Ahmed Rashid is an award-winning author of five books including ‘Taliban’ (2000) which was translated into 40 languages and sold 1.5 million copies in English alone and ‘Jihad – The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia’ (2002). His books are on course lists at over 400 universities and defense colleges around the world. He has been covering the wars in Afghanistan and conflicts in Central Asia and Pakistan since 1979. He was also correspondent for the Independent (1986-1992) and then the Daily Telegraph (1992-2008). He now writes for BBC Online, the New York Times, The Financial Times, the New York Review of Books, Spain’s El Mundo and newspapers in Pakistan and other countries. He has combined his writing and investigative reporting with widespread involvement in human rights movements and peace building in Afghanistan. At the invitation of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, he became the first journalist to address the UN General Assembly in New York in 2002 and the first journalist to address NATO ambassadors in Brussels in 2003.