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Friday, July 13, 2007

Pakistan Islamists Respond to the Fall of the Red Mosque

"History is in a manner a sacred thing, so far as it contains truth; for where truth is, the supreme Father of it may also be said to be, at least in as much as concerns truth."
Cervantes, 'Don Quixote'


TAG: Pakistan, heir to Muslim conquest in early eighth century and to the Muslim empires of Moghul India, was formed in the 20th century as a religious Muslim state, which nevertheless contains a powerful, secular democractic movement. In its short life, it has veered back and forth between Muslim religious rule and secular democracy. Now after 9/11, there is a new and growing divide between moderate, secular and radical Islam. Inevitably, the country lies at the very crux of the conflict between western secularism and conservative Islam.

IN THE NEWS. Violence erupts among Islamists in the tribal areas of North Waziristan and the Northwest Province, in protest against President Musharraf's storming of Islamabad's radical Red Mosque.

IN A NUTSHELL: The restive frontier tribal areas of Pakistan, which stayed beyond direct control of the British a hundred years ago, now harbour Islamist radicals who are working in concert with a growing Islamist movement in Pakistan itself and most recently in Islamabad's Red Mosquel.

THEN AND NOW: In the late 19th century, in the Afghan-Pakistan border region of Waziristan ,two Pashtun tribes, the Waziris and the Mahsuds used their mountainous isolation to resist British rule. Over a century later, the Taliban, radical Islamists and the tribes that protect them in Waziristan, continue to resist outside rule, in this case from Pakistan itself. Moreover, they have staged attacks in solidarity with the Islamists who perished in the Red Mosque.

RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS. Throughout the late spring and early summer, Islamist radicals of the famed Red Mosque in central Islamabad embarked on a campaign to impose Islamic law on the city. President Musharraf ordered commandos to surround the Mosque compound and obtain the surrender of the Mosque's radical leader, Rashid Ghazi and his brother Abdul Aziz. The brothers were known to be linked to the Taliban and to be associates of Osama Bin Laden. On Wednesday, July 18, Musharaff refused Ghazi's request for amnesty and ordered that the mosque be stormed. Most of the women and children alleged to have been detained inside the mosque escaped but around 100 militants were killed.

With Paskistan enlisted against Islamist extremists in Washington's War on Terror and maintaining lukewarm cooperation with NATO's and Washington's war against the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan, Musharraf has also been dealing with Islamist extremists inside Pakistan. In January, tensions had already developed around the Red Mosque. Then, in the spring, mass protests erupted against Musharraf's firing of Pakistan's chief justice, Iftakar Mohammed Choudhury on charges of misusing his post. Choudhury, an activist judge, had often demanded the investigation of the country's intelligence services on missing persons and other issues involving the country's military rule. It appears the anger against his dismissal was shared both by Islamist and democratic opponents of the government. Weeks of conflict involving Pakistan's Islamist extremists finally culminated in the assault on the Red Mosque.

DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS: While India began to fall under British control after 1840, the western or Pakistan region, which was mostly Muslim, wasn't formally acquired until the late 19th century. In 1849, the British took nominal control the Northwestern Frontier from the Sikhs. However, Britain's reach extended extended only up to Bannu, on the eastern border with Waziristan, which was still controlled from Afghanistan. By 1860, the British had moved across and into Waziristan but were being harassed by Mahsud tribesmen. In 1893, the British established the Durand line on the other side of Waziristan, as India's border with Afghanistan, drawing the frontier right through Afghanistan's largest and most powerful ethnic group, the Pashtuns. The effect was ultimately to strengthen a sense of Pashtun nationalism which in future would be exploited by Pakistan or Afghanistan in future rivalries. The ambivalent status of the Pashtuns in remote Waziristan and other border areas would also strengthen the Afghan Taliban who had their roots among the Pashtuns and would ally themselves with the Pashtun cause.

Throughout the 1890s, British political agents were in charge of North and South Waziristan but were still faced with Pashtun tribal insurgencies overseen by the great Waziri leader, Mullah Powindah. In 1901 the British settled for containment rather than control and in 1910 adopted the tribal agency system which allowed autonomy for Waziristan, a system still used by Pakistan today. British efforts to try for peace, due to the pressures of World War One, only led to concerted attacks by Mahsud and Ghazi tribesmen and British retailiation through aerial bombardment. Even British attempts to open up Wazizristan with road-building resulted only in further attacks. In one assault in 1920 Waziris and Mahsuds together killed 500 British troops.

While Waziristan would resist change, tremendous transformation was afoot on the rest of Pakistan. In India, before Indian independence, Muslims and Hindus had got on reasonably well until politics and western ethnic and nationalist ideas encouraged the formation of ethnic identities. The western, or Pakistan region, had been relatively content under the British Raj but it was the Muslmis of northern India who fared less well and consequently formed the Muslim League which distinguished itself from the larger and mostly Hindu Indian national Congress. Throughout the 1930s, the Muslim League, led by Mohammed al Jinnah, was increasingly alarmed by the power and size of the Hindu INC. In 1940, with the Lahore Resolution, the League declared that if the lot of Muslims didn't improve, Indian Muslims would move for secession.

When India became independent in 1947, the Muslim League, rather than share an India dominated by the vastly Hindu INC and a Hindu majority, seceded to form the state of Pakistan in the western region of Baluchistan, Punjab and the Northwest Frontier. At the same time, an eastern fragment of Pakistan was formed on the other side of India as East Pakistan.

Pakistan's first president was Mohammed al Jinnah. Two things were highly significant. The first was that Pakistan's raison d'etre was religious; it was formed as a Muslim state. Secondly, Pakistan inherited a British-made Indian constitution which was inadequate to a region which, despite being Muslim was ethnically diverse, with Pashtun tribal areas along the mountainous Afghan frontier resisting integration. That left Pakistan to copy the British technique of arranging a patchwork of treaties in what would remain a system of tribal agencies. These autonomous regions, far from the reach of the capital at Islamabad, would provide refuge for radical Islamist groups.

The creation of an ethnic and religious entity like Pakistan quickly produced tensions along its borders. An Indian Prince was left ruling a Muslim majority in the disputed northern region of Kashmir. The Muslims rebelled with Pakistani support and India intervened on the condition that Kashmir would become part of India. The UN intervened in 1949 and drew a provisional boundary, the Line of Control, which ever since has remained the site of repeated conflicts. The issue would also from the basis behind periodic threats of nuclear war between India and Pakistan.

In 1956, Pakistan was finally given a constitution which proclaimed it an Islamic republic. Two years later, the country's short-lived democracy ended when President Ayub Khan took power in a coup d'etat. The tension between democracy and dictatorship would inform all of Pakistan's future history, west-leaning secular groups tending toward democracy while Muslim religious parties, alarmed by the threats of modern secularism, tending toward dictatorship. Never a marginal force, Islamic radicalism was always close to the centre of power, whether in the army, in government or in the official opposition.

In 1971, East Pakistan, which had suffered discrimination under rule by West Pakistan, won the elections and Islamabad refused to recognize the result. A civil war followed which ended in East Pakistan's secession as the new state of Bangladesh.

In Pakistan itself, the pattern of secular and Muslim rivalry increased. The secular, nationalist and populist Ali Bhutto, was elected President. In 1977, he was overthrown by the Islamist General Zia Ul Haq. Nevertheless, Bhutto's family was to become a political dynasty and the accepted spearhead of the secular opposition.

Meanwhile, the ever shifting priorities of US foreign policy arrived at support for the Islamic Mujehadeen of Afghanistan in their resistance to the Soviet invasion of 1979. Ul Haq's Islamist regime received backing by Washington in return for help in arming and training the Afghan rebels. Ul Haq also extended largesse and favours to the tribes of Waziristan to enlist their help in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. This the seeds of what would be an Islamist Taliban-Al Qaeda eclave and a radically Islamized element in Pakistan's government were planted. Its intelligence wing, the ISI was central in the support of the Afghan rebels (and eventually the Taliban) and the Waziris who backed them and worked closely with the CIA.

Meanwhile, Ali Bhutto had been executed after being charged with corruption and murder. His daughter, the Oxford-educated Benazir Bhutto inherited the mantle of leader of the secular opposition and in 1984 founded the PPP or Pakistan People'd Party. She and her husband, like her father, would endure periods of arrest and exile and repeated charges of corruption by Islamist parties and governments. In 1988, General Zia Ul Haq was killed in plane crash, rumoured to be an assassination. In the same year, Benazir Bhutto was elected Prime Minister. In 1990 she was ousted on charges of corruption. In 1993 she was re-elected.

In 1994, unwitting of the ultimate consequences, Bhutto encouraged Pakistan's ISI in the formation of the Taliban religious militia in Afghanistan in the belief that a friendly, Islamist, Afghanistan would link Pakistan to the economies of the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. In 1996, Bhutto was dismissed, again on charges of corruption. She was succeeded by the Islamist Nawaz Sharif who angered the army by pulling it out of Kashmir and
dismissing its head, General Pervez Musharraf.

In 1999, Musharraf took power in a bloodless military coup. After Al Qaeda's attacks on the United States on 9/11, Musharraf was coerced into supporting Washington's War on Terror, a campaign which would in fact amount to a war against radical Islam in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The US invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the Taliban obliging Musharraf to take up its fight against the Taliban resistance as well as al Qaeda, which had taken refuge in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal agencies. Musharraf, still presiding over an army which was at least in part Islamist and traditionally allied with the religious parties, as well as powerful Islamist elements in the ISI intelligence service, has had to walk a tightrope, on the one hand supporting Washington against the Taliban and al Qaeda and on the other, placating the religious parties and Islamist elements in his own government. The result has been a series of highly selective crackdowns on al Qaeda and the Taliban as well as occasional and highly publicized round-ups of Pakistani terror groups like those which hatched the London plot to bomb transatlantic airline flights in the summer of 2006.

Marsharraf fianlly sent the army into Waziristan in the winter of 2003-2004. They were so badly mauled by the Taliban and its tribal alllies among the Mahsuds and Waziris that two peacve deals were stuck, in 2004 and February 2005, leaving Waziristan and effective Taliban "Emirate". By a September 2006 peace deal, by which the Waziristan Taliban would restrict their operations to Afghanistan and refrain from attacking Pakistani forces , Pakistan withdrew its troops to their bases.

In Kashmir, meanwhile, Musharraf has cracked down on Islamist Kashmir separatists and made half-hearted attempts to stop the Afghan Taliban insurgency from hiding out in Pakistan. Faced on the other hand with a strong moderate, secular movement, he haz been forced, nevertheless, to turn his attention to the development of a powerful Islamist cell in the Red Mosque, in central Islamabad, right under the nose of his intelligence agencies. Popular and international pressure forced him to act decisively, even at the risk of an Islamist backlash. Indeed, in the following days and weeks Islamist groups have fomented a rash of suicide bombings against government and military installations.

REMOTE BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS: From ancient times, the region of the Indus river lay at the frontier between invasion from west and central Asia and the empires of the Indian subcontinent. In the remotest part of the borderlands between the two, in the Suleiman mountains of Waziristan, the Pashutn tribes would always keep their autonomy in return for nominal support of whatever empire controlled the region.

In the third millenium BC, the Aryans invaded from Central Asia. In the fourth and third centuries BC, the Maurya empire of the Indian subcontinent governed the region as far as Afghanistan. In the early centuries AD, the region of the Indus was invaded and ruled by the Kushans of Central Asia. Thenceforward, southeastward expansion from Asia would form the pattern up until British rule in the 19th century. In 711, Arabs invaded, establishing Islam in the region of Pakistan. Mahmud of Ghazni an Afghan warlord of the Abbasid Caliphate, continued the pattern of conquest from the northwest, conquering Sindh, crossing the Indus and plundering northern India. In the 13th century, the Mongol invasions penrtrated the region from the north. In the early16th century, a Central Asian Muslim warlord took the region again. Babur established his rule from central Asia to northern India and founded the empire of the Moghuls which would last until British rule. The late 16th century saw a rare reversal of the pattern in which the Moghul emperor Akbar, from his base in northern India, reconquered Sindh and Afghanistan- establishing enlightened rule and an attempted synthesis of Hinduism and Islam. In the eighteenth century, even as Britain began to colonize India, Persian and Afghan Muslim warlords established brief empires extending south and east across the Indus and into northern, Moghul India. With the British occupation of Sindh, West Punjab, Baluchistan and the Northwest in the late 19th century, the old pattern of conquest from the northwest ended.

CROSS-CENTURY SUMMARY: The Pakistan region formally belongs to the Asian continent proper, while the adjoining Indian subcontinent has remained in many ways separate. Though invasions have mostly been conducted from Asia southward into the subcontinent itself, India retained the religion of Hinduism which had arrived from Asia as the Vedic relgion with the earliest Aryan conquests. Ever since, central and southern India have remained culturally distinct from Asia proper and no southward invasion ever succeeded in complete cultural control of the Hindu subcontinent. Islam, which arrived at the Indus in the early eighth century, would never spread much further than northern India. The Moghuls, who invaded from Central Asia in the 16th century and ruled the Pakistan area and India until the 19th century, formally established Islam in the Indus and in northern India, but never in all of India proper. The independence of Hindu India, combined with colonial European ideas of ethnic nationalism resulted in the separation of a northwestern Muslim state of Pakistan from a Hindu state in the subcontinent.

PRESENT SITUATION: In Waziristan, in early 2007, local tribes have turned against foreign Taliban militants for endangering public order. At the same time, revenge attacks for the military assault on the Red Mosque, combined American threats to chase the Taliban inside Pakistan have caused Musharraf to send the army against the Taliban inside Waziristan again. Meanwhile, he has already extended his dictatorship by a five year term. As that term comes to an end, pressure is mounting from all quarters, secular and Islamist, for him to step down. Having inflamed Islamists with his attack on the Red Mosque, and having lost face when forced by the supreme court to reinstate justice Choudhury (in mid-July) he is vastly weakened, having alienated Islamist radicals and secular democrats alike. In the meantime, Benazir Bhutto has declared that she will brave outstanding charges of corruption to return from exile in London to lead her PPP in fall elections.

PLUS CA CHANGE: Any appeasement or alliance by a moderate regime with Islamists seems bound to backfire. Just as President Musharraf has had to face the Red Mosque after bing soft and selective in his crackdowns on Islamists, Benazir Bhutto, as prime minister in 1994, supported the Taliban mission in Afghanistan, a move which she later admitted was a mistake.

CURIOSITY: On five different occasions, Muslim Pakistan and northern India were ruled from Afghanistan: Mahmoud of Ghazni (Afghanistan) 1020; Mohammed of Ghur (Afghanistan) 1200; Tamerlane (Afghanistan), 1398; Babur the Moghul (Afghanistan), 1526; Ahmad Shah (Afghanistan) 1747.


-the region west of India encompassing what is now Baluchistan, the Northwest Frontier, West Punjab and Sindh.

3000-1750 BC- the highly developed civilization of Mohenjo-Daro on the Indus River.

1500 –600 BC- migration of Indo-Aryan peoples into western and northern India. Vedic religion develops.

540-512- Persian conquests of northwest India.

327- Alexander the Great takes parts of northwest India.

The Mauryas

321-185 BC- the Mauryan empire- the subcontinent’s first state system which stretches from Afghanistan to southern India.

303 BC- the Greek successor to Alexander, Seleucus is expelled from northwest India and Afghanistan as Changragupta Maurya extends an empire of the central Ganges up to Kabul, Herat and Kandahar.

269-232 BC- 3rd Mauryan ruler, Ashoka, establishes Buddhism in the region.

The Kushans

1-200 AD- the Central Asian Kushan empire rules from north India to Afghanistan to Central Asia.

-the Kushans, caught between pressure from the Hsiang-Nu Chinese in the east and Persia in the west, invade Afghanistan and Sind before conquering part of northern India. The route southeast from central Asia to the Gangetic plain of northern India will be used for repeated invasions, the invaders always coming from the Afghan region and the north.

140 AD- Under Kanishka, the Kushan Empire extends into northern India. Afghanistan is divided between the Kushan Empire on the North and the Parthian empire to the south.

67 AD- the Kushan people, having prevailed from among the Yue Chi, form in force on the northern edges of Afghanistan and displace the Suren dynasty from northern India.

230 AD- the Kushan Empire dissolves into principlalities which rule until 400.


650 (circa) the Pratihara kingdom stops the Arabs of Sindh from overrunning Rajasthan.

711- Muslim Arabs conquer the Indus valley.

800- Western Afghanistan is the Khorasan region of the Abbasid Empire. Eastern Afghanistan, including Kabul and Kandahar is in the non-Islamic tribal region of the Indus. There is already a circular trade route anticipating the modern ring road from Kandahar to Kabul in the east to Balkh in the north and to Herat in the west.

1020- Mahmud of Ghazni (971-1030), an East Afghanistan Turkic warlord and mercenary for the Abbasid Muslims, is granted autonomy, as 'Sultan' to form his own dynasty.

1000-1027- in 17 raids, Mahmoud of Ghazni conquers a brigand's empire stretching from Kurdistan through Sindh to the Indus. Mahmoud's campaigns are against the Shia Fatimids and non-Muslims like Buddhists and Hindu India. Has a reputation as a bloodthirsty tyrant.

1173-1206- Muhammad of Ghur, another Turkic warlord from Central Asia, also takes Sindh, crosses the Indus, conquering all of northern India and establishing a capital at Delhi which is to remain the capital of Muslim India. His sultanate will last until the arrival of the Moghuls in 1526.

1221- Gengis Khan and the Mongols penetrate the Punjab region.

1296-1306- a subsequent Mongol invasion of northern India is repelled by the sultans of Delhi.

1300- the Valley of the Indis is ruled by the Delhi Sultanate.

1346-1564- Vijayanagar: the last Hindu resistance to Muslim rule.

1398- the central Asian Warlord, Tamerlane, takes Sindh, crosses the Indus and sacks Delhi.

The Moghuls.

1483- the Muslim conqueror Babur fails to establish a kingdom in his native Uzbekistan and instead takes Herat and Kandahar, making them the centre of his future empire.

1545- Kabul is annexed as a Moghul military and administrative area.

1526-761- the region was ruled by the Moghul Emperors.

1526- Babur, the first Moghul, invades India, takes the Gangetic plain and founds the Moghul Empire in India.. A Central Asian warlord, his Moghul empire includes Afghanistan and India.

1540-1545- Babur’s son Humayun loses control to the Afghan chieftan Sher Shah.

1546- battle of Panipat: Humayun’s son Akbar the Great recovers the area from the Afghans, extending it to Deccan.

1542-1605- in a rare reversal of the pattern of invasion, Akbar reasserts control over northern India and crosses the Indus to conquer Sindh and Afghanistan. Liberal and englightened, he establishes tolerance and attempts to form a synthethis of Hinduism and Islam called the Divine Faith.

1585- the Sikhs are autonomous in the region of Lahore, Pakistan.

The British

1700-1800- the British consolidate their trading power in India through the East India company, taking advantage of the weakened Moghul emperor, Aurangzeb, and make India a British colony.

-1658-1707- Aurangzeb pushes the boundaries of the empire southward.

The Marathas- coastal Western India.

1659- Shivaji (1627-1680) gathers local hill-dwellers of Bijapur against the Moghuls. The Moghuls send a force against him but he defeats them.

1660s- Shivaji gains power- his locality growing as a “robber state” by extracting protection money.

1674-1680- Shivaji makes himself Raja of Maratha kingdom in west India as the Moghul empire declines.

-the Emperor Aurangzeb’s defence of the Muslims at the expense of the Hindus leads to war with the Marathas.

Nadir Shah

1738- Nadir Shah of Persia invades Afghanistan and northern India, his empire lasting only until his assassination in 1747.

Ahmad Shah

1747- Ahmad Shah (of the Saddozai family, Abdali clan) commander of Nadir's body guard, takes the name Durrani, meaning 'Pearl of the Age' and establishes the Durrani dynasty of Afghanistan, unites varied tribes in southern Afghanistan around their common link: the Pashtun language. He invades the Gangetic plain of India conquering and weakening the last Moghul emperor Aurangzeb. The modern Afghan nation begins to take shape. His empire extends from near the Caspian Sea to India.

-1750- under British and Afghan pressure, the Moghul empire shrinks to an area around Delhi.

-in west, coastal India, the Maratha empire becomes a confederacy of leading local families: Bhonsle, Gaekwad, Holkar and Sindia) under hereditary ministers (Peshwas).

-the Peshwa of Maratha asks for British intervention to settle an internal dispute.

1761- Ahmad Shah defeats the Marathas of India at Panipat

1775-82- first British-Maratha war.

1803-1805- second British-Maratha war.

1818- the Marathas destroyed in a third war with the British.

British Acquire Sindh, Punjab.

-1840s- the region fell under British rule.

1849- -the British atke over the Frontier region from the Sikhs. the Deputy Commissioner, Dera Ismail Khan (NWFP)and Bannu controls all political matters in Waziristan- even though the tribes of neighbouring North Waziristan are under the sovereignty of the Kabul government.

-in Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan, two Pashtun tribes, the Waziris and the Mahsuds use the mountainous region to resist British rule.

1860- 3000 Mahsud tribesmen attack a British regiment base in Tank (present South Waziristan).

1876- Baluchistan becomes a British protectorate.

1890- the British acquire west Punjab.

1893- the British acquire northern Balushistan.

1893-November , the Emir of Afghanistan signs a treaty renouncing all claims to Waziristan and the North West Frontier territories.

1893- the Durand line forms the limit of British territorial expansion into the Pashtun territories of Afghanistan. The Pashtun region, which had once defined Afghanistan, is split by the new boundary with Afghanistan. Western Pakistan is ceded to British India.

The line cuts through both Baloch and Pashtun tribes.

1894-95- Extensive British military operations against tribal insurgents in Waziristan.

1904- large scale disturbances in SouthWaziristan resulting murder of the Political Agent and Militia Commandant at Sarwakai

1910- North Waziristan is made a full fledged agency

- the Durand line allows for the border territory of Waziristan to be autonomous, outside of effective British rule. Instead, the British ruled by paying subsidies to tribal chieftains.

-otherwise, the Pakistan region remains generally loyal to the British Raj; its inhabits fare relatively well under the British Raj and are well represented in the army and in government.

-but in northern India, where Muslims fare less well, the Muslim League is formed. Its leader, Jinnah, demands greater rights for Indian Muslims.

1915- because of the stresses of World War I, the Brtish make a peace deal in Waziristan. But instead, Waziri tribes attack, inflicting heavy losses on the British. The British retalliate with aerial ombardment.

1919- British road building and fortification i Waziristan only results in more bloody tribal attacks.

1919- the Third Afghan War. Pashtun tribes under Afghan warlord Ananullah, on both sides of the Durand line, defeat the British. The British concede nationhood to Afghanistan by the Treaty of Kabul. Ananullah attempts westernizing reforms.

The Hindu Indian National Congress vs. the Muslim League.

1930s- Ghandi’s vastly Hindu Indian National Congress, makes it more urgent for the Muslims in the north to form some sort of defensive association.

-as Muslims become marginalized, Mohammed Jinnah steps up the rhetoric of the Muslim League.

1935- the Government of India Act is established and will become Pakistan’s constitution in 1947.

1940, March 23- The Pakistan or Lahore Resolution- Muslims declare that if their lot doesn’t improve, they’ll move toward creating a separate homeland. This is especially popular in the Muslim majority states of the northwest.

-Lord Mountbatten urges the secession of Pakistan.

Indian Independence, Formation of Pakistan.

1947- India becomes independent.

1947- Britain agrees to the formation of an independent Pakistan, separate from India.

-on partition of the sub-continent , the tribal leaders of Waziristan agreed to be a part of Pakistan, but with special terms and conditions.

15 August- Pakistan becomes independent, comprising Sindh, Punjab and North-West Frontier with the Durand line remaining as the border between the two nations. The border still cuts through the region of the Pashtun people- despite Afghan claims on the entire Pashtun region, which includes much of the Baluchistan region of western Pakistan. Before departing the British had drawn the frontier between west Pakistan and India in haste, forcing bordering principlalities to join either India or Pakistan.

-Jinnah is Pakistan’s first president.

-East Pakistan formerly East Bengal, 1000 miles distant, is included in the new Pakistan.

-an exodus of about 5 million Sikhs and Hindus from West Pakistan into India.

1947- after much bloodshed, the western region separates from India to from the independent Muslim state of West Pakistan, and, on the other side of India in East Bengal, of East Pakistan.

-tension develops between populous East Pakistan and the dominance of West Pakistan which has the vast majority of educated government personnel

-North West Pakistan remains restive because of a history of devout Islam and relative autonomy under the British, while Pnjab has a history of close participation in the British administration.

-unable to find a constituion to govern its discordant entities, Pakistan will be governed by the Government of India act until 1956.

Pakistan-Afghan Tensions

-Afghan king Zahir Shah claims the Pathan (western Pashtun) state from Pakistan. Meanwhile, he extracts support from both the US and the Soviet Union

--the Waziristan tribes, led by the Faqir of Ipi, receive arms from Afghanistan which agitates for a fully independent Pashtunistan of all pashtun borderlands, including Waziristan.

-but Waziristan frnally becomes part of Pakistan with Pakistani independence. Pakistan still rules Waziristan as the British did, with subsidied paid to tribal chieftains.

1948 -Afghanistan opposes formation of Pakistan, refusing to accept the Durand line- starting rivalry between them.

-Pakistan moves thousands of Pashtuns into the border area as a bulwark between Baluchis and Afghanistan


-the Raja of Kashmir, Hari Singh, a Hindu, finds himself ruling an area with a Muslim majority. After a Pakistan-supported Muslim uprising in west Kashmir, India offers help, provided that Kashmir then becomes part of India. Pakistan, angey that it wasn;t consulted, supports the Muslim insurgents.

1949- the UN brokers a caesefire in Pakistan’s skirmish with India over Jammu and Kashmir. A planned UN-sponsored pleiscite over the fate of the area is never held.

1949- Cease-fire Line of Control (LOC) drawn between Kashmir and Pakistan

1956- Pakistan, heretofore governed by the Government of India Act, is proclaimed an Islamic republic and gets its own constitution.

1958- Zulfikar Ali Bhutto joins cabinet as minister of commerce.

Ayub Khan

1958- Ayub Khan takes power in a coup d’etat, abolishing Pakistan’s newfound democracy.

1962- Ayub Khan brings in a new constitution.

1963- Ali Bhutto becomes foreign minister.

1965- war breaks out as India occupies Muslim Kashmir. Russia’s Kosygin brokers a caese-fire.

1967- after expulsion from cabinet, Ali Bhutto founds his own secular democratic party.

1969- Ayub Khan resigns due to economic difficulties.

1970- democratic elections. Yahya Khan is president/

Civil War with East Pakistan

1971- When East Pakistan’s Awammi league wins the elections, West Pakistan, under Yahya Khan refuses to recognize the result. East Pakistan breaks away from West Pakistan in a civil war and becomes independent as Bangladesh.

-the civil war embraces Kashmir. India intervenes on behalf of Mujibur Rahman and the Awami League.

-fighting breaks out on the western India-Pakistan frontier.

Ali Bhutto

-Zulfikar Ali Bhutto elected president- begins in a populist, socialist regime. He brings in nationalization and financial independence from the US.

1972- India prevails in an uneasy peace. Cease-fire line between Kashmir and Pakistan (Line of Control) reasserted. Under the Simla agreement both sides agree to settle future disputes by negotiation.

1973- due to the OPEC oil crisis, Pakistan is thrown into economic turmoil.

1974- India tests its first nuclear bomb.

General Zia Ul Haq overthrows the Bhuttos

1977- right wing and Islamist opposition to Bhutto leads to a military coup by General Zia Ul-Haq.

1977-1984 after returning from her education at Oxford, Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Ali Bhutto is sentenced to house arrest.

1978- after trying Prime Minister Ali Bhutto for corruption and murder, regime of Zia Ul-Haq has him sentenced to death.

1978-1988 Zia Ul Haq becomes president, imposes martial law, prohibits political activity and introduces Sharia.

On behalf of U.S., Pakistan backs the Afghan Mujeadeen against the Soviets.

1979- Zia ul Haq repairs US relations by backing the US- supported Afghan Muhehadeen against the Soviet invasion. US support leads to high economic growth throughout the 1980s.

-Pakistan takes on 3 million Afghan refugees.

1979- after world-wide appeals for clemency, Ali Bhutto is executed.

1984- Benazir Bhutto exiled to England with her mother. Benazir Bhotto founds the PPP, the Pakistan People’s Party.

-the US arms Pakistan to back the Afghan Mujehadeen against the Soviet Union. This escalates the arms race between India and Pakistan.

-Quetta, Baluchstan becomes a base for Afghan Mujehadeen fighting the Societs.

-India and Pakistan have both acquired nuclear weapons.

1986- the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is established and relieves tension between the two nuclear powers.

Return of Benazir Bhutto

1986- Benazir Bhutto returns to Pakistan and campaigns for fair elections. She marries in 1987.

1980s-1990s- Islamist groupb Lashkar-e-Toiba first fights Soviets in Afghanistan then switches to Kashmir

1988- President Zia Ul-Haq assassinated at Dhaka in a plane crash.

-Ul Haq’s successor, President Ishaq Khan brings back democracy.

Benazir Bhutto Prime Minister.

1988- Benazir Bhutto elected Prime Minister. She takes Pakistan back into the Commonwealth.

1990- constant challenges from a conservatrive presidency leads to the dismissal of Benzir’s Bhutto’s government. She is charged with corruption. Her husband is placed under arrest for corruption.

Bhutto Ousted.

-Snawaz Sharif succeeds Benazir Bhutto as prime minister.

1991- unrest in Sindh. Meanwhile Benazir Bhutto goes on an international lecture tour

1990s- internal instability due to constant charges of political corruption.

Bhutto re-elected.

1993- Benazir Bhutto leads opposition to Nawaz Sharif,

-Bhutto elected prime minister of a coalition government. Her regime is plagued by crime, the drugs trade, separatist unrest in Balushistan and Sindh and tribal unrest in the north west frontier.

-Harkat ul Ansar for Kahsmir Liberation, founded with the help, arms and training of the ISI-. It is a fusion of two Afhgan Jihadist groups Harkat ul Jihad al-Islami and Harkat ul Mujahideen. The leader of harkat ul Absar si Amjad Farooqi.

-the British-made Durand line lapses after 100 years.. Tribal leaders don’t recognize it. It is said to be "marked out on water'. Pakistan wants Kabul to accept the line. Kabul is reluctant to lose its claim to "south Pashtunistan." (Balushistan)

-Bhutto encourages the formation of the Taliban, seeing it as a friendly Muslim party that will link Pakistan to trade with Central Asia.

1994- the Taliban, bolstered and supported (and some say, founded) by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) in Quetta, Pakistan,- crosses into Afghanistan and takes Kandahar .

-the Taliban refuse to accept the Durand line that determines the border with Pakistan.

Bhutto Dismissed.

1996- Benazir Bhutto’s government is dismissed by President Leghari on new charges of corruption and mismanagement.

1997- Feb. Benazir Bhutto is defeated in elections. She is succeeded by Nawaz Sharif and becomes leader of the opposition.

1999- Benazir Bhutto removed as a member of parliament and along with her husband is tried, fined and sentenced for corruption.

-Benazir Bhutto chooses self-imposed exile in Dubai.

1999- Premier Nawaz Sharif, though democratically elected, begins to establish Islamic law throughout the country, despite widespread protest.

-Sharif withdraws the army from Kashmir and dismisses its head, General Musharraf, angering the army.

General Musharraf seizes power.

-General Musharraf takes power in a military coup. Musharraf suspends the constitution, asserts control over the judiciary and parliament.

The Lahore Declaration and Renwed Problems in Kashmir.

1999-Lahore Declaration. India and Pakistan swear to settle differences by negotiation.

1999- 600 Islamic militia from Pakistan occupy Indian Kashmir, provoking retaliatory air strikes from India.

9/11: Musharaff Sides with Washington.

2001- after the 9/11 attacks, Washington coerces Musharraf into supporting the US War on terror. But this gains Pakistan badly needed international loans.

-India and Pakistan mass troops along the LOC as tensions build again in Kashmir.

-to placate angry Islamists, Musharraf takes a softer policy on Kashmir.

-Dec 13, - attack on Indian parliament carried out by Pakistan-based militant groups, Jaish e Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba

2002- after the US invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban are pushed into the border tribal areas of Baluchistan.

-Pakistan begins a troop build-up along the border with Afhganistan.

Musharraf Consolidates Power, extends Dictatorship/

-Musharraf bans the Islamist groups Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

-Musharraf gains 5 more years in office in a referendum criticized as unconstitutional and biased. He awards himself sweeping new powers.

-Parliamentary elections result in a deadlock with increased power for the religious parties.

-Pakistan tests missiles that have nuclear capability.

Daniel Pearl.

-Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is murdered in Karachi by decapitation while investigating local links to the 9/ll attack. His killer , Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh of the
Jaish e Mohammed Islamist group is later arrested and executed.

The Islamist Threat and the ISI

2003- the Northwest Frontier Province votes for Sharia law.

-Washington asks the ISI to hand over al Qaeda militants, but the ISI only hands over foreign Al Qaeda foot soldiers.

-ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Kashmir.

-Dec. attempt on Musharraf’s life as his motorcade is bombed.

-2003-2004- winter. The Pakistan army launches assaults against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Waziristan.

2004- nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan admits to having leaked nuclear secrets to North Korea. He is placed under house arrest to placate Washington.

-Sunni-Shia violence in Karachi.

-March and June offensives against al Qaeda in the Afghan border area.

-Musharraf extends his term as head of the army.

- assassination attempt on Pakistan Prime Minigter Shaukat Aziz.

-afer Islamist leader Amjad Farooqi is killed in shoot out with police in Karachi, Matiur Rehman takes his place.

-Matiur Rehman -alleged to have been involved in bombing of the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi.

2004-2005- due to losses in the Waziristan offensive against the Taliban and al Qaeda, Pakistan makes various peace deals with local Taliban-supporting tribes. The Taliba effectively control Waziristan.

-Dec. 2005- Abu faraj al-Libbi- al Queada leader No. 3- involved in an attempt on Musharraff at Rawalpindi. Libbi is arrested in Mardan. Matiur Rehman is wanted in connection ith the same plot.

-July 2005- Rehman invovled in another plot on Musharraf- disrupted by police.

2005- Baluchistan tribal militants bomb natural gas plant, forcing its closure.

-after July transit bombings in London, 200 militants from radical madrasas and elsewhere are detained in Pakistan

-an earthquake kills tens of thousands in Muzaffarabad.

2006- Pakistani civilians killed in a US missile strike near the Pakistan border in Waziristan.

15-17 Feb.- Afghan President Karzai visits Musharaff to ask him to stop Taliban infiltration from Pakistan. Karzai identifies Afghan commaders in Quetta among other areas of Pakistan. Musharraf says Afghan intelligence is unreliable and complains to Karzai about weapons smuggling into Bluchistan.

-Feb-March- Sunni-Shia violence in Karachi.

-March- attack on the US consulate kills State Dept FSO David Foy . Matiur Rehman is a leading suspect in planning the attack. Jundullah, reportedly led by Rahaman, may have been involved.

mid-July- Pakistani gov't orders crackdown on Taliban: police arrest more than 200 Afghans in Baluchistan- allegedly many were not Taliban.

The London Airline Terror PLot.

-Aug. 2- Pakistani security arrests Rashid Rauf in attempted London airline bombings. Still at large, his superior, Matiur Rehman worked as deputy for Amjad Farooqi’s Harkat ul Ansar- for Kahsmir Liberation

-Pakistan's SSG discovers through the arrest of Rashid Rauf that Lakshar –e- Toiba is linked to a terror group in the UK. Lashkar-e-Toyaba is also blamed for the Mumbai train bombings in July.

-many of the 9 London airline plot suspects arrested in Pakistan are 'facilitators' linked to Jiash e Mohammed and Lashkar e Toiba which provide safe houses and funds.

-Sept- Pakistan signs a treaty in Waziristan with the Taliban, promising that the army will withdraw to its bases, provided that the Taliban restrict their attacks to Afghanistan.

-Oct. -many of the British Pakistanis later suspected in the August 2006 attempted airline bombings in London travelled to Muzaffarabad as humanitarian earthquake relief in Jamiat ud Dawa, whose umbrella organization is Lashakr e Toiba. Membrs of the al Qaeda-linked Jundullah, a Pakistani terror group took them to training camps in Waziristan before returning to relief camps.

Oct. -raid on a seminary in Bajaur in the border tribal agencies, kills up to 80. Anti-government protests follow.

2007- Pakistan rejects US claims that al Qaeda members are hiding in Pakistan.

-Oct. -many of the British Pakistanis later suspected in the August 2006 attempted airline bombings in London travelled to Muzaffarabad as humanitarian earthquake relief in Jamiat ud Dawa, whose umbrella organization is Lashakr e Toiba. Membrs of the al Qaeda-linked Jundullah, a Pakistani terror group took them to training camps in Waziristan before returning to relief camps.

The Red Mosque.

-January- tensions increase around the radical Red Mosque in Islamabad.

-Feb-Apri- local tribes in Waziristan turn against foegin Taliban fighters for criminalactivities and disrupting public order.

-Feb- the Mariott hotel in Islamabad is bombed.

-the New-Dehhi, India-Lahore Pakistan train is bombed, killing 68, mostly Pakistanis.

Musharraf Dismisses Chief Justice Chaudhoury

-March-mass protests follow Musharraff’s suspension of Pakistan’s Chief Justice Iftakar Mohammed Choudhury,

-March-April- 250 killed in clashes between South Waziristan tribesmen and al Qaeda militants.

-May- several killed in rival demonstrations in Karachi over the dismissal of Justice Choudhury.

-June- followers of Islamabad’s Red Mosque Islamist leader al-Ghazi attempt to impose Sharia law on the city.

-July- after a week-long stand off, security forces storm and seize the Red Mosque, killing over 80 militants.

-in the wake of the assault on the red Mosque, Waziristan and Pakistan erupt in revenge suicide and bomb attacks. In response to the violence and to US threats to pursue the Taliban inside Pakistan, Musharraf resume the military campaign inside Waziristan.

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