Daily Archives: May 25, 2012

Geoff Dyer

Shakeel Afridi in July 2010. RAUF/AFP/GettyImages

This was the week when the US and Pakistan were supposed to start patching things up. Instead, it has ended in a new round of mutual recriminations, including a rare bipartisan bout of indignation from the US Senate.

Just as the US and Nato are trying to sketch out long-term strategy to keep Afghanistan stable once most troops leave at the end of 2014, the never-ending downward spiral in US-Pakistan ties is casting those plans into ever-further doubt.

The latest signs of ill-feeling came as a Senate committee voted unanimously on Thursday evening to cut $33m from next year’s foreign aid budget for Pakistan; $1m for every year in the jail sentence that Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi was awarded earlier this week. Read more

Roula Khalaf

Posters depicting Mohammed Morsi. AP Photo/Pete Muller

Posters depict frontrunner Mohamed Morsi. AP Photo/Pete Muller

According to unofficial vote counts, Egyptians will face a choice next month between a “feloul” (a remnant of the old regime), and a candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood – the Islamist movement and largest party in parliament.

Assuming the results are confirmed, the run-off will be seen by many as a race between the past and an Islamist future.

Mohamed Morsi, the Brotherhood candidate, was said to have secured 26 per cent of the vote in the presidential election, followed by a 24 per cent share for Ahmad Shafiq, a former air force commander whose campaign played on Egyptians’ yearning for security. Read more

Egypt’s presidential election

Egyptians are voting in the first democratic presidential election in their nation’s history this week, but with the powers of the office that the winner will hold still unclear and the economy in tatters, many questions remain. Heba Saleh and Borzou Daragahi, FT correspondents in Egypt, and Roula Khalaf, Middle East editor, join Shawn Donnan to discuss.