According to the United Nations’ news agency, IRIN, “hundreds of cases of forced marriage are thought to take place annually, involving British nationals married against their will in Kashmir, particularly in and around the industrial town of Mirpur.”
Ho Chi Minh City
said General Ehsan Ul-Haq, Former Director of Pakistan’s Inter-services Intelligence. He spoke to Senior Editor Tom Hundley as part of Tom’s Pulitzer Center project on India and Pakistan’s nuclear arms race. (Watch a video compilation of some of Tom’s interviews here and continue reading for a synopsis.)
India thinks Pakistan uses its nuclear capability as a shield to hide behind while allowing proxy extremist attacks on India. Both the US and India are concerned about what would happen to the nuclear weapons if Pakistan should fail as a state, but nuclear disarmament looks like a far-off prospect.
Rajah Mohan of the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi voices his concern by asking a question which he says no one has been able to answer for the last 20 years: “How does India change Pakistan army’s strategic calculus?”
“NGO security threats are at an all-time high. I have never in almost 20 years known things as bad as this,” Chris Cork, country security adviser for the UK-headquartered Abaseen Foundation, an NGO working chiefly in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province, told the United Nations’ news agency, IRIN.
IRIN reports that over the past few weeks there “has been an upsurge in attacks on aid workers, many of them linked to a national polio eradication campaign in one of the world’s last three countries where the disease remains endemic.” This is thought to, at least partially, be fallout from the U.S. effort to kill Osama Bin Laden. IRIN goes on to state:
"In 2011 Shakil Afridi, a government-employed doctor, collected DNA samples from a residential house in Abbotabad which helped the US Central Intelligence Agency identify the whereabouts of Bin Laden, who was killed in a US raid. It is alleged that Afridi, since sentenced to 33 years in jail, masqueraded in his native Khyber Agency as a polio vaccinator in order to collect the samples.
Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for militant group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, told IRIN: ‘Afridi was a traitor and naturally people now suspect all anti-polio workers of being US agents.’”
A Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ education has been discharged from a British hospital after doctors said she was well enough to spend time recovering with her family.
Fifteen-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who was shot by the Taliban in October and brought to Britain for treatment, was discharged on Thursday but is due to be re-admitted in late January or early February for reconstructive surgery to her skull, doctors said.
The shooting of Yousufzai, in the head at point blank range as she left school in the Swat valley, drew widespread international condemnation.
She has become a an internationally recognized symbol of resistance to the Taliban’s efforts to deny women education and other rights, and more than 250,000 people have signed online petitions calling for her to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for her activism.
Agence France-Presse reports that “more than 300 Pakistani children died of measles last year, a staggering increase on the previous 12 months and a result of three consecutive years of flooding.”
KARACHI, Pakistan — Three more health-care workers were killed Wednesday in renewed attacks against those trying to immunize Pakistani children against polio, bringing the total killed this week to nine.
The attacks Wednesday occurred near Peshawar, killing a female health worker and her driver as well as a third worker in a separate incident, Al Jazeera reported. The World Health Organizaiton and the United Nations have both suspended their campaigns in the country because of the violence.