After yesterday’s meeting between India and Pakistan’s home secretaries in India, Pakistan has agreed to allow Indian investigators to visit Pakistan to probe the deadly 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, a confidence-building measure India has long sought, and the two countries agreed to set up a hotline to share information about terrorism (AP, AFP/ET, Reuters, PTI, WSJ). The visit will reportedly be scheduled within 4 to 6 weeks.
Two officers and 11 Pakistani troops from the paramilitary Frontier Corps were killed in an incident initially blamed on militants in the northwest tribal agency of Khyber, but a military commander later said the casualties were caused by mortar misfire during the militant attack (AFP, AP, BBC, Dawn). The Express Tribune reports that the Haqqani network, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and Hafiz Gul Bahadur have created a special unit to hunt down alleged spies who are suspected of providing information to the U.S. for the drone strikes campaign (ET). One tribal source said the cell, which is believed to operate around Datta Khel, Mir Ali, and Miram Shah in North Waziristan, numbers more than 300.
The Post has today’s must-read checking in on Sherry Rehman, the liberal Pakistani lawmaker whose onetime proposed reforms of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws earned her death threats and whose Karachi home is now a "self-imposed prison" (Post).
Some 300 Taliban fighters have reportedly overrun the Want Waigal district of the eastern Afghan province of Nuristan, after an initial attack on the district’s headquarters caused Afghan police forces to retreat (AP, Pajhwok, NYT). NATO has no forces in the district. The insurgent group freed 19 of the 50 Afghan policemen captured in Kunar over the weekend, following intervention by tribal elders (Pajhwok).
The U.S. military has apologized for more photos and videos of the "Kill Team," a group of rogue Army soldiers who allegedly killed Afghan civilians for sport, published by Rolling Stone (AFP, BBC, Rolling Stone). The German news organization Der Spiegel published several similar images last week.
The Guardian reports that the British Ministry of Defense paid some £1.3 million to Afghans as compensation for deaths, injuries, and property damage by British forces last year (Guardian, Guardian, Guardian). The LA Times considers an expected Taliban offensive in the Zhari district of Kandahar this spring (LAT).
Rounding out the news today are a story from the Post on information operations in Afghanistan and a report in the Times on an investigation by Afghanistan’s Central Bank which "depicts the Afghan political elite as using Kabul Bank, the country’s biggest financial institution, as its private piggy bank" (Post, NYT).
Getting a raise
Some 1,200 teachers in Kandahar have gotten a pay raise after passing a skills test, increasing their monthly salaries from 3,500 afghanis (around $77) to up to 14,800 afghanis (Pajhwok). One teacher noted that because of low pay, many qualified teachers opted to join foreign NGOs.