Pakistan has seen a dramatic increase in the scale and number of militant attacks since Osama bin Laden was killed by US forces in a garrison town this month. On Wednesday, militants drove a car packed with explosives into a police station in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least two people and wounding 20. The police station was razed to the ground.
Here’s a timeline of attacks since the killing of the al Qaeda leader on May 2, which militants have vowed to avenge.
May 13: Two suicide bombers attacked a Frontier Corps training academy in Charsadda, north-west Pakistan, killing 98 people, most of them cadets boarding buses for home. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility, saying it was to avenge the death of bin laden.
May 16: Gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed a Saudi diplomat in the southern city of Karachi. The shooting came days after unidentified attackers threw two hand grenades at the Saudi consulate in Pakistan’s commercial hub.
No one was hurt in that attack. Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, but al Qaeda has long waged a bloody campaign to topple the royal family and the government in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of its leader bin Laden.
May 18: More than 70 militants armed with rockets and mortars attacked a security post on the outskirts of Peshawar, triggering a four-hour gun battle in which 17 people, 15 of them insurgents, were killed. Nobody claimed responsibility for that attack.
The same day, suspected Sunni militants gunned down four Shi’ite Muslims in the southwestern city of Quetta which security officials said was aimed at whipping up sectarian conflict to further destabilise the country following the death of bin Laden.
May 20: Pakistan’s Taliban attacked a US consulate convoy in the volatile northwestern city of Peshawar, killing one Pakistani and wounding 12. Two US nationals were among the wounded with minor injuries.
May 21: At least 16 people were killed in Pakistan’s Khyber tribal region after a bomb hit a truck carrying fuel for NATO forces in Afghanistan. The Taliban claimed the responsibility. Sixteen NATO fuel trucks were attacked and set on fire a day earlier in the same region.
May 22: A team of heavily armed insurgents stormed a Pakistani navy base in Karachi, setting off a 16 hour battle in which 10 military personnel were killed and two US supplied surveillance aircraft destroyed.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, the biggest on a military installation since a 2009 raid on the military headquarters in Rawalpindi when they held several senior and junior officers hostage.
Pakistani Anti-graft body wants travel ban on Nawaz Sharif, kin
Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog has asked authorities to place ousted premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law on the Exit Control List to prevent them from leaving the country.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) sent a formal request to the ministry of interior. The interior ministry officials confirmed that the NAB wrote that names of Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar should be put on the Exit Control List (ECL), which listed individuals not allowed to leave Pakistan.
The NAB argued that as the trial of the three nears its conclusion, it is feared that they would leave the country.
Earlier, a similar request to place name of finance minister Ishaq Dar on ECL was not accepted, allowing him to go to London and never return.
Sharif, 68, and his family this week filed an application with the accountability court seeking a fortnight’s exemption from personal appearance from February 19 onwards to let them go to London to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Three cases were filed against Sharif and his family last year, including Avenfield properties, Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment, and Flagship Investments.
Maryam and Safdar are accused only in Avenfield properties case. The NAB had filed two supplementary references against Sharif, his sons Hasan and Hussain regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills & Hill Metal Establishment and Flagship Investment cases.
Pakistan “breaches obligations’ on nuclear arms reduction, UN court told
The Hague: Pakistan is violating its “obligations” to the international community by failing to reduce its nuclear arsenal, the Marshall Islands told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday.
The small Pacific Island nation is this week launching three unusual cases against India, Pakistan and Britain before the International Court of Justice.
Majuro wants to put a new spotlight on the global nuclear threat, its lawyers said yesterday, by using its own experience with massive US-led nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Pakistan is in breach of its obligations owed to the international community as a whole,” when it comes to reducing its nuclear stockpile, said Nicholas Grief, one of the island nation’s lawyers.
DeBrum warned that even a “limited nuclear war” involving the two countries would “threaten the existence” of his island nation people.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
In 1998, the rival neighbours both demonstrated nuclear weapons capability.
The ICJ’s judges are holding hearings for the next week and a half to decide whether it is competent to hear the lawsuits brought against India and Pakistan — neither of which have signed the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
A third hearing against Britain — which has signed the NPT — scheduled to start on Wednesday will be devoted to “preliminary objections” raised by London.
The Marshalls initially sought to bring a case against nine countries it said possessed nuclear arms: Britain, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia and the United States.
Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons.
But the Hague-based ICJ, set up in 1945 to rule in disputes between states, has only admitted three cases against Britain, India and Pakistan, because they have accepted the ICJ’s compulsory jurisdiction.
Pakistan’s lawyers did not attend Tuesday’s hearings.
It did however file a counter-claim against Majuro’s allegations saying “the court has no jurisdiction to deal with the application” and insisting that the case is “not admissible”, said ICJ President Ronny Abraham.
Bangladesh to drop Islam as official religion following attacks on Hindus
New Delhi: Bangladesh is likely to drop Islam as its official religion following a series of attacks on people from other faiths in the country. The country’s Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the status of the official religion of the country to Islam.
Bangladesh, which was declared a secular country after its formation in 1971, was declared an Islamic country following a constitutional amendment in 1988.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the plea has challenged the declaration of Islam as the national religion of the country.
The move is being supported by leaders from the minority communities like Hindus, Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
Bangladesh has 90 per cent of Muslims, 8 per cent Hindus and remaining constitutes Christians and Muslim minority Shiites.
In last month, a Hindu priest was hacked to death following an attack on a temple in Panchgarh district. Two others were seriously injured in the attack. There have been several lethal attacks on writers and bloggers.
According to a report in the Independent, Islamist groups Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh and Ansarullah Bangla Team are believed to have carried out at least seven attacks on foreign and minority people in Bangladesh in the past year.