Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pakistanis Aided Attack in Kabul, U.S. Officials Say

By MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC SCHMITT The conclusion that Pakistan’s powerful spy service helped to plan the bombing of India’s embassy has strained relations between the U.S. and a longtime ally. (The New York Times)

Mortar kills family of 7 in Pakistan's Swat valley

By RIAZ KHAN
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A mortar shell hit a house in a valley where Pakistani security forces are battling Islamic militants, killing a family of seven, and militants torched a nearby girls school, police said Thursday.(The Washington Post)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

NW Pakistan Clashes Intensify; Peace Deals at Risk, Taliban Says

By Candace Rondeaux
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, July 30 -- Clashes between insurgents and Pakistani troops escalated Wednesday in the country's fractious northwest as Taliban leaders threatened to withdraw their support for peace deals brokered this year with Pakistan's new government.(The Washington Post)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Missile strike strains US-Pakistan relations

By FOSTER KLUG
WASHINGTON -- President Bush took care to say it twice after his meeting with Pakistan's new prime minister: The United States respects Pakistan's sovereignty.(The Washington Post)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pakistan: 3 troops, 15 militants killed

QUETTA, Pakistan -- Suspected tribal insurgents ambushed a security forces patrol in southwest Pakistan, and three troops and 15 militants were killed in the fighting, an official said Sunday.(The Washington Post)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pakistan Hopes Premier's U.S. Visit Will Yield Funds, Forbearance

By Karen DeYoung
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has a clear agenda for his inaugural visit to Washington this week: He wants more aid, more patience and less pressure from the United States as his four-month-old coalition government develops a strategy to combat Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in the...(The Washington Post)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pakistan's Window of Opportunity

By Rick Barton and Karin von Hippel
How can the U.S. best encourage its nascent democracy?(The Washington Post)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bush Ex-Official Says Corrupt Afghans and a Hesitant Military Hinder Drug Fight

By CARLOTTA GALL The combined failure of Afghan and American efforts to fight narcotics has turned Afghanistan into a virtual narco-state, according to a former Bush administration official. (The New York Times)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

US wants to shift $226 million on Pakistan money

By ANNE GEARAN
WASHINGTON -- The State Department wants to use about two-thirds of its proposed military equipment aid for Pakistan's anti-terrorism programs to help the key U.S. ally upgrade its aging fleet of U.S.-made F-16 fighter planes.(The Washington Post)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Unilateral Action by U.S. a Growing Fear in Pakistan

By JANE PERLEZ Suggestions that the U.S. could resort to unilateral intervention against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan have caused anxiety in Pakistan. (The New York Times)

India blames Pakistan in embassy bombing

By MUNEEZA NAQVI
NEW DELHI -- A top Indian diplomat blamed Pakistan on Monday for the bombing of India's embassy in Afghanistan, saying the attack had put the rivals' peace process "under stress."(The Washington Post)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Can Taliban Win in Pakistan?

Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy at the Middle East Institute (Washington DC) event 'Can Taliban Win in Pakistan' on July 16, 2008

(Video clips produced by Rana Fawad. For the news story, click on http://www.samundarpaar.com/)

Clip 1: Alphabets for propaganda
video

Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy at the Middle East Institute (Washington DC) event 'Can Taliban Win in Pakistan' on July 16, 2008

(Video clips produced by Rana Fawad. For the news story, click on http://www.samundarpaar.com/)

Clip 2: Alphabets for propaganda
video
Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy at the Middle East Institute (Washington DC) event 'Can Taliban Win in Pakistan' on July 16, 2008

(Video clips produced by Rana Fawad. For the news story, click on http://www.samundarpaar.com/)

Clip 3: Alphabets for propaganda
video
Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy at the Middle East Institute (Washington DC) event 'Can Taliban Win in Pakistan' on July 16, 2008

(Video clips produced by Rana Fawad. For the news story, click on http://www.samundarpaar.com/)

Clip 4: About Laal Masjid Islamabad
video
Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy at the Middle East Institute (Washington DC) event 'Can Taliban Win in Pakistan' on July 16, 2008

(Video clips produced by Rana Fawad. For the news story, click on http://www.samundarpaar.com/)

Clip 5: About Laal Masjid Islamabad
video
Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy at the Middle East Institute (Washington DC) event 'Can Taliban Win in Pakistan' on July 16, 2008

(Video clips produced by Rana Fawad. For the news story, click on http://www.samundarpaar.com/)

Clip 6: Past and present at the campus
video

Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy at the Middle East Institute (Washington DC) event 'Can Taliban Win in Pakistan' on July 16, 2008


(Video clips produced by Rana Fawad. For the news story, click on http://www.samundarpaar.com/)

Clip 7: Former US President Ronal Regan and Mujahideen video

Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy at Middle East Institute Washington's event 'Can Taliban Win in Pakistan' on July 16, 2008

Dr Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy at the Middle East Institute (Washington DC) event 'Can Taliban Win in Pakistan' on July 16, 2008

(Video clips produced by Rana Fawad. For the news story, click on http://www.samundarpaar.com/)

Clip 8: American propaganda during Afghan-Soviet War
video

Pakistan's Enduring Illusions

By Jim Hoagland
The exposure of illusions does not automatically cause them to be abandoned. They become even more necessary when other alternatives look riskier.(The Washington Post)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kabul bomb, politics overshadow India-Pakistan talks

By Krittivas Mukherjee
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Pakistan's top foreign official travels to India next week to resume peace talks but suspicion of Pakistan's hand in last week's deadly bomb attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul could overshadow progress.(The Washington Post)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pakistan Post Was Not in U.S. Records

By ERIC SCHMITT The border post that was destroyed by U.S. airstrikes last month, killing 11 Pakistani paramilitary soldiers, was not in an American database, an investigation concluded. (The New York Times)

U.S., Afghan Troops Leave Combat Outpost After Deadly Clash

By Candace Rondeaux
KABUL, Afghanistan, July 16 -- After suffering significant setbacks in the fight against insurgents in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. and Afghan troops have pulled out of a combat outpost where nine American soldiers were killed in a pitched battle with Taliban fighters Sunday.(The Washington Post)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pakistan Marble Helps Taliban Stay in Business

By PIR ZUBAIR SHAH and JANE PERLEZ The takeover of the Ziarat quarry has enabled the Taliban to turn themselves into a self-sustaining fighting force. (The New York Times)

Senators pitch new approach to Pakistan aid

By ANNE FLAHERTY
WASHINGTON -- Sens. Joseph Biden and Richard Lugar said Tuesday they will push bipartisan legislation this year that would triple humanitarian spending in Pakistan but threaten to cut military aid unless Islamabad does more to fight terrorists.(The Washington Post)

U.S. aid bill seeks to boost Pakistan civilian ties

By Paul Eckert, Asia Correspondent
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two senior U.S. senators on Tuesday unveiled a $7.5 billion, 5-year aid bill for Pakistan aimed at boosting civilian ties in an alliance heavily skewed toward a military fight against Islamic militants.(The Washington Post)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of supporting Taliban

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghanistan lashed out at neighboring Pakistan on Monday alleging that its intelligence service and army are behind the bloody Taliban-led insurgency, calling the security forces the ''world's biggest producers of terrorism and extremism.'' (The New York Times)

Pakistan nuke scientist wants Musharraf to testify

By SADAQAT JAN
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- A lawyer for Pakistan's disgraced nuclear scientist said Monday he wants President Pervez Musharraf to appear before a court hearing a petition to end his client's four-year detention for nuclear proliferation.(The Washington Post)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pakistan plans no release of militant suspect

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- The government will not release a prominent militant suspect despite threats against its security forces by the top commander of the Pakistani Taliban, the Interior Ministry chief declared Sunday. (The New York Times)

Pakistan plans no release of militant suspect

By MUNIR AHMAD
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The government will not release a prominent militant suspect despite threats against its security forces by the top commander of the Pakistani Taliban, the Interior Ministry chief declared Sunday.(The Washington Post)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pakistan Wants 'Partnership' With U.S., Official Says

By Glenn Kessler
The new government of Pakistan is seeking a "partnership" with the United States and wants tangible signs that the Bush administration will increase aid and embrace Pakistani democracy, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said yesterday.(The Washington Post)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pakistan says mortar fire wounds 6 security forces

By MUNIR AHMAD
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Mortar shells fired from Afghanistan wounded six Pakistani security forces along the border, and Pakistan has lodged a "strong protest" with NATO, the army's top spokesman said Friday.(The Washington Post)

Editorial: The Taliban's Rising Tide

For the sake of Pakistan’s stability, its leaders will need to commit to fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda extremists in the border region. (The New York Times)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pakistan accuses India of violating cease-fire

By MUNIR AHMAD
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan's army spokesman accused Indian forces of violating a 2003 cease-fire in Kashmir on Thursday, but a top Indian official denied the country's army had fired on Pakistan's positions in the disputed Himalayan region.(The Washington Post)

Pakistani Lawyer At Helm of Change

By Nora Boustany
Leading a motorcade marathon from Islamabad to Lahore in May last year, lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan threaded his way gingerly through throngs of impassioned Pakistanis lining the road in the 110-degree heat. At the climax of his campaign to get the country's suspended Supreme Court chief justice reinstat...(The Washington Post)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Previous NWFP government was better informed

By Rana Fawad

WASHINGTON: The previous provincial government in the NWFP (North-West-Frontier-Province) was conservative but it was stable and its members had knowledge about social services needed in their areas.

This was stated by Pakistan Scholar at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (WWICS), Samia Altaf, while responding to a question at an event "Aid Effectiveness in Pakistan: Case Study of the Health and Population Sector" organized by the the WWICS on Wednesday.

Earlier, Asia Program Director Robert M. Hathaway told the audience that Dr Samia Altaf was the Wilson Center’s 2007-08 Pakistan Scholar. In her career she had contributed to the management and coordination of complex health delivery systems for low-income populations

She was acting director and later on senior advisor with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Islamabad before she joined the Wilson Center in Washington. She also had the opportunity to work for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as a primary health care program officer.

Moreover, she provided consultancy to international aid agencies. On the academic side, Dr Altaf has served on the faculty at Pakistan’s Aga Khan University Medical College.

During Question and Answer session, Dr Samia Altaf agreed with the Agha Khan Foundation official that the political stability was important in carrying out projects.

She pointed out that it is interesting to note that the government of mullahs in the NWFP was very conservative but it was stable for five years whereas its representatives were very knowledgeable as compared to other provinces.

She told the audience that though their female representatives were veiled from head to toe and you could only see their eyes while talking to them, they had far better understanding and information about the social services needed in their respective areas.

Propounding her suggestions and recommendations regarding aid in Pakistan, Dr Altaf commented that the future projects in Pakistan should incorporate the local perspective in its design. She was of the view that the current methodology was outmoded and did not pay attention to the requirements at the field level of projects.

She regretted that the consumers of the aid, people, have no knowledge that it was being done on their behalf and added that in Washington D.C., the information is placed in the community in a language or languages which they could understand before the project is launched. She suggested that the target audience of a project in Pakistan should also be provided with sufficient information about the activity.

Analyzing the current situation of foreign aid and it's executing in Pakistan, Dr Samia Altaf illustrated that there were five to six permanent actors like Government of Pakistan, donors, sub-contractors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), etc., that follow a script to play their roles.

She remarked that if the script is changed according to the modern day requirements, those actors could do a better job. Plus, a component of incentives for them should be added to projects.

Referring to the growth of NGOs in Pakistan, she mentioned that NGOs have sprouted like flowers because there is money to be spent and many of them do a very good job.

Highlighting another factor, she regretted that the government officials take leave from their official duty and become consultants for certain projects.

Commenting on the aspect of donors' agenda through their aid packages, Dr Samia Altaf said donors always had certain tasks to accomplish in helping out a country. She added that if a country thought the aid was tied to some other things it could always be rejected. She mentioned that once the Indonesian officials faced a similar situation and they refused to take the World Bank aid.

NATO sees jump in Pakistan attacks

By JASON STRAZIUSO
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Mortar and rocket attacks by militants in Pakistan across the border into Afghanistan have spiked in the last month and U.S. and NATO forces have been returning fire, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan said.(The Washington Post)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Foreign Agents Blamed In Deadly Kabul Attack

By Candace Rondeaux
KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, July 8 -- Investigators have found evidence that a deadly suicide bombing attack against the Indian Embassy in Kabul this week was planned with the help of a foreign intelligence agency, a spokesman for Afghanistan's president said Tuesday.(The Washington Post)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Suicide Bombing Leaves 40 Dead In Central Kabul

By Javed Hamdard and Candace Rondeaux
KABUL, July 7 -- At least 40 people were killed and 141 injured Monday in a powerful suicide blast near the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan's capital, Afghan officials said.(The Washington Post)

Off the track: Washington Post Signals Shift With a New Editor

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA Marcus W. Brauchli, a former top editor of The Wall Street Journal, will succeed Leonard Downie Jr. (The New York Times)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bomber Near Pakistani Mosque Kills at Least 11

By JOEL ELLIOTT A suicide bomber set off an explosion next to a group of police officers guarding an area near the Red Mosque, where a restive crowd had gathered to commemorate a deadly clash last year. (The New York Times)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Taliban fighters free two Pakistani journalists

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Taliban militants released two Pakistani journalists on Saturday more than 36-hours after they were abducted in a tribal region near the Afghan border.(The Washington Post)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Militants abduct two Pakistani journalists

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Al Qaeda-linked militants have abducted two Pakistani journalists who the militants accused of snooping on their members and positions near the Afghan border.(The Washington Post)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Turning Away From Musharraf

By Robert D. Novak
President Bush appears finally ready to work with Pakistani democrats.(The Washington Post)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

1 year later, Pakistan mosques spirit lives on

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- A year after the deadly military siege of the Red Mosque, the radical spirit of the pro-Taliban stronghold lives on. (The New York Times)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pakistan says militants' compound is destroyed

By RIAZ KHAN
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Pakistani forces destroyed a major militant compound in the troubled Khyber tribal region Tuesday as an operation against extremists entered its fourth day, a government official said.(The Washington Post)