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

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

Markar 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.

Markar, 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.

Markar at the United Nations. ─ Photo courtesy Jamsheed Markar
Markar at the United Nations. ─ Photo courtesy Jamsheed Markar

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 Markar for his role in bringing out resolution of the East Timor conflict and its independence.

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

Markar 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 Markar as ambassador-at-large for his years of service.

Markar 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.

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