Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pakistan says Taliban beaten back in border region

KHAR, Pakistan -- Pakistan has beaten the Taliban in a major stronghold close to the Afghan border, is close to victory in another and expects to pacify most of the remaining tribal areas before the end of the year, commanders said Saturday.(The Washington Post)

Editorial: Playing With Fire in Pakistan

If democracy is to survive in Pakistan, a robust opposition must be allowed to flourish and participate peacefully in the country's political life.(The New York Times)

Friday, February 27, 2009

In Khalid Hasan's honor

By Rana Fawad

WASHINGTON: Though we used to be on the receiving end in the late Khalid Hasan’s columns, he always exhibited professionalism as a journalist...(Continued)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pakistan's Leader Stirs Fresh Turmoil


ISLAMABAD -- When Asif Ali Zardari won the presidency last year, he vowed to unite this fractious country after nearly a decade of military rule. Instead, Mr. Zardari is emerging as a divisive figure at a time when Pakistan faces a rising Islamist insurgency and a stuttering economy. (The Wall Street Journal)

Pakistan Court Bars Opposition Leader From Office

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan's Supreme Court barred opposition leader Nawaz Sharif from elected office Wednesday, casting the country into political turmoil just as its government struggles against rising Islamist militancy.(The Washington Post)

Monday, February 23, 2009

U.S. Unit Secretly in Pakistan Lends Ally Support

American military advisers are working in Pakistan to help its armed forces battle Al Qaeda and the Taliban in lawless tribal areas.(The New York Times)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pakistan official: 'Permanent cease-fire' in Swat

MINGORA, Pakistan -- A Pakistani official said Saturday that the Taliban and the Pakistani government had agreed to a "permanent cease-fire" in the restive northwest Swat Valley.(The Washington Post)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pakistani Accord Appears Stalled

By Pamela Constable, Karen DeYoung and Haq Nawaz Khan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 18 -- A controversial, closely watched peace agreement designed to end Taliban violence in the scenic Swat Valley hung in limbo Wednesday amid criticism in Pakistan and rising concern in Washington.(The Washington Post)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Afghan Civilian Deaths Rose 40 Percent in 2008

A U.N. report promised to deepen concern about the American effort in Afghanistan, as President Obama considers adding more troops.(The New York Times)

NATO cautions Pakistan over truce with Taliban

MINGORA, Pakistan -- NATO led a growing chorus of international concern Tuesday by warning that a truce between the government of Pakistan and Taliban militants in a restive region near the Afghan border risks giving the extremists a "safe haven."(The Washington Post)

Obama Approves Plan to Boost Troop Levels in Afghanistan

By Ann Scott Tyson
President Obama today announced that he has approved the deployment of two brigades of U.S. troops to Afghanistan this spring and summer to fight a resurgent Taliban.(The Washington Post)

Monday, February 16, 2009

From Pakistan, Taliban Threats Reach New York

Pakistani immigrants in New York say the Taliban are singling out their families for threats.(The New York Times)

Islamic Law Instituted In Pakistan's Swat Valley

By Pamela Constable
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Feb. 16 -- The Pakistani government, desperate to restore peace to a Taliban-infested valley once known as the "Switzerland of Pakistan," agreed Monday to enforce strict Islamic law in the surrounding district near the Afghan border, conceding to a long-standing demand by local...(The Washington Post)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

CIA Helped India, Pakistan Share Secrets in Investigation of Attacks

By Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung
In the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the CIA orchestrated back-channel intelligence exchanges between India and Pakistan, allowing the two former enemies to quietly share highly sensitive evidence while the Americans served as neutral arbiters, according to U.S. and foreign governmen...(The Washington Post)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What Pakistan Doesn't Need From America

By Shuja Nawaz

During the tumult of 2008, the talk in Washington and in Islamabad turned to the need for the United States to have a relationship with the people of Pakistan rather than with any single leader or party. Indeed, only by garnering the support of a majority of Pakistanis can the United States leap over the yawning mistrust between these two countries and help Pakistan's government become stable.

Two months into 2009, we are waiting for that change to occur. President Obama has rightly focused attention on Pakistan, sending his powerful and highly favored representative Ambassador Richard Holbrooke to take on the difficult job of resolving regional differences and restoring stability to an embattled country. Ambassador Holbrooke will need help from both Washington and Islamabad to get to the roots of regional problems.(Newsweek/

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pakistani-American journalist, writer remembered

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's embassy arranged an event on Thursday (February 12) in memory of of Khalid Hasan, who died of cancer on February 5, 2009. Ambassador Husain Haqqani, Khalid Hasan's son Jeffrey Hasan, daughter Jehan Aara, friends, and members of the community attended the event to pay tribute to him. (See glimpses)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Report Cites Lax Control of U.S. Weapons in Afghanistan

By Joby Warrick and R. Jeffrey Smith
Tens of thousands of assault rifles and other firearms in Afghanistan are at risk of being stolen because U.S. officials failed to keep proper track of them, according to a congressionally ordered audit that warns that some weapons may already be in Taliban hands.(The Washington Post)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Expert to review Afghanistan, Pakistan policy

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The White House says a Middle East expert will conduct an interagency review of Afghanistan and Pakistan policy for the Obama administration.(The Washington Post)

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Race Against Time in Afghanistan

By John F. Kerry
No foreign power has remained welcome in Afghanistan for a sustained period, and the British and the Soviets paid a bitter price for trying. Our goal has never been to dominate Afghanistan but, rather, to eliminate al-Qaeda's haven and to empower Afghans to govern their country in line with their...(The Washington Post)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

U.S. Skeptical About Pakistan's Restrictions on Nuclear Scientist

By Karen DeYoung
Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who was released Friday from five years of house arrest for selling nuclear secrets, faces a new set of restrictions on his movement and contacts, according to Pakistani officials.(The Washington Post)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

India's Congress wants Pakistan declared terror state

By Bappa Majumdar
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Congress Party on Saturday said the international community should consider declaring Pakistan a terrorist state in light of the latter's release of a scientist who sold nuclear secrets around the globe.(The Washington Post)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Nuclear Scientist A.Q. Khan Is Freed From House Arrest

By Joby Warrick
Early yesterday, the Pakistani scientist at the center of one of history's worst nuclear scandals walked out of his Islamabad villa to declare his vindication after five years of house arrest. "The judgment, by the grace of God, is good," a smiling Abdul Qadeer Khan told a throng of reporters and TV...(The Washington Post)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bomb kills 24 near Shi'ite mosque in Pakistan

By Asim Tanveer
MULTAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - Around 24 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in a suspected suicide bombing near a Shi'ite mosque in central Pakistan on Thursday, police said.(The Washington Post)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Taliban Destroys a Key Bridge in Pakistan

By Candace Rondeaux
ISLAMABAD, Hundreds of trucks bearing NATO supplies idled at terminals near the city of Peshawar in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday after Taliban fighters blew up an iron bridge about 15 miles away. The explosion, the latest in a spate of attacks, cut off the main supply route for U.S.-led forces...(The Whashington Post)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

American Abducted in Pakistan

By Candace Rondeaux
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Feb. 2 -- Pakistani police began hunting Monday for the kidnappers of John Solecki, the American U.N. official who was abducted in the southern Pakistani city of Quetta.(The Washington Post)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Some link India-Israel ties to Mumbai attacks

By Peter Spiegel
Los Angeles Times

February 2 2009

Some counter-terrorism experts in India are convinced that the country's growing ties to Israel were a prime factor behind the targeting of a small Jewish center in the deadly Mumbai attacks in November. (The Chicago Tribune)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Book World Live: Greg Mortensen, Author of 'Three Cups of Tea'

By Greg Mortensen
Greg Mortensen's book 'Three Cups of Tea,' about his efforts to build a school for a remote Pakistani village, became a worldwide bestseller and has helped raise money for more than 78 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Now, the book has been adapted for younger readers. Mortensen discusses his ongoing work for the children of that volatile region.(The Washington Post)