Pakistan’s Prime Minister disqualified

The Rack: Justin Elliott, ‘Obama Administration’s Drone Death Figures Don’t Add Up’ (ProPublica). Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was declared ineligible to hold office Wednesday by the country’s Supreme Court (ET, WaPo, Dawn, BBC). The court said that he has been ineligible since April 26, when an earlier verdict by the high body found ...

AFP/Getty images
AFP/Getty images
AFP/Getty images

The Rack: Justin Elliott, 'Obama Administration's Drone Death Figures Don't Add Up' (ProPublica).

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was declared ineligible to hold office Wednesday by the country's Supreme Court (ET, WaPo, Dawn, BBC). The court said that he has been ineligible since April 26, when an earlier verdict by the high body found Gilani to have been in contempt of court. In that case, the court ruled that Gilani had failed to properly pursue corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari. The ongoing feud between the civilian government and the judiciary remains a hot button issue, with some accusing the judiciary of being supported by the military. After the verdict was announced by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Attorney General Irfan Qadir blasted the court's decision and said that in making the ruling the court had overstepped its mandate and was in violation of the constitution.

Spate of Afghan attacks

The Rack: Justin Elliott, ‘Obama Administration’s Drone Death Figures Don’t Add Up’ (ProPublica).

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was declared ineligible to hold office Wednesday by the country’s Supreme Court (ET, WaPo, Dawn, BBC). The court said that he has been ineligible since April 26, when an earlier verdict by the high body found Gilani to have been in contempt of court. In that case, the court ruled that Gilani had failed to properly pursue corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari. The ongoing feud between the civilian government and the judiciary remains a hot button issue, with some accusing the judiciary of being supported by the military. After the verdict was announced by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Attorney General Irfan Qadir blasted the court’s decision and said that in making the ruling the court had overstepped its mandate and was in violation of the constitution.

Spate of Afghan attacks

On Tuesday, Taliban militants posing as Afghan police officers killed three police officers in an attack on an Afghanistan checkpoint in Kandahar province (NYT). Officials said that the insurgents opened fire on an Afghan police checkpoint first before targeting NATO forces in the area, though NATO reported no casualties. The attack was similar to a separate incident on Sunday where militants killed one NATO soldier in Kandahar after three men dressed in Afghan police uniforms opened fired on coalition troops (BBC, ET, CBS). There has been a rise in such "green-on-blue" attacks recently, with a reported 17 cases in 2012 of Afghan forces turning their weapons on NATO troops (for more on this see NAF’s online database of such attacks).

The Tuesday violence came hours after a separate incident in southern Kandahar saw Taliban insurgents attack a NATO camp under the cover of darkness, though no one was thought to have died from that episode (WaPo).

In other violence in the country, a Taliban roadside bomb in Musa Qala in Helmand province killed eight Afghan civilians (AFP, WaPO, USA Today). That attack came after an incident on Monday in Kapisa province where six were killed after insurgents set off a remote controlled bomb, the second deadly attack in Kapisa province in a fortnight after four French soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing on June 9 (LAT).

Pakistan blamed for 2011 Kabul attack

On Tuesday Afghan authorities said that two men had been arrested for their role in a December 2011 attack targeting Shia Muslims during the holy day of Ashura in Kabul (Dawn, AP). The attack, which killed 80 people, was claimed by Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. However, in announcing the arrests, Afghan officials pointed to Pakistan’s role. Said General Eshaq Aloko, "Although the Jhangvi group claimed responsibility, it was masterminded by some spy agencies in our neighbouring countries," a veiled reference to Pakistan’s powerful intelligence service.

Ahead of World Refugee Day on Wednesday, June 20, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released its annual report on the status of global refugees. Afghanistan remained the world’s biggest producer of refugees with over 2.7 million, coming ahead of Iraq (1.4 million), Somalia (1.1 million), and Sudan (500,000) (UN).

The mango market spoils

As a result of a U.N. trade embargo imposed against Iran, Pakistan’s mango exporters have lost a lucrative market. Last year, mango exports to Iran were over 30,000 tons, estimated to be worth at least $10 million (ET).

–Tom Kutsch

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