Doctors Without Borders Seeks International Inquiry on Hospital Bombing; Hajj Stampede Tarnishes Saudi Image in Pakistan
Afghanistan Bonus Watch: “The Above” by Kirsten Johnson (The Intercept) Doctors Without Borders seeks international inquiry On Wednesday, Doctors Without Borders called for an international inquiry into the American air strike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz that killed at least 22 people (NYT, Post). Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without ...
Bonus Watch: “The Above” by Kirsten Johnson (The Intercept)
Doctors Without Borders seeks international inquiry
On Wednesday, Doctors Without Borders called for an international inquiry into the American air strike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz that killed at least 22 people (NYT, Post). Joanne Liu, the international president of Doctors Without Borders, called for an investigation by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, a body set up under the Geneva Conventions. Ms. Liu commented: “It is unacceptable that the bombing of a hospital and the killing of staff and patients can be dismissed as collateral damage or brushed aside as a mistake.” The United States has said that it will internally investigate the strike and Gen. John F. Campbell, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said the hospital was “mistakenly struck” while speaking before a Senate panel on Tuesday.
General calls for slower withdrawal
On Tuesday, Gen. John Campbell expressed opposition to existing plans for troop drawdowns in Afghanistan while speaking before a Senate panel (WSJ). Campbell commented: “Based on conditions on the ground, I do believe we have to provide our senior leadership options different than the current plan we are going with.” Referring to the current plan to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to 1,000 by the end of 2016, Gen. Campbell stated: “As I take a look at conditions on the ground…when the president made that decision, it did not take into account the change over the last two years.”
Security forces advance in Kunduz
On Wednesday, local Afghan officials said that Afghan forces have retaken more of Kunduz City from the Taliban including the main traffic circle (TOLO News). Sayed Sarwar Hussiani, a spokesman for the provincial police chief, said the government was now in control of 80 percent of the city. The announcement follows fierce fighting in the main circle on Tuesday when Taliban forces lowered the Afghan flag on the roundabout.
Bonus Read: “Pakistan’s mental health problem” by Maham Javaid (AJA)
Hajj stampede tarnishes Saudi image in Pakistan
The stampede in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj has tarnished Saudi Arabia’s image in Pakistan, according to a report in the New York Times on Tuesday (NYT). Saudi Arabia has traditionally held good relations with the Pakistani state and people. However, the Pakistani death toll in the stampede has risen from ten to 76 raising anger among some Pakistanis. The Pakistani government has sought to restrict rising anger over the stampede warning news organizations to avoid criticism of Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Religious Affairs asked a court in Lahore to reprimand an individual who filed a petition alleging the government was concealing information.
PPP vows to block cybercrime bill
On Tuesday, Sherry Rehman, the vice president of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), declared the party’s opposition to the proposed Pakistan Electronic Crimes Bill (ET). She stated: “The PPP will not allow such a bill to go through the Senate.” Rehman added: “The current version of the cybercrime bill, being bulldozed through parliament by the ruling party, will become more of a tool for silencing dissent more rather than combating cyber-terrorism.”
China to build four submarines in Karachi
On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that China will build four of eight submarines it is selling to Pakistan in Karachi (Dawn). At an inauguration ceremony for the project, the Minister for Defense Production, Rana Tanveer Hussain, said the deal had been finalized and production would occur simultaneously in both Pakistan and China. The core of Pakistan’s current submarine fleet consists of three Agosta 90-B submarines of French design and two aging Agosta-70 submarines.
— David Sterman
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
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