Daily brief: Search for kidnapped American continues

Without a trace Pakistani police are still searching for clues in the kidnapping Saturday of American aid expert Warren Weinstein from his home in Lahore, as authorities prepared to release a sketch of a suspected kidnapper and Pakistani officials discussed the possibility of a joint investigation with the FBI with American embassy personnel (AP, AFP, ...

Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images
Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images
Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images

Without a trace

Pakistani police are still searching for clues in the kidnapping Saturday of American aid expert Warren Weinstein from his home in Lahore, as authorities prepared to release a sketch of a suspected kidnapper and Pakistani officials discussed the possibility of a joint investigation with the FBI with American embassy personnel (AP, AFP, Dawn). CBS reports that eight men participated in the "sophisticated" kidnapping, while a Lahore police official said that all foreigners should have appropriate security measures, including closed-circuit television cameras, "barbed wires, barriers and security guards" (CBS, CBS, ET). The official also said that Weinstein had not registered with the local police, which would have made the latter responsible for checking his security arrangements (Dawn).

Twelve people have been killed in Karachi in the last 24 hours, while in Baluchistan police found the bodies of three kidnapping victims (Dawn, ET). Also in Karachi, the lawyer for Afsar Khan, sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the killing of Sarfaraz Shah, appealed the verdict Tuesday (ET, Dawn). For the first time, two suspected Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) associates will be charged in Karachi under "anti-state laws," while Dawn reports on the threats facing prosecutors in terrorism cases in Pakistan (ET, Dawn). Meanwhile, in Islamabad, a petition was filed before the city's high court seeking information from intelligence agencies on the disappearance of a member of the radical group Hizb-ut-Tahrir (Dawn). And a lawyer for a man held in Rawalpindi for a year without charges said Tuesday that his client had been tortured to death (ET).

Without a trace

Pakistani police are still searching for clues in the kidnapping Saturday of American aid expert Warren Weinstein from his home in Lahore, as authorities prepared to release a sketch of a suspected kidnapper and Pakistani officials discussed the possibility of a joint investigation with the FBI with American embassy personnel (AP, AFP, Dawn). CBS reports that eight men participated in the "sophisticated" kidnapping, while a Lahore police official said that all foreigners should have appropriate security measures, including closed-circuit television cameras, "barbed wires, barriers and security guards" (CBS, CBS, ET). The official also said that Weinstein had not registered with the local police, which would have made the latter responsible for checking his security arrangements (Dawn).

Twelve people have been killed in Karachi in the last 24 hours, while in Baluchistan police found the bodies of three kidnapping victims (Dawn, ET). Also in Karachi, the lawyer for Afsar Khan, sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the killing of Sarfaraz Shah, appealed the verdict Tuesday (ET, Dawn). For the first time, two suspected Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) associates will be charged in Karachi under "anti-state laws," while Dawn reports on the threats facing prosecutors in terrorism cases in Pakistan (ET, Dawn). Meanwhile, in Islamabad, a petition was filed before the city’s high court seeking information from intelligence agencies on the disappearance of a member of the radical group Hizb-ut-Tahrir (Dawn). And a lawyer for a man held in Rawalpindi for a year without charges said Tuesday that his client had been tortured to death (ET).

A suspected U.S. drone strike has reportedly killed four militants in Miranshah, North Waziristan’s capital city (AFP, BBC). Pakistani officials have denied reports first published in the Financial Times that they provided Chinese engineers access to a specially-modified helicopter used by U.S. forces during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden (ET). And the police inspector general in Punjab province has recommended disciplinary action against seven officers who attended an iftar, or dinner to break the Ramadan fast, at the U.S. consulate in Lahore without permission (ET).

Flooding has impacted over one million people in Sindh province, while Dawn reports that a relief camp visited by Pakistani prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was a fake installation set up only for his trip (ET, Dawn, ET, DT, Dawn). In Punjab, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has expressed its full support for a new province to be fashioned from the province’s southern areas, as the Lahore High Court agreed to hear a legal challenge to the plan (The News, DT, ET, Dawn, ET). Separate attacks in Punjab and Khyber agency have destroyed 12 NATO fuel trucks on their way to Afghanistan (Dawn, ET). And reports indicate that Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee may be preparing a major increase in the country’s gas prices (Dawn, DT).

Deadly attack

Three Taliban suicide bombers struck a fuel depot operated by a private company near Kandahar International Airport in southern Afghanistan Monday, killing four Afghan security guards (AFP, AP, CNN). Also in Kandahar, an 18-year-old Afghan woman working on rural development projects was shot dead by an unidentified gunmen as she was getting into her car (AP, RFE/RL, AFP).

Karen DeYoung has a must-read piece detailing how the U.S. military has revamped approximately $1 billion in trucking contracts in Afghanistan in order to increase transparency, cut down on pervasive corruption, and stop money from flowing to insurgents (Post). The AP reports on efforts by international forces to train local community leaders in southern Afghanistan (AP). And the AP also notes that as the United States wraps up its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and faces crippling debt and a world without bin Laden, the "golden decade" defense companies enjoyed after 9/11 may be coming to an end (AP).

Beautiful music

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the death of legendary Pakistani musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, a master of qawwali, a form of Sufi devotional music (ET). Khan, who during his life collaborated with a number of Western musicians, holds the world record for the most releases by a qawwali artist.

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