Pakistan / by Michelle Ryan

October marked another eventful month in Pakistan. A massive earthquake in neighbouring Afghanistan caused 220 deaths in the country. The Supreme Court passed two positive judgements, one upholding the death penalty for the Islamist assassin of the progressive Punjabi governor Salman Taseer, the other holding that criticism of the blasphemy law did not constitute blasphemy. The army has decided to increase its intake of cadets in what is likely intended as an enlargement of the military in order to deal with growing threats, both internal (the Pakistani Taliban) and India. A leaked Obama Policy document has shown that the administration regards Pakistan's apathy towards and possible support for Afghan militants as a major hurdle but wants to avoid offending Pakistan outright. The Foreign Office expressed concern over India's growing military budget, using this to justify Pakistan's rapidly growing nuclear capacity. Two further cases of polio were detected while a powerful explosion on a Shia procession killed 22. Pakistan has agreed to double its spending on education from two to four per cent of its GDP.