The view of Pakistan from La Verne

Interested in Pakistan, hotspot in the global war on terrorism? The University of La Verne will host a lecture on that nation on Thursday in the inaugural presentation of the — wait for it — Benazir Bhutto & Ahmed Ispahani International Lectureship.

The huh?

ULV Professor Ahmed Ispahani, a La Verne resident, was a cousin of Bhutto, the prime minister who was assassinated in 2007. He’ll be giving the lecture, entitled “Struggle for Democracy: Benazir Bhutto and Pakistan.”

The lectureship was established by a gift from ULV trustee Paul Moseley, a former student of Ispahani’s, as a way to thank his mentor and pay respects to Bhutto.

Here’s some background on Ispahani’s life from a campus press release:

“Born in Iran, Ispahani spent much of his formative years traveling to and from Pakistan because of his family’s business there. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Karachi, then later studied in England before coming to the United States to earn his master’s and Ph.D. He first joined the La Verne faculty in 1964, and has since taught generations of students and influenced countless careers.

“In 1968 Ispahani took a leave from his teaching duties to become economic adviser to the Iran Government, Central Bank of Iran. He was later asked to serve as economic advisor to the Shah of Iran, a position he held until returning to La Verne in 1976.

“A U.S. citizen, Ispahani enjoyed a close relationship with his cousin, the late Benazir Bhutto. He began advising Bhutto on economic matters in 1990, and was instrumental in arranging her visit and lecture at La Verne in 1997.”

Benazir Bhutto visited La Verne? I had no idea.

The lecture begins at 11 a.m. in La Fetra Auditorium. It’s free but seating is limited. Information: International Studies Institute, (909) 593-3511 ext. 4221.

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