- The Jamaat-e-Islami-led opposition jirga has proposed a compromise agreement intended to meet he demands of PTI and PAT protestors; the agreement calls for Prime Minister Sharif to agree in advance to resign if investigations into alleged vote rigging is proven “and if it is established that he became the prime minister as a result of such rigging”. Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani met on Thursday and Friday with international diplomats and veteran anti-Soviet jihad leaders, with both sides suggesting that their talks were ongoing but no agreement announced. Pakistan State Oil is on the verge of suspending fuel supplies to Pakistan International Airlines, as its unpaid dues mount and its own suppliers have begun cutting it off. Additional reports indicate the Karachi University professor killed on Thursday had been accused of blasphemy by former colleagues, and had received death threats.
Pakistan — Security
- Waziristan Operations: The Pakistani military announced on Thursday that it had killed 23 militant suspects in North Waziristan airstrikes in the Zerom and Ismail Khel areas. At a press conference in Peshawar on Thursday, displaced Waziristan residents complained that police and customs officials had been illegally impounding their vehicles after they resisted paying bribes. [AJE] [Dawn]
- Karachi Professor Killed: Additional reporting on the shooting death on Thursday of Karachi University dean of Islamic Studies Muhammad Shakil Auj indicates that he had been receiving death threats since giving a speech in the United States, after which four university professors, including the former dean, accused him of blasphemy. Auj had also taken unorthodox liberal positions that drew complaints. The Karachi University Teachers’ Society has announced an indefinite boycott of all academic activities following his death. [AJE]
Pakistan — Politics and Diplomacy
- Mediation Proposal Released: The Jamaat-e-Islami-led opposition jirga seeking to mediate between the government, PTI, and PAT released a proposal for resolving the deadlock on Thursday. The proposal calls for an independent commission to address the PTI’s allegations of vote rigging over a 45-day period, and for Prime Minister Sharif to announce in advance his intention to resign “if systematic rigging is proved and if it is established that he became the prime minister as a result of such rigging”. The proposal also recommends that investigations into mid-June clashes between Lahore police and PAT activists be transferred to the jurisdiction of another province. Prime Minister Sharif met with parliamentary party heads on Friday to discuss the proposal. Speaking in the National Assembly on Friday at the conclusion of the current joint session of parliament, Sharif expressed his thanks to parliament for it support, criticizing protestors and saying that “governments can only be changed through democratic means”. Imran Khan reiterated on Thursday that he would not give up his sit-in without Sharif’s resignation and would not hold talks with the government while PTI activists were under arrest. [Dawn] [Dawn] [Dawn] [Dawn] [Dawn] [ET]
- Corruption Cases: On Friday, a National Accountability Bureau court acquitted Prime Minister Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif of a 14-year old money laundering charge brought by the former Musharraf government, citing the absence of any witnesses. The Lahore High Court began hearings on Friday on a petition brought against 61 lawmakers, including the Sharif brothers and Imran Khan, accused of illegally transferring their assets abroad. [Dawn]
Pakistan — Economics and Development
- Energy Crisis: Pakistan State Oil has warned that it will be unable to meet the fuel requirements of Pakistan International Airlines beginning next week, after the National Refinery Ltd halted the supply of jet fuel to PSO, which is again on the verge of default to its suppliers. PIA owes PSO roughly Rs 10 billion in overdue fuel payments, and is being supplied on credit. PIA officials downplayed the issue as a “matter of routine”.
- Polio Crisis: Six more polio cases were recorded around the country on Thursday, bringing the total nationwide to 164. [Dawn]
- Floodwaters Reach Sindh: Although floodwaters have diminished from their peak as the flood has entered northern Sindh, several villages in the area have been inundated. The National Disaster Management Authority reports that there have been 323 deaths from the flooding, most concentrated in Punjab or Azad Jammu and Kashmir. [ET] [Dawn]
- Tax Revenues: The Federal Board of Revenue signed a memorandum of understanding with the UK’s Department for International Development on Thursday to support the improvement of Pakistan’s tax system. [ET]
Pakistan — Remainders
- Three Lashkar-e-Islam Militants Killed in Bara Roadside Bombing [Dawn]
- Former Musharraf Lawyers Receive Attorney General Appointments [Dawn] [Dawn]
- MQM Renews Call for More Provinces [ET] [Dawn]
- FATA Tribunal Seeks Complete Shakil Afridi Record [ET]
- Explosives Seized in Quetta [Dawn]
- Election Tribunal Orders Re-Election in NA-267 Quetta Seat [Dawn] [Dawn] [Dawn]
Afghanistan — Security
- Market Attack: Details are limited, but at least two Afghan soldiers and a civilian are reported to have been killed in an attack on a market in the Shindand district in Herat on Friday.
- Border Tensions: Turkmenistan armed forces are alleged to have crossed into Afghan territory in Faryab, building fences and trenches in order to repel Taliban fighters; the Afghan government has yet to comment on the issue. Meanwhile, several hundred people protested against Pakistani artillery attacks into eastern Afghanistan in a rally in Kabul on Thursday.
Afghanistan — Politics and Diplomacy
- Election Deadlock: Spokesmen for Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani expressed optimism after the two talks on Thursday, which were attended by UN Special Representative Jan Kubis and the ambassadors from the UK and US. A spokesman for Ghani suggested that a final agreement on the formation of a national unity government might be reached today. The two candidates met again on Friday with anti-Soviet jihad veterans as well as senior government officials, where they reported “considerable progress” but did not announce a deal. Kubis briefed the UN Security Council on Thursday, stressing that that there was “no better way forward” than a unity government arrangement. On Thursday, the Electoral Complaints Commission said that it had completed its review of complaints filed related to the election audit, overturning the invalidation of 28 out of 1,124 polling stations. Those findings have been referred to the Independent Election Commission, which may itself appeal the results. [TOLO] [Khaama Press]
Afghanistan — Remainders
- Prosecutors Seeking Stiffer Sentence Against Pakistani TV Reporter Who Met With Taliban [ET]
- Commentary: Two Kings Can’t Share Afghanistan’s Kingdom – “Even if both candidates reach an agreement to form a unity government, and even if they are able to define the responsibilities and authorities of a new Chief Executive, the arrangement is likely to break down in practice as trust between the two sides has disappeared.” [Shahmahmood Miakhel, South Asia Channel]
- Commentary: How We Missed Mullah Omar – “The story of how confusion over [Predator drone] technology’s first deployment effectively ruined the U.S. military’s clearest opportunity to kill the elusive Mullah Omar.” [Richard Whittle, Politico]