By Madalena Araujo and Mick Krever, CNN
Pakistan’s war against the Taliban will continue, Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday, in the wake of the Taliban massacre of Pakistani schoolchildren.
“The Taliban, these extremists, the terrorists, they are the biggest threat to peace in this region, to peace in Pakistan, to the existence of Pakistan,” Khawaja Asif said.
“We are undeterred. We won’t back off, we are on the front line for the last now almost eleven, twelve years. We need the world, especially Western countries, must recognize – unqualified recognition should be given to our sacrifices. … Even the children are dying on the frontline in the war against terror.”
At least 145 people were killed and more than a hundred injured, most of them children, at a school for the families of military personnel in Peshawar.
“The smaller the coffin, the heavier it is to carry it. And we’ve been carrying smaller coffins today, more than a hundred small coffins we’ve been carrying, the Pakistani nation.”
“It’s a very, very tragic day, and when people tell us how to conduct this war and they say that we are discriminate against this group and not doing enough otherwise, it really hurts, you know. It’s like belittling our sacrifices against this war.”
By Mick Krever, CNN
With the military on the streets of Islamabad trying to restore order amid protests calling for the resignation of Pakistan’s prime minister, that country’s defense minister says that neither the protesters nor the military poses a threat.
“There is absolutely no threat,” Khawaja Asif told CNN’s Michael Holmes, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Monday. “The government was never under threat. It's just a perception. We still enjoy overwhelming majority in the parliament.”
“These protesters and their leaders, they claim that they have the support of the Pakistan Army or the intelligence agencies, which is totally incorrect.”
“It is purely a political dispute.”
Two separate groups of protesters are camped out at Pakistan’s parliament, calling on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign. He was elected just last year, and took office in the country’s first-ever democratic transition of power.
It's a crisis that's become a norm to many in Pakistan, but for documentary maker Jamie Doran the sexual abuse of young boys was a tragedy hidden from vision.
As his new film, 'Pakistan's hidden shame', begins to make waves in country's like Japan and Australia, the Director told Christiane Amanpour what puts children at risk in Pakistan and around the world.
"Pedophiles by their very nature are inadequate, it's about power over children."
"Where these individuals are able to use and abuse vulnerable children, Pakistan in particular because of the poverty. That's one of the other factors that really plays here."
The film's release in Britain coincides with a horrifying report released from the Northern English town of Rotherham detailing the abuse, grooming and trafficking of 1,400 girls by Pakistani gangs.
"Culturally they're the same," Doran told the program. "In Pakistan you're having the abuse of young boys, largely because young girls aren't available, and in the UK that's different. If you really delve in to the reasons behind this you will find in such societies the role of women is so meager their power is almost non-existent and every survey in recent times has linked the lack of female power to pedophilia."
By Henry Hullah, CNN
The first female foreign minister of Pakistan, Hina Rabbani Khar's country and the region surrounding it has become entrenched in international condemnation as a stream of crimes committed against women are coming to light.
In particular, so-called "honor killings" are taking place on a large scale in Pakistan, with 869 committed in 2013 alone.
"I would say that the whole question of honor as being the protection of the men's honor as against the woman's life and the woman's honor," Khar says, "So the question of honor is actually the honor of the man."
"Therefore a lot of legislation is required."
By Mick Krever, CNN
Pakistan is charting a new future of non-interference with its neighbors, that country’s national security adviser and de facto foreign minister Sartaj Aziz told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.
“Our policy – Pakistan’s policy – is non-interference and no favorite,” Aziz told Amanpour in London.
Pakistan supported the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1990s, thinking that the radical group would serve as a bulwark against India, Pakistan’s long-time enemy.
“Afghan has been a theater of great power rivalries, great power games for a long time,” he said. “One of the apprehensions of the Afghan government and President Karzai was the Taliban have a better chance because Pakistan is supporting them, and we have convinced him that is not in our security interest.”
By Mick Krever, CNN
The attempted Taliban assassination of Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old girl who advocated for girls’ education, drew a line in the sand between extremism and progressivism, former Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
“The contrast is so overwhelming,” she said, “that in some ways it helps Pakistanis, and it reminds Pakistanis, to who these people really are, and the fact that we cannot have Pakistan be taken over by such thought and such people.”
Wednesday marks one year since the Pakistani Taliban boarded Yousafzai’s school bus, singled her out by name, and shot her in the head – a response, ostensibly, to her public advocacy for girl’s education.
In a historic election – the country's first handover of power from one elected government to the next – Pakistanis have chosen to return Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to power.
In the video above, Christiane Amanpour speaks with Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.S., about what the election means and the challenges facing the new government.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour examines violence in Pakistan just ahead of the country's first ever democratic transition of power.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour looks at how Imran Khan's dramatic fall might affect his ability to campaign just ahead of Pakistani elections.
By Samuel Burke & Ken Olshansky, CNN
Before the raid on the Abbottabad complex where Osama bin Laden lived and died, then U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter’s main concern was for the American community overseas.
“We didn't know what the response would be. I spent a lot of time talking with our team about how we would take care of the people in the embassy and the Americans overseas.”
Did he suspect that the Pakistani government and military would be so enraged? FULL POST