Daily brief: Military officials removed after Karachi shooting
The Rack: James Bandler, "J.P. Morgan’s hunt for Afghan gold," Fortune. Moving out Two senior officials in Sindh province, the police inspector general and the provincial head of the paramilitary Rangers force, have been removed from their posts in response to the videotaped killing of an unarmed man in a park in Karachi (CNN, BBC, ...
The Rack: James Bandler, "J.P. Morgan's hunt for Afghan gold," Fortune.
The Rack: James Bandler, "J.P. Morgan’s hunt for Afghan gold," Fortune.
Two senior officials in Sindh province, the police inspector general and the provincial head of the paramilitary Rangers force, have been removed from their posts in response to the videotaped killing of an unarmed man in a park in Karachi (CNN, BBC, Dawn, AFP, ET, AP, DT). Up to six Rangers and one policeman have been detained in relation to the shooting (BBC, ET). And at least 15 people have been killed in a fresh outbreak of targeted killings in Karachi, prompting the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to walk out of Pakistan’s National Assembly in protest (Dawn, ET, Dawn).
At least two people have been killed in the first suicide bombing to hit the city of Islamabad in 18 months, in an attack that targeted a private bank Monday (Dawn, ET, ET, DT, BBC). Greater damage was avoided when a guard, who was killed in the as-yet-unclaimed blast, stopped the bomber before he could enter the bank (Dawn, NYT).
In Quetta, where investigations are ongoing into the killing this month of five foreigners by Frontier Corps personnel at a checkpoint outside of the city, the surgeon who conducted the autopsies on the victims was beaten by unknown attackers outside of a restaurant (Dawn, ET, ET). A bicycle bomb in Quetta killed one Monday, while at least eight doctors were wounded Tuesday when police opened fire on a protest demanding equal pay for doctors in Baluchistan (DT, Dawn). And a bomb near the Torkham border crossing into Afghanistan has destroyed seven NATO fuel trucks (Dawn).
A little help from my friends
Faced with growing domestic and international pressure, Pakistan’s military leadership sat down for an unusual and unannounced meeting with the country’s president Asif Ali Zardari and prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani Monday (ET). The Pashtun-nationalist Awami National Party (ANP) Monday attacked the army for its reported involvement in business ventures, and the Financial Times details the army’s newfound struggles against external and internal enemies (Dawn, FT).
The Los Angeles Times has a must-read about the travails of Pakistan’s Sufi Muslim community, who have come under increased attack from militants in the past year (LAT). And law enforcement officials in Punjab tell the Daily Times that terrorists are planning a stepped-up campaign against the country’s minority Ahmadi Muslim community (DT). Bonus read: Saba Imtiaz, "Left with nothing": The state of Pakistan’s minorities (FP).
Pakistan’s government announced Monday the formation of a commission to look into the killing of journalist Saleem Shahzad, to be headed by the chief justice of the country’s Sharia court, Agha Rafiq (ET). And the Journal’s Tom Wright notes that the recent trial in Chicago of Pakistani-Canadian Tahawwur Hussain Rana may cause talks between Pakistan and India, scheduled for the end of this month, to stall (WSJ).
The Express Tribune reports that according to an unnamed source, the United States had made direct contact with Taliban leader Mullah Omar via an intermediary, a former Taliban spokesman known as Mohammad Hanif who was arrested by U.S. forces in 2007 (ET). The United States on Monday reportedly submitted two resolutions to the UN Security Council, proposing to split the Taliban and al-Qaeda sanctions list into two separate lists, and to remove sanctions on some former Taliban leaders (Reuters).
The White House continues to debate the size and speed of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as members of Afghan civil society groups and opponents of Afghan president Hamid Karzai are coming together to oppose a reconciliation deal with the Taliban (Reuters, Guardian, LAT). However, the Post reports that Karzai’s major rivals from minority groups in Afghanistan have been unable to form a coherent opposition movement (Post). And Jason Burke discusses the deterioration of secret negotiations around the long-term "strategic partnership" between Afghanistan and the United States (Guardian).
Finally today, Afghanistan’s supreme court has sentenced two men convicted of massacring dozens last year in an attack on the Jalalabad branch of the Kabul Bank to death by hanging (AP, BBC). And CNN talks to Mina Habib, one of Afghanistan’s few female journalists (CNN).
Under the sea
Unconvinced by government assurances that Osama bin Laden is dead, underwater treasure hunter Bill Warren has said that he will "scour" the sea floor in a search for the terrorist leader’s body, which was buried in the Arabian Sea by U.S. forces (ET). Warren said that the search could cost up to $400,000.
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