The assassination of outspoken Pakistani Governor Salman Taseer has started a new debate in different sections of Pakistani society, and it has clearly drawn a line between the religious elements and the liberal class. The history of Pakistan since 1947 has observed such divisions, which widen when faced with such incidents.
In a gesture of goodwill to Moscow, the government of Kyrgyzstan decided to name a 14,587-foot mountain, located in the Tian-Shan range in northern Kyrgyzstan, the Putin Mountain in honor of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The announcement was made by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev, “who signed the bill to rename the peak,” according to the Telegraph.
Approximately four years after fleeing Iraq in fear of arrest, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is returning to Iraq in triumph.
As the Washington Post reported on January 5, Sadr once fled to Iran, but now returns to Iraq with a significant bloc of power within the Iraqi government:
Analysts say secret U.S. diplomatic cables released by the whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks show that American taxpayers — through the war-contracting firm DynCorp — provided drugs and financed a party for Afghan National Police recruits where young boys were used as sex slaves. The corrupt Karzai regime then pressured U.S. officials to “quash” the story before it came out in the press.
The murder of a Pakistani governor is being greeted with adulation by “moderate” Muslim scholars. Why? Governor Salman Taseer opposed the death penalty for those convicted of blasphemy against Islam.
On January 4, Salman Taseer, Governor of the Pakistan province of Punjab, was assassinated by his personal security guard in Islamabad’s Kohsar market. Malik Mumtaz Qadri, who belongs to the Punjab police, fired 26 bullets at Taseer before being arrested by Islamabad police. According to police, the attacker stated that he had decided three days earlier to kill the Governor because he had defamed the Prophet Mohammad.
The relations between the United States and Pakistan could be halted due to the recent summoning of the Pakistani top intelligence agency officials as well as other military men to appear before a U.S. court in Brooklyn, New York, this month for their alleged involvement in the 2008 terrorist bombings and shootings in Mumbai, India.
Following the October 31 massacre at Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad, the dwindling Christian community in Iraq decided to cancel public observances of the Christmas season, in the hope of avoiding further bloodshed at the hands of their Muslim neighbors. Although Muslims attacked churches in Nigeria and the Philippines, it seemed as is the Iraqis might have some respite from the horrors of Jihad.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the head of the Iraqi government, has said that no American troops should remain in Iraq at the end of 2011. “The last American soldier will leave Iraq…. This agreement is not subject to extension, not subject to alteration. It is sealed.” The Prime Minister also granted assurances that his nation will not be pulled into an alliance with Iran, even though that is what some Iraqi politicians want (Iran and Afghanistan have recently signed a memorandum of understanding which brings those two nations into closer cooperation).
A pair of lawsuits threatens to strain the relationship that has developed between the United States and Pakistan since 9/11. For the first time since 9/11, the relationship between Pakistan and the United States has become noticeably worse.