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May 25, 2012

Pakistani interrogator says Osama bin Laden wives gave little away

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Osama bin Laden’s three wives were fiercely loyal to him and gave little away when they were interrogated after the al Qaeda chief was killed in a U.S. raid over a year ago, a Pakistani intelligence agent who questioned them said.

The three women were arrested by Pakistani security forces after the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden’s safe house in the town of Abbottabad, about 35 km (60 miles) from the capital Islamabad.

May 25, 2012

Pakistani interrogator says bin Laden wives gave little away

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Osama bin Laden’s three wives were fiercely loyal to him and gave little away when they were interrogated after the al Qaeda chief was killed in a U.S. raid over a year ago, a Pakistani intelligence agent who questioned them said.

The three women were arrested by Pakistani security forces after the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden’s safe house in the town of Abbottabad, about 35 km (60 miles) from the capital Islamabad.

May 24, 2012

Pakistan seeks face-saving formula in NATO talks

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan is unlikely to re-open supply routes to NATO troops in Afghanistan unless the United States offers a politically acceptable formula in talks on ending a six-month standoff on the issue, a Pakistani official said on Thursday.

The official said the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)had to be politically savvy, taking into account widespread anti-American sentiment in the country ahead of general elections due by early next year.

May 23, 2012

U.S. hopes for breakthrough in Pakistan NATO supply route talks

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The United States hopes Pakistan will soon agree to re-open supply routes to NATO troops in Afghanistan, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, after a Senate panel threatened to cut aid to Islamabad over the standoff.

Pakistan closed the supply routes, seen as vital to the planned withdrawal of most foreign troops from Afghanistan before the end of 2014, in protest against last November’s killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a NATO air attack along the Afghan border.

May 2, 2012

Suicide bombers kill 7 after Obama leaves Afghan capital

KABUL (Reuters) – Suicide bombers attacked a compound housing Westerners in Kabul on Wednesday hours after U.S. President Barack Obama signed a security pact during a short visit to a city that remains vulnerable to a resilient insurgency.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack which involved a car bomb and insurgents disguised as women on the eastern outskirts of the capital, killing seven people, a Gurkha guard and six passers-by, and wounding 17.

May 2, 2012

Car bomb kills six after Obama leaves Afghan capital

KABUL (Reuters) – At least six people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack in the Afghan capital on Wednesday, officials said, hours after U.S. President Barack Obama left Kabul following an unannounced visit during which he signed a strategic partnership agreement.

The blast, and Obama’s visit, came a year after U.S. special forces troops killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the architect of the September 11, 2001 attacks, in a raid in neighboring Pakistan.

May 1, 2012

Afghan leaders should raise their game: EU ambassador

KABUL (Reuters) – Just after news broke that U.S. special forces had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the top EU diplomat in neighboring Afghanistan received a flood of emails from jubilant Afghans.

The death of the al Qaeda leader a year ago raised hopes in Kabul, Brussels, Washington and elsewhere that a devastating blow had been dealt to Islamist militancy in one of the most unstable regions in the world.

Apr 26, 2012

Pakistan military’s grip on foreign policy easing

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s military, which has dominated the country for much of its turbulent history, has less sway over foreign policy, and a new power equation is emerging within America’s strategic ally, said the foreign minister.

Pakistan has been directly ruled by generals for more than half of its 64-year history and indirectly for much of the rest.

Apr 25, 2012

Pakistan army uses bullets, and classrooms to fight militancy

GULIBAGH, Pakistan (Reuters) – Hazrat Gul spent two years in detention for allegedly aiding the Pakistani Taliban when they publicly flogged and beheaded people during a reign of terror in the scenic Swat Valley.

Now he wiles away his time in pristine classrooms, a Pakistani flag pin on his crisp uniform, learning about word processing, carpentry and car repairs at the Mashal de-radicalization centre run by the army.

Apr 6, 2012

Saeed with U.S. bounty said helping de-radicalise militants

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Islamist leader Hafiz Saeed who had a $10 million American bounty placed on his head this week has been helping Pakistan de-radicalise militants under efforts to stabilise the strategic U.S. ally, a top Pakistani counter-terrorism official said on Friday.

Saeed, suspected of masterminding an attack by Pakistan-based gunmen on Mumbai in 2008 that killed 166 people, including six Americans, met government officials from the Punjab province and pledged his support for the drive, the official said.