At least 71 people have been killed and dozens more injured in northeast Pakistan after a series of avalanches destroyed and buried houses on Tuesday. The avalanches were triggered by heavy snowfall in the Neelum Valley, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, according to local authorities.
Dozens of houses had been wrecked and buried by the snow, with most of those killed and injured in their homes when the avalanches hit.
General Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s former military leader, has been sentenced to death at a special court hearing in Islamabad. The three-member court sentenced him over a high treason charge that has been pending since 2013. Gen Musharraf seized power in a military coup in 1999 and served as the country’s president from 2001 to 2008. He is currently in Dubai after being allowed to leave the country for medical treatment in 2016.
A massive fire spread through multiple train cars on a train traveling Thursday in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province, killing more than 70 people, in the latest tragedy to hit the country’s dilapidated rail system. Officials said the fire was sparked by a cooking gas stove that exploded as breakfast was being prepared on board. It reportedly took at least 20 minutes for the train to stop after the fire broke out.
Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, has said he has been trying to raise the alarm at the United Nations this week about the danger of a nuclear war breaking out over Kashmir. India and Pakistan came close to a conflict in February when India bombed Pakistani territory for the first time in a half century and warplanes from both countries fought a dogfight over the divided region.
At least 25 people have been confirmed dead and more than 300 injured when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit Pakistan-administered Kashmir and areas in Punjab province. Tuesday’s quake hit 22km (14 miles) north of the city of Jhelum along the boundary separating the agricultural heartland of Punjab province and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the US geological agency, USGS, said.
A Pakistani military aircraft on a training flight crashed in a built-up area in the garrison city of Rawalpindi early on Tuesday killing all five crew members and 12 civilians and setting off a blaze that left a pile of smoking rubble. Rawalpindi is close to the capital Islamabad and is where the headquarters of the Pakistan army is based.
Pakistan re-opened its airspace to civil aviation on Tuesday following months of restrictions imposed after clashes with India, which forced lengthy detours that cost airlines millions of dollars. Flights between Europe and Southeast Asia were forced further south, adding as much as 450 km (280 miles) to some journeys and forcing the cancellation of some routes. Pakistan closed its airspace after an attack by a Pakistan-based militant group in Indian-controlled Kashmir led to an armed standoff between the nuclear-armed powers.
Gunmen have stormed a five-star hotel in Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar, killing at least five people, officials said. The military said four hotel employees and a Pakistan Navy soldier were killed. According to the military, all guests at the hotel, which has 114 rooms, were safely evacuated. The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), an ethnic Baloch separatist group fighting for independence for Balochistan province, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that four fighters were involved.
British Airways will resume flights to Pakistan ten years after a deadly terror attack at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. The airline stopped Pakistan flights after 54 people including 6 British citizens were killed in the September 2008 attack. British Airways will become the only Western airline to service Pakistan beginning on June 2, 2019.
Protests continued for a third day in Pakistan on Friday as the ultra-Islamist party blocked roads to demonstrate against the acquittal of a Christian woman on death row for blasphemy allegations. The political party claims talks with the government have been unsuccessful. Thousands of far-right protesters showed up for the demonstration.