Like most Christians in Pakistan, Johar Maseeh did a little cleaning job. He was a sweeper in a factory in Peshawar, capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in northern Pakistan.
“I miss my mother and cry every night,” eight-year-old Afaq Ali tells IPS. He is a Class 5 student at the University Public School in Peshawar, capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the administrative centre for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to its west.
The threat to the stability of the Hamid Karzai government in Afghanistan arises not so much from outside as from within. And the one thing that is eating into its edifice is the malaise called corruption.
“I consider myself lucky after finding my son,” says Muhammad Jabeen, a juice vendor in Bannu, one of the 25 districts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in northern Pakistan. The Taliban had taken his son, Mateen Shah, away from a madrassa to join their ranks.
Nervousness permeates the very air of Dera Ismail Khan these days. It has been more than a fortnight since militants attacked a high security prison here in a military-like operation and released about 200 inmates, including Taliban commanders.
A new Taliban fashion directive to men has created surprise and drawn opposition. Orders to men to wear the loose traditional dress rather than trousers have been challenged on the grounds that men in the northwest of Pakistan do not wear trousers in the first place.
Pakistanis are no strangers to sports-related violence; in fact, many have come to expect scuffles and conflict, especially following a major cricket match. In the country’s northern Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), however, cricket has become a tool to promote peace.
NATO member countries like Canada will continue to be asked to shoulder the burden of a military mission stuck in Afghanistan because of the continued vulnerability of the Kabul-based government.
Malala Yousafzai and Muhammad Qasim have a lot in common.
While United States President Barack Obama and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai scramble to solidify a peace process ahead of the 2014 withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan, fears that the Taliban will use the drawdown to seize power hang like a dark cloud over civil society.
Despite impressive advancements in enrolment rates, media reports of gas attacks on girls’ schools, shoddy books, and a lack of classroom facilities continue to mar the reputation of the education system in Afghanistan.
Nearly 12 years after the United States ousted the Taliban from power, the White House announced Tuesday that the United States will begin formal talks with the militant Islamist group in Qatar later this week as part of Afghanistan's national reconciliation process.
Muzaffar Shah, a shopkeeper from Kabul, sits in a hospital waiting room, desperate for news. He has travelled nearly 300 km to get to the Khyber Teaching Hospital in Peshawar, capital of northern Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, where his wife is now in intensive care.
Peshawar is breathing a little easier. Prime minister designate Nawaz Sharif’s offer of talks with the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has rekindled hope for peace in this Pakistan border town.
Located on a narrow street in a quiet neighbourhood in Kabul, the Sanga Amaj Women’s Treatment Centre is the only one of its kind in Afghanistan: named after the 22-year-old journalist who was assassinated in 2007, the facility caters exclusively to Kabul’s massive population of female drug addicts.