Four-member committee formed to investigate Musharraf treason charges
Update: See the AfPak Channel’s updated "Ultimate AfPak Reading List" here. Committee formed Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Chaudry Nisar, told parliament on Thursday that a four-member committee had been appointed to investigate treason charges against former president Pervez Musharraf (AFP, Dawn, VOA). Nisar did not reveal the names of the committee members but said that they ...
Update: See the AfPak Channel’s updated "Ultimate AfPak Reading List" here.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Chaudry Nisar, told parliament on Thursday that a four-member committee had been appointed to investigate treason charges against former president Pervez Musharraf (AFP, Dawn, VOA). Nisar did not reveal the names of the committee members but said that they were all officers from the Federal Investigation Agency. The committee will be investigating charges that Musharraf subverted the Pakistani constitution when he imposed emergency rule and dismissed judges in 2007.
A Pakistani official told Dawn reporters on Thursday that government negotiators remain engaged with the Taliban leadership in an effort to get the Doha peace process back on track after the controversy surrounding last week’s opening of a Taliban office in Qatar (Dawn, Pajhwok). The official added that they are trying to persuade the Taliban to "get on" with the talks with U.S. and Afghan representatives. Dr. Mohammed Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban office in Doha, posted the transcript of an interview that indicated the group is moving towards the start of talks and that they "will be conducted will all sides involved in Afghanistan."
Sharat Sabharwal, the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, met with Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam party leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Thursday and said that India will soon engage with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government (Dawn). Sabharwal indicated the dialogue would focus on resolving outstanding issues between the two countries, including bilateral trade and their respective visa programs. An unidentified senior Pakistani government official said that a retired diplomat will soon be appointed to pursue ‘backdoor diplomacy’ with its neighbor (ET).
At least four people died and 11 were injured in Karachi on Friday when unidentified gunmen opened fire in the city’s Kharadar neighborhood (ET). The incident created panic in the area and all business activities came to a halt. A heavy police contingent is in the area, monitoring the situation, but there have been no claims of responsibility.
British authorities transferred the first 10 detainees from their facilities at Camp Bastion in Helmand province to an Afghan facility at Bagram Airfield in Parwan province on Thursday night (BBC, Pajhwok). The detainees’ transfers had been banned in November 2012 due to concerns that they would be abused in the new facility but after receiving "positive reports" from multiple humanitarian organizations, U.K. Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond lifted the restrictions. Eighty-two detainees currently remain at Camp Bastion, but the Ministry of Defense is hoping to transfer them soon.
Three hundred members of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) are deploying to the Koh-i-Safi district of Parwan province on Friday, according to a government official (Pajhwok). The presence of the ALP members was requested by local tribal elders, who are tired of ongoing harassment from militants, particularly at night. It is unclear how long the ALP force will be in the area but local recruits are hoping to improve the area’s security by setting up checkpoints and restoring security to residents.
In an op-ed for the Friday New York Times, Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, implores the United States not to negotiate with the Taliban, saying that "they are a movement with an extreme ideology and will not compromise easily on their deeply held beliefs" (NYT). Haqqani writes that direct dialogue with the group will give them a source of international legitimacy, and that they are most likely just playing for time until coalition troops withdraw in 2014. His piece follows similar reports that say the Taliban, the United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan for that matter, have different visions for what the talks will or should produce and that those differences are actually the biggest hurdles to the talks (Reuters).
Afghanistan’s Got Talent
Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia are bringing their popular "Got Talent" format to Afghanistan, according to the Hollywood Reporter (HR). "Afghanistan’s Got Talent," the 55th local adaptation of the show, will launch on the 1TV Media channel later this year and comes after recent launches in Brazil and Kazakhstan. A source close to the project told reporters that "There may be a war raging in Afghanistan – but people are still living their lives and they enjoy watching TV just like anyone else (Metro). The judges have not yet been announced.
— Jennifer Rowland and Bailey Cahall
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