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Following the end of the Salazar dictatorship and the establishment of democracy in Portugal in 1975, East Timor declared its independence from Portugal, but a failure to transfer power in an orderly manner lead to a terrible civil war and military intervention by Indonesia. The United Nations condemned Indonesia's occupation of East Timor and called for an "exercise of the right of self-determination by the East Timorese." Finally, on October 31, 1999, after years of fighting and the deaths of more than 200,000 East Timorese, the last Indonesian troops left the country. This is the memoir of Jamsheed Marker, Personal Representative of the secretary general of United Nations for East Timor, who was responsible for keeping the United Nations' and Kofi Annan's ideals at the forefront of the East Timor negotiations between Portugal and Indonesia. He tells the story, including all of the setbacks, false hopes, tragedies and silver linings, of the United Nations' involvement in East Timor that brought about the international agreements enabling East Timor to go from being a colony to being an independent, democratic nation. He also shares the story of the remarkable people who have endured more than 300 years of neglectful and violent colonial occupation followed by 25 years of a neighboring country's exploitative and brutal domination.

228 pages, Paperback

First published March 20, 2003

Pakistan-Timor Leste Relations

Pakistan and Timor-Leste enjoy close relations, based on mutual respect and commonality of views. Pakistan has an abiding interest in further strengthening and enlarging relations with Timor Leste in all fields of mutual interest. The emphasis is to build further on the commonality of existing interests and to explore new vistas for mutual benefit based on a shared vision and convergent goals. Our major focus is on deepening economic and trade relations and to harness our full potential. harnessing peoples and leaders in Pakistan appreciate the stability and maturity of Timor Lesten's political system, the confidence of the people in state institutions, and the focus on economic development and maintaining peace and security in the region. We admire the way Timor Leste has handled the challenges of Covid19. Certainly, these efforts will bring great benefits to Timor Leste and its people. The sagacity of political leadership and insightful guidance by the President of the Republic for achieving national objectives is also greatly valued in my country.

When the UN-brokered peace talks began between the government of Indonesia and the representatives of Timor-Leste freedom fighters, the then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed a Pakistani diplomate Ambassador Jamshed Marker as his representative for Timor-Leste.  Ambassador Marker successfully brokered peace talks between the two parties leading to a referendum, and  independence of Timor-Leste. Ambassador Marker has documented the events leading to Timor-Leste's independence in his book, " East Timor: A Memoir of the Negotiations for Independence". Later, Pakistani troops also served Timor-Leste as part of UN peacekeeping force.

The Ambassador of Pakistan to Indonesia is concurrently accredited to the Republic of Timor-Leste.  Similarly, Timor-Leste's Ambassador to Indonesia looks after  matters relating to Pakistan. It also maintains a Honorary Consulate in Karachi.

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