- By Jennifer RowlandJennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.
New post: Alex Their, "Virtuous cycles in Afghan north" (FP).
A suicide bomber killed at least six people in Peshawar on Wednesday, including the Assistant Superintendent of Police Hilal Haider (AFP, Dawn, The News, CNN, BBC). And in Karachi, two Shi’a Muslim members of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were shot and killed at a restaurant by an unidentified gunman (ET).
Pakistan’s Foreign Office said Wednesday that it had sent off the controversy-filled letter to Swiss authorities requesting the reopening of a corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari (Dawn, ET).
U.S. officials say that Mullah Fazlullah, the Taliban leader who ordered the attack last month on 14-year-old activist Malala Yousafzai, is hiding in eastern Afghanistan now, but is not being tracked by U.S. forces there because "he is viewed as an ‘other-side-of-the-border’ problem" (Post).
Afghanistan’s presidential spokesman welcomed the United Nations’ designation of the Haqqani Network as a terrorist organization on Tuesday, and said the government would not negotiate with the group, which is blamed for several high-profile attacks in Afghanistan (Reuters).
And the pre-trial hearing for Staff Sgt. Robert Bales continued on Tuesday, with prosecutors calling witnesses to show that Bales knew what he was doing during and after his massacre of 16 Afghan civilians in southern Afghanistan in March (Post). The prosecution will also enlist the testimony of survivors of the attacks and relatives of the victims via video call from Afghanistan (Post).
In Khan’s world
Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan reportedly told an Indian news outlet on Wednesday that he has "created the only democratic party in Pakistan," and that if anyone can prove that he has accepted money from Pakistan’s intelligence services he will quit politics (ET). Khan also promised that he would "declare jihad to save Pakistan" if he has to.
– Jennifer Rowland