- By Jennifer RowlandJennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.
Event notice: Afghanistan 2014: Planning for the Transition, Monday, February 4, 2013. 12:15-1:45PM. Featuring Saad Mohseni, who has been described as Afghanistan’s first media mogul, and Peter Bergen, director of the New America Foundation’s National Security Studies Program (NAF).
Tragedy on the road
A roadside bomb killed two more polio workers in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, when the motorcycle they were riding was struck by an explosion, though it was unclear whether the men had been targeted or not (AP).
A court in the United Kingdom is considering whether to hear the case of Noor Khan, who is accusing the British government of providing intelligence to the CIA that was used in drone strikes, one of which killed his father, Malik Daud Khan at a meeting of tribal elders in North Waziristan in 2011 (NYT). The case threatens to implicate European governments in the controversial U.S. drone campaign, which Europe has so far declined to replicate on their own.
According to India’s The Hindu newspaper, Pakistan has lodged a complaint with the the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) alleging that since 1998, Indian forces have tortured and decapitated at least 12 Pakistani soldiers in cross-border attacks, and massacred 29 civilians (AFP). The Line of Control that divides the disputed territory of Kashmir has witnessed several deadly skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani troops over the past few weeks.
Afghan officials are furious over the U.S. military’s blacklisting of an Afghan airline, first reported by the Wall Street Journal last week, over allegations that the airline, Kam Air, has been involved in narcotics smuggling (NYT). Kam Air officials have denied the allegations, and the Afghan government says it has no knowledge of the alleged smuggling, and both parties are demanding an explanation from the United States.
Sound of music
Afghanistan’s first youth orchestra is likely to travel to the United States to perform at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center and New York City’s Carnegie Hall in the next few weeks (TIME). Ahmad Sarmsat, an Afghan musician who trained in Russia and Australia, and American director William Harvey, are working to send 52 young musicians from the National Institute of Music, which Sarmsat founded in 2009 in an effort to revive Afghanistan’s music scene after years of Taliban repression.
— Jennifer Rowland