Michael's Feed
Dec 6, 2012

Taliban claim suicide attack on Afghan spy chief

KABUL (Reuters) – The Taliban said on Thursday they carried out a suicide bombing that wounded Afghanistan’s intelligence chief in Kabul, another sign that the government is struggling to improve security ahead of a NATO pullout in 2014.

Asadullah Khalid was wounded when the bomber struck at a guesthouse used by the National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a heavily guarded area of the capital. The intelligence agency said he had survived a “terrorist attack”.

Nov 29, 2012

Chinese return to Afghan mine project – minister

KABUL (Reuters) – Most of the roughly 170 Chinese workers who fled rocket attacks on the largest foreign investment project in Afghanistan have returned because of improved security, the Afghan mining minister said on Thursday.

Officials had been trying to convince Chinese workers to restart work at the Aynak copper deposit in Logar province, one of the most dangerous regions of the country.

Nov 11, 2012

Pakistan urges all Afghan insurgents to pursue peace: ambassador

KABUL (Reuters) – Pakistan hopes to persuade Afghan insurgent groups, including the lethal Haqqani network, to pursue peace but worries resistance from political factions opposed to the Taliban could undermine reconciliation efforts, Islamabad’s ambassador said.

Mohammad Sadiq, speaking in an interview, also suggested U.S. efforts would be better directed at engaging insurgent groups — rather than attempting to defeat them by launching military strikes against their leaders.

Nov 9, 2012

No breakthrough in Afghan peace efforts before 2014: official

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s government has failed to secure direct talks with the Taliban and no significant progress is expected before 2014, when most NATO combat troops withdraw, a senior Afghan official closely involved with reconciliation efforts said on Friday.

“No breakthrough is expected before the 2014 election,” the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Nov 8, 2012

Obama must clean up Afghan politics: opposition leader

KABUL (Reuters) – Prominent Afghan opposition leader Ahmad Zia Masood has urgent advice for President Barack Obama in his second term – clean up Afghan politics before the next election or risk civil war.

Masood said a number of factors could trigger another internal conflict after most NATO combat troops leave at the end of 2014, including growing fears of another Taliban takeover.

Nov 6, 2012

Afghanistan rules out peace deals with Haqqanis

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan welcomes the United Nations’ decision to impose sanctions on the Haqqani network and would not negotiate for peace with the group blamed for several high-profile attacks in the country, the presidential spokesman said on Tuesday.

On Monday the U.N. Security Council’s Taliban sanctions committee added the Haqqani network to a U.N. blacklist, the United States said.

Oct 24, 2012
via FaithWorld

Pakistan’s threat within – the Sunni-Shia divide: Special Report

Photo

(A student shout slogans as he marches with others during a protest rally against an anti-Islam film made in the U.S. which they say mocks the Prophet Mohammad, in Gilgit September 19, 2012. Picture taken September 19, 2012. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro )

About 20 men dressed as Pakistani soldiers boarded a bus bound for a Muslim festival outside this mountain town and checked the identification cards of the passengers. They singled out 19 Shi’ites, drew weapons and slaughtered them, most with a bullet to the head.

Oct 24, 2012

Pakistan’s threat within: the Sunni-Shia divide

GILGIT, Pakistan, Oct 24 (Reuters) – About 20 men dressed as
Pakistani soldiers boarded a bus bound for a Muslim festival
outside this mountain town and checked the identification cards
of the passengers. They singled out 19 Shi’ites, drew weapons
and slaughtered them, most with a bullet to the head.

The shooters weren’t soldiers. They were a hit squad linked
to the Sunni Muslim extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, or LeJ.
They had trekked in along a high Himalayan pass that hot August
morning to waylay a convoy of pilgrims.

Oct 24, 2012

Special Report: Pakistan’s threat within – the Sunni-Shia divide

GILGIT, Pakistan (Reuters) – About 20 men dressed as Pakistani soldiers boarded a bus bound for a Muslim festival outside this mountain town and checked the identification cards of the passengers. They singled out 19 Shi’ites, drew weapons and slaughtered them, most with a bullet to the head.

The shooters weren’t soldiers. They were a hit squad linked to the Sunni Muslim extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, or LeJ. They had trekked in along a high Himalayan pass that hot August morning to waylay a convoy of pilgrims.

Jul 5, 2012

Long road ahead in U.S.-Pakistan ties after NATO deal

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan and the United States are set to resume broader talks on security cooperation, militant threats, aid and other issues in the wake of an agreement to reopen supply routes into Afghanistan, Pakistan’s envoy to Washington said on Thursday.

But bridging underlying differences that strained U.S.-Pakistani ties close to the breaking point will be daunting as the allies remain at odds over how to handle the twin threats of the Taliban in Afghanistan and militants in Pakistani tribal areas.