Pakistani militant leader Maulvi Nazir killed in U.S. drone strike

Leader downed A U.S. drone strike launched Wednesday night killed top Pakistani militant commander Maulvi Nazir, who was considered by the Pakistani military to be one of the "good Taliban" because he focused his attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan rather than the Pakistani officials and security forces targeted by other factions of the militant ...

STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images
STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images
STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Leader downed

Leader downed

A U.S. drone strike launched Wednesday night killed top Pakistani militant commander Maulvi Nazir, who was considered by the Pakistani military to be one of the "good Taliban" because he focused his attacks on U.S. forces in Afghanistan rather than the Pakistani officials and security forces targeted by other factions of the militant group (AP, Reuters, LAT, NYT, Post, The News). The drone-fired missile struck a house in Angoor Adda, near the city of Wana, South Waziristan, killing nine people inside.

On Thursday morning, another drone attack, this time in North Waziristan, killed four people whose identities could not be verified (AP, Reuters).

The Pakistani Army is set to discuss the Pakistani Taliban’s conditions for a ceasefire at a corps commanders’ meeting on Friday, but has also asked the government to come up with an official response (ET). Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud said last week that his group could agree to a ceasefire if the government "adopted Sharia after changing the Constitution, revised foreign policy and ended its engagement with the war on terror in Afghanistan."

The father of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by Taliban militants in October and is still recovering at a hospital in England, has been offered a job at the Pakistani consulate in Birmingham, close to Malala’s hospital (AFP, CNN).

Familiar events?

Times reporter Thom Shanker published a must-read on Wednesday outlining the parallels between NATO’s ongoing withdrawal from Afghanistan and the 1989 Soviet withdrawal strategy, which is widely remembered as a precipitator of the ensuing Afghan civil war (NYT).

A new look

Plastic surgery is on the rise in Afghanistan, and not just to mitigate the terrible effects that war has had on the appearances of many (LAT). As Bollywood movies and Turkish soap operas have soared in popularity in Afghanistan, and more women are entering the workforce, cosmetic surgery for the sake of beauty is becoming a much more common practice.

— Jennifer Rowland

Jennifer Rowland is a research associate in the National Security Studies Program at the New America Foundation.

More from Foreign Policy

The USS Nimitz and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and South Korean Navy warships sail in formation during a joint naval exercise off the South Korean coast.
The USS Nimitz and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and South Korean Navy warships sail in formation during a joint naval exercise off the South Korean coast.

America Is a Heartbeat Away From a War It Could Lose

Global war is neither a theoretical contingency nor the fever dream of hawks and militarists.

A protester waves a Palestinian flag in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, during a demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. People sit and walk on the grass lawn in front of the protester and barricades.
A protester waves a Palestinian flag in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, during a demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. People sit and walk on the grass lawn in front of the protester and barricades.

The West’s Incoherent Critique of Israel’s Gaza Strategy

The reality of fighting Hamas in Gaza makes this war terrible one way or another.

Biden dressed in a dark blue suit walks with his head down past a row of alternating U.S. and Israeli flags.
Biden dressed in a dark blue suit walks with his head down past a row of alternating U.S. and Israeli flags.

Biden Owns the Israel-Palestine Conflict Now

In tying Washington to Israel’s war in Gaza, the U.S. president now shares responsibility for the broader conflict’s fate.

U.S. President Joe Biden is seen in profile as he greets Chinese President Xi Jinping with a handshake. Xi, a 70-year-old man in a dark blue suit, smiles as he takes the hand of Biden, an 80-year-old man who also wears a dark blue suit.
U.S. President Joe Biden is seen in profile as he greets Chinese President Xi Jinping with a handshake. Xi, a 70-year-old man in a dark blue suit, smiles as he takes the hand of Biden, an 80-year-old man who also wears a dark blue suit.

Taiwan’s Room to Maneuver Shrinks as Biden and Xi Meet

As the latest crisis in the straits wraps up, Taipei is on the back foot.