Pakistan

Democracy Gets an Electronic Boost

Elections in Pakistan have long been marred by allegations of fraud, but now one of its provinces is hoping to give democracy a boost with the help of technology. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north of the country has given a thumbs up to the biometric voting machine.

Pakistani NGOs Fear New Year Constraints

A new policy by the Pakistani government to regulate foreign-funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has come in for sharp criticism from the social sector, with many saying it could stifle rights-based groups and affect crucial services provided to the needy.


Barren Fields Recover From Taliban

Ahmed Nawaz, a 55-year-old farmer in northwestern Pakistan’s Swat valley, rues the day the Taliban arrived in his beautiful land, known for its rolling mountains, lush fields and blossoming orchards. “The earth became barren,” he says.

Doctor Abductions Leave Patients Helpless

Doctors in the Pakistani frontier provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan are running scared after nearly 45 consultants were kidnapped for ransom this year. Police suspect that gangs enjoying the Taliban’s patronage are behind the abductions that are just a symptom of the many challenges the country faces as it battles terrorism, ethnic conflicts and sectarian divisions.


Drone Killings Show Numbers, Not Bodies

More than 300 U.S. drone attacks have killed 2,160 militants and 67 civilians in Pakistan since 2008, according to Pakistani defence ministry data. But people living in the affected areas are now questioning these figures, asking why they never get to know the names of the militants or see the bodies.

Aiming at NATO, Hitting Afghans

A blockade of NATO supplies to Afghanistan by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s party has ended up hitting Pakistan’s legal trade with its neighbour, say local traders and truckers.

Blocking NATO to Stop Drones

Upping the ante against U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan, celebrated cricketer-turned-political leader Imran Khan has threatened to block NATO supplies to Afghanistan through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where his party leads a coalition government.

Poor Paths Lead to Madrassas

Mustafa Khan, who sells cigarettes by the roadside in a Pakistani village, has a simple reason for sending two of his sons to a madrassa, an Islamic seminary, and not to a proper school. “We cannot afford it,” he says.

Treating the Injured Leaves its Wounds

Ajab Gul is haunted by bloody scenes. He hears women crying and children screaming. “I can’t sleep,” says the 25-year-old health worker at a well-known Pakistani hospital in the frontier city that tends to terror victims.

U.N. Climate Meet: “It’s About Survival”

For the small island developing states of the Caribbean, there is nothing more important than the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place here at the national stadium of Poland from Nov. 11-22.

Caught Between Afghan and Pakistani

Seventeen-year-old Usmanullah Shah has never been to Afghanistan, the land of his forefathers. The son of Afghan parents who fled to Pakistan 34 years ago to escape war, he shudders at the thought of going there.

Drone Strike Served CIA Revenge, Blocked Pakistan’s Strategy

After a drone strike had reportedly killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud Nov. 1, the spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council declared that, if true, it would be “a serious loss” for the terrorist organisation.

These ‘Ghost’ Schools Are Not for Children

Rahmatullah Balal has spent ten years counting the schools that aren’t. The particular kind of Pakistani schools that are called “ghost” schools.

Drone Attack Kills More Than Taliban Chief

The drone attack that killed Tehreek Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mahsud this week seems also to have killed hopes that drone attacks will end.

Taliban Waiting to Take Over from the U.S.

As international troops get ready to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and NATO-ISAF (International Assistance Security Force) prepare the Afghan National Security Forces to take over from them, there is fear and misgiving in neighbouring Pakistan, particularly in the adjoining regions of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

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