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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Conflict in Pakistan, Tashakor, Film on Prophet,

Conflict in Pakistan - After recent Pakistani military operations in Pakistan's own Swat Valley to push out Taliban insurgents who had taken control of the region, its operations are now more focused on the Taliban strongholds in the South Waziristan region. Pakistani troops and Taliban militants have been locked in intense clashes recently in the tribal area which has killed more than 150 people. Relief workers say that more than 120,000 people have been displaced by the fighting. Insurgent responses to the increased military pressure have included numerous bombings and suicide attacks, killing and injuring scores across Pakistan in recent weeks. Just today a car bomb in a busy marketplace in Peshawar killed more than 93 people, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an official visit - announcing the latest in a series of U.S. aid packages to Pakistan. (36 photos total) [thanks RJ]

It was once known as the city of flowers, said Zahira Khattak, the ANP activist who grew up in Kabul. Now, the only flowers visible in the city provide splashes of colour through the all-pervasive dust at a few isolated roundabouts -- and at the splendid, renovated Bagh-e-Babar (Babar's Garden) on the city outskirts, the last resting place of the first Mughal emperor. The city still looks battered -- but often that's because old buildings are being knocked down to make way for high-rises. Some gracious old buildings still stand tall in the midst of the dust and rubble. A series of upmarket high-rise apartment blocks emerge from the dust on the road from the airport. Air-conditioned shopping malls and boutique restaurants cater to the crowds of expatriate workers resident in Kabul, and the Afghani rupee has a better value than the Pakistani rupee. Noisy, unruly traffic bumps non-stop over the unpaved streets. Traffic lights are conspicuous by their absence. There are security barriers everywhere and few women are visible on the streets. The markets close early, but this city is nowhere close to giving up. Tashakor, Zinda Dillan-e-Kabul - Beena Sarwar

ABU DHABI—A new Middle Eastern media company is raising capital for a planned new feature-length film about the Prophet Muhammad. Doha-based Alnoor Fund has signed on producer Barrie Osborne of "Lord of the Rings" fame to steer what fund officials say is expected to be a $150 million project. The ambitious undertaking doesn't have a screenwriter or director attached to it yet, but the fund has signed on a religious adviser, Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi, a well-regarded and popular Islamic scholar. Mideast Media Firm Plans Film About Muhammad


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