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Pakistan welcomes back a flamboyant Japanese hero of the ring

A motorized glider circled the stadium, dropping shiny shards of confetti. Male dancers from the fearsome Mehsud tribe whipped their long black hair to-and-fro in a celebratory frenzy. Boy Scouts released a balloon-bedecked "Wrestling for Peace" banner into the sky.

My Mother's Lover, By Urs Widmer, trans. Donal McLaughlin

When looking for an excellent translation of a work of fiction from Switzerland or Germany, a volume of philosophy from France, or narratives from the languages of the African continent, do your thoughts turn to Kolkata? Perhaps they should. Long regarded as a city of literature and learning, the metropolis by the Hooghly has another string to its erudite bow, still too well-kept a secret in Britain: Seagull Books.

Abbottabad: Sleepy garrison town that found itself at the centre of

Sohaib Athar seems very relaxed about his new-found fame. His phone is clogged with messages from the world's media, demanding that he tell his story. But the IT specialist, who runs Abbottabad's Coffity café with his wife, could scarcely be less troubled. He did notice when his name began trending across the world. But he shrugs when reminded that his Twitter following has soared from a few hundred followers to some 55,000 in less than 24 hours.

Shahbaz Bhatti: Politician murdered in Pakistan for his Christian

When he was sworn in as Pakistan's minister for minorities in November 2008, the first time the position had been made a member of the cabinet, Shahbaz Bhatti said he was accepting the post to help the "oppressed, down-trodden and marginalised and to send a message of hope to the people living a life of disappointment, disillusionment and despair".

Pakistan frees CIA contractor after 'blood money' deal

One of the biggest crises between Pakistan and the United States has been defused after a Lahore court released Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor facing charges of double murder, after a blood-money settlement was paid to families of the victims.

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Salmaan Taseer: Governor of Punjab and outspoken defender of minority

Speaking up for minorities came easy to Salmaan Taseer, the Governor of Punjab who was brutally assassinated by his own bodyguard last Tuesday. Half a century before he took up the cause of Aasia Noreen, a poor Christian woman facing a death sentence for blasphemy that she never committed, Taseer and his childhood friends resolved to protest the death sentence of Jimmy Wilson, a poor African-American.

Garlands for killer as Punjab leader is buried

Salmaan Taseer, the outspoken Pakistani politician who took a public stand against bigotry and discrimination and paid with his life for doing so, was buried yesterday with state honours amid tight security.

Hardliners call for deaths of Surrey Muslims

Islamic extremists have started openly calling for the destruction of a controversial Muslim sect in a major escalation of sectarian conflict within British Islam, an investigation by The Independent has revealed.

Robert Fisk: Relatives with blood on their hands

Eight of the women who sought refuge in Hina Jilani's Lahore shelter died later at the hands of their families. In the second part of our investigation, the lawyer explains how authorities covered up