The South Asia Channel

Pakistan hints at reopening NATO ground routes

Enough is enough: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar alluded on Monday to the reopening of NATO ground supply routes to Afghanistan, saying their closure was "important to make a point. Pakistan has made a point and now we can move on" (WSJ,AFP, AP, ET, Tel, DT). Khar’s comments came after a series of high-level talks between U.S. and Pakistani ...

FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images
FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images

Enough is enough: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar alluded on Monday to the reopening of NATO ground supply routes to Afghanistan, saying their closure was "important to make a point. Pakistan has made a point and now we can move on" (WSJ,AFPAPETTelDT). Khar’s comments came after a series of high-level talks between U.S. and Pakistani officials, including a meeting this weekend between the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan Gen. John Allen and the chief of Pakistan’s powerful military, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani.

Pakistani human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar filed two cases against the Pakistani government last week, accusing officials of failing to protect their citizens from U.S. drone strikes, and demanding that they classify the strikes as war crimes and seek legal action against the United States (Post). The cases press the Pakistani government to answer tough questions, such as whether they tacitly approve the drone strikes, and if so, Shazad demands judicial inquiries into the attacks.

An explosion at a busy roundabout in Quetta on Monday killed two paramilitary troops and two civilians, and injured over 30 others (ETThe NewsDT). A man claiming to be a member of the Baloch Republican Army later claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone call to a private TV channel. And on Tuesday, unidentified gunmen on motorcycles killed two ethnic Hazaras in Quetta in an apparent target killing (ETThe News).

Pakistani virologist Dr. Khalil Chishty is traveling home to Karachi today from Ajmer, India, where he spent two decades in jail for his involvement in a 1992 murder (ET, DawnThe News). The Indian Supreme Court granted Chishty six months of leave on humanitarian grounds in April; he will have to return to India by November 1.

Abusing power

The LA Times reported Monday that an as-yet unpublished Pentagon-funded study on the Afghan Local Police (ALP) has found that many of the 13,000 local policemen are involved in criminal activity such as bribe-taking and extortion (LAT). The study also found that the ALP is failing to stem insurgent attacks, and one in five U.S. Special Forces teams advising the ALP accused their Afghan counterparts of abusing civilians.

And the Washington Post reports on Tuesday that Gen. John Allen may be leaving his post as the U.S. commander in Afghanistan early next year to take over as head of the U.S. European Command, after just a year of what was expected to be a two-year stint (Post).

Let’s play bowling!

Afghanistan’s first ever bowling alley is attracting quite the crowd, as young Afghans – male and female — flock to the new activity, and bet each other against the cost of the lane fees (NYT). Some are even proving to be very talented bowlers; novice Karim Yusufi bowled a 120 on his first try and has never paid his own lane fees, as he’s not yet lost a wager.

 Jennifer Rowland

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