- By Jennifer RowlandJennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.
New Post: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, "America’s non-committal relationship with Afghanistan" (FP).
Guilty until proven innocent
Pakistan’s Attorney General Irfan Qadir told the country’s Supreme Court on Thursday that the security forces are holding some 700 suspected militants without charging them, under a controversial law that has been condemned by human rights organizations (AP, AFP, Dawn). The admission came during a hearing on seven suspected militants who had been held by Pakistan’s intelligence agency since May 2010 and who say they were abused during their detention.
The United Nations will reportedly launch an investigation into the use of drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Palestine to assess the extent of civilian casualties in different types of strikes and the legality of the strikes in countries where the UN has not officially recognized a conflict (Guardian). The inquiry will be led by Ben Emmerson QC, a UN special rapporteur who ha previously said that "double tap" strikes, in which a drone fires a second round at a target when rescuers have arrived on the scene, could constitute "war crimes."
Officials in India-administered Kashmir on Monday published an advisory in a local English-language magazine detailing how locals should prepare for nuclear war (AJE, AFP). In an editorial on Tuesday, the newspaper called the advisory "ill-timed and inopportune," as India and Pakistan come off a tense period following several skirmishes at the Line of Control that divides Kashmir.
Over 100 children died of measles in Pakistan in less than three weeks at the beginning of this year, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to call it "an alarming outbreak" on Wednesday (AFP, ET). Many affected residents blame the government for failing to carry out an effective and extensive vaccination program.
Spiderman of Sukkur
The town of Sukkur in Pakistan’s Sindh Province has its very own Spiderman, but this diminutive wall-climber saves lives in a different way (ET ). Calling himself Raees "don," he charges students 500 Rupees to deliver completed tests by scaling the back wall of a local school, slipping through a window, and placing the documents right onto the student’s desk.
– Jennifer Rowland