"No to NATO"
Around 8,000 activists who oppose the recent reopening of NATO ground supply routes to Afghanistan gathered in Peshawar Monday night, where they camped before marching Tuesday to the town of Jamrud near the Afghan border under the banner of the hardline religious party Jamaat-e-Islami (AFP/ET). Meanwhile in Karachi on Tuesday, a gunmen opened fire on a United Nations vehicle, injuring a foreign doctor working on the country's polio immunization campaign, as well as his driver (AFP, ET).
Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association on Sunday demanded an explanation from Deputy Attorney General Khurshid Khan for time he spent in India earlier this year polishing shoes at a Sikh temple as "penance for crimes committed by the Taliban" (BBC, AP, The News, ET). Khan said Monday that he is ready to resign over the SCBA's allegation that he was "defaming the country," and that his trip to India would "improve the images of Islam and Muslims.
Pakistani defense lawyer Riaz Akram Cheema said on Tuesday that the Anti-Terrorism Court in Rawalpindi that is trying seven suspects accused of orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai attacks has decided not to allow the findings of a commission that visited India in March to be used in the case (AP, ET). The court purportedly said that the findings have no legal value because the commission did not cross-examine four witnesses in India.
An Afghan soldier has been sentenced to death for killing four French troops in a so-called "green-on-blue" attack in Kapisa Province in January, the Afghan Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday (AFP, AP, Reuters). In the third attack in as many days on senior Afghan officials, a magnetic bomb destroyed the car of the district governor of Kunduz Province on Monday, killing a bodyguard and wounding eight civilians, but sparing the official, as he was not in the car at the time (Reuters).
And the Post's Joshua Partlow reported Monday on the growing fears of villagers in the southern Afghan village of Karz, the ancestral home of President Hamid Karzai, that the government will not be able to provide for people once NATO troops leave the country (Post). Locals say they have to request basic services from powerful village elders, rather than having them be provided by the state, a method they worry will no longer work when the wartime economy plummets after 2014.
The circus is in town!
Canadian citizen Adnan Khan is leading a rickshaw circus on a journey from Kabul to Istanbul in order to raise money for a charity that teaches circus tricks to children in Afghanistan, and to bring cheer to refugees and orphans the caravan encounters along the way (AFP). The trip is not without its risks of course, and the caravan does not fail to attract attention as the yellow, green, and white painted rickshaw buzzes through territory known for kidnappings, suicide bombings, and violent clashes.
-- Jennifer Rowland