The South Asia Channel

Pakistani teen activist in critical condition after attack

New post: Hussain Nadim, "Pakistan’s almost-suicide-bombers" (FP). Out of danger Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani activist who was shot in the head on Tuesday for speaking out against the Taliban, is alive but in critical condition at a hospital in Peshawar, as people from around the world wish her a speedy recovery (NYT, BBC, Dawn, ...

STR/AFP/GettyImages
STR/AFP/GettyImages

New post: Hussain Nadim, "Pakistan’s almost-suicide-bombers" (FP).

Out of danger

Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani activist who was shot in the head on Tuesday for speaking out against the Taliban, is alive but in critical condition at a hospital in Peshawar, as people from around the world wish her a speedy recovery (NYT, BBC, Dawn, Post, ET/Reuters). The Taliban claimed responsibility for the shooting, saying it was carried out because Yousafzai promotes girls’ rights, and that they will target her again if she survives.

Just two days after Imran Khan’s anti-drone ‘peace march’ to Pakistan’s tribal regions, a U.S. drone strike killed five suspected militants in Hurmuz, North Waziristan on Wednesday (Tel, BBC, CNN, AFP). Meanwhile, a mysterious water-borne parasite known as a "brain-eating amoeba" has killed 10 people in Karachi from March to September of this year, but authorities caution against panic, as the spread of the disease.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday approved a government draft of a letter to Swiss authorities withdrawing a 2007 letter from Attorney General Malik Qayyum that had rejected Pakistani involved in a Swiss corruption case against President Asif Ali Zardari, leaving open the possibility of reviving the case if Swiss officials so choose (CNN, ET, Dawn). However, it remains unclear whether Zardari will actually have to stand trial for the charges, as the letter also points out the "legal rights and defenses of the President" according to the constitution, which includes a clause granting immunity from legal proceedings to top elected officials.

Everything is under control

The United Nations envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis pledged Wednesday that the international community will continue supporting Afghanistan long after 2014 not due to fears that the government will collapse after NATO troops leave, but with the expectation that Afghanistan will do its part to develop (AP, AFP). Kubis implicitly rejected the position of the International Crisis Group, which said in a report released Monday of a "real risk that the regime in Kabul could collapse" after NATO completes its withdrawal, and of the country’s Red Cross chief Reto Stocker, who said Tuesday that the prospect of peace in Afghanistan appears less likely now than when he took his position seven years ago.

The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday extended authorization for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan another year, giving the coalition U.N. approval to operate until October 13, 2013 (AP). And a roadside bomb in Nad Ali, Helmand hit a vehicle carrying members of the Afghan Local Police on Wednesday, killing six of them (AFP, AP).

Hip-hop and heart

Afghanistan’s first female rapper is breaking traditional societal boundaries with her hard-hitting lyrics advocating for women’s and children’s rights, as well as her long, unveiled hair and hip-hop-style outfits (AP). Having spent time as a refugee in Iran and Pakistan, Sosan Firooz urges her countrymen and women to stay in Afghanistan, or risk becoming addicts or terrorists in one of the neighboring countries, where there are few opportunities for Afghans.

— Jennifer Rowland

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