Daily brief: Karzai relative said killed in NATO raid
Event notice: Join the New America Foundation and Foreign Policy magazine tomorrow at 12:15pm EST in Washington, DC for a discussion of Peter Bergen’s new book, The Longest War, which the New York Times called "essential" and "highly informed" (NAF). Off target Amidst a public dispute between Afghan president Hamid Karzai and NATO forces ...
Event notice: Join the New America Foundation and Foreign Policy magazine tomorrow at 12:15pm EST in Washington, DC for a discussion of Peter Bergen's new book, The Longest War, which the New York Times called "essential" and "highly informed" (NAF).
Event notice: Join the New America Foundation and Foreign Policy magazine tomorrow at 12:15pm EST in Washington, DC for a discussion of Peter Bergen’s new book, The Longest War, which the New York Times called "essential" and "highly informed" (NAF).
Amidst a public dispute between Afghan president Hamid Karzai and NATO forces over
Afghan civilian casualties, an overnight NATO raid has accidentally killed an elderly second cousin of Karzai’s in the village of Karz, near Kandahar city (Guardian, Tel, Pajhwok). Senior tribal leaders, including Karzai’s powerful half-brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, gathered for the funeral, and Karzai has already ordered a government inquiry into the shooting.
British Special Forces, acting on an intelligence tip, last month reportedly seized a shipment of 48 long-range rockets allegedly from Iran in southwestern Afghanistan, a significant escalation of Iranian aid to the Taliban, according to NATO officials, and the largest known shipment of weapons from Iran since 2007 (Guardian, Tel, BBC). British foreign minister William Hague called the shipment "completely unacceptable." Additionally, a senior Taliban leader reportedly traveled to Iran two weeks ago to ask the country’s elite Qods Force for more powerful weapons (AP).
After a suicide attack yesterday killed 37 people at a funeral outside the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar, the leader of the anti-Taliban Adezai Quami Lashkar, Dilawar Khan, broke ties with Pakistan’s government today, saying, "We are ending all cooperation with the government. We will not forgive Taliban for the death of our people, but we will avenge these deaths in our own way now" (BBC). Yesterday, Khan had threatened to break with the government if the lashkar, which was targeted in the suicide bombing, did not receive more support (AP, ET, Dawn, Daily Times).
A U.S. federal court has indicted a Pakistani man, Nadeem Akhtar, on allegations that he purchased and then sold sensitive nuclear research items to Pakistani government agencies in violation of U.S. export restrictions (DOJ, WSJ, Reuters). Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency reportedly sent a warrant for the arrest of former Pakistani president Gen. Pervez Musharraf, on charges related to the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, to Pakistan’s High Commission in London, which forwarded it to British authorities (Dawn, The News). Musharraf is currently said to be in Dubai.
A spokesman for the Pakistani Army said yesterday that the Pakistani general who gave a rare briefing about the U.S. drones program in Pakistan’s tribal areas was giving his "personal assessment," which had been reported without proper context (NYT). Pakistani sources said yesterday that Pakistan is seeking to purchase more F-16 fighter jets from the United States in order to help even the disparity with India (Dawn). Bonus read: the U.S.-Pakistan F-16 fiasco (FP).
Pakistani ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani yesterday hosted a memorial service in Washington for the recently assassinated Pakistani minister for minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, calling the silence about his death in Pakistan "unconscionable" (AFP). And prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has declared that Pakistan faces an "education emergency" after a report found that 25 million children in Pakistan do not get an education, and that half of Pakistani schoolchildren cannot read (BBC, Dawn, ET).
Late Valentine’s Day?
The city of Kabul gave 5,000 bouquets of flowers to women in the Bagh-i-Babar area of the city today, in order to encourage women to grow flowers and other plants where they live (Pajhwok). Kabul’s mayor also promised that fifteen parks would be built in the surrounding province over the next year.
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