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Blast hits Pakistan's Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Sufi shrine

Al Jazeera

An explosion at a shrine in southern Pakistan has wounded more than a dozen people in the latest in a string of blasts this week, according to local media reports. The blast on Thursday went off near the Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in the town of Sehwan in Sindh province, Pakistan's Samaa television and Geo TV reported. The exact number of casualties was not immediately clear. Samaa initially reported more than 50 people had been injured while Geo TV put the number at 20. The explosion occurred as a Sufi ritual was being performed.


Attack on shrines in Pakistan since 2005

Al Jazeera

Armed groups such as the Pakistani Taliban and others have often targeted shrines for not conforming to their strict, literalistic interpretation of Islam. On February 16, 2017, at least 88 people were killed when a suicide attacker targeted a famous Sufi shrine in Sehwan. That attack at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) also injured at least 250 people. In November ISIL also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a shrine in a Balochistan town, killing at least 52 people. "An attack on one of us, is an attack on all," Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's prime minister, said following the blast in Sehwan.


Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and Pakistan's pluralistic history

Al Jazeera

There is a legend told through oral tradition in the sub-continent. There was a man who appeared before a great city, a wanderer seeking refuge in a new land. When the king found out about this person, he refused to allow him in. He sent this person a pot of milk, and with it a message saying, "See this pot filled to the brim with milk, this is how we are. We have no room for you in our city."


Apple Bent the Rules for Russia. Other Nations Will Take Note

WIRED

Beginning in April, new iPhones and other iOS devices sold in Russia will include an extra setup step. Alongside questions about language preference and whether to enable Siri, users will see a screen that prompts them to install a list of apps from Russian developers. It's a concession Apple has made to legal pressure from Moscow--one that could have implications far beyond Russia's borders. The law in question dates back to 2019, when Russia dictated that all computers, smartphones, smart TVs, and so on sold there must come preloaded with a selection of state-approved apps that includes browsers, messenger platforms, and even antivirus services. Apple has stopped short of that; the suggested apps aren't pre-installed, and users can opt not to download them.


Ousted Pakistani leader Sharif names brother Shahbaz as successor

The Japan Times

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif named his brother Shahbaz, the chief minister of Punjab province, as his successor and nominated ex-oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as an interim premier in a defiant speech Saturday. The announcement charts a way forward for Pakistan after the Supreme Court deposed Sharif Friday following an investigation into corruption allegations against him and his family. The ruling brought to an unceremonious end his historic third term in power and briefly plunged the country into political uncertainty. "I support Shahbaz Sharif after me but he will take time to contest elections so for the time being I nominate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi," Sharif said in a televised speech to his party. The younger Sharif -- who has so far been unscathed by the corruption allegations engulfing his brother's family -- holds only a provincial seat, so must be elected to the national assembly before becoming the new prime minister.