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Bad times return to Karachi

KARACHI, Pakistan (Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting) — Despite Karachi’s decades-old reputation as Pakistan’s most violent city, over the last year this urban economic hub has remained a haven from the bombings and violence reverberating through the rest of the country. But a flaring of ethnic clashes in recent weeks, exacerbated by a the arrival of thousands of refugees from the violence in northern Pakistan, has many worried that instability has returned to the streets of this massive port city on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

Caught in Pakistan's crossfire

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — The day is closing in Jellozai and children run along the narrow dusty rows of UNICEF-stamped tents trying to squeeze a little more play time out of the dying evening. Some 43,000 people live in this refugee camp just outside of Peshawar, after fleeing violence in the tribal regions not far from here. Beginning last summer, intensified clashes between Taliban militants and the Pakistani military — as well as U.S. drone attacks — have created chaos in the ungoverned tribal belt between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Vulnerable supply lines put US mission at risk

ISLAMABAD — As President Obama sets in motion a new strategic initiative in Afghanistan and Pakistan,  supply lines remain vulnerable to attack and a black market is still thriving in stolen military hardware and computers. As the U.S. begins a surge of 21,000 troops and military advisers in Afghanistan over the summer, the threat to supply lines and the stolen equipment could compromise the mission, military analysts say.

Bombing that kills scores sends a mixed message

A suicide bombing at a mosque in the town of Jamrod in Pakistan's tribal areas killed as many as 70 people, according to local media, although Reuters reported 37. The suicide bomber attacked the mosque during the weekly Friday prayers when its two floors were packed. It was the deadliest suicide bombing in Pakistan in months.

Exclusive: Former Taliban see opening for talks

KABUL — Talking to the Taliban is all the rage. Whether for or against, upbeat or down, everyone seems to be weighing in on the wisdom or folly of negotiating with the black-turbaned crowd. President Barack Obama has even suggested that his administration may reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban. GlobalPost has gained unique access here in Kabul to two former high-ranking officials of the now-deposed Taliban government to hear their view of the possibility of an opening for dialogue.

Jubilation at ruling on Pakistani judges

ISLAMABAD — Soon after midnight, the crowds started gathering outside the house of former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, which sits at the top a winding road on a green hill in the capital. But it wasn't until just before dawn that the news they had all been waiting for finally arrived: Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani announced in a televised speech that, on his order, all judges deposed by the former president, Pervez Musharraf, in November 2007, including Chaudhry, would be reinstated.

A judicial revolution?

By midnight last night, the Pakistani lawyers' "long march" was less than a couple of hundred miles from the capital and moving in fast. Around that time rumors started floating that the prime minister was about to address the nation. The buzz was that he was going to meet the marchers' demands and restore the deposed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Chuadry, and other judges.

The final leg of the Long March

It was quiet here in Islamabad today. Eerily quiet. There was little traffic on the roads on Sunday (a day off), and other than a brief and small protest in the oldest market place, the  capital was calm.

Long March on the capital heating up

Large groups of lawyers and party workers are slowly trying to make their way to the capital Islamabad from all over Pakistan. The marchers' plan is to congregate on Constitution Avenue, the main artery of the capital, and stage a sit in until the deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudry is restored. Sunday in Lahore, the marches briefly turned violent.

Splitting the differences

BOSTON — The murder of two British soldiers and a policeman in Antrim and Armagh, after more than a decade of peace in Northern Ireland, sent a chill down the spines of Ireland and Great Britain. The Good Friday agreement, signed 11 years ago, was supposed to end “The Troubles,” as those lost years of violence were called.
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