May 31st, 2012
10:06 AM ET

Pakistani Taliban vows to kill doctor who helped track bin Laden

By Reza Sayah and Nasir Habib in Islamabad

The Pakistani Taliban vowed on Thursday to kill Shakeel Afridi, the jailed Pakistani doctor accused of helping the CIA in the search for Osama bin Laden, a spokesman for the militant group told CNN.

"We will cut him into pieces when we find him," Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told CNN by phone. "He spied for the U.S. to hunt down our hero Osama bin Laden."

Pakistani officials say Afridi is being held in a prison in the city of Peshawar in northwest Pakistan.

Read the whole story here

May 18th, 2012
02:36 PM ET

Pakistan allows first supplies into Afghanistan in six months

Editor's note: Read all of Security Clearance's coverage of the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago

By Shaan Khan and Reza Sayah reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan

Four trucks containing supplies for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul drove from Pakistan into Afghanistan on Friday, the first time Pakistan has allowed such a border crossing since closing the routes six months ago, a U.S. official said.

The source noted that officially, there had never been a suspension of the movement of diplomatic supplies through Pakistan, only military supplies, and this did not mean the NATO supply routes had been reopened. But this was the first time diplomatic materials were allowed through in six months. FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Chicago NATO summit 2012 • Diplomacy • ISAF • Military • NATO • Pakistan
May 14th, 2012
05:56 AM ET

War supplies collecting dust near Pakistan border

CNN's Reza Sayah reports on U.S.-made NATO supplies bound for Afghanistan that are stuck and unused in Pakistan.  

The transit points have been closed for nearly half a year as Pakistan and the U.S. negotiate how to resume relations after a series of incidents, including the secret raid by American forces to kill bin Laden and a border fight with NATO troops that left two dozen Pakistani soldiers killed.  It has been a costly problem for the U.S. and NATO which must use other, more circuitous routes to get supplies into the country. FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Gen. John Allen • ISAF • Military • Pakistan
New spy chief for Pakistan
March 9th, 2012
01:48 PM ET

New spy chief for Pakistan

By Reza Sayah and Nasir Habib in Pakistan and Pam Benson and Adam Levine in Washington

Pakistan's prime minister named a new head of Inter-Services Intelligence, the country's most powerful spy agency and a critical element in the U.S. fight against insurgents in both Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.

Lt. Gen. Zahir Ul-Islam, who is currently serving as an army corps commander in the region of Karachi, steps into the new post, the office of Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Friday. The current ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, is retiring March 18, Gilani's office said.

Islam was in the ISI as a two-star general before being promoted to three-star general in 2010 and being appointed to one of nine coveted corps commander posts. Each of Pakistan's corps commanders oversees a large army formation in a specific part of the country.

The appointment has been approved by the head of Pakistan's military, Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. Kayani submitted three names to the prime minister to select from for the appointment. FULL POST

Why Pakistan's military won't take over
January 17th, 2012
10:33 AM ET

Why Pakistan's military won't take over

By Reza Sayah reporting from Islamabad

Pakistan is facing its most serious political crisis in years, with rapidly escalating conflicts between the civilian government, the military and the judiciary, against the backdrop of a faltering economy, widespread poverty, corruption and the bloody war with Islamist militant groups.

The country was founded in 1947 as a democracy, but in times of crisis the army - Pakistan's most powerful institution - has overthrown the civilian government on the grounds that the leadership had been unfit and corrupt.

Rumors of another coup have been swirling around the current crisis - but analysts say a military takeover is highly unlikely this time around.

Read Reza's reasoning here.  Tell us what you think in our "Comment" section.

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Filed under: ISI • Pakistan
Can Sherry Rehman fix Pakistan-U.S. relations?
November 23rd, 2011
12:07 PM ET

Can Sherry Rehman fix Pakistan-U.S. relations?

By CNN's Reza Sayah in Islamabad

The Pakistani government has appointed Sherry Rehman, one of its most liberal female lawmakers and staunch supporters of human rights, as the next ambassador to the United States.

The longtime member of Pakistan's ruling People's Party was a confidant of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. When militants assassinated Bhutto in 2007, Rehman was part of the convoy that was attacked, riding several cars behind her.

Rehman took a stand in 2009 against her own political party when she resigned her post as information minister after the government banned a private television channel that had been critical of government policy.

The former journalist openly expressed her liberal views in this conservative society until she received death threats in 2010. The threats came after she proposed a bill to protect minorities by amending Pakistan¹s controversial blasphemy laws. FULL POST

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Diplomacy • ISI • Pakistan
Memo scandal: Pakistan's ambassador in U.S. offering to resign
November 17th, 2011
10:18 AM ET

Memo scandal: Pakistan's ambassador in U.S. offering to resign

Pakistan's ambassador to the United States has offered to resign amid alleged links to a secret offer to Washington by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari to cut down the powers of the country's military leadership, our Reza Sayah and journalist Nasir Habib report from Islamabad.

"I serve at the pleasure of the president of Pakistan and the prime minister," Ambassador Husain Haqqani told CNN Wednesday.

"I have communicated my willingness to resign or participate in any inquiry that brings an end to the vilification against the democratic government of Pakistan currently being undertaken by some elements in the country."

Haqqani's resignation offer follows swirling media reports that Zardari asked Washington in May to help him hold on to power because he feared a military coup after the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

READ the whole story here

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Filed under: Military • Pakistan