The South Asia Channel
Militants attack officials at massacre site
The Rack: Mathieu Aikins, "The Siege of September 13," (GQ). Revenge sought: Suspected Taliban insurgents killed one soldier when they fired on a group of Afghan officials visiting the site of Sunday’s massacre of 16 civilians by a U.S. soldier on Tuesday, as Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid released a statement threatening revenge for the murders (AP, Guardian, AJE, AFP, Reuters). ...
The Rack: Mathieu Aikins, "The Siege of September 13," (GQ).
Revenge sought: Suspected Taliban insurgents killed one soldier when they fired on a group of Afghan officials visiting the site of Sunday’s massacre of 16 civilians by a U.S. soldier on Tuesday, as Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid released a statement threatening revenge for the murders (AP, Guardian, AJE, AFP, Reuters). The Times’ Taimoor Shah and Graham Bowley report on the devastated reaction of one man, Abdul Samad, who lost 11 family members in the attack, including two daughters between the ages of 2 and 6, and four sons between the ages of 8 and 12 (NYT). Hundreds of Afghans took to the streets in Jalalabad on Tuesday to protest the massacre, shouting "death to America" (Tel, AP, AFP, CNN). Afghan officials condemned the murders, with some legislators skeptical of the U.S. willingness to prosecute the gunman, and one suggesting "an uprising" would be inevitable if the soldier is not punished (Post).
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta promised Tuesday that the accused soldier would be tried in accordance with U.S. military laws, under which he could face the death penalty (Tel). Pentagon spokesman George Little said Monday that it would be "inappropriate" to identify the Army sergeant responsible for the attacks before charges are filed, but officials told reporters the soldier had suffered a traumatic brain injury while on tour in Iraq (AP, Post). The sergeant had spent just a few months attached to group of Special Forces running one of Afghanistan’s "Village Stability Operations," which teaches Afghans to defend themselves, and is a key part of the U.S. training mission (Post). The Obama administration is reportedly debating the withdrawal of an additional 20,000 troops by 2013, though military officials would likely oppose any such decision (NYT).
The deputy governor of Afghanistan’s central bank said in an interview with Reuters that wealthy Afghans are moving billions of dollars to other countries each year due to the ongoing security threats at home, threatening the stability of the country’s already fragile economy (Reuters).
A suspected U.S. drone strike targeting a vehicle near the border between North and South Waziristan killed at least eight people on Tuesday (ET, AP, Reuters, CNN, Dawn). A local official was also killed by unidentified gunmen in South Waziristan on Tuesday during a tribal Jirga (ET). Harsh weather conditions are preventing rescue teams from locating three climbers last seen five days ago attempting to summit Pakistan’s Gasherbrum-1 in heavy snow and temperatures of 70 below zero (AP).
After several postponements, Pakistani lawyers and investigators are finally set to travel to India on Wednesday to view evidence in the cases of seven suspects accused of involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed 166 people (AFP). And the lawyer for former Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani has reportedly left Pakistan for London to cross-examine Mansoor Ijaz in the "Memogate" investigation (ET).
The near-defunct Fashion Pakistan Council (FPC) has come under criticism over the past two years for allowing its rival, the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) to eclipse it as the country’s premier fashion promoter (ET). However, the FPC is planning a comeback fashion week in Karachi over the first weekend in April, guaranteed to draw a crowd with its accessible "high street" theme.
— Jennifer Rowland