Taliban release video of beheaded Pakistani soldiers
Grisly images The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) released a video on Wednesday showing the severed heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers purportedly captured and killed in a cross-border attack on a military check post in Upper Dir on Sunday night (AFP, AP, Reuters). TTP leader Fazlullah, whose fighters operate in the mountainous and largely unpatrolled Afghan province ...
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) released a video on Wednesday showing the severed heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers purportedly captured and killed in a cross-border attack on a military check post in Upper Dir on Sunday night (AFP, AP, Reuters). TTP leader Fazlullah, whose fighters operate in the mountainous and largely unpatrolled Afghan province of Nuristan, claimed responsibility for the raid and the beheadings.
The top commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. John Allen, met with Pakistani Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Wednesday, and asked Gen. Allen to do more to prevent cross-border raids on Pakistani troops by militants based in Afghanistan (CNN, Dawn, AFP). Gen. Allen reportedly suggested a plan to conduct a joint offensive against the TTP in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, but a U.S. official said the offer is tied to the Pakistani military agreeing to eliminate Haqqani Network sanctuaries in Pakistan, a request Pakistan has previously rejected (ET).
Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said at a news conference on Wednesday that Abu Jindal, the recently captured Indian man suspected of being one of the planners of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, has provided information that points to Pakistani state support for the attacks (NYT). Abu Jindal purportedly told Indian authorities that he was present in a "control room" in Karachi from which the attacks were directed, and identified some of the other men in the room, for whom he says some state support was provided.
An Indian man captured in Pakistan’s eastern border region nearly 30 years ago, Surjeet Singh, was released and returned to his home country on Wednesday, where he immediately confessed to spying in Pakistan (AFP, ET). Singh was initially sentenced to death in 1985, but this was commuted to life in prison in 1989, and President Asif Ali Zardari approved his release on Tuesday night as a goodwill gesture. Pakistan on Wednesday also released over 300 Indian fishermen who were arrested over the past several months for straying over a murky border in the salt marsh of Sir Creek (Guardian, Dawn). Finally, a bomb tore through a crowded railway station in Quetta on Wednesday night, killing at least eight people and injuring dozens more (ET).
Deadly day for law enforcement
Ten Afghan police officers, including the district chief of a counterterrorism unit in the generally peaceful province of Herat, were killed in clashes and explosions across Afghanistan on Wednesday (NYT, AFP, AP).
In his first interview with a Western media outlet since taking up the job of Afghanistan’s top peace negotiator in April, Salahuddin Rabbani, told Reuters on Wednesday that Pakistan is "the key to the whole process," and should release top Taliban prisoners while pressing militant leaders to engage in peace talks (Reuters). Rabbani was selected to replace his father, Burhanuddin Rabbani, who was killed last year by a suicide attacker with a bomb hidden in his turban.
Pakistan suffers from one of the world’s worst energy crises, with the electricity being shut off for hours at a time, even during the depths of winter and the scorching heat of summer (ET). But some of Pakistan’s young musicians are finding not only inspiration for songs in this suffering, but also fame and fortune as the message of songs related to "loadshedding" resonates with the youth across the country.
— Jennifer Rowland
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