Update: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has decided that Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman will present the budget instead of Kamran Michael. No reason has been given for selecting Mujtaba over Michael.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led by former prime minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has succumbed to pressure by most of its legislators of the Punjab Provincial Assembly to not let a Christian cabinet minister present the provincial budget for 2011-12 just because of his faith.
Kamran Michael, who holds the portfolio of Punjab Minorities Affairs Ministry, was given the additional charge of the provincial Finance Ministry, a few months ago [in March] when the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which was a coalition partner of the PML-N in Punjab, was forced to quit the government in wake of widening rift between the two parties. more >>
LAHORE, Pakistan – Armed Muslims disrupted the worship service of a church outside Lahore on Sunday (May 29), cursing the congregation, smashing a glass altar and desecrating Bibles and a cross, Christian leaders said.
Police initially tried to protect the leader of the Muslim intruders, the nephew of a former Member of the Punjab Assembly (MPA), and instead of making arrests eventually pressured Christians to accept an apology from the accused, they said.
Pastor Ashraf Masih of Numseoul Presbyterian Church in Lakhoki Kahna village told Compass that Muhammad Shoaib, nephew of former MPA Mansha Sindhu, entered the church building accompanied by four men armed with rifles and pistols and started cursing the congregation for “disturbing the peace of the area by worshipping on loudspeakers,” though the congregation was using loudspeakers only inside the church building. more >>
The U.S. mission that killed Osama bin Laden could be considered an “act of war,” said former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, during an interview aired Thursday night.
“Certainly no country has a right to intrude into any other country,” Musharraf, who was pressured to resign in 2008, told CNN’s Piers Morgan. “If technically or legally you see it, it’s an act of war.”
Al-Qaida head Osama bin Laden was assassinated on May 2 by a team of U.S. Navy SEALs in Abbottabad, about 30 miles northeast of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad. No Pakistani government officials were informed of the raid ahead of time. more >>
Troops recaptured a Pakistani naval airbase on Monday after a 16-hour battle with as few as six Taliban gunmen who had launched their brazen attack to avenge the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.
The assault casts fresh doubt on the Pakistani military's ability to protect its bases following a raid on the army headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi in 2009 and is a further embarrassment following the surprise raid by U.S. special forces on the al-Qaida leader's hideout north of Islamabad on May 2.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik said just six militants were believed involved in the attack on the PNS Mehran base in Karachi late on Sunday, destroying or damaging two aircraft and laying siege to a main building in one of the most heavily guarded bases in the nuclear-armed country. However, sources in the intelligence agencies claimed that seven terrorists had surrendered to the commandoes and they were taken to an undisclosed location on board an aircraft. more >>
As the Taliban have unleashed a violent spate of bombings in Pakistan and Afghanistan to avenge the killing of al-Qaida supreme leader Osama bin Laden, the terrorist organization has lost a high-profile religious figure, Salim al Laibi in a recent U.S. drone attack in the town of Mirali in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency, according to reports from the area bordering Afghanistan and considered to be a stronghold of al-Qaida and Taliban militants fighting the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
“Salam al Laibi was amongst the 12 militants killed in the U.S. drone attack in Khushhali Torikhel near Mirali on May 16,” an informed government source has claimed.
Usman, the son of another al-Qaida top commander Abu Akasha, was also killed in the same attack, said the source, adding that he was Abu Akasha’s third son to be killed in a U.S. drone strike. more >>
The Taliban bombed a U.S. consulate convoy in Peshawar on Friday, killing one person and wounding 11 others in the first attack on Americans in Pakistan since Osama bin Laden's killing in the military garrison town of Abbottabad on May 2.
According to a statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, two U.S. government employees were lightly wounded in the rush-hour attack in the volatile northwestern city, which runs into the tribal belt that Washington has branded a global headquarters of al-Qaida.
One of two armoured vehicles was damaged by what a bomb disposal official said was 50 kilos of low-grade explosives packed into a car and detonated by remote-control, dismissing initial reports of a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. more >>