Pakistan PM sacks defence secretary

Pakistan's prime minister has sacked the defence secretary, his office said today, in a move likely to ratchet up tension with the powerful military and raise fears of instability in a country vital to efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan.

Asif Ali Zardari returns to Pakistan amid memo saga

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari returned home from medical treatment in Dubai to face rising tension between his civilian government and the military over a memo accusing the country's generals of plotting a coup.

Bina Shah: The trust that once flowed between journalists and locals

In Mohsin Hamid's short story "A Beheading", published in Granta Pakistan last autumn, an unnamed man is dragged from his bed in the middle of the night and kidnapped. The man knows he's as good as dead when he is taken in the trunk of his assailants' 1981 Toyota Corolla. Within four paragraphs, the man is bound and gagged, on his knees in front of a video camera, remembering a goat that was sacrificed for Eid. Within six, he's begging them: "Tell me what to write. I'll never write again." And by the seventh paragraph, he has been beheaded.

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The murder in suburbia that sent shockwaves across the world

As one of Britain's most prominent exiled Pakistani politicians and the subject of long-standing death threats, Imran Farooq was always cautious about his security. He regularly changed addresses, rented homes under assumed names and, occasionally, employed a bodyguard.