News from South Asia, Friday 3rd May 2013

Pakistan:

New York Times: The lead prosecutor in the Bhutto killing and Mumbai attacks has been assassinated. “Assailants opened fire on Chaudhry Zulfikar Ali as he was leaving his home in a suburb of the capital, Islamabad, for a court hearing in which the former military leader, Pervez Musharraf, faces charges in relation to Ms. Bhutto’s death.

Initial reports said that gunmen traveling by motorbike and car sprayed Mr. Ali’s car with bullets, wounding his bodyguard and killing a woman passer-by when his car veered out of control. Television footage from the scene showed a bullet-riddled car crashed by the roadside.

Mr. Ali died before he reached a hospital in Islamabad, where a doctor said he had been shot 13 times. One reporter at the scene said that one of the assailants had been wounded by Mr. Ali’s bodyguard but managed to escape.”

Dawn: An attack on a checkpoint in South Waziristan has killed one security officer and four militants. “Militants ambushed a security checkpost in Ladha area of South Waziristan tribal region on Friday.

One security personnel was killed during the attack whereas retaliatory action by security forces killed four militants.

Ladha is a key subdivision of South Waziristan tribal region.”

CRI: An explosion near the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s office in Karachi has injured four people. “Senior Karachi Police officer, Nasir Aftab.

‘The bomb was placed in the mosque. So far we have information of four people being injured. No injuries are serious. Whatever report is submitted by the BD (bomb disposal) unit we will share it with the media.’

Local media is reporting that the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the bomb blast.

The Taliban has threatened three political parties, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement or MQM, The Awami National Party or the ANP and the Pakistan Peoples Party, all considered liberal in their politics.”

Afghanistan:

Long War Journal: Afghan and ISAF special forces killed a senior insurgent leader with ties to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Haqqani Network in Nangarhar. “Special operations forces targeted the leader during a raid yesterday in Nangarhar’s Nazyan district, the International Security Assistance Force announced in a press release. One ‘insurgent’ was killed and two others were wounded during the operation. It is unclear if the leader was among those killed or wounded.

ISAF said the leader has ‘ties to both the Tehrik-e Taliban [Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan] and Haqqani terrorist networks.’ Both groups are closely allied to al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban, and operate from Pakistan’s tribal areas.

The insurgent leader ‘has control of over 100 fighters, including a significant number of potential suicide bombers,” and “planned multiple high-profile attacks against civilians, government officials, and Afghan and coalition military forces,’ ISAF stated.”

India:

The Times of India: The death of death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistani prison has led to India-Pakistan ties taking “another hit”.

“Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh died in a Pakistan hospital early Thursday, succumbing to his injuries six days after being attacked by his fellow inmates in jail and pushing the fraught India-Pakistan equation to a new low…While Pakistan declared him a terrorist and convicted him for blasts in Lahore and Multan that left 14 dead, his family claimed that the devoted brother, husband and father from a poor rural family in Punjab had crossed over in an inebriated state when he was just 26. From Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), leaders across the political spectrum expressed their deep anguish at the untimely death of the 49-year-old…In a strongly worded statement, [the Indian Prime Minister] said: ‘It is particularly regrettable that the government of Pakistan did not heed the pleas of the government of India, Sarabjit’s family and of civil society in India and Pakistan to take a humanitarian view of this case.’”

Bangladesh:

BBC News: A British community leader has been indicted in Bangladesh for his alleged role in the killing of 18 people during the 1971 liberation war from Pakistan.

“Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin strongly denies any role in the murder of 18 intellectuals in December of that year. He is alleged to have been a member of the Al-Badr group, which identified and killed pro-independence activists. He is accused with another alleged Al-Badr member, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, a United States citizen. His lawyers have rejected all the allegations against him. They say that none of the accusations have ever been formally put to him and there has been no attempt to question him.”

Bangladesh News 24 Hours: Eight Islami Chhatra Shibir activists have been arrested by police from the Bangladeshi island of Swandip in an overnight raid.

“Police said they were arrested for planning violence in the coastal outback after pronouncement of next verdict by the International Crimes Tribunal. Swandip Police Station Officer in-Charge Gias Uddin told bdnews24.com that those detained were from Fatikchharhi, Nazirhat, Banshkhali, Cox’s Bazar and Comilla areas. But their identity was not disclosed.”

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