Entries in Pakistan (359)


American Citizen Among Those Killed in Pakistan Attack

George Doyle/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- An American citizen was one of 11 people killed in an attack in northern Pakistan on Sunday.

Authorities say Islamist militants wearing police uniforms opened fire on a base camp at Nanga Parbat, the ninth-highest peak in the world.

According to BBC News, the attack killed at least nine foreign tourists. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming it was in response to the killing of its second-in-command, Waliur Rehman, in a drone strike in May.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Gunmen Attack Hospital in Pakistan

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(QUETTA, Pakistan) -- Gunmen took control of parts of a hospital in Quetta, in Southwest Pakistan on Saturday.

Pakistan's interior minister said that security forces stormed up to the building and killed four attackers. A fifth attacker was captured and all 35 hostages were freed.

The extremist Sunni militant group Laskar-e-Jhangvi said that it carried out both the hospital attack and an earlier explosion on a bus. At least eleven students were killed in the bus explosion. The hospital where the takeover took place is where the students injured in the bus explosion were being treated.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Taliban Issues New Death Threat on Musharraf

Photo by Riccardo S. Savi/WireImage(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) -- Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has enough on his mind without having to worry about a fresh round of death threats.

Musharraf is currently under house arrest on charges stemming from abuse of power while he was the country's leader before going into exile in 2009.

Now, the Pakistani Taliban is again vowing to kill Musharraf as it did before he returned to his native land last March for what turned out to be a failed political comeback.

In a video released over the weekend, a Taliban spokesman said, "Soon we will punish this Satan to death for his wicked deeds...From Balochistan to Waziristan, Musharraf engulfed this country in blood and fire. He is the killer of hundreds of innocent students of Lal Masjid."

Musharraf, who escaped numerous assassination attempts while president, ordered a 2007 operation to ferret out extremists hiding in the Lal Masjid mosque in Islamabad, which ultimately led to more than 100 deaths.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


High Turnout for Historic Election in Pakistan Despite Violence

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- Pakistan will make history on Saturday when up to millions of Pakistanis showed up at the polls to mark the first democratic transition in the nation's history.

Pakistan, technically a democracy, has been led by President Asif Ali Zardari, an ex-convict, since 2008. Zardari's wife, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated in 2007. Before Bhutto, the country was led by a military general who took power by kicking out the previous prime minister, Mian Nawaz Sharif.

In pre-election polls, Sharif was considered a serious contender to rise from the ashes and reclaim power in Saturday's election.

Despite bomb blasts that have killed at least 16 people, over 86 million Pakistanis showed up to vote on Saturday.

The outcome of Saturday's election will have far-reaching impacts, including on the United States' war on terror. The leading candidates have criticized the war on terror, with Sharif calling for a complete rethinking of the war. His opponent has said he would pull Pakistan out of the war completely.

Whichever candidate wins, when the votes are counted, Pakistan will have a new government. Despite the explosions and Taliban threats, the country will have changed hands from one civilian government to another purely through democratic means for the first time ever.  

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Former Pakistani Leader Poised to Rise from the Ashes

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) --  As Pakistanis take to the polls for a historic election, the man poised to become Pakistan’s new leader isn’t really a new leader at all. He’s an old one.

Mian Nawaz Sharif, whose Punjabi family has long been power players in Pakistan’s dynamic politics, is leading the polls.  His party, the Pakistan Muslim League, is expected to win the majority of seats on election day.

 For Sharif, it’s a remarkable rise from the political ashes of exile.  He was Pakistan’s prime minister from 1990 to 1993, a period marked by economic growth and relative stability.  He served a second term from 1997 to 1999 before he was ushered out of the country during a military coup by Pervez Musharraf, a Pakistani general who went on to rule Pakistan for the next eight years.  Sharif spent all of that time in exile, much of it in Saudi Arabia.

ABC News spoke with Sharif as he drove in his motorcade through the streets of Abbotabad, the small resort town where Osama bin Laden once lived.  He made it clear that his first priority is the country’s economy.  Chronic power shortage have crippled the country.  During the day, most Pakistanis go without electricity for up to 15 hours a day.  It has brought some Pakistani industries to a standstill.

On the war on terror, Sharif was far more non-committal, saying only that he hopes all stakeholders, including America and Afghanistan, will come together to discuss their concerns, what’s working and what isn’t.  He has previously gone on record to say he thinks the war on terror needs a re-think, though he hasn’t fully clarified what that entails.

When pushed, he refused to elaborate further with ABC News.

“I think I’ve already answered that,” Sharif said riding in the front seat, taking a moment to wave to his fans.  “I’ve given you so much material that you’ll have no problem in making your own summary.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Former Pakistani Leader Musharraf Begins Political Comeback

Photo by Riccardo S. Savi/WireImage(KARACHI, Pakistan) -- After four years in exile, former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf arrived in Karachi on Sunday to mount a political comeback despite persistent death threats from the Taliban.

Musharraf, once the head of the powerful Pakistani military that seized power during a bloodless coup in 1999, only to be sent packing a decade later, will lead his party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, when parliamentary elections take place in May.

Although his bloc can only expect minimal gains, the fact that the 69-year-old Musharraf has defied the Pakistani Taliban to return is remarkable, given the group's purported creation of a death squad to kill him.

His reign was marked by numerous assassination attempts against him. However, Musharraf managed to come out unscathed and remained a close ally of the U.S. in an effort to keep al Qaeda and the Taliban from taking over Pakistan while a war raged next door in Afghanistan.

Things began to unravel quickly for Musharraf following the December 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto with many pointing the finger at the Pakistani president for allegedly organizing the murder.

While denying any involvement in the plot to kill Bhutto, Musharraf nonetheless left Pakistan in 2009 rather than face arrest.  He was able to return Sunday after the government granted him protective bail.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Four Dead After Bombing at Pakistani Court Complex

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- Four people were killed and 27 others were injured after a pair of suicide bombers tried to enter a courtroom in northern Pakistan on Monday, a senior police official said.

One of the attackers blew himself up at the entrance of the judicial complex in Peshawar; the other was shot by police.

A female judge was among the injured.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Suicide Bombing in Pakistan Kills 30, Injures 50

George Doyle/Thinkstock(KARACHI, Pakistan) -- Pakistan's largest city was the site of a deadly suicide bomb blast on Sunday morning.

The explosion is the latest attack on Pakistan's Shiite minority. The bomber reportedly struck directly outside a Shiite mosque as people were leaving, killing at least 30 people and injuring at least 50 more. According to the BBC, the explosion destroyed several buildings and set others on fire in the residential area.

While Karachi is often named among the most dangerous cities in the world, there had not been a targeted suicide attack in quite a while.

Pakistan's Shiite minority are often the target of attacks from Sunni militant groups, according to the BBC.

Shiites in other areas of Pakistan have already begun to retaliate and form armed militias. Some fear that if similar organizing were to occur in Karachi, the violence could spin out of control.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Another Senior Pakistani Journalist Killed 

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Another senior Pakistani journalist has been killed, again in Pakistan's northwest, ABC News confirms.

Mehmood Jan Afridi, President of the Qalat Press Club, was in a shop when gunmen opened fire and killed him.

Two days ago, a reporter for GEO News, Malik Mumtaz, was targeted and killed.

Afridi's death marks the fifth killing of a journalist in the last two months.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Pakistanis Wants Afghans to Return Taliban Commander

George Doyle/Thinkstock(ISLAMABAD) -- Pakistan wants Afghanistan to hand over a senior Taliban commander its forces apprehended earlier in this week.

The capture of Maulvi Faqir Mohammad along with some bodyguards in southeastern Afghanistan is considered a major coup.  Mohammad regularly plotted against Pakistani security forces from his base near the Afghan border.

On Thursday, the Pakistani foreign office said it wants the Afghan government to return Mohammad and all other terrorists with Pakistani ties back to Islamabad where they would be tried for crimes against their countrymen.

Pakistan supports the capture of Taliban members who stray over into Afghan territory while stressing its support for an overall reconciliation process that both sides believe will be necessary once the U.S. and its coalition allies withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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