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02 Mar 2012 11:22


World: Pakistan’s building a controversial wall around its internet access

  • $10 million to build a “great firewall” around Pakistan’s interweb source
  • » And they’re being open about it: Unlike China and other countries that have national internet censorship policies, Pakistan is discussing the issue openly, going so far as to take proposals to build a wall and putting ads in the country’s newspapers. It’s drawn a lot of controversy, however, partly as a result of the ads. “The authorities here are big fans of China and how it filters the Internet,” said Sana Saleem of the activist group Bolo Bhi. “They overlook the fact that China is an autocratic regime and we are a democracy.”

06 Dec 2011 00:04


World: Afghanistan: We need foreign aid for at least twelve more years

  • Your continued solidarity, your commitment and support will be crucial so that we can consolidate our gains and continue to address the challenges that remain.
  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai • Thanking those who pledged their support of Afghanistan during an event on Monday, in which representatives from about 100 nations and international groups met on Monday to discuss the continued financial support of the war-torn country through 2024. Foreign troops plan to exit the country by 2014, but the country will need financial help building and sustaining its own security forces. The nations there offered support — but only on the condition that the next stages in the country avoids violence and terrorism, supports the constitution, and continues to build a positive human rights record. Absent from the meeting was Pakistan, who boycotted the United States’ presence after a deadly, controversial border attack last month.  source

27 Nov 2011 10:43


World: Who fired first in Saturday’s deadly NATO airstrike on Pakistan?

  • claim Pakistani officials claim that Saturday’s early-morning NATO airstrike on two military posts along the border came after Afghan forces fired on them, unprovoked. The airstrike allegedly killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
  • rebuttal However, Afghan military officials claim this wasn’t the case; they reacted to fire reportedly coming from a Pakistan military outpost, then called for NATO to come in. “It was a response to incoming fire,” one official said. source

01 Oct 2011 10:13


World: Pakistan: Security guard in Salman Taseer killing sentenced to death

  • then In January, Pakistani governor Salman Taseer was assassinated under bizarre circumstances — Taseer, who had tight security, was assassinated by one of his own security guards, who admitted to the crime immediately and pointed to Taseer’s opposition to a controversial blasphemy law.
  • now That security guard, Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri, was sentenced to not one, but two death sentences. “Nobody can be given a license to kill on any pretext,” the judge reportedly said about the case, which is still a bit of a touchy subject. Qadri’s lawyer plans to appeal the decision. source

13 Aug 2011 11:42


World: An American captured in Pakistan: How Warren Weinstein was kidnapped

  • Six to eight people broke into his house at around 3:30am local time, when security guards on duty were making preparation for fasting. Two of the assailants came from the front gate while about six others used the back door. They tortured the guards and then took the American with them.
  • Lahore, Pakistan police official Tajamal Hussain • Explaining how an American man, consultant Warren Weinstein, was kidnapped by Pakistani gunman. While Americans are common targets for these sorts of kidnappings, they generally don’t happen while a victim is at home. source

12 Jul 2011 13:29


World: Pakistani Defense Minister dim on U.S. plan to cut military aid

  • If at all things become difficult, we will just get all our forces back. If Americans refuse to give us money, then okay. I think the next step is that the government or the armed forces will be moving from the border areas. We cannot afford to keep military out in the mountains for such a long period.
  • Pakistani Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar • Discussing American aid to the Pakistani military. The U.S. spends about $2 billion per year in military aid to Pakistan, and as we mentioned over the weekend, the U.S. wants to withhold $800 million of that, the stated reason being a response to the Pakistani government’s limiting of visas for U.S. personnel, and removing U.S. military trainers. This is a situation we rather expected, as the discovery of Osama bin Laden within Pakistan put a big strain on relations, and left many Americans wondering what they were paying for. The tone of Mukhar’s reply strikes us, honestly, as pretty snarky and passive-aggressive (acknowledging the possibility of a rough translation), especially in light of the huge sums the U.S. has paid Pakistan for military aid over the past decade or so. This is, as much as anything, an implied threat — give up the money or the Taliban runs wild. source

10 Jul 2011 11:06


World: U.S. trims away a huge chunk of Pakistan’s security funding

  • $800 million in funding goes away — like that source
  • » That’s no small chunk, guys: In other words, roughly a third of the security aid that the U.S. gives Pakistan each year. Why the change? Well, as White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley puts it, Pakistan has “taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid.” Like possibly harboring Osama bin Laden in a compound within a couple of miles of a military base? That seems like a pretty big step. That said, the U.S. does consider the relationship with Pakistan important, if imperfect. “It’s a complicated relationship in a very difficult, complicated part of the world,” Daley says. “Obviously, there’s still lot of pain that the political system in Pakistan is feeling by virtue of the raid that we did to get Osama Bin Laden, something that the president felt strongly about and we have no regrets over.”

29 Jun 2011 18:03


U.S.: Cost of last decade’s wars much higher than Obama said

  • $3.7 trillion cost for the United States’ post-9/11 wars source
  • » The wages of war: When President Obama referred to a $1 trillion price tag for America’s wars in the last decade, he clearly hadn’t spoken to the folks running the Costs of War project at Brown University’s Watson Institute. The project determined the above figure through calculations that included future costs, such as health services for wounded veterans returning home, as well as counting what’s generally referred to as our “secret” war in Pakistan.

15 Jun 2011 23:30


World: It’s hard out there for a pro-American general in Pakistan

  • The most powerful man in Pakistan is on the verge of being deposed. The US and Pakistan have a very tenuous relationship; while Pakistan receives a lot of US aid, and the two countries are ostensibly on good terms, much of the Pakistani population holds anti-American sentiments, and some accuse government contingents of covertly undermining American efforts in the country. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is the head of the country’s military, and is more pro-American than just about everybody in his ranks. Dissatisfaction among his underlings is brewing, and according to Pakistani sources, a coup is not entirely unlikely. If Kayani goes, expect US-Pakistan relations to get a lot icier. source

23 May 2011 11:02


World: Taliban reportedly attacked Pakistan naval base in retaliation

  • This attack shows that the Taliban have sympathizers and insiders in the security establishment. It also shows that they have become more powerful and sophisticated in their planning and attacks.
  • Islamabad-based security analyst Talat Masood • Putting into perspective the Taliban’s attack on a Pakistani naval base — a siege that lasted nearly 16 hours before Pakistani commandos were able to fend the insurgents off. The attack, reportedly in retaliation for the killing of Osama bin Laden. In fact, they laid it out as such: “Fifteen of our fighters entered the naval air base and we don’t expect them to return,” said Pakistani Taliban spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan. “They are there to kill. Our issue with Pakistan is its secular policies and friendship with America.” source