New Post: Stephen Tankel, "The Mumbai blame game" (FP).
Almost a dozen suicide bombers launched an attack on police headquarters in Kandahar City on Monday and were repelled by Afghan security forces, though three policemen and two children were killed in the attack (AP). At least 14 militants either blew themselves up or were shot and killed. Earlier, gunmen assassinated a chief prosecutor in Ghazni Province as he drove to work, and a suicide bomber on a motorcycle injured at least 26 people in the northern Afghan province of Jowzjan (NYT).
Both Sunday and Monday proved to be exceptionally violent days for Afghanistan, but NATO officials said Monday that the multiple attacks were not a sign that Afghan forces are unready to take over the security of the country, and that locals are "confident" that their security forces will be capable of providing security by the end of 2014 (McClatchy).
Tens of thousands of hardline political and religious party supporters under the banner of the Defense of Pakistan Council (DPC) reached the capital city of Islamabad on Monday night as part of a "long march" to protest Pakistan's reopening of NATO ground supply routes to Afghanistan (ET, Dawn, Reuters). The rally proceeded without issue despite security officials' heightened security fears.
Militants blew up a state-run boys' school in Mohmand Agency on Monday night, in an act of violence usually reserved for girls' schools (ET). The World Health Organization polio coordinator for Pakistan, Dr. Elias Durry, told the New York Times that a ban on polio vaccines by Taliban commanders in Pakistan's northwest last month "was a setback, no doubt," but will not have long-term effects on the program as long as the ban remains isolated and is not prolonged (NYT). Bonus read: Sean Mann, "Polio eradication held hostage in Pakistan" (FP).
State of denial
Pakistan's only Nobel Prize laureate, the late physicist Abdus Salam, should be receiving national attention for his early work detecting the existence of the elusive Higgs Boson particle (AP). But his religious identity as an Ahmadi, a religious sect considered heretical by most mainstream Pakistani Muslims, has resulted in his name being struck from many Pakistani textbooks and forgotten by the general public.
-- Jennifer Rowland