The South Asia Channel

Pakistani government negotiates deal with cleric

Media Advisory for Dubai-based Journalists: The New America Foundation is pleased to announce the South Asia 2020 Conference, to be held in Dubai from January 18-20. For more information about covering the event, please contact Peter Bergen at bergenpeter@aol.com or Taufiq Rahim at taufiq@globesight.com (NAF).

Fizzling out

The four-day sit-in staged by the Pakistani-Canadian cleric Tahir-ul Qadri and thousands of supporters ended on Thursday after negotiations between Qadri and senior government officials resulted in a signed agreement called the Long March Declaration (Guardian, AFP, Post, AJE, BBC, LAT, Reuters, NYT). The agreement reportedly satisfies none of the cleric's demands for the dissolution of parliament, the resignation of the government, and allowing the judiciary and military to play a part in choosing the caretaker government that will be installed for up to three months between the time the current government's term expires and the elections. The agreement did promise Qadri's political party a say in choosing the caretaker government, though.

A Pakistani officer identified as Kamran Faisal who was tasked with investigating corruption charges against Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was found dead in an apparent suicide at his home in Islamabad on Friday (AP, BBC, AFP, ET). Authorities say they will have an autopsy performed to determine the cause of death.

No comment

Staff Sgt. Robert Bales on Thursday deferred a plea to charges of murdering 16 Afghan civilians in a midnight attack on two villages last year, and the judge ordered an official sanity review of Bales (AP).

Bad Monkey

Apple Maps appears to have taken their data from a site sometimes called the "Wikipedia of maps," and with mostly correct information they also received prank names of streets in Afghanistan (Slate). One street in Kabul shows up on Apple Maps as "Bad Monkey," while a street in Jalalabad has been labeled "Hillbilly Hameed."

FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images

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