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 >>
LAHORE, Pakistan – An influential Muslim family in a village near Sheikhupura is holding a 17-year-old Christian girl hostage because one of her brothers allegedly eloped with a woman from the Muslim family.
The Muslim parents have threatened further retaliation against the Christian family if they do not produce their daughter, whom they have also threatened to publicly shoot dead as an “honor killing.”
An area clergyman identified only as Father Emmanuel called the situation “critical,” saying it has pitted the area’s 1,800 Muslim families against its 70-to-100 Christian families and could lead to violence. more >>
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed a Saudi diplomat in the Pakistani city of Karachi on Monday, the second attack on the mission since the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden increased tension in the region.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the killing, and warned the United States against attacking its close ally, al-Qaida. Al-Qaida has waged a bloody campaign to topple the royal family and government of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of bin Laden. The group has also vowed to avenge his killing by U.S. special forces in Pakistan’s garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2.
Four people riding motorcycles opened fire on the Saudi diplomat’s car, media reports quoted a Karachi police official as saying. The diplomat, a low ranking security official, was on his way to the consulate when the assailants struck. more >>
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – U.S. Senator John Kerry warned Pakistan on Monday that "actions not words" are needed to tackle militant sanctuaries, as the two countries tried to salvage their relationship two weeks after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. The two countries also principally agreed that they would “work together” in any future action against high-value targets in Pakistan.
“Our progress in the days ahead will be measured by actions, not words,” Senator Kerry said in a televised statement after a meeting with President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani.
“Ultimately, the Pakistani people will decide what kind of country Pakistan becomes, whether it is a haven for extremists or the tolerant democracy that Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned 64 years ago,” Kerry said. more >>
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Although law enforcement agencies in Miami have succeeded in arresting three Pakistan-born U.S. nationals, including the imams of two Florida mosques, on charges of financing and supporting the Pakistani Taliban, it's likely that a key figure of this network has managed to evade capture and is still present on U.S. soil.
Ikramul Haq – son of Hafiz Muhammad Sher Ali Khan, who was arrested along with two of his other sons, Izharul Haq and Irfanul Haq by U.S. law enforcement agencies in Miami on Saturday – has been wanted by the Pakistani police since 2008 in multiple cases pertaining to terrorism, murder, attempt to murder and kidnappings for ransom but has somehow managed to reach his father and brothers in the U.S. in these last two years, according to his nephew and police officials.
Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, and his son, Izharul Haq, 24, were arrested in South Florida, while Irfanul Haq, 37, was detained in Los Angeles. Hafiz Sher Ali is the Imam at the Miami Mosque, also known as the Flagler Mosque, while Izhar is the prayer leader at the Jamaat Al-Mu'mineen Mosque in Margate in Florida. The other three charged indicted by the U.S. on Saturday – Ali Rehman, Alamzeb and Amna Bibi – are living in Pakistan. Amna is Hafiz Sher’s daughter and Alamzeb his grandson. more >>
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – As U.S. Senator John Kerry warned Pakistan on Sunday it could risk losing U.S. aid in case Islamabad failed to cooperate more with Washington in curbing terrorism, Islamabad has also finalized its list of conditions to be forwarded to Washington with a clear message that their acceptance was a major prerequisite for the continuation of the anti-terrorism cooperation between the two estranged allies.
The list contains tough conditions like an end to drone strikes in Pakistan’s militant-infested Tribal Areas, withdrawal of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spies and defense contractors from Pakistan and complete intelligence sharing by Washington about the possible presence of al-Qaida and Taliban leaders inside the country.
The Pakistani list of conditions will not only be sent to Washington through diplomatic channels, but will also be shared with Senator Kerry, who arrived in Islamabad from Kabul on Sunday night to hold crucial talks with Pakistani leaders. more >>