Sunday, May 31, 2009

Afghan Valley Offers Test for Obama Strategy

By SABRINA TAVERNISE The Jalrez Valley, where Americans have reduced violence while improving services and creating jobs, is a test case. (The New York Times)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pakistan Army Claims Control of Main Swat Town

By SABRINA TAVERNISE A general says the public helped win a major victory in a three-week campaign against the Taliban. (The New York Times)

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Better Bargain for Aid to Pakistan

By C. Christine Fair
The U.S. should disperse billions in aid through a well-structured trust fund. (The Washington Post)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Several Blasts in Pakistan After Taliban Warning

By ISMAIL KHAN and SALMAN MASOOD Multiple bombs exploded in two Pakistani cities on Thursday, just hours after the Taliban issued an extraordinary warning for people to evacuate cities. (The New York Times)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Popular Former Premier Is Back in Pakistani Politics

By Griff Witte
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 26 -- Pakistan's Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the nation's most popular politician, can participate in elections despite an earlier ban. (The Washington Post)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pakistan Says It Makes More Gains on Taliban

By SALMAN MASOOD The army said it had taken the central square of Mingora, the largest city in the Swat Valley. (The New York Times)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pakistan and Taliban Battling for Key City

By SALMAN MASOOD The Pakistani military is trying to wrest the largest city in the contested Swat Valley from the hands of Taliban militants. (The New York Times)

U.S. Captain Hears Pleas for Afghan Detainee

By RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. An American officer, who in civilian life is a policeman, helped find a lawyer for a man held as a suspected Taliban leader. (The New York Times)

Pakistani Refugee Crisis Poses Peril

By Griff Witte
MARDAN, Pakistan -- Bacha Zab, a 32-year-old fruit salesman, dodged army shelling and Taliban sniper fire to escape his native Swat Valley. But when he reached the safety of a government-run refugee camp in this northwestern Pakistani city, he was told there was no more room. (The Washington Post)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Battle for Swat's Main City Begins

By Griff Witte
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 23 -- Pakistani troops pushed into the largest city in the contested Swat Valley on Saturday and fought block to block with Taliban militants in an apparent escalation of the army's effort to retake the picturesque area, which has become a symbol of insurgent defiance and... (The Washington Post)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Taliban Foiling Pakistani Army

By Griff Witte
KHWAZAKHELA, Pakistan, May 22 -- The Pakistani army has retaken control of key parts of the contested Swat Valley in recent days, but the Taliban has kept its grip on some of the area's largest towns nearly a month into a massive military offensive, army commanders said Friday during a visit near... (The Washington Post)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

UN seeks $543 million for Pakistan war refugees

ISLAMABAD -- The United Nations appealed Friday for $543 million to ease the "incredible suffering" of nearly 2 million refugees from Pakistan's war against Taliban militants. (The Washington Post)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Peace Overture in Afghanistan

By DEXTER FILKINS Leaders of armed groups in Afghanistan are talking to intermediaries about a potential peace agreement. (The New York Times)

Pakistan army wrests town from Taliban, killing 80

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani forces killed 80 militants and drove the Taliban from a major urban stronghold on Wednesday, the army said, as U.S. military planes brought aid for civilians fleeing fierce fighting in the northwest. (The Washington Post)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Arms From U.S. May Be Falling Into Taliban Hands

By C. J. CHIVERS Evidence suggests munitions procured by the Pentagon leak from Afghan forces for use against American troops. (The New York Times)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ex-U.S. Envoy in Talks for Key Role in Afghan Government

By HELENE COOPER Zalmay Khalilzad, a former ambassador to Afghanistan, could assume a powerful position under a plan he is discussing with the Afghan president, officials said. (The New York Times)

Pakistan army battles Taliban; PM wins support

By Kamran Haider
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani soldiers were locked in heavy fighting with Taliban militants in their Swat bastion on Monday, the army said, as the government won broad support for the offensive from political parties. (The Washington Post)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pakistan Is Rapidly Adding Nuclear Arms, U.S. Says

By THOM SHANKER and DAVID E. SANGER There are new concerns on Capitol Hill about whether billions of dollars in proposed military aid might be diverted to Pakistan's nuclear program. (The New York Times)

Pakistan urges civilians to flee from Swat

By Kamran Haider
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The Pakistani government on Sunday urged people stranded by a military offensive against Taliban militants in the Swat valley to try to get out. (The Washington Post)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Exodus Fuels Concerns in Pakistan

By SALMAN MASOOD The military relaxed its curfew to allow residents stranded by government operations against the Taliban to flee to refugee camps in adjacent districts. (The New York Times)

Bombing, US strike kill dozens in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Bombs destroyed an Internet cafe, wrecked a bus carrying handicapped children and spread panic through Pakistan's main northwestern city on Saturday, killing at least 11 people in a day of carnage across the militancy-plagued region. (The Washington Post)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pakistan readies assault on Taliban in Swat town

MINGORA, Pakistan -- The Pakistan army readied a major assault to rid the main town in the Swat Valley of entrenched Taliban militants, who the military said Friday were shaving their beards in order to mingle undetected with fleeing civilians. (The Washington Post)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Villagers in Afghanistan Describe Chaos of U.S. Strikes

By CARLOTTA GALL and TAIMOOR SHAH The number of civilians killed by American airstrikes in Farah Province last week may never be fully known, but villagers tell stories of devastation. (The New York Times)

Senators link Pakistan aid to focus on extremists

WASHINGTON -- Senators voiced doubts Thursday about sending millions of dollars to Pakistan without assurances it will be spent to fight extremists who threaten security and political stability both there and in Afghanistan. (The Washington Post)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pakistan Gets Sensitive U.S. Drone Images, With Limits

By ERIC SCHMITT and MARK MAZZETTI The U.S. for the first time has provided Pakistan with surveillance information collected by drones flying along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. (The New York Times)

At Hill Hearing, Details Sought On Afghanistan-Pakistan Policy

By Walter Pincus
Some Democratic senators joined Republicans yesterday in questioning whether the Obama administration had adequately explained its strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan as Congress considers a supplemental appropriations bill that includes billions of dollars for military and economic assistance ... (The Washington Post)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pakistani Commandos Target Taliban Bases

By Pamela Constable
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 12 -- Army commandos launched aggressive new search-and-destroy operations in the Swat Valley and several surrounding districts in the Taliban-plagued northwest Tuesday, military officials said. (The Washington Post)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Terrorism Is Not Priority for Pakistanis, Poll Finds

By SALMAN MASOOD A new poll showed that an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis consider the country's economy the most important issue facing the country. (The New York Times)

Top U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Is Fired

By Ann Scott Tyson
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced yesterday that he had requested the resignation of the top American general in Afghanistan, Gen. David D. McKiernan, making a rare decision to remove a wartime commander at a time when the Obama administration has voiced increasing alarm about the... (The Washington Post)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shaky Pakistan Is Seen as a Target of Plots by Al Qaeda

Foreign operatives of Al Qaeda are moving to sow chaos in Pakistan and strengthen the hand of the militant Islamist groups there, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials say. (The New York Times)

Pakistan's Ethnic Fault Line

By Selig S. Harrison
Key to keeping Pakistan stable is understanding its ethnic conflicts. (The Washington Post)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pakistan Pounds Taliban, Swelling Tide of Refugees

By DEXTER FILKINS The Pakistani military said Friday that it had gone on a full-scale offensive to rout militants in the Swat Valley, as tens of thousands of refugees fled the region. (The New York Times)

Taliban-Style Justice Stirs Growing Anger

By Pamela Constable
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 9 -- When black-turbaned Taliban fighters demanded in January that Islamic sharia law be imposed in Pakistan's Swat Valley, few alarm bells went off in this Muslim nation of about 170 million. (The Washington Post)

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Saturday Profile: Adroit Envoy States Case for Pakistan

By MARK LANDLER Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador to the United States and a lucid interpreter of his country's bewildering politics, has become an influential figure in Washington. (The New York Times)

Off the track: Ohio Christian school tells student to skip prom

FINDLAY, Ohio – A student at a fundamentalist Baptist school that forbids dancing, rock music, hand-holding and kissing will be suspended if he takes his girlfriend to her public high school prom, his principal said.(More)

Fears Rise Over Refugees as Pakistan Presses Fight

By DEXTER FILKINS The Pakistani military said Friday that it had gone on a full-scale offensive to rout militants in the Swat Valley, as tens of thousands of refugees fled the region. (The New York Times)

An 'Afpak' About-Face For Obama

By Jackson Diehl
Obama couldn't scare Karzai and Zardari. (The Washington Post)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pakistan Announces Army Offensive Against Taliban

By Pamela Constable
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, May 7 -- Pakistan's prime minister told the nation Thursday that the armed forces were being "called in to eliminate the militants and terrorists" who have forcibly occupied part of the country's northwest, sending thousands of civilians fleeing from the region in the past week. (The Washington Post)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

High Civilian Toll Seen in U.S. Raid in Afghanistan

By CARLOTTA GALL and TAIMOOR SHAH The Red Cross said dozens died, but Afghan officials put the death toll at more than 100 in the airstrikes. (The New York Times)

In Pakistan, 'Great Rage, Great Fear'

By Pamela Constable and Haq Nawaz Khan
GOLRA, Pakistan, May 6 -- Hajji Karim and his extended family of 70 were camped in a dirt-floor stable 10 miles outside Islamabad, the Pakistani capital. It was as far as they could get from the Swat Valley, where thousands of people are fleeing from the ravages of the Taliban and the imminent p... (The Washington Post)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Looking for Drones, Zardari Went to CNN

By Dana Milbank
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has a problem. His government is near collapse, hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the Taliban in northwest Pakistan, and militants are within 60 miles of the capital, Islamabad. (The Washington Post)

Administration Is Keeping Ally at Arm's Length

By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Afghan President Hamid Karzai began talking as soon as his luncheon guests had taken their seats in his wood-paneled dining room at the presidential palace in Kabul, across a long table covered with platters of lamb and rice, baskets of flatbread, and glasses of pomegranate juice. (The Washington Post)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Strengthened Karzai to Meet Obama

By Pamela Constable
KABUL, May 2 -- With less than a week left before candidates must register for Afghanistan's presidential election, opposition forces remain so divided and appear so confused that the incumbent president, Hamid Karzai, is looking more and more like a winner as he heads to Washington for a summit ... (The Washington Post)

Friday, May 1, 2009 In Pakistan, U.S. Courts Leader of Opposition

The Obama administration is reaching out to the former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, whose ties to Islamists could help President Asif Ali Zardari confront the Taliban. (The New York Times)

Britain Pays to Keep Suspects From U.S. Hands

By Craig Whitlock
The British government has paid nearly $900,000 in legal fees on behalf of three associates of Osama bin Laden who have fended off attempts by the U.S. government to extradite them for a decade, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. (The Washington Post)