic and foreign policy. He was the leader of Pakistan’s Delegation to the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1993.
A specialist on international political and strategic issues, he has lectured widely and his articles have been published in various international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune and Middle East International. He has authored three books and is chairman of the Board of Governors of Islamabad Policy Research Institute, a leading think-tank.
In 1999, Hussain was held without any charges as a political prisoner for 440 days, including a period of solitary imprisonment. Amnesty International declared him a “Prisoner of Conscience” making him the first Pakistani to be so honored for the year 2000.
Senator Hussain serves as the Vice President of the Centrist Democrat International Asia – Pacific Chapter. He recently was awarded the Congressional Medal of Achievement by the House of Representatives of the Republic of the Philippines. He is a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Committee on Defense and Defense Production, Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir, Joint Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan, Functional Committee on Government Assurances, Functional Committee on Human Rights, Finance Committee of Senate and is the Chairman of the Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas.
He was Pakistan Representative to the Commission of Eminent Persons, set up by the Organization of Islamic Conference for its reform in 2004-05.
As a political and governmental scholar, Hussain holds a master’s degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. While studying in the U.S., he was President of the Pakistan Students Association and was awarded a Congressional Internship to work in the U.S. Congress. In Pakistan, he earned a B.A. from the Forman Christian College in Lahore.
After completion of studies in the United States, he returned to Pakistan and directed the Pakistan Administrative Staff College where he trained new entrants to the Foreign Service. He then joined the Punjab University as Lecturer on International Relations in the Political Science Department.
In 1982, at age 29, he became the youngest editor of the Islamabad based national English daily, The Muslim, respected for its independent positions. He was elected Co-Chairman of the NAM Media Conference of 100 countries, held in New Delhi in December 1983 and he is the first Pakistani journalist to have started a syndicated column in the Indian media, writing regularly in the ‘Times of India’ and the ‘Hindustan Times’ in 1989.
The President’s Forum Series, established in the winter of 2000 by President Mark D. Gearan, is designed to bring a variety of speakers to campus-including politicians, intellectuals and social activists-to share their knowledge and ideas with students, faculty and staff of the Colleges, as well as with interested community members.