Pakistan: militant activity spreads to center

Militant activity in Pakistan is rapidly spreading from peripheral areas such as the Afghan border zone to the Punjabi heartland. A suicide bomber blew himself up near an army camp in Kharian, 85 miles southeast of the capital Islamabad March 29, killing a soldier and wounding seven others. (AFP, March 29)

That same day, a woman seized and held captive by students from Islamabad’s Jamia Hafsa madrassa after being accused of running a brothel was been freed along with two of her female relatives and two police officers who had been abducted with her. The woman, known as “Aunty Shamim,” made a statement before being released saying she repented of her actions. “I apologize for my past wrongdoing and I promise in the name of God that in future I will live like a pious person,” she said before reporters. She later said she had not made the statement of her own free will and accused the students of mistreating her. “I don’t think Islam allows anyone to beat a woman and drag her through the streets like a dog,” she told the AP. (BBC, March 29)

See our last post on Pakistan.