US-Pakistan relations

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FBI Agent Arrested at Pakistan Airport

He was carrying ammo, multiple knives onto plane

(Newser) - An FBI agent was arrested at an airport in Pakistan on Monday when he tried to carry bullets and knives onto a Karachi-to-Islamabad flight, Pakistani authorities revealed today. Joel Cox was on an official trip to Pakistan to provide training for local police, CNN reports. When police nabbed him he... More »

US Reining In Drone Strikes in Pakistan—Maybe

But White House official denies claim

(Newser) - With Pakistan looking to forge peace with the Pakistani Taliban, the US is reducing its drone strikes in the country at Islamabad's request, US officials tell the Washington Post : "That’s what they asked for, and we didn't tell them no." The Post sees the fact... More »

Pakistan, Bush Made Secret Drone-Strike Deal

Meanwhile, top-secret CIA documents show Islamabad was kept in the loop

(Newser) - Though Pakistan has often condemned US drone strikes—this week, PM Nawaz Sharif called them an obstacle in the countries' relationship—officials there reportedly signed a secret deal with the Bush administration regarding the attacks. "The exact terms were never shared with civilians, but there was a protocol between... More »

We Distrust, Spy on Pakistan More Than You Think: Files

Snowden's 'black budget' shows 'no other nation draws as much scrutiny'

(Newser) - Included in the summary of the $52.6 billion "black budget" leaked by Edward Snowden: quite a bit of money spent keeping an eye on Pakistan. Despite the fact that Pakistan is technically a US ally, the documents reveal it is as much a target of US surveillance as... More »

Could Pakistan Soon Quit the War on Terror?

Leading PM candidate Nawaz Sharif says he'd do just that

(Newser) - Pakistan's leading candidate for prime minister has said he'll escort the country out of the US-led "war on terror" if elected on Saturday. Nawaz Sharif tells the BBC , "We have to" quit the effort, arguing that the move would be a step toward peace both in... More »

Pakistan OKed Some Drone Strikes in Secret: Musharraf

Contradicts country's previous assertions

(Newser) - In the past, Pakistan has maintained that US drone strikes in the country were carried out without leaders' involvement. Now, former leader Pervez Musharraf says the government approved some of the strikes in secret, CNN reports. Officials gave the go-ahead "only on a few occasions, when a target was... More »

Over US Threats, Pakistan, Iran Push for Gas Pipeline

Presidents meet to inaugurate project

(Newser) - Pakistan is starting work on a gas pipeline to Iran, a long-planned project that the US says threatens anti-nuclear sanctions against Tehran. Iran has nearly finished its own section of the pipeline; today, presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Asif Ali Zardari attended a border ceremony. Some 485 miles of pipeline are... More »

Sign of Improving Relations: US Paying Pakistan $688M

John Kerry is a big supporter of such aid

(Newser) - In a sign that US-Pakistan relations are improving, the Pentagon will send Pakistan a $688 million payment, the first reimbursement sent to the country since this summer. Such payments, called coalition support funds, cover the cost of stationing troops on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, and many of them have been delayed... More »

US Debates Naming Haqqani Network a Terror Group

Risks may outweigh benefits, as congressional deadline looms

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton has a big decision to make by Sept. 9: whether to formally designate the Haqqani Network in Pakistan a terrorist organization. It might seem like a no-brainer considering the network is blamed for most of the anti-US attacks in Afghanistan, but the Washington Post and the New York ... More »

Getting Out of Afghanistan Will Cost Us Billions

Thanks to geography, it's an 'order of magnitude' harder than Iraq

(Newser) - Fighting a war isn't cheap, and in Afghanistan's case, neither is ending one. The US is set to get everyone out by 2014, but getting everything out will cost billions, says Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. "Combat is still going on. Terrible terrain. Narrow roads. Long way... More »

Taliban Bans Polio Vaccines Until US Drone Strikes End

North Waziristan commander halts vaccines in region

(Newser) - The Taliban has decided to use Pakistan's kids in the fight to end US drone strikes. It announced that it has banned polio vaccines in North Waziristan until said strikes are ended. "Almost every resident of North Waziristan has become a mental patient because of the drone strikes,... More »

Pakistan Border Closing Costing US Over $3M a Day

Alternative route costs $100M extra a month, Panetta says

(Newser) - Pakistan's closure of its border with Afghanistan to NATO convoys is costing the US an extra $100 million a month to get supplies in, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told a Senate committee yesterday. Pakistan closed the border late last year after a cross-border strike killed 24 of its soldiers.... More »

Pakistan Ambassador Squealed to US: Inquiry

Hussain Haqqani says finding is 'all politics'

(Newser) - Hussain Haqqani got one step closer to being tried for treason yesterday, when an investigation concluded that he was "not loyal" to Pakistan while serving as its ambassador to the US, the Washington Post reports. In a not-exactly-shocking turn, the probe found that Haqqani had indeed sent the US... More »

In Pakistan, Ravaged al-Qaeda Looks to Rebound

Few leaders left, but always new recruits in dangerous region

(Newser) - With the killing of al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi last week, al-Qaeda is down to just eight hardcore leaders in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, down from dozens a few years ago, reports Reuters in a look at the once-formidable group. Finances have dried up, too, and many members of the... More »

3 Days of Drone Strikes Kill 27 in Pakistan

Latest attack targets militant encampment

(Newser) - Three US drone strikes have killed 27 people in Pakistan since Saturday, including 15 today, as tension between the countries continues to rise. Today's strike, in northwest Pakistan, was aimed at a militant stronghold in North Waziristan's tribal region; attacks on Saturday and Sunday struck South Waziristan, Reuters... More »

Bin Laden Snitch Wasn't Convicted of Treason

Shakil Afridi was actually convicted of colluding with a warlord

(Newser) - The Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden was never actually charged with treason, as was initially reported . Shakil Afridi, who was sentenced to 33 years in prison, was actually convicted of colluding with anti-government Islamist warlord Mangal Bagh, tribal court documents show. The fact that Afridi... More »

Bin Laden Snitch a Corrupt Thief: Pakistan

Shakil Afridi had been accused of sexual assault, say officials

(Newser) - Pakistani officials say Dr. Shakil Afridi was a bad egg who had been accused of sexual assault, harassment, theft, and more long before he was arrested for helping the US find Osama bin Laden. Officials showed Reuters a 2002 document in which Afridi was declared too corrupt for government service.... More »

More US-Pakistan Woes: Peeved Senators, Drone Strike

Strike kills 10, aid gets threatened over Shakil Afridi's sentence

(Newser) - The sun still is not shining on US-Pakistan relations. A US drone strike targeting suspected militants in northwest Pakistan killed 10 today, a move that will likely further inflame tensions between the two countries, reports Reuters . Pakistan has demanded an end to the strikes, which it considers a violation of... More »

Pakistani Doc Gets 33 Years for Helping Find bin Laden

Pakistan jails Shakil Afridi for treason

(Newser) - The Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA take down the world's most notorious terrorist will spend the next 33 years of his life in prison for his troubles. Dr. Shakil Afridi ran a vaccination program that the US used to verify Osama bin Laden's presence in Abbottabad, reports... More »

Report: Obama Snubs Zardari as Relations Unravel

Pakistan refuses to open supply lines to Afghanistan until US apologizes

(Newser) - President Obama has said that Pakistan is the key to the future of Afghanistan and the region—just as US-Pakistan relations appear to be deteriorating. Obama is now refusing to meet with President Asif Ali Zardari at the NATO summit in Chicago, reports the Guardian . For Obama, the most important... More »

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