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Jinnah international airport in Karachi has resumed operations after an assault by Pakistani Taliban which left 28 people, including all 10 attackers, dead.
The assault on Pakistan’s largest airport began late on Sunday, with security forces gaining control in the early hours of Monday.
The Taliban have said they carried out the raid as revenge for the killing of their leader last year.
The government said a full investigation was under way.
Asif Kirmani, a spokesman for PM Nawaz Sharif, also praised the security forces for their response.
Analysts say the latest violence has further undermined Nawaz Sharif’s attempt at initiating peace talks with the Taliban.
Jinnah international airport in Karachi has resumed operations after an assault by Pakistani Taliban which left 28 people, including all 10 attackers, dead
The negotiations have made little headway since February. Critics have argued that they could allow the militants to regroup and gain strength.
Pakistani officials said 10 heavily armed gunmen stormed the airport in two teams of five on Sunday at 23:00 local time.
The attackers, wearing explosives belts, are believed to have entered the area using fake ID cards, although some reports suggest they cut through a barbed wire fence.
They threw grenades and fired at security guards in the old terminal, used for cargo and VIP operations.
Jinnah airport was shut down, passengers were evacuated and flights diverted as security forces fought back.
Seven militants were shot dead in a gun battle with security forces which lasted until dawn. Another three attackers detonated their explosives.
The dead terminal staff were said to be mostly security guards from the Airport Security Force (ASF) but also airline workers. At least 14 people were wounded.
The Chief Minister of Sindh province, Qaim Ali Shah, said the attackers “were well trained” and their plan “very well thought out”.
Later on Monday, security forces displayed a large quantity of weapons and ammunition seized from the attackers, as well as food, indicating they had been prepared for a lengthy siege.
Army officials said there were indications that some of the gunmen may have been foreign nationals.
The Taliban later said they had carried out the attack, and that its aim had been to hijack aircraft, though they failed to do so.
It was “a message to the Pakistan government that we are still alive to react over the killings of innocent people in bomb attacks on their villages”, said spokesman Shahidullah Shahid.
Pakistan has been fighting an Islamist insurgency for more than a decade, with the Pakistani Taliban the main militant group.
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At least 32 militants including “important commanders” have been killed in North Waziristan air strikes.
Pakistani officials described precision air strikes on targets near the border with Afghanistan.
Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have died in bomb attacks since the Pakistani Taliban began its campaign against the central government in 2007.
At least 32 militants including important commanders have been killed in North Waziristan air strikes
Several offensives have been launched against the militants, but the government is also pursuing talks.
“Before the launch of the air strikes, we had confirmed intelligence information about hideouts of the militants and their top commanders,” said a senior military official in Miranshah quoted by the Reuters news agency.
The army said in a statement that the strikes were targeting militants involved in attacks against Pakistani armed forces and Pakistani soldiers.
At least nine soldiers were killed and several critically wounded by a roadside bomb in the region earlier this month.
There have been similar air strikes since the beginning of the year, but this operation appears to have been the largest in a while.
North Waziristan, one of seven lawless tribal districts in Pakistan’s north-west, is a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qaeda linked militants.
The peace talks between the government and the Pakistani Taliban stalled after one round of negotiations in February, and a 40-day ceasefire between the two sides came to an end in mid-April.
The CIA will no longer use vaccination programs as cover for spying operations, a White House official announced.
The agency used the ruse in targeting Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in 2011.
Lisa Monaco, Barack Obama’s leading counter-terrorism adviser, wrote to the deans of 13 prominent public health schools last week saying that the CIA had agreed it would no longer use vaccination programs or workers for intelligence purposes.
The CIA also agreed not to use genetic materials obtained through such programs.
Dr. Shakil Afridi offered a program of hepatitis vaccinations in Abbottabad as cover for his CIA-backed effort to obtain DNA samples from children at a compound where Osama bin Laden was later killed during a 2011 raid by US navy Seals.
The doctor was convicted and sentenced by a Pakistani court to 33 years in prison for treason. The sentence was later overturned and Shakil Afridi faces a retrial.
The CIA will no longer use vaccination programs as cover for spying operations
The health school deans were among a group of medical authorities who publicly criticized the CIA’s use of the vaccination program after it was disclosed by media accounts and Pakistan’s arrest of Shakil Afridi as a CIA operative.
In her letter dated May 16, Lisa Monaco said the US “strongly supports the global polio eradication initiative and efforts to end the spread of the polio virus forever”.
Lisa Monaco said the CIA director, John Brennan, committed in August 2013 to “make no operational use of vaccination programs, which includes vaccination workers”. She said the CIA policy “applied worldwide and to US and non-US persons alike,” and that no DNA or genetic material would be used from such programs.
The CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said Brennan “took seriously the concerns raised by the public health community, examined them closely and took decisive action”.
Lisa Monaco’s letter and the CIA statement did not acknowledge any error in the decision to use the Pakistan vaccine program as a spying cover. The letter was first disclosed in a report by Yahoo News.
The public health deans warned last year that the CIA’s use of a vaccination program had played a role in the shootings of several health workers in Pakistan and could hamper anti-polio efforts. “Public health programs should not be used as cover for covert operations,” they said.
Last week, Pakistan’s health ministry announced it would require all travelers leaving the country to first get a polio vaccination. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that polio’s spread is an international public health emergency, and identified Pakistan, Syria and Cameroon as nations that have allowed polio to spread beyond their borders.
Pakistan was the only country with reported endemic polio that saw a rise in new cases in 2012, the WHO reported. The country accounted for more than a fifth of all polio cases identified around the world in 2013.
The CIA’s use of a polio vaccine program to spy on Osama bin Laden’s compound undercut Barack Obama’s high-profile speech to the Muslim world in 2009 in which he touted US efforts to slow the growth of polio in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. With Obama administration assurances, Muslim scholars in two international groups issued religious decrees urging parents to vaccinate their children.
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Hamid Mir, one of Pakistan’s best known television presenters, has been shot and wounded by gunmen in the city of Karachi.
Police said the attackers opened fire on Hamid Mir’s car near the airport.
The presenter for Geo TV received three bullets, but was in a stable condition, the officials added.
There have been previous attempts on the life of Hamid Mir, the first journalist to interview Osama bin Laden after 9/11.
Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries for the media.
The attack has been strongly condemned by Pakistani politicians, including PM Nawaz Sharif.
Hamid Mir is one of Pakistan’s best known television presenters (photo Geo TV)
Last month, Nawaz Sharif pledged to do more to protect journalists in Pakistan.
Hamid Mir had just landed in Karachi and was on his way to the studios of Geo TV, a private Pakistani news channel, when unidentified gunmen in a car and on motorcycles reportedly tailed him before opening fire.
Police said he sustained three gunshot wounds, but that his life was not in danger.
Hamid Mir’s brother, a leading investigative journalist, has accused the country’s intelligence agency, the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), of orchestrating the attack.
According to his brother, Hamid Mir had recently told family and colleagues that he had received threats from the ISI because of his political views.
In 2012, the Pakistani Taliban tried to kill Hamid Mir by planting 1lb of explosives under his car outside his home in the capital, Islamabad.
But the remote-controlled bomb failed to go off.
The Taliban had threatened Hamid Mir and other journalists for their coverage of the militants’ shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai.
Five journalists were killed in Pakistan in 2013 and more than 50 have died since the early 1990s. Most murders remain unresolved.
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A Pakistani library in Islamabad has been renamed after Osama bin Laden, the former al-Qaeda chief.
The Islamic seminary for women – Jamia Hafsa Madrassa – is linked to the Red Mosque, known for its alleged links with militants.
A paper sign on one of the doors proclaims Osama bin Laden a “Shahid” (martyr).
Osama bin Laden was killed in a raid by US commandos in 2011.
Pakistani troops raided the mosque in 2007. Dozens died later in clashes.
Jamia Hafsa Madrassa renamed its library after Osama Bin Laden
There are no chairs or any table in the library – just two computers on the floor.
The library is in a huge complex in the heart of Islamabad, part of which is still being built.
A spokesman for the madrassa said the new name was a tribute to Osama bin Laden, who was “a hero”.
The chief cleric there is Maulana Abdul Aziz. He warned that “if the government makes madrassas and mosques its target then Sharia (Islamic law) allows us to retaliate – if anyone will be harsh with us, they should not expect flowers in return”.
He also uses the library as his office. It has about 2,000 books – all of them related to Islam.
There are books about Sharia, Jihad and interpretations of the Koran in Arabic, Urdu and English.
A Pakistani Christian couple has been sentenced to death for blasphemy after allegedly sending a text message insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar were found guilty of sending the text message to the imam of their local mosque.
Allegations of blasphemy against Islam are taken very seriously in Pakistan.
Several recent cases have prompted international concern about the application of blasphemy laws.
Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar were found guilty of sending a blaspheming text message to the imam of their local mosque
The imam brought a complaint against the couple last July.
The couple’s lawyer said he would appeal against the sentences and said the trial had not been conducted fairly.
Pakistan has a de facto moratorium on the death penalty so it is unlikely the couple will be executed.
They come from the town of Gojra in Punjab, previously the scene of communal violence.
In 2009, the rumored desecration of a copy of the Koran led to a mob burning nearly 40 houses and a church in Gojra. At least eight members of Christian community died in the violence.
Since the 1990s, scores of Christians have been convicted for desecrating the Koran or blaspheming against the Prophet Mohammed.
While most of them have been sentenced to death by the lower courts, many sentences have been overturned due to lack of evidence.
Critics argue that Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are frequently misused to settle personal scores and that members of minority groups are also unfairly targeted.
Muslims constitute a majority of those prosecuted, followed by the minority Ahmadi community.
According to new reports, a nine-month-old Pakistani boy has appeared in court on charges of planning a murder, threatening police and interfering in state affairs.
Baby Muhammad Mosa Khan is one of more than 30 people facing charges after a police raid to catch suspected gas thieves in the city of Lahore, The News website reports.
Police say the suspects tried to murder security officers by pelting them with stones. But the Times of India newspaper quotes the infant’s father as saying the group was protesting against an electricity shortage.
Baby Muhammad Mosa Khan is one of more than 30 people facing charges after a police raid to catch suspected gas thieves in the city of Lahore (photo Geo TV)
The infant appeared in the courtroom sitting on his father’s lap and clasping a bottle. He was given bail and the case has been adjourned until April 12, reports from Lahore say. His father is also among the accused.
The murder charges against a baby have alarmed Punjab’s Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif. He has asked for clarification from the province’s inspector-general of police and demanded “stern action” against the officials who registered the case.
The assistant superintendant who filed the charges has subsequently been suspended, The Nation website says.
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Pakistani former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s convoy has been targeted by a bomb attack within minutes of him passing, police say.
Police said it was an attempt to target the former president, however, no casualties were reported.
The blast struck a bridge on Pervez Musharraf’s route from a hospital in Rawalpindi, where he was being treated.
Pervez Musharraf, 70, was admitted to hospital for chest pain in January on his way to court at the start of his trial for treason.
Earlier this week, the former army chief was charged with five counts of treason over alleged constitutional violations during his time in power.
The former president has denied the charges and says all the accusations against him are politically motivated.
Pervez Musharraf was being transported from a military hospital to his farm house on the outskirts of Islamabad at the time of the attack
The blast reportedly struck Faizabad Bridge late on Wednesday night, as Pervez Musharraf was being transported from a military hospital to his farm house on the outskirts of Islamabad.
It is not clear whether the bomb exploded before or after Pervez Musharraf’s convoy passed, however, one police official quoted by the AFP news agency said the bomb exploded before he crossed the bridge.
“Four kilograms of explosive device planted in a pipeline under a bridge exploded around 20 minutes before the former president was supposed to cross the spot,” senior police official Liaqat Niazi said.
Pervez Musharraf was taken home via an alternative route, he added.
His spokeswoman, Aasia Ishaq, confirmed that he had reached his home safely, according to Associated Press.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack, which police say they are investigating.
Pervez Musharraf has survived numerous assassination attempts and plots against him during his time in power.
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A Pakistani court has charged former military ruler Pervez Musharraf with treason, the first army chief to face such a prosecution.
Pervez Musharraf is accused of unlawfully suspending the constitution and instituting emergency rule in 2007.
He pleaded not guilty and has always claimed that the charges against him are politically motivated. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
President from 2001 to 2008, Pervez Musharraf was one of Pakistan’s longest-serving rulers.
He went into self-imposed exile in 2008, returning to Pakistan in March 2013.
Pervez Musharraf is accused of unlawfully suspending Pakistan’s constitution and instituting emergency rule in 2007
Pervez Musharraf, 70, had hoped to lead his party into elections, but was disqualified from standing and found himself fighting an array of charges relating to his time in power.
He has been in hospital since the beginning of the year and reports say he is being treated for high blood pressure.
The judge read out five charges to Pervez Musharraf.
He pleaded “not guilty” to each of them but also addressed the court with a speech about his services to the country and questioned how he could be called a traitor, declaring that he was a patriot.
“I am being called a traitor, I have been chief of army staff for nine years and I have served this army for 45 years. I have fought two wars and it is <<treason>>?” the AFP news agency quotes him as saying.
“Is this the way to reward someone for being loyal to the country and for loving the country?” Pervez Musharraf asked the court.
He insists that he acted within the constitution when he declared a state of emergency in the country in 2007 and that he did not act alone when taking that decision.
When the former president entered the court he was heavily guarded, but nevertheless appeared relaxed, even waving to the audience.
The court has adjourned and its next task is to decide whether Pervez Musharraf will be allowed to leave the country to visit his sick mother in Dubai.
Pervez Musharraf is currently on the exit control list which restricts certain Pakistani nationals from leaving the country and is under house arrest.
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Pakistan’s government has a formal meeting with a Taliban-nominated team in Islamabad, officials say.
The talks are aimed at charting a “roadmap” for negotiations that will try to end a decade-long insurgency.
The government set out five conditions, including ending hostilities, saying a “journey for peace” had started.
The Taliban team agreed to travel to the north-west to discuss the conditions with the leadership.
Militants from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have been waging an insurgency inside Pakistan since 2007.
The talks initiative was announced last week by PM Nawaz Sharif, following a spate of attacks.
More than 100 people, including soldiers, died in Taliban attacks across the country in January. Thousands have been killed since the TTP came to the fore in 2007.
The first session lasted about three hours at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa House in Islamabad.
Pakistan’s government has a formal meeting with a Taliban-nominated team in Islamabad
The head of the Taliban team, Maulana Sami ul-Haq, read out a joint statement afterwards.
The statement listed five basic conditions that had been set out by the government side:
- All talks be held within the framework of the constitution
- The scope of the talks should remain confined to areas affected by violence, not the whole country
- All hostilities should cease during talks
- The Taliban should clarify the role of a separate nine-member committee that they have established
- The talks should not be protracted
The Taliban team agreed to travel to Miranshah in the north-west to take the conditions to the leadership and pledged to report back to the government committee as soon as possible.
Both committees agreed that neither side should initiate an act that might damage the talks process.
The statement also said that the Taliban side had sought clarification on the power and mandate of the government committee involved in the talks, and whether it could accept and act on demands made by the Taliban.
Both sides condemned recent violence.
The chief negotiator for the government side, Irfan Siddiqui, said: “Today, we started the journey for peace, and both sides have agreed to complete it as soon as possible.”
The Taliban want to see Sharia (Islamic law) imposed throughout Pakistan and US troops to withdraw from the region.
Since taking office last May, Nawaz Sharif has come under mounting pressure to bring the violence under control, with many accusing his government of lacking a strategy to deal with the militants, correspondents say.
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Taliban negotiators in Pakistan have condemned the failure of government representatives to meet them in Islamabad, as preliminary peace efforts got off to a chaotic start.
The government side had asked for clarification about the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) team.
The militants have been waging an insurgency inside Pakistan since 2007.
Later, a bomb outside a hotel in a Shia neighborhood of the north-western city of Peshawar left at least eight dead.
Taliban negotiators in Pakistan have condemned the failure of government representatives to meet them in Islamabad
Twenty-six people were injured in the blast which Shafqat Malik, leader of the police Bomb Disposal Unit, said was a suicide attack.
The government and Taliban representatives had been due to start charting a “roadmap” for talks.
Many observers were puzzled by the government side’s approach. The Taliban swiftly made clear there were to be no additions to their team, and urged the government side to begin talks and see for themselves whether the team had a mandate.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced the talks initiative last week, following a spate of attacks.
In January more than 100 people, including many soldiers, died in Taliban attacks across the country. Thousands have been killed in recent years.
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A Pakistani bomb blast that struck an army convoy in north-western part of the country has killed at least 20 soldiers, sources in the security forces say.
At least 24 others were injured in the explosion near the town of Bannu, with fears the death toll will rise.
The source of the explosion is still being investigated.
Pakistan’s Taliban said they had carried out the attack as part of a “fight against a secular system” and promised “many more such attacks”.
At least 20 soldiers have been killed in north-western Pakistan in a bomb blast that struck an army convoy
Soldiers and paramilitary Frontier Corps were preparing to leave Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, for Razmak in North Waziristan when their convoy was rocked by the blast.
“The explosion took place in one of the vehicles of the convoy,” an unnamed senior security official told AFP.
“We are trying to ascertain the exact nature of the explosion, whether it was a planted device or a suicide attack.”
A military source told Reuters news agency the soldiers had been travelling in a hired civilian vehicle.
Speaking to Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location, Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said: “With the help of God we claim responsibility for this.
“The army is our enemy. We will carry out many more attacks like this again.”
Last week, a senior police officer known for campaigning against the militants was killed in a bomb blast in Karachi.
Pakistani student Aitizaz Hasan was killed on Monday when he tackled a suicide bomber targeting his school in the Hangu area.
Aitizaz Hasan, 15, was with friends outside school when they spotted a man wearing a suicide vest.
Despite the pleas of his fellow students, Aitizaz Hasan decided to confront and capture the bomber who then detonated his vest.
The boy is now being hailed as a hero in an outpouring of praise on social media.
There have even been calls for Aitizaz Hasan to receive the army’s highest honor awarded to those who have sacrificed their life for their country, though it is unclear if he would be qualified to receive it as a civilian.
Aitizaz Hasan was killed on Monday when he tackled a suicide bomber targeting his school in the Hangu area
The incident took place on Monday in Ibrahimzai, a Shia-dominated region of Hangu, in north-western Pakistan. There were almost 2,000 students in attendance at the time of the attack, media reports say.
Aitizaz Hasan’s friends had urged him not to confront the suicide bomber but he ignored their pleas and decided to confront the man with the intention of halting him.
His family insist that rather than focus on the sorrow brought about by his death, they want to focus on their pride in his actions.
On Twitter, users are paying tribute to Aitizaz Hasan using the hashtags #onemillionaitzaz and #AitzazBraveheart echoing the language used online around figures such as Malala Yousafzai and the Delhi rape victim, whose death galvanized Indian public opinion and prompted changes in rape laws there.
Former Pakistani ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman tweeted: “Hangu’s shaheed Aitzaz Hasan is #Pakistan’s pride. Give him a medal at least. Another young one with heartstopping courage #AitzazBraveheart.”
Hangu is close to Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal regions, which have a strong Taliban and al-Qaeda presence and the area is also known for sectarian violence against Shia Muslims.
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Pervez Musharraf has been taken to hospital with a suspected heart problem on his way to Islamabad court for his treason trial.
Officials told the court the 70-year-old Pakistan’s former military ruler was transferred to the Armed Forces Cardiology Hospital in Rawalpindi.
It is the third time Pervez Musharraf has failed to appear in court following two previous security scares.
The treason charges relate to his decision in 2007 to suspend the constitution and impose emergency rule.
Pervez Musharraf has been taken to hospital with a suspected heart problem on his way to Islamabad court for his treason trial
Pervez Musharraf denies the charges and says all the accusations against him are politically motivated.
He is the first Pakistani former military ruler to face trial for treason.
If found guilty, Pervez Musharraf could be sentenced to death or life in prison.
He also faces separate charges of murder and restricting the judiciary.
The nature of Pervez Musharraf’s reported heart condition is not yet clear.
One of Pervez Musharraf’s aides told the AFP news agency that he was in “bad shape”.
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Pervez Musharraf’s trial has been postponed after explosives were found on his route to court in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.
The special court hearing on treason charges against Pakistan’s former military ruler will now take place on January 1st.
On Monday, Pervez Musharraf’s petition that only a military court could examine his actions was rejected.
The charges relate to his decision in 2007 to suspend the constitution and impose emergency rule.
Pervez Musharraf, who is on bail in several other cases, says all the accusations against him are politically motivated.
The 70-year-old also faces separate charges of murder and restricting the judiciary.
He is the first Pakistani former president to face trial for treason.
Pervez Musharraf’s trial has been postponed after explosives were found on his route to court in Islamabad
Pervez Musharraf’s lawyer, Anwar Mansoor, told the court on Tuesday that the trial could not go ahead because of a heightened security threat.
Police said 5 kg of explosives had been found along the route to the National Library, where the hearing is taking place.
The court granted Pervez Musharraf a one-time exemption from appearing, and ordered the court registrar to ensure he had safe transit on January 1st, where charges will be read to him.
Pervez Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999 and remained president until 2008 when a democratically elected government forced him to resign.He went into exile soon afterwards.
On Monday, Pervez Musharraf’s lawyers had argued – unsuccessfully – that as he was the army chief in 2007, only a military court had the authority to try him.
But Islamabad’s high court rejected the petition. It also dismissed objections over the appointment of judges and prosecutor.
Pervez Musharraf ousted PM Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup.
After his resignation in 2008 he left Pakistan to live in self-imposed exile in Dubai and London.
On his return in March Pervez Musharraf hoped he could lead his party into elections, but was disqualified from standing and found himself fighting an array of charges relating to his time in power.
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Pentagon has decided to halt its ground cargo shipments from Afghanistan via Pakistan because of the risk to drivers after protests over US drone strikes.
Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said this would affect outgoing shipments of military equipment and other goods from US units on Afghan soil.
Mark Wright said deliveries could be resumed “in the near future”.
Pakistanis have blocked the US main supply route to Afghanistan, blaming the drones for causing civilian deaths.
Pentagon has decided to halt its ground cargo shipments from Afghanistan via Pakistan because of the risk to drivers after protests over US drone strikes
Protesters have been harassing truck drivers, turning back vehicles carrying NATO provisions.
The blockade is centered on a road in Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province,
Islamabad says it is committed to allowing supplies through, but as yet has done nothing to stop the vigilante action, which has caused huge disruption, correspondents say.
There are two crossings in Pakistan used to take NATO troop supplies to and from Afghanistan – the other crossing in south-west Balochistan province has not been affected by a blockade.
Washington has already redirected many supplies coming into Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan.
The US military is sending equipment home as it reduces the number of its troops in Afghanistan.
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Protesters in Pakistan have blocked the main supply route for provisions destined for NATO troops in Afghanistan to protest against US drone strikes.
Opposition politician Imran Khan called for the action and said it would continue until American drone attacks in north-west Pakistan came to an end.
He blames the drones for causing civilian deaths and for crushing any chance of peace with the Taliban.
But the timing of the campaign has led many to accuse him of appeasement.
Protesters in Pakistan have blocked the main supply route for provisions destined for NATO troops in Afghanistan to protest against US drone strikes
It comes almost a month after Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike at a compound in North Waziristan.
Hakimullah Mehsud had given some indications he might be prepared to talk but his death reportedly came just a day before a team of mediators was due to meet him.
His successor Mullah Fazlullah – a militant with a savage reputation – appears to have rejected any peace initiative.
This blockade is centered on a road in Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which is used to ferry goods to and from Afghanistan and has been building since the weekend.
Protesters have taken the law into their own hands deciding who can pass and go on to Afghanistan, and who can’t.
They have been harassing truck drivers and turning back vehicles carrying NATO provisions.
Pakistan says it is committed to allowing supplies through, but as yet has done nothing to stop the vigilante action, which is causing such huge disruption.
There are two crossings in Pakistan used to take NATO troop supplies to and from Afghanistan – the other crossing in south-west Balochistan province has not been affected by a blockade.
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Pakistan’s Supreme Court has been asked by the government to try the former military leader Pervez Musharraf on treason charges.
Pervez Musharraf is accused of treason for declaring a state of emergency in 2007 and suspending the constitution, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said.
The government will send its request in a letter to the court on Monday.
It is the latest legal setback for Pervez Musharraf since he returned to Pakistan earlier this year.
If convicted of treason, he could face the death penalty or life in prison.
The government had announced in June that it wanted the former military ruler to be tried for treason, but had yet to submit a formal complaint.
Pervez Musharraf is accused of treason for declaring a state of emergency in 2007 and suspending Pakistani constitution
Pervez Musharraf already faces charges over an army operation in 2007 to remove militants from the Red Mosque in Islamabad. The incident left more than 100 dead, including a cleric, and helped spark Islamist unrest.
He faces charges of murder in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Baloch rebel tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.
Pervez Musharraf has also been charged over his attempts to fire the senior judiciary five years ago.
The government’s request that he be tried for treason comes just over a week after he was released from house arrest following the granting of bail.
Pervez Musharraf, who would be the first former military leader to be tried for treason since the founding of Pakistan, denies all the charges against him and says they are politically motivated.
He came to power in 1999 after ousting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup. Five years after leaving power, he returned from self-imposed exile in March to contest a general election. Nawaz Sharif won that election, giving him a third term as prime minister.
Pervez Musharraf has suffered numerous setbacks since setting foot in his home country. In a very public insult only days after his return, a shoe was thrown at him in a court building in Karachi.
He was also put under house arrest in April and banned from taking part in the election.
Despite the granting of bail, Pervez Musharraf is prohibited from leaving Pakistan, though he has said he does not intend to leave.
Mullah Fazlullah has been named as Pakistan’s Taliban new leader, after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone attack, a spokesman has said.
Mullah Fazlullah is a particularly hardline commander whose men shot the schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai.
Hakimullah Mehsud was killed when missiles struck his vehicle in the North Waziristan region on 1 November.
Pakistan’s government accused the US of destroying its attempts to start peace talks with the Taliban.
Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan said that the drone strike was “not just the killing of one person, it’s the death of all peace efforts”.
The announcement of the new leader was made by the Taliban’s caretaker leader Asmatullah Shaheen at a news conference at an undisclosed location.
Mullah Fazlullah has been named as Pakistan’s Taliban new leader, after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud in a drone attack
When the news was announced, there was reportedly heavy celebratory gunfire in the area around Miranshah, the main town in the tribal area of North Waziristan.
Mullah Fazlullah led a brutal campaign in Swat between 2008 and 2009, enforcing hardline Islamic law that included burning schools, and public floggings and beheadings.
A military operation was launched to retake the area.
Mullah Fazlullah fled over the border into Afghanistan but Islamabad says he has continued to orchestrate attacks in Pakistan.
He was accused of being behind a roadside bomb in September that killed Major General Sanaullah Niazi, the top commander in Swat, along with two other military personnel.
Mullah Fazlullah was known for his radio broadcasts calling for strict Islamic laws and earning him the nickname “Mullah Radio”.
The shooting of Malala Yousafzai in October 2012 sparked outrage in Pakistan and across the globe.
The teenager had spoken out against the Taliban’s restrictions on girls’ education.
The Pakistani government said a delegation had been due to fly to North Waziristan to discuss peace talks with Hakimullah Mehsud but he was killed in the drone strike the day before.
There had been some hope the new leader of the Taliban would be more open to the peace initiative.
Regional Taliban commander Khan Said Sajna, said to favor such a move, had been touted as a favorite before the latest announcement.
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Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf has been released from house arrest and is free to move around the country, prison officials say.
It comes days after Pervez Musharraf was bailed over the 2007 army operation to oust militants from Islamabad’s Red Mosque – the last legal case against him.
However, the former general remains on a government exit control list and cannot leave the country.
It is also unclear if Pervez Musharraf will leave the house because of threats to his life.
Pervez Musharraf’s seven-month house arrest was unprecedented in a country which has been ruled by the military for more than half of its history.
Speaking on Monday, his lawyer said Pervez Musharraf had no intention of leaving Pakistan. He has consistently maintained that all the charges against him are politically motivated.
Prison official Wajad Ali is quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying that prison guards were withdrawn on Wednesday night from Pervez Musharraf’s villa on the outskirts of Islamabad.
Pervez Musharraf has been released from house arrest and is free to move around the country
On Monday the court approved bail in the case on condition Pervez Musharraf paid bonds totaling $2,000.
The operation ordered by Pervez Musharraf on the besieged Red Mosque left a cleric and more than 100 others dead, and fuelled a deadly militant insurgency inside Pakistan which rages to this day.
Earlier this year, Pervez Musharraf returned to Pakistan from self-imposed exile to fight elections – which were won by Nawaz Sharif, the man he ousted in his 1999 coup – but swiftly ran into trouble.
He was barred from running in the general election, and was placed under house arrest in April in the first of a series of cases relating to his time in power from 1999-2008.
Pervez Musharraf faces murder trials over the assassination of former PM Benazir Bhutto and Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti. He has also been charged over his attempt to sack the higher judiciary in 2007 – he has been bailed in all three of those cases.
Separately, the Sharif government said in June that it planned to try him for treason – but a formal complaint in that case has still to be lodged.
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Former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s bail over the 2007 army operation to oust militants from Islamabad’s Red Mosque has been approved by a Pakistani court.
The court approved bail on condition Pervez Musharraf pay bonds totaling $2,000.
But the former general remains on a government exit control list and cannot leave the country.
Speaking outside the court in the capital, his lawyer said Pervez Musharraf had no intention of leaving Pakistan.
The operation ordered by General Pervez Musharraf on the besieged Red Mosque left a cleric and more than 100 others dead, and fuelled a deadly militant insurgency inside Pakistan which rages to this day.
Earlier this year, he returned to Pakistan from self-imposed exile to fight elections – which were won by Nawaz Sharif, the man he ousted in his 1999 coup – but swiftly ran into trouble.
Pervez Musharraf’s bail over the 2007 army operation to oust militants from Islamabad’s Red Mosque has been approved by a Pakistani court
Pervez Musharraf was barred from running in the general election, and was placed under house arrest in April in the first of a series of cases relating to his time in power from 1999-2008.
He faces murder trials over the assassination of former PM Benazir Bhutto and Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti. He has also been charged over his attempt to sack the higher judiciary in 2007.
Pervez Musharraf has been bailed in all three of those cases.
Separately, the Sharif government said in June that it planned to try him for treason – but a formal complaint in that case has still to be lodged.
Pervez Musharraf insists all the charges against him are politically motivated.
His house arrest is unprecedented in a country which has been ruled by the military for more than half of its history.
The latest bail ruling means Pervez Musharraf could soon be free to move around Pakistan.
However, Pervez Musharraf is likely to remain under guard at his villa on the outskirts of Islamabad because of threats to his life.
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Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said the death of Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud has destroyed the country’s nascent peace process.
“This is not just the killing of one person, it’s the death of all peace efforts,” Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said.
Pakistan has summoned the US ambassador to protest over Friday’s drone strike that killed Hakimullah Mehsud.
The move came a day before a Pakistani delegation had been due to fly to North Waziristan to meet Hakimullah Mehsud.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan accused the US of “scuttling” efforts to begin peace talks, and said “every aspect” of Pakistan’s co-operation with Washington would be reviewed.
Information Minister Pervez Rashid said: “The US has tried to attack the peace talks with this drone but we will not let them fail.”
Pakistan has summoned the US ambassador to protest over Friday’s drone strike that killed Hakimullah Mehsud
Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif had pledged to talk with the Taliban to try to end its campaign of violence, which has left thousands dead in bombings and shootings across the country.
Hakimullah Mehsud was killed along with four other people – including two of his bodyguards – when four missiles struck their vehicle in the north-western region of North Waziristan, a senior Taliban official confirmed.
Pakistani media say Hakimullah Mehsud’s funeral has taken place at an unknown location in the tribal area of North Waziristan.
A Pakistani Taliban spokesman, Azam Tariq, vowed revenge, as Pakistan’s security forces were put on high alert.
“Every drop of Hakimullah’s blood will turn into a suicide bomber,” he said.
“America and their friends shouldn’t be happy because we will take revenge for our martyr’s blood.”
The Taliban’s ruling council met on Saturday to choose a new leader. Unconfirmed reports say regional commander Khan Said Sajna has been elected to the top job.
As well as Hakimullah Mehsud, the previous Pakistan Taliban leader was killed in a drone strike, in 2009.
Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the US president’s National Security Council, would not comment on any US government involvement or confirm the death but said it would be a serious loss for the group.
The Pakistan government has strongly condemned the drone attack as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Hakimullah Mehsud’s death is seen as another setback for the militant group after the recent capture of a senior commander by US forces in Afghanistan.
Hakimullah Mehsud, who led the insurgency from North Waziristan, had a $5 million FBI bounty on his head and was thought to be responsible for the deaths of thousands of people.
He came to prominence in 2007 as a commander under the militant group’s founder Baitullah Mehsud, with the capture of 300 Pakistani soldiers adding to his prestige among the militants.
At least 17 Iranian border guards have been killed in a clash with gunmen on the border with Pakistan, the official Iranian news agency Irna says.
The clashes took place on Friday night in a mountainous region outside Saravan, a border town in the south-east province of Sistan Baluchistan.
A number of guards were also wounded in the attack, reports said.
An unnamed official quoted by Irna blamed “bandits or rebels opposed to the Islamic republic”.
At least 17 Iranian border guards have been killed in a clash with gunmen on the border with Pakistan
Iran lies on a major drug trafficking route between Afghanistan and Europe.
The population in this Sunni Muslim area complains of discrimination by Iran’s Shia establishment. An armed group, called Jundallah, has carried out a number of attacks against the state in recent years.
“We do not have exact details of the incident yet,” Tasnim news agency quoted Saravan’s member of parliament, Hedayatollah Mirmoradzehi, as saying.
“No group has claimed responsibility for the incident so far.”
“Since the venue of the operation is in a location that is geographically difficult of access, we have no exact information on whether any of the officers there were abducted or not,” he added.
The region has experienced repeated deadly clashes over previous years.
AFP news agency quotes officials as saying more than 4,000 police officers and soldiers have been killed in the past three decades in fighting with traffickers.
Pakistan Taliban commander Latif Mehsud has been captured by US forces in a military operation, the state department has confirmed.
Spokeswoman Marie Harf described Latif Mehsud as a “terrorist leader” and a “senior commander” in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
Marie Harf gave no details of the operation.
She said he was a close confidante of the group’s leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, who this week gave a rare interview to the BBC about possible peace talks.
Marie Harf said the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) were held responsible for the attempted bombing of Times Square in 2010, as well as attacks on US diplomats in Pakistan and many Pakistani civilians.
The group “had also vowed to attack the US homeland again,” Marie Harf said.
Pakistan Taliban commander Latif Mehsud has been captured by US forces in a military operation,
An Afghan provincial official earlier told Associated Press news agency that Latif Mehsud was arrested as he was driving on a highway in Afghanistan’s eastern Logar province.
The arrest took place about a week ago, the official said.
Latif Mehsud was reportedly returning from a meeting to discuss swapping prisoners.
The Washington Post said that US forces had taken him from Afghan intelligence agents who were trying to recruit him as a go-between for peace talks.
A spokesman for President Hamid Karzai, Aimal Faizi, told the Post: “The Americans forcibly removed him and took him to Bagram.”
Aimal Faizi said Latif Mehsud had only agreed to meet Afghan operatives after months of negotiations.
Some reports say Hamid Karzai, who is currently holding talks with visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry, was furious about the US operation.
Latif Mehsud and Hakimullah Mehsud are not thought to be related.
In a rare interview, Hakimullah Mehsud denied carrying out recent deadly attacks in public places but said he would continue to target “America and its friends”.
The chief loosely controls more than 30 militant groups in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
After being elected PM in May, Nawaz Sharif announced he would open unconditional talks with the Taliban.
The group has killed thousands of people in its war against the Pakistani state in recent years.
They control areas in the north-west and have been blamed for a wave of suicide bombings and other attacks.
Along with Pakistan, the Afghan government has also made overtures for peace with the Taliban. A number of Taliban prisoners have been freed to smooth the process.
US attempts in June to talk to the Taliban, including the opening of a now-shut Taliban office in Qatar, infuriated Hamid Karzai.
At least 25 people are dead and dozens wounded after an explosion has ripped through a market in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar, officials say.
Police said a bomb had exploded in the Kissa Khwani market, with shops and vehicles set alight.
The blast comes a week after a double suicide bombing that killed at least 80 people at a church in the city.
On Friday, at least 17 people were killed in the bombing of a bus carrying government employees near Peshawar.
Peshawar, the main city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has been hit by numerous bomb and gun attacks blamed on Taliban insurgents in recent years.
At least 25 people are dead and dozens wounded after an explosion has ripped through a market in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar
Police said they suspected the explosion was caused by a car bomb.
Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper quoted the health minister as saying that the main Peshawar police station may have been the main target.
An emergency situation was declared at the Lady Reading Hospital as it received the injured, many of them badly burned.
Rising violence has hindered new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s overtures to end the insurgency through peace talks with the Taliban.
The Taliban have consistently rejected Pakistan’s constitution and demand the imposition of Sharia law.
Nawaz Sharif is in New York at the UN and is to meet Indian PM Manmohan Singh later on Sunday.
Ahead of the talks, Manmohan Singh said Pakistan must stop being “the epicentre of terrorism”.
Last Sunday’s attack on the historic All Saints church – thought to be the deadliest attack against Christians in Pakistan – sparked angry protests nationwide.
Two Islamist militant groups with Taliban links said they had ordered the attack to hit back at US drone strikes.
More than 120 people were wounded.
Friday’s bus bomb targeted government employees returning home in the Gulbela area, some 9 miles north-east of the city.
In addition to those killed, at least 34 people were injured.
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