The South Asia Channel
Taliban Infighting Resolved; Pakistani FDI Increases; Penalties for Indian Hospitals Turning Away Emergencies; UN: War Crimes Court for Sri Lanka
Editor’s Note: New Global Thinkers podcast released today! At a recent event co-hosted by Foreign Policy, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai shared her remarkable story about her determination to bring education equality for girls everywhere. Listen and download the podcast here: http://atfp.co/1N5rv3Z Afghanistan Taliban infighting resolved Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement ...
Editor’s Note: New Global Thinkers podcast released today! At a recent event co-hosted by Foreign Policy, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai shared her remarkable story about her determination to bring education equality for girls everywhere. Listen and download the podcast here: http://atfp.co/1N5rv3Z
Taliban infighting resolved
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement on Tuesday that senior members of the Taliban have reached a resolution over the disputes in leadership (VOA). Mullah Omar’s eldest son, Mohammad Yaqoob, and his brother Mullah Abdul Manan — who both opposed Mansour’s appointment — announced their support for Mansour. Jarrett Blanc, the acting U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, told reporters in Islambad: “I have every hope that the Taliban will soon return to the dialogue.”
Pakistani national security adviser Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday told the Pakistani Senate that efforts were being made to resume peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan government (TOLO News, Pajhwok)
Car bomb in Kabul kills a police chief
At 10 am on Tuesday, a suicide car bomb detonated when the car crashed into the Paghman district police headquarters in Kabul (TOLO News, Pajhwok). Kabul Police Chief Abdul Rahman Rahmani confirmed that four people including the Criminal Investigation Department chief for Paghman district and two civilians were killed and 41 others wounded.
Kabul holds first food festival
On Tuesday, Kabul is hosting its first food festival to promote locally produced and homegrown products, said officials with the Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) (TOLO News). The festival will run for seven days and provide a platform for producers to market their goods. “This festival is a good opportunity for people to see how much progress Afghanistan has made in the private food sector. How production levels have increased, how quality has improved and how competitive prices are,” Qurban Haqjo, the head of AISA said. Afghanistan imports $4 billion in agricultural products alone each year.
Pakistani FDI increases
In July and August, the first two months of the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Pakistan received $119.3 million in foreign direct investment (FDI), up 7.5 percent from the same period last year, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday (ET). The largest contributors to FDI were China ($131.5 million), followed by the United Arab Emirates ($30.2 million) and Switzerland ($23.1 million). The largest increase in FDI was in the power sector, which attracted $111.1 million. Transportation ($20 million) and oil and gas exploration ($19.3 million) also attracted larges increases in FDI. Also on Tuesday, Fitch Ratings give Pakistan a B rating for Long-Term and Short-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings and Country Ceiling (Reuters).
Pakistan: Two LoC incidents within 24 hours
Pakistani news outlets are reporting that the second “unprovoked” firing along the Line of Control in Battal sector by Indian forces within 24 hours has injured a civilian (ET, Dawn). Security sources told DawnNews that Pakistani forces “responded effectively” to Indian fire and mortar shelling. Yesterday, a Pakistani army soldier was killed in Battal sector after Indian firing.
Women out alone in Sahiwal stabbed
Over the last two weeks in Sahiwal in Punjab province, six women have been stabbed while they were walking alone (Dawn). The latest stabbing occurred on Monday evening when the unnamed wife of Ghulam Husain was returning home after jogging in Ladies and Children Park in Farid Town. Following the pattern of the previous incidents, a motorcyclist approached the woman and stabbed her in the chest. The woman was taken to the hospital with deep cuts. Two other women who were attacked jog regularly in the same park. According to police sources, only one victim’s family has reported the incident to Farid Town police and registered a First Information Report. Investigation Officer Muhammad Arif said no progress could be made in the case. Six similar incidents were reported in Chichawatni last year but the police achieved no tangible results.
Bonus read: “Why India should reject China’s obsession with bigger, denser megacities,” by Matias Echanove and Rahul Srivasta (Guardian)
Hospitals to be penalized for turning away emergency patients: Kejriwal
Chief Minister Delhi Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday that a law that will make penalizing hospitals possible, for turning away emergency patients, will be introduced by the Aam Admi government within this week (BBC, Hindu, FT). Kejriwal was doing surprise visits to hospitals in the Indian capital after reports that two pre-teen children had died because hospitals turned them away. Local media reports suggest that one of them may have been denied admission from five hospitals. Delhi is going through the worst outbreak of dengue fever in the past five years and the city government has come under severe criticism for an inadequate response by opposition politicians and by the media.
Music composer A.R. Rahman responds to fatwa against him
Oscar winning musician and composer A. R. Rahman has responded to a fatwa (religious edict) issued against him and Iranian film director Majid Majidi, in light of their new movie about the Prophet Muhammad, being released this fall (NYT/AP, BBC). In a message on Facebook he said that he had composed the music of the movie in good faith and that the movie carries the message of peace and kindness. Earlier Raza Academy in Mumbai had issued a fatwa condemning Rahman and the movie, and also writing to the government for the ban of the movie in India. Rahman was born a Hindu, but converted to Islam in 1989 at age 23, and is popular in India.
U.N. asks for a special international court to examine “war crimes” in Sri Lanka
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein said on Wednesday that during the long conflict between the Sri Lankan government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels it is “most likely” that both sides committed war crimes including mass killings of civilians which should be prosecuted by a special court with international judges (Reuters, BBC). A new U.N. Human Rights Council report on the conflict, which was delayed from March to give the new government time to address concerns, found “patterns of grave violations” between 2002 and 2011. Hussein also said that the domestic criminal justice system may not be adequate to respond to these incidents. Earlier on Monday, the Sri Lankan government said that it was going to install a “South Africa-style truth and reconciliation commission to look into atrocities.” Bonus read: “America’s Sri Lankan Dilemma,” Callum Macrae (South Asia)
— Courtney Schuster and Shuja Malik
Edited by Peter Bergen
FAISAL AL-TIMIMI/AFP/Getty Images