- By Jennifer RowlandJennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.
Suicide bombers in minivans packed with explosives attacked the headquarters of the Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) on Wednesday (NYT, Reuters). Initial reports on the death toll indicate the explosion killed at least two NDS guards and wounded 22 others.
Afghan Defense Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi said Tuesday that he believes the United States "will not leave Afghanistan alone," and will remain invested in Afghanistan’s security, not making the same mistake made in the 1980s, "in which they forgot Afghanistan" (AP). Mohammadi had accompanied President Hamid Karzai on his recent trip to Washington for talks with U.S. officials on the future of cooperation between their two nations.
Pakistan accused Indian soldiers of firing across the Line of Control in the divided Kashmir region on Tuesday and killing a Pakistani soldier, marking the fifth deadly clash between the armed forces of the two countries in the region in a week (BBC, NYT). Just hours before that purported attack, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said there cannot be "business as usual" with Pakistan after the skirmishes (which each country has blamed on the other). And speaking from New York, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar accused India "warmongering" (AJE).
A new visa policy that would allow elderly Pakistanis to receive visas to India upon arrival at the border has been shut down, and nine Pakistani hockey players who were supposed to play in a private league in India have been sent back to Pakistan (Reuters, AP).
An estimated 3,000 people gathered in front of the home of the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Peshawar on Wednesday to protest the killing of 18 villagers in an overnight raid they say was conducted by Pakistani security forces (AP). But one Pakistani security official in the area said the villagers had been killed by militants.
– Jennifer Rowland