U.S. Drone Strike Kills Militants in Pakistan but Angers Its GovernmentBy SALMAN MASOOD JAN. 24, 2018 The New York Times

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A leader of the militant Haqqani network and two of his aides were killed Wednesday in an American drone strike in northwestern Pakistan, an attack that was denounced by the Pakistani government. The attack took place on Wednesday morning in the Speen Thal Dapa Mamozai area of the Kurram tribal region and was directed at a house …

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Americans Were Among 22 Killed in Kabul Hotel Attack, U.S. SaysBy MUJIB MASHAL and JAWAD SUKHANYAR JAN. 23, 2018 The New York Times

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KABUL, Afghanistan — The State Department said on Tuesday that United States citizens were among the victims of the Taliban attack on a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, over the weekend, which killed 22 people. American officials said they were not yet able to publicly identify the citizens who were killed or injured, but Afghan officials said it appeared that at …

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The C.I.A.’s Maddening Relationship with PakistanBy Nicholas Schmidle January 12, 2018 (The New Yorker)

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Thirteen years ago, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld arrived in Pakistan with a list. He pulled it from his shirt pocket during a meeting with President Pervez Musharraf, and told the general how, during a recent Oval Office gathering, President George W. Bush had expressed bewilderment and annoyance that most of the terrorists on the list were suspected of hiding out …

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Body of MQM leader Dr Hasan Arif found in a car in KarachiDawn Newspaper

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Professor Dr Hasan Zafar Arif, MQM-London’s deputy convener, was found dead in a car in Karachi’s Ilyas Goth area on Sunday, police said. “The body of Hassan Zafar Arif, son of Maqbool Hassan, 70-72-years-old, was found from car number ANC-016, Lancer silver at Ilyas Goth,” station house officer at Ibrahim Hyderi police station confirmed. “The body was shifted to Jinnah …

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Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui escapes kidnapping attemptCommittee to Protect Journalists (Jan. 10, 2018)

New York, January 10, 2018—The Committee to Protect Journalists urges Pakistani authorities to investigate today’s attempted abduction of journalist Taha Siddiqui, and prosecute the perpetrators. Siddiqui, the Pakistani bureau chief for the New Delhi-based television channel World Is One News, was in Islamabad on his way to the airport when 10 to 12 men stopped his car on the highway, …

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Review of Aboard the Democracy Train: A Journey Through Pakistan’s Last Decade of DemocracyKaustubh Kirti's Reviews Dec 29, 2017

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A thrilling tale that follows the death of Zia on 1988 and folllows much of Pakistan’s history till the shahadat of Benazir Bhutto. The book gives a close acccount of what goes behind the scene in the political landscape and how specific events change the functioning of democracy in Pakistan. Fragility of the civil institutions have directly been related to …

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Trump’s Twitter Attack On Pakistan Is Met With Both Anger And Support In South AsiaLeeza Mangaldas Forbes (Jan 3, 2018).

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In one of his first tweets of the new year, U.S. President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of deceiving the United States and harboring terrorists while accepting billions of dollars in foreign aid, an equation that would no longer be tolerated. Along with the tweet came reports that the U.S. is likely to withhold more than $250 million in aid that …

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Iranians chant ‘death to dictator’ in biggest unrest since crushing of protests in 2009Saeed Kamali Dehghan & Emma Graham-Harrison The Guardian (Dec 31,2017)

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At least two protesters were killed in the city of Doroud, in Iran’s western Lorestan province, as riot police opened fire to contain a group of people said to have been trying to occupy the local governor’s office. Clashes between demonstrators and anti-riot police became violent in some cities as the demonstrations spread. The two men killed in Doroud have …

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A sisterhood with nerves of steelBy Naziha Ahmed (Dawn Newspaper) Dec 2017

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“The truth does not change when a government does. Like freedom, truth is open to misuse, but, again like freedom, it can’t be withheld on that count,” wrote the late Razia Bhatti in one of her searing editorials. These were not merely fine words: Ms Bhatti, editor of the Herald and later of Newsline – not to mention the women …

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Frustrated U.S. Might Withhold $255 Million in Aid From PakistanBy ADAM GOLDMAN, MARK LANDLER & ERIC SCHMITT The New York Times

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WASHINGTON, Dec 29 — When Pakistani forces freed a Canadian-American family this fall held captive by militants, they also captured one of the abductors. United States officials saw a potential windfall: He was a member of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network who could perhaps provide valuable information about at least one other American hostage. The Americans demanded access to the man, …

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Benazir Bhutto assassination: How Pakistan covered up killingBy Owen Bennett Jones BBC News (Dec 27, 2017)

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Benazir Bhutto was the first woman to lead a Muslim country. The decade since an assassin killed her has revealed more about how Pakistan works than it has about who actually ordered her death. Bhutto was murdered on 27 December 2007 by a 15-year-old suicide bomber called Bilal. She had just finished an election rally in Rawalpindi when he approached …

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Trump looks to the sky to force Taliban to the tableAFP (Dec 23, 2017)

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KABUL: The war in Afghanistan may be entering its 17th year, but screams of military jet engines in the twinkling skies above Bagram Airfield show no sign of quieting. This city-scale military base just north of Kabul has — like similar facilities in Kandahar and Jalalabad — become central to Donald Trump´s promise to succeed where his predecessors failed, and …

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UN Jerusalem vote by country: What countries voted against US call on Israel’s capital?By Sebastian Kettley Fri, Dec 22, 2017 Express UK

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An overwhelming majority of United Nations member states opposed the United States regarding the disputed status of Jerusalem on Thursday. In what was seen as a massive blow to the US, a total of 128 of the 193-member UN General Assembly agreed to resolve the Holy City dispute through “negotiations in line with relevant UN resolutions”. The vote followed President’s …

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Pakistan Church Attacked by 2 Suicide Bombers By SALMAN MASOOD DEC. 17, 2017 (The New York Times)

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Two suicide bombers attacked a church packed with worshipers on Sunday in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least nine people and injuring at least 35 others, several critically, officials said. The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attack in Quetta, the capital of the restive Baluchistan Province, in the country’s southwest. The group’s Amaq …

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From Trauma to Inspiration- Three years later APS survivor ready to change the worldSidra Khan (The News International) Dec 16, 2017

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Three years after the Army Public School Peshawar attack that claimed life of 144 students, the world might have moved on but not the families and victims of the massacre. Labelled as the bloodiest attack in the country’s history, it is hard to imagine the struggle of the victims despite moving three years down the memory. On the night of …

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Pakistan Currency Slides in Effective Devaluation: Rupee falls to near four-year low against the dollarBy Saumya Vaishampayan The Wall Street Journal (Dec 13, 2017)

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Pakistan’s rupee slumped to a near four-year low against the U.S. dollar Tuesday, the latest move downward in an effective devaluation of the currency that had been kept steady against the greenback for much of the past two years. The rupee’s slide began Friday and continued after Pakistan’s central bank signaled a drop in its value would help the country’s …

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US seeks to quell global outrage over Jerusalem: ‘The sky hasn’t fallen’The Guardian UK 10 December 2017

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Two days after America’s closest allies denounced it in the United Nations, a day after an Israeli air strike killed two in Gaza and hours after protests erupted near the US embassy in Lebanon, Donald Trump’s ambassador to the UN relayed his message to the world: “The sky’s still up there. It hasn’t fallen.” Nikki Haley echoed that message across …

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‘Rid Karachiites of water tankers’: SC says as CM Murad, Kamal appear in unsafe water caseShafi Baloch December 6, 2017 (Dawn Newspaper)

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Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal and Karachi police chief Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar appeared before the Supreme Court on Wednesday for a hearing on a plea concerning provision of clean drinking water and safe environment in the province. Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, a three-judge bench at the SC Karachi registry …

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Steve Edwards’s Reviews > Aboard the Democracy Train: A Journey Through Pakistan’s Last Decade of DemocracySteve Edwards's review Nov 26, 2017 (Goodsreads)

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Light on character development and providing few insights into the why? of deeply ingrained cultural traditions that superficially at least appear discriminatory, running contrary to values held dear by liberal “westernized” elites from democratic societies. Otherwise, for the outsider, an exposition of the defacto politics, current affairs and attitudes of a troubled region in the midst of fracticious change and …

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Pakistan is making concessions to religious extremists. What’s the cost?By Pamela Constable December 3 (The Washington Post)

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ISLAMABAD — In the past 10 days, two dramatic events — the government’s capitulation to a violent protest by radical Muslims and the release from house arrest of an anti-India militia leader — have crystallized the sway that hard line Muslim groups increasingly hold in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed state whose military leaders claim to be fighting extremist violence. The freeing …

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