Pakistan arrests suspect in Daniel Pearl murder
Big fish Pakistani officials said Tuesday that their security forces had arrested Qari Abdul Hayee a suspect in the 2002 murder of Daniel Pearl, who was then the Wall Street Journal’s South Asia bureau chief (NYT, Bloomberg, CNN, CBS/AP, ABC, AFP). Hayee, leader of the banned sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), was arrested on Sunday ...
Pakistani officials said Tuesday that their security forces had arrested Qari Abdul Hayee a suspect in the 2002 murder of Daniel Pearl, who was then the Wall Street Journal’s South Asia bureau chief (NYT, Bloomberg, CNN, CBS/AP, ABC, AFP). Hayee, leader of the banned sectarian militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), was arrested on Sunday night, and is also wanted for the deaths of Shi’a Muslims in attacks claimed by the LeJ.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said in a video released Monday that they have "temporarily postponed" peace talks with the government, accusing the Pakistani government of not being serious about the negotiations (Dawn, The News, RFERL). In the video, Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan also warned Pakistanis about participating in the "un-Islamic democratic system which only serves the interests of infidels and enemies of Islam," specifically advising them to stay away from gatherings of the Pakistani People’s Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and the Awami National Party.
Pakistani airstrikes killed ten militants in Orakzai Agency on Monday, while local sources in the nearby Khyber Agency said the Taliban has pushed rival militant group Ansarul Islam (AI) out of its last bastions (Dawn, Dawn). Fighting between Taliban, AI, and Lashkar-e-Islam militants has forced hundreds of families to relocate to refugee camps or neighboring tribal agencies.
Working it out
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph Dunford, told the Associated Press on Monday that he is working as fast as he can to resolve issues that have angered Afghan President Hamid Karzai, including the delayed transition of Bagram Prison to Afghan control, and the withdrawal of U.S. Special Forces from Wardak Province, a strategically located area just west of Kabul (AP). Gen. Dunford said no date has been set for the withdrawal of Special Forces from Wardak, and would not say when the prison might be handed over, "But the issues are complex, and they’re fundamental … so you have to get it right."
The United Nations Special Envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis attributed a rise last year in the violent deaths of women and girls to cultural norms, rather than the ongoing conflict (Reuters). Over 300 women and girls were killed and some 560 injured in 2012, the "majority [of which] is linked to domestic violence, tradition, culture of the country," Kubis said. Bonus read: M. Ashraf Haidari, "Afghan women as a measure of progress" (AfPak).
Meet in the middle?
With Tuesday’s deadline looming, the outgoing Pakistan People’s Party and main opposition group Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz have still not agreed on a caretaker prime minister for the country (ET). The Express Tribune reports that last ditch efforts to come to an agreement might even include a face-to-face meeting between Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
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