Katharine's Feed
Mar 25, 2015

Insight – Worries grow as new courts hand Pakistan army more power

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) – Weeks after Taliban gunmen massacred 134 pupils at an army-run school, Pakistani lawmakers significantly expanded the power of military courts by allowing them to try civilians accused of terrorism.

Critics say the new rules cede too much ground to the military, which towers over Pakistani politics despite the first ever handover of power from one civilian government to another two years ago.

Mar 25, 2015

Worries grow as new courts hand Pakistan army more power

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) – Weeks after Taliban gunmen massacred 134 pupils at an army-run school, Pakistani lawmakers significantly expanded the power of military courts by allowing them to try civilians accused of terrorism.

Critics say the new rules cede too much ground to the military, which towers over Pakistani politics despite the first ever handover of power from one civilian government to another two years ago.

Mar 17, 2015

Pakistan hangs 12 men in largest execution since moratorium lifted

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan hanged 12 male convicts on Tuesday, an Interior Ministry spokesman said, the largest number of people executed on the same day since an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment was lifted in December.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted a de facto moratorium on capital punishment on Dec. 17, a day after Pakistani Taliban gunmen attacked a school and killed 132 students and nine teachers. The slaughter put pressure on the government to do more to tackle the Islamist insurgency.

Mar 15, 2015

Thirteen bodies found in Pakistan were detainees of army: residents

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Reuters) – Shepherds found 13 bullet-riddled bodies in northwestern Pakistan, officials said Sunday, and two local residents identified them as men detained by the military in January.

Two intelligence officials said the bodies discovered near Mandao village in Shaktoi, South Waziristan, were Taliban fighters. A military spokesman declined to comment.

Mar 12, 2015

Pakistani splinter group rejoins Taliban amid fears of isolation

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) – A militant splinter group that broke from the Pakistani Taliban last year and declared allegiance to Islamic State announced on Thursday it was rejoining the Taliban insurgency, a move that could be prompted by fears of isolation amid possible Afghan peace talks.

Afghan officials announced last month they were exploring possible peace talks with the Afghan Taliban although no firm dates for formal meetings were set.

Mar 10, 2015

Pakistan to restart executions for death row prisoners

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan will begin executing criminals on death row whose appeals have been exhausted, an interior ministry spokesman said Tuesday, reversing an earlier announcement that only those convicted of terrorism would be executed.

“It applies to all (on death row), irrespective of the nature of the crime,” said the spokesman, who said the order was given late on Friday but not publicized.

Jan 26, 2015

CSI Lahore: US forensics big shot comes home to help Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) – As one of America’s top forensic scientists, Mohammad Tahir uncovered evidence that helped jail boxer Mike Tyson for rape, convict serial killer John Wayne Gacy and clear doctor Sam Sheppard of murdering his wife.

Then Tahir took on his toughest assignment yet – applying his skills in Pakistan, a poor nation of 180 million people beset by crime and militancy.

Jan 6, 2015

Pakistan’s parliament votes for military courts to try insurgents

ISLAMABAD, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Pakistan’s parliament on
Tuesday passed legislation allowing military courts to try
insurgents, one of a raft of measures aimed at clamping down on
increasingly brutal attacks after Taliban gunmen massacred 134
children last month.

With the unanimous vote of all lawmakers present in the
lower house and the senate, the bill secured a two-thirds
majority it required. Lawmakers from religious parties and an
opposition party led by former cricketer Imran Khan stayed away.

Jan 6, 2015

Pakistan lawmakers vote for military courts to try insurgents

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani lawmakers on Tuesday passed legislation for military courts to try insurgents, one of a raft of measures aimed at clamping down on increasingly brutal attacks after Taliban gunmen massacred 134 children last month.

The bill secured the unanimous vote of the 242 lawmakers present, 14 more than the two-thirds majority it required. Lawmakers from religious parties and an opposition party led by former cricketer Imran Khan abstained.

Dec 18, 2014

Pakistan military signs death warrants for six

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The Pakistani military said on Thursday its Chief of Army Staff had signed death warrants for six “hard core terrorists” following a deadly Taliban attack on a school that killed 132 children earlier this week.

It was unclear if the men had been accused of involvement in the school attack or of other crimes. It was also unclear whether they were in custody or had been convicted in absentia.

    • About Katharine

      "Katharine Houreld has lived in Liberia, Nigeria and Kenya and spent nine years reporting from Africa before joining Reuters as the Afghanistan/Pakistan correspondent in 2012."
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