From The AfPak Channel by Andrew Lebovich -
The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions Thursday on seven people with alleged links to the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, al-Qaeda, and the Haqqani Network, including a Haqqani "shadow governor" in Afghanistan, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Pakistan to bring an "end to safe havens" and other support for militants (Reuters, AFP, AFP). However, the United States has sought in recent days to decrease the tension and rhetoric against Pakistan, as one U.S. diplomat said that, "the worst is over" between the two countries (AFP, ET).(READ MORE)
Pakistani intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha said Thursday that Pakistan had never provided support to the Haqqani Network, after the close of an "All-Party Conference" in Pakistan, where delegates rejected charges of complicity with the group, and signed a resolution calling for peace in Afghanistan and talks with militants in the country's tribal areas (Reuters, NYT, ET, AP, ET, LAT, Dawn). And Rob Crilly reports on a Pakistani man who's made a profitable side business out of selling American, Israeli, and other flags to be burned in protests (Tel).
A suspected U.S. drone strike in South Waziristan has reportedly killed at least three militants (ET, AP). An apparent gas cylinder explosion wounded six in an Islamabad hotel Thursday night, a blast police said did not appear to be linked to terrorism (ET, AFP, The News, DT, AFP). The Tribune reports on an impending shuffle of top police posts in Pakistan in the coming days (ET). And 34 laborers were kidnapped in Khyber agency Friday in two separate incidents (Dawn).
Security concerns in Pakistan have prompted a Chinese company to pull out of a $19 billion mining deal in Sindh province, set to be the country's largest foreign investment, as Pakistan approaches a record deficit for the 2010-2011 fiscal year (WSJ, Dawn).