Pakistani prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf made his first trip as prime minister to Afghanistan on Thursday, where he met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss cross-border attacks on coalition troops by militants based in Pakistan and the stalled Afghan peace talks (AP, AFP, Dawn). Ashraf and Karzai also held separate talks on the side to discuss measures to keep militants from Afghanistan from infiltrating the border with Pakistan, and Ashraf encouraged all Afghan stakeholders to participate in dialogue to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Top British troop commanders in Helmand Province told Cameron that both the stability of Afghanistan and the security of the United Kingdom may be put at risk if the government withdraws British troops from the country too quickly (Guardian). Meanwhile, in the northern Afghan province of Faryab on Thursday, eight civilians were killed when their minivan struck a homemade roadside bomb (AFP).
Pakistani Taliban militants attacked a security check post the northwestern area of Chitral on Wednesday, though no casualties were reported (Dawn). in Lower Dir, the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) staged a protest against the killing of three laborers and kidnapping of eight others in Balochistan on Sunday (ET). And in Karachi, five people died in incidents of targeted killing (Dawn).
A jirga of Pakistani tribal elders tasked by the government with persuading militant groups in Pakistan's northwest to allow health workers to resume their polio vaccination campaign said Wednesday that they will allow the ban to continue until U.S. drone attacks are halted (Dawn).
And the Post's Michele Langevine Leiby reported Thursday on the July 4 killing of prominent Pakistani human rights activist Farida Afridi in Peshawar, an attack which surprised and shook the nation (Post).
Pakistan's leading lady of scandal Veena Malik will host a special television series during Ramadan entitled "Astaghfaar" (). In the promo video for the show, Veena says with a tear-streaked face, "I am Veena Malik. In the entire month of Ramazan, I will seek forgiveness for my sins and yours, with you on Hero TV."
-- Jennifer Rowland