Suicide bomb attack kills 25 in Charsadda; Ceasefire in South Waziristan; US financial aid worth $830 million announced for Pakistan; Benazir killed by bomb not gun, says Scotland Yard
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  • In a continuing spate of violence, at least 25 people were killed and 35 injured in a suicide bomb attack in Charsadda, Peshawar during an election rally of the Awami National Party (ANP) on February 9. The Provincial President of the ANP, Afrasayab Khattak, who was supposed to address the meeting however escaped unhurt1.

    Meanwhile, the Taliban declared a unilateral ceasefire in South Waziristan on February 6 stating that the security forces would not be targeted by them2. Prior to this, they had issued a warning to the local tribesmen in the area against giving any assistance to the government officials3. In other domestic developments, the Scotland Yard in its report on the assassination of Benazir Bhutto asserted that she died of a head injury caused by a bomb blast and not from a gunshot wound as claimed by some4.

    President George Bush meanwhile announced financial assistance worth $830 million for Pakistan under the budget plan for 2009 “to foster strategic partnership” even as the Annual Threat Assessment presented to the US Congress on February 5 by US intelligence acknowledged that the nuclear assets of Pakistan were indeed “vulnerable5.”