Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pakistan court allows Sharifs to take back Punjab

By Zeeshan Haider
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended a ruling barring former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother from holding elected office and restored their government in the key province of Punjab. (The Washington Post)

Pakistan Taliban Chief Brags of Attack on Police

By Pamela Constable
KABUL, March 31 -- The reclusive commander of the Pakistani Taliban said Tuesday that his fighters had carried out Monday's bold assault on a police academy in eastern Pakistan and boasted that he was planning a terrorist attack in Washington that would astonish the world. (The Washington Post)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Insurgent Threat Shifts in Pakistan

By Pamela Constable
KABUL, March 30 -- The brazen occupation of a Pakistani police academy Monday by heavily armed gunmen near the eastern mega-city of Lahore was the latest indication that Islamist terrorism, once confined to Pakistan's northwest tribal belt, now threatens political stability nationwide. (The Washington Post)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Afghanistan's Karzai Endorses Obama Plan

By Pamela Constable
KABUL, March 28 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that he was in "full agreement" with President Obama's newly announced strategy for Afghanistan, saying it was "exactly what the Afghan people were hoping for" and promising to "work very closely" with the United States to implement t... (The Washington Post)

Iraq Plans to Relocate Iran Opposition Group

By Ernesto LondoƱo
BAGHDAD, March 27 -- Iraq's national security adviser said Friday that the government intends to move an Iranian opposition group from its sanctuary near the Iranian border to a location where leaders and "brainwashed cult members" will be separated and the latter "detoxified." (The Washington Post)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Crowded Mosque Bombed in Pakistan

By Haq Nawaz and Pamela Constable
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, March 27 -- A suicide bomber detonated his explosives Friday in a crowded mosque in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 50 people and leaving more bodies buried in the rubble of the building, officials said. (The Washington Post)

Pakistan and Afghan Taliban Close Ranks

Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Afghan Taliban leader, persuaded the Pakistani Taliban to focus their efforts on the fight in Afghanistan. (The New York Times)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pakistan Taliban: Bomb that killed 11 was revenge

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan -- A suicide bomber struck a restaurant in volatile northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 11 people, including pro-government fighters opposed to the country's top Taliban commander, intelligence officials said. (The Washington Post)

Pakistan hopes for U.S. re-think on missiles

By Alamgir Bitani
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan wants the United States to reconsider its use of pilotless drones to attack militants on its territory, a government spokesman said on Thursday, hours after 11 people were killed in two strikes. (The Washington Post)

U.S., Pakistan drawing up new drone targets: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials are drawing up a new list of targets for unmanned drone strikes along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. (The Washington Post)

Officials: Suicide attack kills 11 in NW Pakistan

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan -- A suicide bomber struck a restaurant in volatile northwest Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least 11 people including pro-government fighters opposed to the country's top Taliban commander, intelligence officials said. (The Washington Post)

4,000 More U.S. Troops to Be Sent to Afghanistan as Trainers

By Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe
President Obama will deploy as many as 4,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, beyond the 17,000 he authorized last month, as trainers and advisers to the Afghan Army, according to a senior Pentagon official who has seen the new Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy Obama will unveil Friday. (The Washington Post)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Afghan Strikes by Taliban Get Pakistan Help, U.S. Aides Say

The support consists of money, military supplies and planning guidance to Taliban commanders who are gearing up to confront a larger force in Afghanistan. (The New York Times)

Potential Afghan Reconstruction Challenges Cited

By Ellen Nakashima
Government auditors sounded a warning yesterday for reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan as they outlined to lawmakers how a lack of security, coordinated planning and effective oversight has hobbled the United States' $50 billion effort in Iraq. (The Washington Post)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Judge's return raises hopes for Pakistan's missing

ISLAMABAD -- With Pakistan's top judge back at work, Zahida Sharif has new hope that her husband will be found, her toddler son will know his father and justice will be served. (The Washington Post)

On Spring Break, Cricket Gets Serious

Cricket, which counts its fans by the billion worldwide, is trying to register a pulse in the U.S. with the American College Cricket spring break championship.(The New York Times)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Zardari woos opposition to end Pakistan crisis

By Augustine Anthony
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - President Asif Ali Zardari called for reconciliation in a speech to the nation on Monday, seeking to mend fences with the opposition in a country threatened by economic crisis and growing Islamist militancy. (The Washington Post)

Foreign Service Jobs in Afghanistan to Grow

By Karen DeYoung
The State Department will significantly expand its presence in regional capitals in western and northern Afghanistan in coming months, part of the Obama administration's plans for a "surge" in civilians going to the country.(The Washington Post)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

U.S. Kills 5 Afghans in Raid on House

American officials said that those killed were militants, but local officials claimed they were employees of the town's mayor.(The New York Times)

A washingtonpost.com article from: rafawad@gmail.com

By Zarar Khan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 22 -- The Pakistani chief justice whose ouster spurred waves of protests that led to a president's downfall returned to work Sunday, while the ruling party and opposition resolved to cooperate despite their clash over his reinstatement.(The Washington Post)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Official: Taliban chief Mullah Omar in Afghanistan

QUETTA, Pakistan -- Taliban leader Mullah Muhammed Omar is not in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, a senior official said Friday, and urged the United States not to carry out missile attacks in the region.(The Washington Post)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Saving Pakistan

PAKISTAN'S LATEST crisis has eased, after President Asif Ali Zardari capitulated to protesters who threatened to march on the capital, Islamabad. But for the Obama administration, the challenge of political dysfunction in this nuclear-armed state has hardly diminished. As they showed during the p...(The Washington Post)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

U.S. Weighs Taliban Strike Into Pakistan

President Obama and his advisers are considering expanding the war in Pakistan beyond the tribal areas to strike at a different center of Taliban power.(The New York Times)

Nicholas D. Kristof: In Pakistan, Shakespeare Was Wrong

By Nicholas Kristof
Shakespeare's line about lawyers from Henry VI - "the first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" - was gravely misguided, as least as concerns Pakistan. Like almost anyone who has spent time in Pakistan, I love the country and its people but am horrified at the direction it has been going. And the [...](The New York Times)

Editorial: Pakistan's Quick Fix

President Asif Ali Zardari will have to do more to calm the political turmoil and confront the extremists who threaten Pakistan's survival.(The New York Times)

Reconciliation Urged in Pakistan Crisis

By Pamela Constable
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 18 -- Pakistan's ruling party, which narrowly survived a meltdown this week in the face of massive street demonstrations, is working to regroup and regain credibility despite the weakened position of its top leader, President Asif Ali Zardari.(The Washington Post)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Poll: More view Afghan war as 'mistake'

WASHINGTON — American support for the war in Afghanistan has ebbed to a new low, as attacks on U.S. troops and their allies have hit record levels and commanders are pleading for reinforcements, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows.

In the poll taken Saturday and Sunday, 42% of respondents said the United States made "a mistake" in sending military forces to Afghanistan, up from 30% in February. That's the highest mark since the poll first asked the question in November 2001 when the U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban government that sheltered al-Qaeda terrorists responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks.

In January 2002, 6% of respondents called the war "a mistake." (USA Today)

Monday, March 16, 2009

News Analysis: Pakistan Turns Onto a New and Uncertain Path

A compromise between political rivals does not herald a solution to the instability of this nuclear-armed nation, but there are glimmers of hope.(The New York Times)

In Pakistan, Elation Over Restoration of Judges

By Pamela Constable
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 16 -- They came carrying children and cakes, tootling bagpipes and pounding drums, waving banners from half a dozen political parties and wearing the garb of peasants and politicians.(The Washington Post)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Pakistani Leader Bows to Pressure

By Pamela Constable
LAHORE, Pakistan, March 16 -- Unable to crush street protests Sunday that spilled out of this city and threatened to reach the capital, the Pakistani government announced early Monday morning that it would restore the former chief justice of the Supreme Court and a group of other deposed judges in a...(The Washington Post)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

In Pakistani Opposition, a Mix of Motivations

By Pamela Constable
LAHORE, Pakistan, March 13 -- On one side of the provincial high court complex, a majestic red-brick monument to British colonial rule, it was business as usual Friday morning. Lawyers in black robes and white bibs rushed to hearings and conferred with clients, while clerks filled out legal petit...(The Washington Post)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pakistani Police Intercept Protesters

By Pamela Constable
LAHORE, Pakistan, March 12 -- Police wielding long batons dragged anti-government demonstrators into black vans Thursday at a highway toll plaza outside the southern city of Karachi, where several thousand people were attempting to join a caravan heading for the capital, Islamabad, for a mass...(The Washington Post)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pakistan Cracks Down on Opposition Ahead of Protest

Police arrested hundreds of political activists as the opposition party leader urged his supporters to defy a government ban on demonstrations.(The New York Times)

Protests, Political Turmoil Grip Pakistan

By Pamela Constable
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, March 11 -- Political turmoil deepened Wednesday and Pakistanis braced for violence as opponents of President Asif Ali Zardari prepared to lead a massive protest march toward the capital this week, while police arrested hundreds of opposition activists and the government bann...(The Washington Post)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pakistan tribe agrees to hand over Taliban

KHAR, Pakistan -- A tribe in a northwestern Pakistani region where the military has fought insurgents has agreed to stop sheltering foreign fighters and hand over local Taliban leaders, authorities said. A tribal elder said some militants could be pardoned and freed.(The Washington Post)

Monday, March 9, 2009

U.S. Halted Some Afghan Raids Over Concern on Deaths

The halt, which lasted about two weeks, came after a series of nighttime raids by Special Operations troops in recent months killed women and children.(The New York Times)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Pakistan Regains Control of Remote Area, for Now

The Pakistani military is claiming victory over the Taliban in Bajaur, but experts say the militants may merely be waiting for an opportunity to return.(The New York Times)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Taliban

In an interview with The Times, President Obama opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to elements of the Taliban.(The New York Times)

Change attitude towards Pakistan, Musharraf tells India

By Nigam Prusty
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India and Pakistan must change the way they treat each other and bury a "dirty past" to tackle growing militancy in the region together, Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf said on Saturday.(The Washington Post)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

U.S. Pushing for High-Level Afghanistan Meeting That Would Include Iran

By Glenn Kessler
BRUSSELS, March 5 -- In its first overture to Iran, the Obama administration is pushing to convene a high-level meeting on Afghanistan this month that would include an invitation to Tehran, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday.(The Washington Post)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

8 Die as Gunmen in Pakistan Attack Cricket Team

The brazen attack on the Sri Lankan team by a dozen gunmen killed six police officers and two bystanders. (The New York Times)