The head of Pakistan's Supreme Court, Justice Jawwad S. Khawaja, adjourned the hearing in the treason case against former president Pervez Musharraf indefinitely on Thursday, saying a verdict would be given at a later date (Dawn, ET). After listening to the government's arguments against Musharraf, Khawaja paused the case until a special court could be created to hear the case against the former leader, responding to concerns of impartiality from Musharraf. Khawaja also rejected a plea ordering the formal arrest of the former president, saying that no formal charges against him had been put before the court.
A video message from Antonie Chrastecka and Hana Humpalova, two Czech women who were kidnapped in Balochistan in March, was sent to reporters and posted online Wednesday, but its authenticity has not been verified (AFP, Dawn, Reuters, RFERL). In the video, reportedly recorded one day after the Boston Marathon bombing, the women say the demand for their release is simple: release Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a neuroscientist currently serving an 86-year prison term for shooting at FBI agents and soldiers in Afghanistan. No group has claimed responsibility for the abductions.
At least two Frontier Corps personnel were killed and three others were injured in the Awaran district of Balochistan on Wednesday when a remote-controlled bomb was detonated near their vehicle (ET). The Baloch Liberation Front has claimed responsibility for the attack. Elsewhere in Awaran district, a least eight members of Tablighi Jamaat, an ultraorthodox Islamic sect, were kidnapped, though no kidnappers have been identified.
An alleged suicide bomber and at least one civilian were killed in an explosion in Quetta on Thursday (Dawn, ET). A police officer at the scene said it is unclear if the suspected bomber detonated his explosives vest or if it exploded prematurely. Two civilians were injured in the blast; one died on the way to a hospital, the other is still in critical condition. Also, the drivers of two private container trucks were injured in an attack on Thursday as they drove from Karachi to Quetta. There have been no claims of responsibility for either attack.
Closed for business?
U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham said in a statement Wednesday that the Afghan Taliban's office in Doha, Qatar would be closed if the group's representatives refused to talk to Afghan High Peace Council members (Pajhwok). Amb. Cunningham also noted that while the U.S. was originally scheduled to meet with the Taliban negotiators first, U.S. representatives would now not participate in any talks unless the group agrees to meet with the council.
In Islamabad, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, welcomed the opening of the Taliban office on Wednesday and said that while the current process "does not appear to be deep-rooted," it should continue (Dawn, ET, Pajhwok). Speaking after a meeting with Jan Kubis, the U.N. Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Afghanistan, Rehman also stated that that Pakistan has an important role to play in any peace process that concerns regional security.
The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime released a report Wednesday saying that Afghanistan continues to be the world's top cultivator and producer of opium (Pajhwok, RFERL). In its annual drug report, the office noted that Afghanistan produced around 75 percent of the world's opium in 2012 and that more than one million people in Afghanistan are addicted to opium and heroin. Most of the country's opium is produced in Helmand province.
Five Afghan policemen and three Afghan soldiers were killed on Thursday in separate attacks in Herat province and Farah province, respectively (Pajhwok). The policemen were killed when militants ambushed their overnight security patrol, and the soldiers were killed when their truck struck a roadside bomb. Four other soldiers were also wounded in that attack. There are currently no claims of responsibility.
Two senators in Afghanistan's upper house of parliament came to blows on Wednesday, after exchanging harsh words over a draft election law (Pajhwok). A day after agreeing to some of the law's 67 articles, Mohammaf Faqiri and Syed Agha Hussain Samangani disagreed on others and after a heated conversation, Samangani hurled a stack of voting cards at Faqiri. Faqiri responded by throwing a bottle of water at his colleague.
-- Jennifer Rowland and Bailey Cahall
RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images