Pakistan continues to face a political crisis in the face of massive anti-government protests. Thousands of people have camped out in front of the Parliament building in Islamabad in a call for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Opponents accuse Sharif of corruption and vote rigging. The protests have turned violent in recent days, with demonstrators briefly occupying a government broadcaster and street clashes that left three dead and more than 500 wounded. The Pakistani Parliament is holding an emergency session to discuss the crisis today.
An anti-drone activist and journalist has gone missing in Pakistan just days before he was due to travel to Europe to speak with Parliament members about the impact of the U.S. drone wars. The legal charity Reprieve says Karim Khan was seized in the early hours of February 5 by up to 20 men, some wearing police uniforms. He has not been seen since. Khan’s brother and son were both killed in a drone strike. In addition to public activism, Khan was also engaged in legal proceedings against the Pakistani government for their failure to investigate the killings of his loved ones.
A U.S. drone strike early this morning killed at least seven people in the Pakistani area of North Waziristan. The strike was reportedly directed at a home. The identities of the dead are not known. Pakistani officials say there were militants.
On Friday, U.S. drone strikes killed at least six people in Yemen. Local security sources said the dead included two top leaders of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Meanwhile in Pakistan, a U.S. drone attack killed at least four people in North Waziristan on Saturday. Officials there also claimed the victims were militants.
A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan has killed at least six people. Unverified reports say the victims included a senior commander of the Pakistani Taliban who had just returned from fighting the U.S.-led occupation in Afghanistan. It was at least the 17th CIA drone attack in Pakistan this year. The Associated Press reported last week the United States has scaled back drone strikes in response to Pakistani objections. Citing anonymous U.S. officials, the AP says the White House has dropped the practice of “signature strikes,” in which attacks can be launched based on circumstantial patterns, such as a large gathering of military-age males.
The women’s university at the center of Saturday’s deadly twin attacks in the Pakistani city of Quetta has been shut down until further notice.