Political Salon with David Rohde: “Kidnapped: Inside Pakistan’s Tribal Areas”

World Policy Institute, The Political Salon and CDS International present:

Kidnapped: Inside Pakistan's Tribal Areas
A Political Salon with David Rohde

Moderated by WPI Project Leader Michelle Fanzo

Thursday, February 3
6 to 8:30 PM

With special thanks to the Heinrich Böll Foundation for supporting the Political Salon.

This event is by invitation only. For more information, email politicalsalon@worldpolicy.org.

In the fall of 2008, New York Times foreign correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner David Rohde traveled to Afghanistan to report on a book he was writing on the failing American war effort and the radicalization of Pakistan's tribal areas. Having spent 10 days in Bosnian Serb detention during the war in Bosnia in 1995, Rohde knew this was a fraught move; he felt, however, that without a Taliban commander's voice to illustrate the movement's resurgence, his reporting would be incomplete, and to Afghanistan he went. While traveling to interview a Taliban commander outside of Kabul, he and two Afghan colleagues were kidnapped by the Taliban and held for seven months. Based on his recollections and, where possible, records kept by his family and colleagues, Mr. Rohde wrote a five-part series for the New York Times about his captivity, "Held by the Taliban."

In his latest book, A Rope and Prayer, Rohde and his co-author and wife, Cosmopolitan photo editor Kristen Mulvihill, take turns recounting his 7 months and 10 days in Taliban captivity, and her harrowing negotiations for his release. In suspenseful prose, Rohde observes life with the jihadists, and the chaos of the Pakistani tribal areas and of the war itself. Going beyond the human story of two people in captivity -one physically imprisoned by the Taliban, the other held emotional hostage to her husband's kidnapping- A Rope and a Prayer emerges, above all, as an important, timely resource for understanding the trajectory of violence during the last decade in a war-ravaged region.

In this Political Salon, David Rohde will talk about why it was so important to seek local voices and viewpoints, and discuss the political dynamics of international involvement in the AfPak region.

A Rope and a Prayer will be available for purchase at the Salon for $20 (list price $26.95).

About the Speakers:
Author and New York Times investigative journalist David Rohde was part of The Times's reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mr. Rohde also won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1996 for his coverage of the Srebrenica massacre for The Christian Science Monitor. As the first Western journalist to travel into Bosnian Serb territory to search for evidence of mass graves, Rohde's work exposed the slaughter of at least 7,000 Muslims in Srebrenica. Shortly after returning from the site, where he had photographed human bones and secured incontrovertible evidence of the genocide, Mr. Rohde was detained by Serb authorities and imprisoned for 10 days. Under intense international pressure, the Serbian authorities released Mr. Rohde and he returned to the United States. His first book, Endgame: The Betrayal and Fall of Srebrenica, was published in 1997. A graduate of Brown University, David Rohde joined The Times in 1996. From 2002 to 2005, he was co-chief of The Times's South Asia bureau. His latest book, A Rope and A Prayer, co-authored with his wife Kristen Mulvihill, was published by Penguin Group in November 2010.

World Policy Institute Project Leader Michelle Fanzo has twelve years experience in international affairs and nine in journalism, including working in the UN Office of the Secretary-General under Kofi Annan, and in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. She has worked in Africa, Asia and most recently Afghanistan supporting development and humanitarian operations in the field, and strategy, policy and communications at UN Headquarters. After directing a women's empowerment NGO in Afghanistan for 3 years, Michelle founded the strategic consulting firm Four Corners Consulting in 2008.

About the Political Salon
The Political Salon – organized by Steve Sokol since 2003 to promote dialogue among the next generation of leaders in business, policy, and the media – regularly convenes a diverse group of young professionals to discuss a range of foreign policy issues and global affairs. Attendees are diverse in terms of nationality, profession, and political persuasion.

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