ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Monday that humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis affected by military offensives against al Qaeda-linked militants might cease because of scarce funds.
U.N. aid agencies in February launched a $537 million aid appeal for people impacted by the fighting between government forces and militants in the northwest of the country.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s prime minister will see his position bolstered when he assumes most presidential powers, but faces an uphill task of bringing stability in the U.S. ally where different centers of power vie for influence.
After two years of intense political wrangling, a parliamentary committee last week approved a constitutional reform bill in the parliament.
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistan’s army will launch its biggest maneuvers in 20 years next week to deal with the threat of conventional war with old rival India, military officials said on Monday.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since their independence from British rule in 1947 and ties have been strained since an attack on the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008 blamed on Pakistan-based Islamist militants.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The Pakistani government introduced a constitutional bill in parliament Friday, transferring President Asif Ali Zardari’s sweeping powers to the prime minister and possibly ending months of political wrangling.
The set of reforms, known as the “18th Amendment Bill,” is expected to be passed by the two-chambered parliament, effectively turning Zardari into a titular head of state.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is used to being Pakistan’s most popular politician, but lately he has become the country’s most criticised.
The government had planned to push through the parliament this month a reform package that would have stripped President Asif Ali Zardari of his sweeping powers, but that seems unlikely now after Sharif abruptly raised new objections on Thursday. Sharif was the one who loudly and actively campaigned against his arch-rival Zardari.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Buoyant U.S.-Pakistani relations are being underpinned by converging interests over Afghanistan but strains could emerge if Pakistan’s expectations for U.S. help are not met and it feels it is being used.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were all smiles after their recent high-level talks in Washington aimed at reversing tempestuous ties between the allies.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan’s powerful army is likely to dominate key security issues for the country as senior government and military officials meet their American counterparts for important talks in Washington this week.
In the first ministerial-level strategic talks scheduled on Wednesday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will focus on security cooperation between the two uneasy allies to fight Islamist militants.
After the chief minister of Pakistan’s biggest province reportedly asked the Taliban to spare his region from attacks, he kicked off an uproar and earned the scorn of a woman member of a provincial parliament, who sarcastically offered him her scarf and said “the women of the frontier province” would protect him.
Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab province, on Sunday said he didn’t understand why the Taliban were targeting the Punjab when his party — the PML-N — and militants alike opposed the policies of former military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, who allied with the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan has signed a deal with Iran paving the way for the construction of a much-delayed pipeline pumping Iranian natural gas to the energy-starved South Asian country, officials said on Wednesday.
The $7.6 billion project is crucial for Pakistan to avert a growing energy crisis already causing severe electricity shortages in the country of about 170 million.
By Zeeshan Haider
(Reuters) – Two suicide bombers targeting the Pakistani military killed 45 people and wounded about 100 in the city of Lahore on Friday, officials said, in the biggest militant attack in the country this year.
Following are some facts about the city of Lahore.
WHY IS LAHORE IMPORTANT?
* Lahore is capital of Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous and prosperous province, and has a population of more than 5 million.