Maria's Feed
Oct 21, 2014

Pakistani Taliban sack influential spokesman as divisions grow

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The Pakistani Taliban have sacked the movement’s influential spokesman, according to a statement received by Reuters on Tuesday, in a sign of growing divisions within the deeply fractured group.

The move followed last week’s release of an audio message purporting to have been recorded by the spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, saying he and a group of other commanders had defected to the Middle Eastern jihadist group, Islamic State.

Oct 18, 2014

Political debut for scion of Pakistan’s Bhutto dynasty

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The only son of Pakistan’s assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto told hundreds of thousands of supporters on Saturday that he would fight for his party’s revival, in an appearance intended to mark the official launch of his political career.

“The fountainhead of our power is the people,” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 26, told the crowd in the port city of Karachi, Pakistan’s financial heart and home to 18 million people.

Oct 10, 2014

Pakistan’s Malala: idol to the world, outcast at home

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, is hailed around the world as a champion of women’s rights who stood up bravely against the Taliban to defend her beliefs.

But in her deeply conservative homeland, many view her with suspicion as an outcast or even as a Western creation aimed at damaging Pakistan’s image abroad.

Oct 4, 2014

Pakistani Taliban declare allegiance to Islamic State and global jihad

DERA ISMAIL KHAN/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The Pakistani Taliban declared allegiance to Islamic State on Saturday and ordered militants across the region to help the Middle Eastern jihadist group in its campaign to set up a global Islamic caliphate.

Islamic State, which controls swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, has been making inroads into South Asia, which has traditionally been dominated by local Taliban insurgencies against both the Pakistan and Afghanistan governments.

Sep 17, 2014

New al Qaeda wing in South Asia claims major attack

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s South Asia wing has claimed responsibility for hijacking a Pakistani naval ship and trying to use it to fire rockets at U.S. vessels in the Arabian Sea, in the first major assault by the newly created group.

The SITE monitoring service quoted its spokesman, Usama Mahmoud, as saying a group of militants had succeeded in seizing control of the Pakistani frigate PNS Zulfiqar and tried to use it to attack nearby U.S. vessels.

Sep 13, 2014

Tense stand-off in Pakistani capital as political crisis drags on

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – A court in Pakistan ordered on Saturday that 100 opposition activists be sent to jail for holding illegal protests, prompting a tense confrontation between demonstrators and police in the center of the capital.

Protesters led by Imran Khan, a former cricket star, and Tahir ul-Qadri, a firebrand cleric, have been locked in a bitter stand-off with the government for weeks, refusing to leave their protest camp until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns.

Sep 9, 2014

Insight – Al Qaeda’s shadowy new “emir” in South Asia handed tough job

MULTAN Pakistan/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani militant Asim Umar has been handed a very tough job.

Thrust into the limelight after being named leader of al Qaeda’s newly created South Asian wing, he has been entrusted with reviving the network’s fortunes at a time when Islamic State is generating grisly headlines and luring recruits.

Sep 9, 2014

Al Qaeda’s shadowy new ‘emir’ in South Asia handed tough job

MULTAN Pakistan/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani militant Asim Umar has been handed a very tough job.

Thrust into the limelight after being named leader of al Qaeda’s newly created South Asian wing, he has been entrusted with reviving the network’s fortunes at a time when Islamic State is generating grisly headlines and luring recruits.

Sep 3, 2014

Pakistan protests ease as rival leaders seek negotiated settlement

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Rival Pakistani politicians on Wednesday explored the possibility of a negotiated solution to weeks of protests aimed at the removal of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that eased after turning violent at the weekend.

Thousands had tried to storm Sharif’s house in protests led by former cricket star Imran Khan and firebrand cleric Tahir ul-Qadri, destabilizing the coup-prone nation.

Sep 2, 2014

Pakistan parliament backs embattled prime minister as crisis deepens

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s parliament threw its weight behind embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday as a deepening crisis over violent protests demanding his resignation prompted fears of an army intervention.

Sharif, who enjoys a solid majority in the chamber, convened a joint session of parliament as he seeks to reaffirm that he is fully in control more than two weeks after mass protests seeking to bring down his government erupted in the coup-prone nation.