June 22, 2008 |
Government officials commemorated Benazir Bhutto's birthday with plans to rename an airport after the slain former prime minister, build a monument on the site of her assassination and grant clemency to thousands of death row inmates. Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani announced the proposal in a speech to parliament, which observed a minute of silence for Bhutto, who would have turned 55 on Saturday.
April 7, 2009
Re "Pakistanis shocked by video of Taliban flogging," April 4 It is unacceptable that atrocities continue to be committed by the Pakistani Taliban. President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani must take strong actions against the perpetrators. It is even more shocking that a religious scholar has endorsed such behavior on national television. It is unfortunate that the Taliban and the mullahs have taken Muslims back to an age of ignorance. The prophet Muhammad was appointed by God to raise the status of mankind, but the extremists refuse to follow in his footsteps.
March 27, 2008 |
Senior U.S. envoys have traveled to Pakistan's volatile North-West Frontier Province to visit U.S.-funded border guards who are struggling to secure an area where Osama bin Laden may be hiding. Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte and Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher arrived in the capital, Islamabad, on Tuesday, as newly elected Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani was taking his oath of office. Gillani's civilian government has pledged to roll back the powers of President Pervez Musharraf and review U.S.-backed counter-terrorism policies, though he has said the fight against terrorism would continue.
August 30, 2008 |
Pakistan's presidential front-runner has moved into a tightly guarded government compound over security fears, officials said as a militant campaign against the government led to more violence in the country's volatile northwest. Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani told reporters that Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was staying at a hilltop mansion in Islamabad's government quarters. Zardari is widely expected to win a Sept. 6 presidential election by lawmakers.
July 27, 2008 |
The Pakistani government announced Saturday that the country's most powerful spy agency would be placed under civilian control, in a significant conciliatory move in advance of Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani's visit to the United States. The Inter-Services Intelligence agency is known to have nurtured the Taliban movement in the 1990s, and critics allege that some elements within the agency retain links to Islamic militants. Recently, the Afghan government accused the ISI of being behind an assassination attempt against Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
March 22, 2009 |
The new CIA director held high-level talks in Pakistan as the Obama administration seeks a strategy to turn around the faltering war against Taliban militants in Afghanistan. Leon Panetta arrived in Pakistan on Saturday on his first overseas trip since taking office amid U.S. concerns that political turmoil in Pakistan is distracting its government and army from combating Islamist insurgents who threaten the stability of the country and the surrounding region.