South Asia

Pakistan: death penalty in slaying of Sufi singer

Pakistan's army high command approved the death penalty for 10 condemned jihadists who were convicted by a military tribunal of attacks that claimed over 60 lives—including the assassination of Amjad Sabri, one of the country's most revered singers of qawwalii, traditional Sufi devotional music. Sabri was on his way to a televised Ramadan performance in Karachi when his car was attacked by gunmen, and his many followers hailed justice in the case. But in the two years since Sabri's death, attacks on Sufis in Pakistan have continued, with suicide blasts and horrific massacres at shrines and mosques. (Photo via PTI)

South Asia

Hatred of Ahmadis behind Pakistan protests

The protests that paralyzed Islamabad and other Pakistani cities were ostensibly sparked by changes to the oath of office, eliminating text recognizing Mohammed as God's final prophet. But behind this was orthodox Sunni fear of the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, which holds that 19th century founder Mirza Gulam Ahmed was the last prophet. As the protests mounted, Ahmadi Muslims faced threats across Pakistan, the Islamic world and the diaspora.

South Asia

South Asia: millions more ‘climate refugees’

With stateside media focused on the unprecedented flooding and cascading industrial disasters from Hurricane Harvey in Texas, the far great deluges that have struck three countries in South Asia are going largely unreported. Up to 40 million have been impacted after weeks of unusually strong monsoon rains affecting India, Bangladesh and Nepal—adding to the fast-growing ranks of "climate refugees," now a nearly invisible global crisis.

South Asia

India: Islamic ‘instant divorce’ law unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of India ruled that the sharia-based "instant divorce" law, which allowed Muslim men to divorce their wives by saying the word "talaq" three times, was unconstitutional. The court found that the practice is gender-discriminatory and noted that several countries with sizable Muslim populations do not allow the talaq instant divorce. The court has given a six-month period for the talaq divorce to be redefined or simply done away with altogether.

South Asia

Bhutan squeezed in India-China standoff

As Chinese and Indian troops face off on the disputed Himalayan border, the small independent kingdom of Bhutan charges that its own territorial claims are not being respected.

South Asia

Linguistic struggle heats up in Pakistan

A proposed amendment to Pakistan's constitution, making Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto and Balochi "national languages" along with Urdu, is sparking an angry backlash from nationalists.

South Asia

Pakistan: deadly ISIS attack on Sufi shrine

An ISIS suicide attack on a Sufi shrine killed at least 75 worshippers and wounded dozens more—the deadliest in a string of blasts across Pakistan this week.

South Asia

Pakistan: who was behind Quetta attack?

ISIS and the Taliban both claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide attack at a police academy in Quetta, while Pakistani authorities blamed the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi network.