Kashmir Born Pandith Appointed US Envoy To Muslim World

26 June 2009
The Indian Express

Washington DC: Stepping up efforts to forge a 'new beginning' in ties with the Islamic world, the US has said its appointment of Kashmiri-origin Indian woman, Farah Pandith, as a Special Representative to Muslims will help it engage the 1.5 billion community members across the globe. Formally announcing Pandith's appointment, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said 'Farah brings years of experience to the job.' 'I am pleased to announce the appointment of Farah Pandith to serve as Special Representative to Muslim Communities,' Clinton said in a statement on Friday. Farah will play 'a leading role' in the US efforts to engage Muslims around the world, she said. The State Department, which announced her appointment on Thursday, said Pandith and her staff will be responsible for executing the Obama Administration's efforts to reach out to the Muslim communities around the world on the people-to-people and organisational levels. Pandith's appointment came three weeks after President Barack Obama's historic speech in the Egyptian capital Cairo to Muslims across the world. In his June 4 speech in Cairo, Obama had said he was seeking 'a new beginning' between the US and Muslims 'based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition.'