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:

Wary Afghans mull possible Taliban peace talks

By Reuters Staff
October 10, 2010

talibanLike many Afghans, shopkeeper Abdul Sattar recalls Taliban rule as a nightmare of public executions, women shut away at home and evenings without TV, but he might accept some of it back for peace and stability.

U.S. Afghanistan commanders condemn Florida church’s Koran-burning plan

September 7, 2010

kabul koran (Photo: Afghans in Kabul protest against Koran burning plan, September 6, 2010/Mohammad Ishaq)

U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan have warned that a small Florida church’s plan to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks could endanger the lives of American troops.

Pakistani Sunni militants stoking sectarian rift against Shi’ites: minister

By Reuters Staff
September 4, 2010

quetta (Photo: Volunteers help injured after suicide attack on Shi’ite procession in Quetta September 3, 2010/Rizwan Saeed)

Pro-Taliban Pakistani militants are trying to fuel a sectarian rift, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday, as a new wave of violence piled pressure on a government already struggling with a flood crisis.

FACTBOX – Lashkar-e-Taiba charity wing in Pakistan flood relief work

August 25, 2010

dawaThe Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the humanitarian wing of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, has been providing relief to those hit by Pakistan’s floods.

Pakistan to clamp down on Islamist militant charities in flood areas

By Reuters Staff
August 24, 2010

sukkur food line (Photo: Flood victims wait for food handouts in a relief camp in Sukkur, August 20, 2010/Akhtar Soomro)

Pakistan has said  it will clamp down on charities linked to Islamist militants amid fears their involvement in flood relief could exploit anger against the government and undermine the fight against groups like the Taliban.  Islamist charities have moved swiftly to fill the vacuum left by a government overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster and struggling to reach millions of people in dire need of shelter, food and drinking water.

Afghan archaeologists find Buddhist site as war rages

By Reuters Staff
August 17, 2010

bamyanArchaeologists in Afghanistan, where Taliban Islamists are fighting the Western-backed government, have uncovered Buddhist-era remains in an area south of Kabul, an official said on Tuesday.  “There is a temple, stupas, beautiful rooms, big and small statues, two with the length of seven and nine meters, colorful frescos ornamented with gold and some coins,” said Mohammad Nader Rasouli, head of the Afghan Archaeological Department.

from Afghan Journal:

Resurgent Taliban target women and children

August 11, 2010


Civilian casualties in the worsening war in Afghanistan are up just over 30 percent in the current year,  the United Nations said in a mid-year report this week, holding the Taliban responsible for three-quarters of the deaths or injuries.

Afghan Hindus and Sikhs grapple with uncertain future

By Reuters Staff
July 10, 2010

kabul view (Photo: Kabul, December 30, 2009/Marko Djurica)

They thrived long before the arrival of Islam in the seventh century and for a long time dominated the country’s economy, but Sikh and Hindu Afghans now find themselves struggling for survival.

from Afghan Journal:

Where does Taliban reconciliation leave victims of war?

May 21, 2010

An Afghan boy in Afghanistan's southeaster Paktika province, November 2009. REUTERS/Bruno Domingos

An Afghan boy in Afghanistan's southeastern Paktika province, November 2009. REUTERS/Bruno Domingos