ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani held talks with opposition leaders on Monday in a bid to head off a possible vote of no confidence after a key partner quit the governing coalition.
Gilani’s government lost its parliamentary majority on Sunday after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced it would go into opposition over government fuel price policies that it said were “unbearable” for Pakistanis.
ISLAMABAD, Jan 3 (Reuters) – Pakistani Prime Minister
Yusuf Raza Gilani is due to meet a leader of the main
opposition party on Monday in a bid to head off a possible
vote of no confidence against him after a key partner quit the
Gilani’s government lost its parliamentary majority on
Sunday after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced it
would go into opposition, plunging the country, vital for U.S.
efforts to pacify Afghanistan, into a deep political crisis.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Business centers were shut in Pakistan on Friday in a strike called by Islamists to pressure the ruling party which is scrambling to stop its main coalition partner from pulling out of the governing coalition.
Religious parties called the action to protest against what it believes are plans by the government to change the country’s controversial blasphemy law.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – A woman covered in a head-to-foot burqa carried out a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 people in Pakistan, government officials said on Sunday, adding to security challenges confronting the U.S. ally.
Any increased use of women as bombers may complicate efforts by Pakistani security forces to stem a spreading wave of Islamist suicide attacks because it is harder to spot and search burqa-clad attackers in conservative tribal society.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – As tension grows between Pakistan and Iran after a mosque bombing in Iran, Pakistan could find itself increasingly isolated as its western neighbor looks to increase its influence in the region, analysts say.
Jundollah, a Sunni Muslim militant group Iran says is based in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan, claimed responsibility for a December 15 double suicide bombing in the Iranian town of Chabahar that killed 39 people and wounded more than 100.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani and Chinese businessmen signed deals worth $15 billion on Saturday as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao demonstrated Beijing’s assertive trade diplomacy on a visit to Islamabad.
The 18 deals signed by the private sector added to nearly $20 billion worth of agreements concluded by the governments of the two countries during Wen’s trip, which came hard on the heels of his visit to Pakistan’s rival, India.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan is deploying tens of thousands of paramilitary soldiers and police ahead of a religious festival that could be a major security test for authorities struggling to contain militant violence.
Many of Pakistan’s minority Shi’ite Muslims, who make up 15 percent of the population, will be vulnerable to suicide bombings when they stage large rallies Friday to mark Ashura, the biggest event in their calendar.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistani security agencies have identified 20 more people suspected of involvement in the 2008 attack on India’s commercial capital Mumbai which killed 166 people, a Pakistani newspaper reported Monday.
Pakistan has acknowledged that the attack was plotted and partly launched from its soil, and has put on trial seven suspects linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group, which was blamed for the attacks.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan said on Sunday it was satisfied with NATO’s plans to hand over control to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014, but cautioned against any withdrawal that doesn’t acknowledge “ground realities.”
Pakistan is crucial for the U.S.-led efforts to stabilize war-ravaged Afghanistan because its border areas are sanctuaries, and training grounds, for al Qaeda and Taliban militants. Western allies have been pressing Pakistan to take tough action against these havens.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – A Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan on charges of blaspheming Islam said on Saturday she had been wrongfully accused by neighbors due to a personal dispute, and appealed to the president to pardon her.
Asia Bibi, mother of four, is the first woman to be sentenced to death under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law which rights groups say is often exploited by religious extremists as well as ordinary Pakistanis to settle personal scores.