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Afghan Taliban

NEWS
May 7, 2013 | By Alex Rodriguez, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Two bomb blasts killed at least 15 people and injured more than 40 on Tuesday at campaign rallies in northwest Pakistan, authorities said, the latest in a wave of attacks in recent weeks aimed at derailing parliamentary elections scheduled for Saturday. [Updated 9:09 a.m. May 7: Also on Tuesday, former cricketer Imran Khan suffered minor head injuries after falling from a forklift platform that was lifting him up to a stage at a rally in the eastern city of Lahore.
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WORLD
April 16, 2013 | By Zulfiqar Ali and Alex Rodriguez
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- The Pakistani Taliban, an insurgent group focused mostly on the Pakistani state but which claimed responsibility for a failed bomb attack in New York nearly three years ago, has denied any involvement in the bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon on Monday. The group is responsible for many of the suicide bombings and terror attacks that have wreaked havoc on this South Asian nation for years. It does, however, regard the U.S. as an enemy and helped train Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani American who confessed to engineering a botched bombing attempt in New York's Times Square in 2010.
WORLD
March 25, 2013 | By Alex Rodriguez
BAGRAM, Afghanistan - The U.S. handed over control of the prison at Bagram air base to the Afghan government Monday, resolving a major sticking point that had been complicating relations between Washington and Kabul as both countries brace for the departure of most U.S. troops by the end of 2014. Assuming control of the detention facility at the U.S.-run air base had been a key demand of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who in recent weeks has stepped up his anti-American rhetoric and ratcheted up tension between Kabul and Washington.
OPINION
February 5, 2013 | By Michael W. Lewis
President Obama's second term begins amid intense criticism of the drone strikes being conducted by the United States in Pakistan. Much of this criticism is based on claims that drones are doing more harm than good. A recent Stanford/NYU study concluded that drones cause excessive civilian casualties and frequently fail to hit leadership targets, and that the presence of drones spreads fear and anxiety among the civilian population, disrupts civilians' daily lives, limits public gatherings and disrupts access to education.
WORLD
December 31, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan has released another batch of Afghan Taliban prisoners, the Foreign Ministry announced Monday, a further sign of the Pakistani government's willingness to facilitate efforts by Washington and Kabul to negotiate a peace agreement with the insurgents. The ministry said eight Afghan Taliban detainees were released, including former Afghan Justice Minister Nooruddin Turabi and Abdul Bari, a former governor of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, which has long been a stronghold for the Taliban insurgency.
WORLD
November 27, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Tuesday for a failed attempt to bomb the car of television anchor Hamid Mir, whom the militant group had earlier threatened because of his reporting on the shooting of schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai. A Taliban spokesman told reporters that Mir had been following a secular agenda and warned the group would target others like him. Police had defused a bomb found under Mir's car Monday in Islamabad after a neighbor reportedly spotted the device.
WORLD
November 14, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan on Wednesday agreed to free several Afghan Taliban detainees, a gesture that suggested Islamabad may be willing to help Washington and Kabul reconcile with Afghan insurgents. The exact number of militants to be released was not known, though Pakistani media reported that it was not more than 10. It was also unclear whether any of the detainees were major figures within the Taliban hierarchy. Pakistani officials announced the planned release as Afghan President Hamid Karzai's top peace negotiator, Salahuddin Rabbani, prepared to wrap up a four-day visit to Islamabad aimed at enlisting Pakistan's help in revving up momentum for peace talks.
WORLD
February 17, 2012 | By Alex Rodriguez and Laura King, Los Angeles Times
Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday sought to secure help from Pakistani leaders in facilitating peace talks with Pakistan-based Afghan Taliban leaders, while the militant group denied any interest in negotiating with an "impotent" administration. Karzai's visit to Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, came amid reports that he had said in an interview that the U.S. and Afghan governments had begun secret talks with the Afghan Taliban. In recent months, U.S. officials have been meeting with Taliban envoys to discuss the establishment of a Taliban office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
OPINION
February 8, 2012 | By Peter Tomsen
In 1989, soon after I was appointed U.S. special envoy and ambassador on Afghanistan, the late mujahedin commander Abdul Haq conveyed a warning to me. Attempts by foreigners to organize the unruly, unpredictable and divided Afghan people would always fail, he said. He compared such efforts to a bazaar merchant trying to balance the weight of frogs on opposite trays of a produce scale. The merchant can load frogs on one tray. But as he begins to load the second tray, some of the frogs on the first one will inevitably jump off. And as he reloads them, frogs on the second tray will leap to the ground.
WORLD
November 13, 2011 | By Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
  Every time Pakistan hammered out peace agreements with militants, the results were disastrous. The groups grew stronger, and the toll their bomb blasts took on civilians steadily rose. That history explains why anxiety is rippling through the country as talk builds of the prospect for peace negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban, the homegrown insurgency responsible for most of the suicide bombings and terrorist strikes that have killed thousands of people in recent years.
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