Two mosque attacks on Friday come amid an increasing number of Taliban attacks targeting the mosques belonging to tribes that resist the militants' influence.
Al-Qaeda-linked militants are stepping up their attacks on Sufi shrines, possibly as part of an effort to impose a more fundamentalist Islamic practice on the country.
Despite recent tensions between Islamabad and Washington, Pakistan is set to receive another $2 billion in US military assistance over the next five years.
Nine years after US-led airstrikes on Afghanistan began, President Karzai on Thursday inaugurated a new peace council that is tasked with reconciling with the Taliban and other insurgents. Kabul residents say they see no end in sight to the war.
Pakistan said it will keep the Khyber Pass - a crucial supply line for the US war effort in Afghanistan - closed because of security concerns, as a US drone strike pounded alleged militants inside Pakistan.
Nobody has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's bomb attack on a NATO tanker waiting at the Torkham border post, which Pakistan sealed six days ago.
Pakistan's prime minister announced Friday that he will work for the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman convicted of attempted murder by the US and believed to have ties to Al Qaeda.
Pakistani military operations in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan have steered clear of North Waziristan, allowing the area to become a haven for militants. Tribal and local intelligence sources say some 15,000 militants shelter in this semiautonomous tribal belt. “It’s a cobweb,” says former Pakistani diplomat Ayaz Wazir. New alliances between militant commanders in Waziristan have turned this area into a dangerous labyrinth, from which fighters can launch suicide attacks in Pakistan or missions against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “It's an international war which has engulfed us,” says Malik Khan Marjan Wazir, an influential tribal elder in North Waziristan. “The volcano is in Afghanistan but it erupts in our tribal areas.” For Marjan Wazir, peace won't be found through military operations or drone attacks, but in negotiations at what he calls “real” jirgas (tribal assemblies). “My elders would always tell me a story that if a woolen blanket gets leeches, you don’t put to fire the whole blanket. You pluck them out with care.” Based on interviews with local tribesmen and intelligence sources, here’s a list of the five biggest players in the region:
Boys pull a ram into the Atlantic Ocean to wash it in preparation for sacrifice, on the Eid al-Adha feast, in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 26, 2012. The Eid al-Adha festival, known locally as Tabaski, celebrates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son.
The death of more than a million livestock in the Pakistan floods has wiped out years of farmers' savings. How the government responds will shape the country's economic future.