Grief-stricken Pakistani Christians bury slain cabinet minister

By Reuters Staff
March 4, 2011
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(People gather near the casket of Pakistan's Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti after a funeral ceremony inside a church in Islamabad March 4, 2011/Faisal Mahmood)

Pakistan media warn of growing chaos after Christian minister slain

By Reuters Staff
March 3, 2011
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(Christians protest in Hyderabad against the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, March 3, 2011/Akram Shahid )

Factbox – Pakistan’s blasphemy law strikes fear in minorities

By Reuters Staff
March 2, 2011
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(File Photo: Shahbaz Bhatti, chairman of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, shows a cross burned during an attack on a church in central Punjab province during a news conference in Islamabad November 14, 2005/Faisal Mahmood)

Taliban say killed Christian Pakistani cabinet minister for blasphemy

By Reuters Staff
March 2, 2011
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(The body of assassinated minority minister Shahbaz Bhatti is carried from a hospital after he was killed in Islamabad on March 2, 2011S/Faisal Mahmood)

Christian Pakistani minister shot dead in Islamabad ambush

By Reuters Staff
March 2, 2011
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(The bullet-riddled car of slain Pakistani Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti in Islamabad March 2, 2011/Faisal Mahmood )

Sacred Shi’ite ritual tests Pakistan’s security resolve

By Reuters Staff
December 15, 2010

ashura (Photo: Shi’ite men at an Ashura procession in Peshawar, January 19, 2008/Ali Imam)

Pakistan is deploying tens of thousands of paramilitary soldiers and police ahead of a religious festival that could be a major security test for authorities struggling to contain militant violence. Many of Pakistan’s minority Shi’ite Muslims, who make up 15 percent of the population, will be vulnerable to suicide bombings when they stage large rallies Friday to mark Ashura, the biggest event in their calendar.

from Afghan Journal:

WikiLeaks : Talks with the Taliban a non-starter

December 5, 2010

AFGHANISTAN/

Afghan President Hamid Karzai may be pushing for talks with the Taliban in public as the only way to end the nine-year war, but in private he is as determined as the United States in opposing any place for top Taliban leaders  in a future government , the latest set of WikiLeaks documents show.  Those repeated calls for talks  are more aimed at sowing dissensions in the insurgent group than  any serious attempt for a negotiated settlement of the war. Indeed as The Guardian reports on the leaked comments on its website, so far as Karzai and the Obama administration are concerned, the only option open to the Taliban is surrender.

Hardline Pakistan imam offers reward to kill Christian woman

By Reuters Staff
December 3, 2010

qureshiA hardline, pro-Taliban Pakistani Muslim cleric on Friday offered a reward for anyone who kills a Christian woman sentenced to death by a court on charges of insulting Islam. The sentence against Asia Bibi has renewed debate about Pakistan’s blasphemy law which critics say is used to persecute religious minorities, fan religious extremism and settle personal scores. Non-Muslim minorities account roughly 4 percent of Pakistan’s about 170 million population.

from Afghan Journal:

Afghanistan cracks down on Internet cafes for allowing porn

October 25, 2010

cafe

Seventeen internet cafes have been shutdown in the Afghan capital Kabul, for allowing their clients to surf porn websites and access other unspecified "un-Islamic websites", the local Pajhwok news agency reported.

from Pakistan: Now or Never?:

Attacking Sufi shrines in Pakistan

October 14, 2010

sufi shrineAmil Khan has a post up at Abu Muqawama about last week's bombing at a Sufi shrine in Karachi and its implications for intra-Sunni conflict between Deobandi Taliban militants and people of the majority Barelvi sect: