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Shiite leader shot dead in northwest Pakistan

A prominent Shiite leader was shot dead in Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday, officials said, sparking a protest outside a hospital where his body was taken. The killing comes just weeks after a Shiite scholar was gunned down in the same city. "Haji Sardar Ali was shot dead in the morning in Kissa Khwani bazaar," senior police official Faisal Mukhtar told AFP. Ali headed the local branch of the Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Fiqah-e-Jafaria,a Shiite rights movement. Zaheer ul Islam, the deputy commissioner of Peshawar, confirmed the incident.

Grenade attack on cinema kills 4 in NW Pakistan

At least four people were killed and 31 wounded late Sunday when unidentified attackers hurled two grenades at a cinema in northwest Pakistan, police and medics said. The attack on the Picture House cinema in Peshawar, the region's main city, took place as some 90 people were watching a late night show of the film 'Ziddi Pakhtun' (Stubborn Pushtun), police said. "At least four people have been killed and 31 injured. Attackers hurled two grenades and fled the scene," Faisal Mukhtar, a senior police official, told AFP.

Hundreds swarm ancient Pakistan ruins for grand cultural gala

Hunderds of people arrived at the ancient ruined city of Moenjodaro Saturday to attend an inaugural festival aimed at commemorating Pakistan's cultural heritage. Spearheaded by the Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, son of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, the two-week festival is part of a campaign to conserve the heritage of his home province of Sindh. But experts warned the festival could put Moenjodaro, a UNESCO World Heritage site built around 2600 BC, in danger.

Taliban committee for government talks includes Imran Khan

The Pakistani Taliban on Saturday said that cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan would be one of five members of a committee set up to hold talks with the government. The announcement came days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif named a similar team to facilitate dialogue with the extremists, who have waged a deadly insurgency since 2007. "The committee members will hold talks with their interlocutors in the government's team on our behalf and put forth our point of view," Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Shahidullah Shahid told AFP.

Pakistan court rejects Musharraf's plea for treatment abroad

A court trying Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf for treason Friday refused to allow him to go abroad for medical treatment, saying it had no authority to lift his travel ban. The 70-year-old is facing treason charges, which can carry the death penalty, over his imposition of a state of emergency in 2007 while he was president. Musharraf has been in a military hospital since falling ill with heart trouble while travelling to the special treason tribunal on January 2 and his lawyers had argued he needed specialist treatment abroad.

Pakistan court issues warrant for Musharraf's arrest

A Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant Friday for former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, but the retired general's lawyer told reporters he will not actually taken into custody since the warrant is bailable. The warrant was issued by a special court set up in Islamabad to try Musharraf, who has been in a military hospital since early January, on high treason charges for abrogating the Constitution when he imposed emergency rule in November 2007.

Pakistani cultural festival threatens ancient ruins

A festival to commemorate Pakistan's cultural heritage spearheaded by the scion of the Bhutto family could put the ruins of one of the world's ancient civilisations at risk, experts warned Thursday. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the heir to slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, has launched a campaign to conserve the heritage of his home province of Sindh with a two-week festival due to begin on February 1.

Pakistani cultural festival threatens ancient ruins

A festival to commemorate Pakistan's cultural heritage spearheaded by the scion of the Bhutto family could put the ruins of one of the world's ancient civilizations at risk, experts warned Thursday. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the heir to slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, has launched a campaign to conserve the heritage of his home province of Sindh with a two-week festival due to begin on February 1.

Pakistan PM scotches speculation of Taliban offensive

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday dismissed speculation he would launch an offensive against the Taliban following a wave of bloody attacks, saying peace talks deserved another chance. Sharif also called on militants to observe a ceasefire and named a committee that includes two leading journalists to assist in dialogue efforts. The government has come under fire for failing to set a strategy to respond to a surge in militant violence which has seen 114 deaths in attacks since the start of the year, according to an AFP tally.

Pakistan PM scotches speculation of Taliban offensive

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday scotched speculation his government would launch an offensive against the Taliban following a wave of bloody attacks, saying he wanted to "give the peaceful solution another chance". Sharif's government has come under fire for failing to come up with a strategy to respond to a surge in militant violence, which has seen more than 114 people killed in attacks since the start of the year, according to an AFP tally.
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