New post: Waliullah Rahmani, "Intelligent redesign" (FP).
The judge hearing the case of Rimsha Masih, a young, mentally challenged Pakistani Christian girl accused of burning an Islamic textbook, ordered Friday that she be released on bail, setting the bond at 1 million rupees, or about $10,500 (AP, BBC, Tel, Post, NYT, Reuters, CNN, Guardian, The News, Dawn). However, not only will Masih's impoverished family likely need financial help posting the bail, but many believe that once released, her life may be in danger from those who support the blasphemy charges against her.
A gunman riding a motorcycle on Friday shot dead the senior police officer investigating sectarian killings of Shi'a Muslims in Pakistan's restive Balochistan Province, which have allegedly been carried out by the Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (AP, BBC, The News, Dawn, ET). The shooting took place in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, while the officer, Jamil Kakar, was on his way to a Supreme Court hearing.
Several American officials said Thursday that the White House has decided to designate the Pakistan-based Haqqani Network as a foreign terrorist organization, a controversial move that could complicate relations with Pakistan and future attempts to hold peace talks with the Haqqanis (NYT). Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to send the administration's official decision on the Haqqani Network designation to Congress on Friday (AP, CNN).
The Afghan Ministry of Defense plans to distribute a pamphlet to the 190,000 Afghan National Army soldiers explaining some of the cultural differences the troops may find they have with their international counterparts, in an effort to stem the rising tide of "green-on-blue" attacks (Reuters, NYT).
An exhibit featuring Pakistani artists from conflict zones across the country will open in Lahore on Saturday, and will travel to London later this month (ET). Hailing primarily from Pakistan's rugged northwest and conflict-ravaged southwest, many of the artists have themselves been victims of sectarian or religious extremist violence, experiences that are apparent in the art they've produced.
-- Jennifer Rowland