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April 1, 2012 | By Kathy Gannon, Associated Press
LAHORE, Pakistan - It was barely 4 a.m. when 19-year-old Rinkal Kumari disappeared from her home in a small village in Pakistan's southern Sindh province. When her parents awoke, they found only her slippers and a scarf outside the door. A few hours later her father got a call telling him that his daughter, a Hindu, had converted to Islam to marry a Muslim boy. Only days later, Seema Bibi, a Christian woman in the province of Punjab, was kidnapped along with her four children after her husband couldn't repay a loan to a large landlord.
NEWS
September 25, 2011 | By Amir Shah and Christopher Torchia, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - A surging crowd of mourners on Friday touched and kissed the coffin of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani, slain by a suicide bomber claiming to carry a Taliban peace message, and vented at their own government and its efforts to reconcile with the insurgency. In angry chants at a hilltop cemetery, grieving followers of Rabbani's political faction vilified President Hamid Karzai, blamed Taliban insurgents for Afghanistan's woes, and denounced Pakistan for allegedly stirring up the conflict.
NEWS
May 25, 2012 | By Donna Cassata, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A Senate panel expressed its outrage Thursday over Pakistan's conviction of a doctor who helped the United States track down Osama bin Laden, voting to cut aid to Islamabad by $33 million - $1 million for every year of the physician's 33-year sentence for high treason. The punitive move came on top of deep reductions the Appropriations Committee already had made to President Obama's budget request for Pakistan, a reflection of the growing congressional anger over its cooperation in combating terrorism.
NEWS
January 26, 2012 | By Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan's prime minister toned down his criticism of the country's powerful generals Wednesday, a sign of lessening tension between the civilian government and the army that some predicted could topple the nation's leaders. The two sides have long been in conflict, but tempers flared in recent months over a secret memo allegedly sent by the government to Washington last year asking for help in stopping a supposed army coup after the U.S. operation to kill al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.
NEWS
April 26, 2013 | By Karen DeYoung, Washington Post
BRUSSELS, Belgium - After meeting for more three hours here Wednesday with Afghan and Pakistani leaders, Secretary of State John Kerry reported progress in relaunching talks but warned, "We're not going to raise expectations or promise results that can't be delivered. " Instead, Kerry said before boarding a plane to return to Washington, the leaders agreed to "under-promise, but deliver. " "We're all going to go home and do our homework," Kerry said, flanked by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan's military chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani.
NEWS
April 4, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
In September 2009, I sat next to Pakistan's former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, at a poolside dinner in his honor in Villanova. When he flew home from a self-imposed, four-year exile two weeks ago, I couldn't help recalling our conversation. The former president spoke about his secret efforts to produce a framework for ending the bitter 66-year-old conflict between Pakistan and India over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Such an accord might have prevented the current jihadi surge in Pakistan, and ensured a far more hopeful future for Afghanistan.
NEWS
January 12, 2012 | By Saeed Shah, McClatchy Newspapers
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - The confrontation between Pakistan's civilian government and its powerful army escalated sharply Wednesday when Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani fired the defense secretary, and the military warned that remarks by Gilani this week had "potentially grievous consequences. " The removal of the retired general who was the top bureaucrat in the defense ministry - replaced him with a ruling-party loyalist - fueled rumors that the government is considering changing the military's leadership, a move that is legally authorized but poses huge risks.
NEWS
February 2, 1991 | By Marc Kaufman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said yesterday that pro- Saddam Hussein feeling had been sweeping her country since the allied bombing of Iraq began. Still, she said, she does not expect Pakistan to withdraw the 10,000 troops it is contributing to the U.S.-led coalition in the Persian Gulf war. "There are strident and emotional calls for pulling the troops out of Saudi Arabia," Bhutto told a World Affairs Council audience in Center City. "And in fact people who do not carry Saddam Hussein's picture are assaulted in the streets, their cars are broken down, their windowpanes are smashed.
NEWS
May 12, 2013 | By Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Despite a bloody campaign marred by Taliban attacks, Pakistan holds historic elections Saturday pitting a former cricket star against a two-time prime minister once exiled by the army and an incumbent blamed for power blackouts and inflation. The vote marks the first time in Pakistan's 65-year history that a civilian government has completed its full term and handed over power in democratic elections. Previous governments have been toppled by military coups or sacked by presidents allied with the powerful army.
NEWS
November 24, 2011 | By Chris Brummitt and Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan's government appointed a liberal lawmaker and rights activist Wednesday as its U.S. ambassador, swiftly replacing an envoy who was forced out amid allegations that he sought Washington's help in trying to rein in Pakistan's powerful military. Sherry Rehman, who has faced extremist death threats for speaking out against Pakistan's antiblasphemy laws often used to persecute Christians, appeared to be acceptable to both the army and the weak civilian government.
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NEWS
April 29, 2015 | BY DOYLE McMANUS
ALMOST two years ago, President Obama announced that he was tightening the rules under which the CIA carries out drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries. Afterward, civilian casualties did, in fact, fall significantly, according to independent monitoring groups. But Obama's higher standard wasn't enough to avoid the unintended killing of two civilian hostages, one American and one Italian, in a Jan. 15 drone strike in Pakistan. Nor did the new rules protect two other U.S. citizens who had joined al Qaeda from being killed the same week.
NEWS
December 19, 2014 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
Pakistanis, and sympathizers the world over, are mourning the Taliban's horrific massacre of at least 132 schoolchildren and 13 staff in a crowded school in Peshawar. On the surface, this obscene assault - in which the Pakistani Taliban hunted down children cowering under desks and burned a teacher to death - seems to have stiffened the backbones of Pakistan's politicians, who have long waffled about confronting the country's radical Islamists. After the attack, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif swore to eradicate terrorism from the country.
NEWS
September 5, 2014
IMAGINE IT IS Sunday, the day a law takes effect stripping American Catholics of their rights. Such a law disenfranchised German Jews in 1935. Fewer than 40 years after the Nazis did it, Pakistan disenfranchised its Ahmadi Muslim Community. This Sunday is the 40th anniversary of that tragedy for human rights. When it was carved from India in 1947, Pakistan was to be a safe haven for Muslims, a democracy with freedom of worship. How ironic that in 1974 it declared Ahmadis - with 30 million peaceful followers in 206 countries - to be non-Muslim, heretics.
NEWS
October 25, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
When Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to Washington this week, I couldn't help thinking of the adage: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. " Sure enough, despite a long history of U.S. presidents being duped by Pakistani leaders, President Obama plans to restore more than $1.5 billion in blocked assistance for Islamabad. The aid was blocked because Pakistan never came clean about who helped Osama bin Laden hide for years in Abbottabad. And U.S.-Pakistani relations are stressed because Pakistan hosts Afghan Taliban who kill U.S. soldiers, as well as jihadis who kill Western and Indian civilians.
NEWS
July 26, 2013
Tunisian killing ignites protests TUNIS, Tunisia - Angry antigovernment demonstrations broke out Thursday across Tunisia after gunmen killed the leader of a leftist opposition party, raising fears of new chaos on the difficult road to democracy in the cradle of the Arab Spring. Just five months after a similar assassination plunged the country into crisis, two gunmen shot Mohammed Brahmi, leader of the Popular Current party, in his car outside his home. Tunisia is struggling after overthrowing dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.
NEWS
July 11, 2013 | By Kathy Gannon, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Afghanistan's Taliban have shuttered a newly opened office in the Gulf state of Qatar, vowing to fight on against President Hamid Karzai's government while abandoning a diplomatic approach seen as the best hope of finding a political end to the protracted 12-year war. Experts said Tuesday that the final withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan in 2014 offered the Taliban the hope of a military victory while limiting their incentive...
NEWS
July 10, 2013 | By Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden was able to live in Pakistan undetected for nine years because of a breathtaking scale of negligence and incompetence at practically all levels of the Pakistani government, according to an official government report published by a TV channel on Monday. The 336-page report was written by a commission tasked with investigating the circumstances surrounding the covert U.S. raid that killed bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011. The pan-Arab Al-Jazeera satellite channel published the report on its website after it was leaked to the station by unknown sources.
NEWS
July 2, 2013 | By Abdul Sattar and Riaz Khan, Associated Press
QUETTA, Pakistan - Bombings killed 49 people in three areas of Pakistan on Sunday, just as Britain's prime minister was in the capital pledging to help fight extremism. In the deadliest of the attacks, twin blasts near a Shiite mosque in Quetta, the capital of southwest Baluchistan province, killed at least 28 people, including women and several children, said the city police chief, Mir Zubair Mahmood. Dozens of others were wounded. Initial reports indicated a hand grenade caused the first blast, forcing people to run in the direction of the mosque, where a suicide bomber detonated his explosives, said another officer, Fayaz Sumbal said.
NEWS
June 24, 2013 | By Zarar Khan and Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Islamic militants disguised as police killed 10 foreign climbers and a Pakistani guide in a brazen overnight raid against their campsite at the base of one of the world's tallest mountains, officials said Sunday. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack at the base camp of Nanga Parbat, saying it was to avenge the death of its deputy leader in a U.S. drone strike last month. The attack took place in an area that has largely been peaceful, hundreds of miles from the Taliban's major sanctuaries along the Afghan border.
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