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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Musharraf Wins Landslide in Pakistan.

HISTORY IN THE NEWS:



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DEDICATED TO THE ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD.


TAG: In a place where Muslim religious tradition is older than British-inspired parliamentary democracy, Pervez Musharraf is one of several Pakistani dictators to attempt to extend their power as well as their term in office, through elections and changes in the constitution- ostensibly, as they would have it, to bring the country back to democracy.

IN THE NEWS: PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF TAKES PAKISTAN ELECTIONS, WINNING ALL BUT FIVE SEATS IN PAKISTAN'S TWO ASSEMBLIES AND VICTORIES IN FOUR PROVINCIAL ASSEMBLIES. VICTORY, HOWEVER, IS NOT CERTAIN: FIRSTLY, THE SUPREME COURT MUST STILL DECIDE IF MUSHARRAF'S CANDIDACY IS LEGAL; SECONDLY, MOST OF THE OPPOSITION BOYCOTTED THE VOTE AND BENAZIR BHUTTO'S PPP ABSTAINED FROM VOTING AS PART OF A DEAL WITH MUSHARRAF BY WHICH SHE WOULD RETURN OCTOBER 17, CORRUPTION CHARGES AGAINST HER WOULD BE DROPPED AND SHE WOULD POSSIBLY SHARE POWER WITH THE GENERAL. THIRDLY, HE MUST STEP DOWN AS ARMY CHIEF BEFORE TAKING OFFICE. FOURTHLY, MANY OF THE SEATS HE ALREADY HOLDS ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN GAINED IN FRAUDULENT ELECTIONS IN 2002.

IN A NUTSHELL: Pakistan is heir to conflicting traditions- secular parliamentary democracy which grew from British rule in India and Muslim religious tradition, the four-century heritage of the Moghul empire. Since its foundation in 1948, Pakistan has veered back and forth between secular democracy and religious-backed dictatorships. The last major dictatorship was that of the Islamist General Zia Ul Haq which ended in 1988. General Musharraff ,who assumed dictatorial rule in 1999, has had to face the return from exile of Pakistan's two leading politicians from the years preceding his military coup, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. Bhutto and Sharif vied for power through the late 80s and early 90s. Both were prime minister. Bhutto went into exile following corruption charges and Sharif, after trying to Islamize the country and challenge the power of the army, was overthrown by Miusharraf. He was then charged with money laundering before striking a deal to accept exile in Saudi Arabia. Upon his attempt to return on September 10 for the elections, Sharif was exiled by Musharraf. Bhutto, by contrast, has secured her return by making a deal that could entail an alliance with him if he takes office.

THEN AND NOW: 1988- after the death of General Zia Ul Haq in the wake of his decade-long dictatorship, Zia's successor, President Ishaq Khan restored democracy bringing hope that Pakistan's nearly chronic political turmoil might be at an end. In 2007, General Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in 1999 and in 2002 secured his position by changing the constitution with the support of his intelligence agencies, wins elections that are almost farcical due to abstentions, boycotts and deal-making.

CONTENTS: Scroll down for:

DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
RELEVANT DATES
RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
REMOTE BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
CROSS-CENTURY SUMMARY
PROFILE: President Ayub Khan
LOCATION OF NOTE: Rawalpindi
EYEWITNESS:
PRESENT SITUATION
PLUS CA CHANGE
CURIOSITY
ARTICLE:How would Bhutto Dace Dwon the Taliba
n?
TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF PAKISTAN

DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS: While India began to fall under British control after 1840, the northwestern or Pakistan region, which was mostly Muslim, wasn't formally acquired until the late 19th century. 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. This the Muslims who would in future make up Pakistan, were radicalized. 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.
Pakistan's Governor General 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.

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. 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. In 1979 Prime Minister Ali Bhutto was 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. She was succeeded as prime minister by Nawaz Sharif, chief councillor of Punjab province. Sharif took on the President's right to fire the Prime Minister head on. A forceful fiscal conservative, he faced down the president and the judiciary, eventually giving the position of prime minister almost despotic power.

In 1993 Benazir Bhutto 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 again by Nawaz Sharif who angered the army by resisting pressure to give it political power, pulling it out of confrontation with India in Kashmir at the behest of the United States and dismissing its head, General Pervez Musharraf.

Throughout the period from 1988-1989, the Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) has acted systematically to advance the military's interests in Pakistan's elections. The army and the conservative, Islamic religious parties have made common cause since the reign of Zia Ul Haq and the ISI has successfully funded and brokered alliances of religious parties to make life hard for secularist presidents like Bhutto or to keep them out of power.

In 1999, Musharraf took power in a bloodless military coup and Sharif went into exile. 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.

In 2002, when Musharraf sought to extend his power another five years through elections, the ISI swung into action, brokering the powerful MMA alliance of religious parties- the very power bloc which has in turn prevented him from cracking down too hard on the Taliban.

RELEVANT DATES.

711- Muslim Arabs conquer the Indus valley, the heart of modern Pakistan.

1526-1761- the region is ruled by the Moghul Emperors.

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.

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

1876- Baluchistan becomes a British protectorate.

1890- the British acquire west Punjab.
1893- the British acquire northern Balushistan.

-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.

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.

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

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. Mohammed Jinnah is Pakistan’s first president.
1956- Pakistan, heretofore governed by the Government of India Act, is proclaimed an Islamic republic and gets its own constitution.

1958- Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Benazir's father) joins cabinet as minister of commerce.

1963- Ali Bhutto becomes foreign minister

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

1971 -Zulfikar Ali Bhutto elected president- begins in a populist, socialist regime. He brings in nationalization and financial independence from the US.

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.

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

1978- Prime Minister Ali Bhutto is arrested by Zia Ul Haq's regime on charges of corruption and murder.

July 5- Ali Bhutto is released.

July 29- Bhutto begins campaigning for his return to power.

Sept 3- Bhutto is re-arrested and freed on bail September 13.

Sept 17- Bhutto is imprisoned.

Oct 24.- Bhutto is tried for vote riggining, corrupution and the murder of a political opponent.

1979- April 4- after being sentenced to death, Bhutto is hanged.

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.

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

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

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

1988- Aslam Beg, chief of the Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) forms a coalition of religious parties (the IJI) against canddiate Benazir Bhutto. When the relgious coaltion loses, the ISI throws its support behind her rival, Nawaz Sharif, then Chief Minister of Punjab.

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

1990- constant challenges from a conservative presidency leads to the dismissal of Benzir’s Bhutto’s government. She is pursued with corruption charges in a campaign believed to be orchestrated by the ISI. She is charged with corruption. Her husband is placed under arrest for corruption.

1990- behind the scenes, the ISI brokers another coalition against Bhutto and raises large amounts of money to back Sharif.

-Nawaz 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.

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.

- after her election, Bhutto is forced to relinquish all decision-making on nuclear matters to the army, in return for its support.

-Bhutto goes on to purge much of the military general staff of ISI supporters. As a result the military chief, Aslan Beg, (a loyalist of the one-time Zia Ul Haq dictatorship) gets her excluded from all military decision-making.

-1995- Bhutto encourages the formation of the Taliban, seeing it as a friendly Muslim party that will link Pakistan to trade with Central Asia.

-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.

-Sharif removes a constitutional amendment which gives the president the power to dismiss the prime minister.

1998- Sharif resists pressure from the army to allow the generals a say in government.

Oct. Sharif introduces Sharia or Muslim religious laws throughout the country.
1999- Sharif orders the removal of military forces from Kashmir.

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, later in London

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

-Nawaz Sharif agrees to go into exile as an alternative to faving criminal charges.

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

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

-Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) helps to form the the King's Party a coalition of Pakistan Muslim parties to back Musharraf's 2002 presidential election capaign. The MMA, a large alliance of religious parties, the King's Party and Bhutto's PPP are the largest parties in parliament.

-many believe the MMA was patched together by the ISI to support Musharraf.

-the MMA forms an alliance with the 'King;s party' to back Musharraf in the elections.

-Musharraf wins presidential elections. He gains 5 more years in office in a referendum criticized as unconstitutional and biased. He awards himself sweeping new powers.-2002- Musharraf election.

-Musharraf gains 5 more years in office in a referendum seen to be rigged and unconstituional. He awards himself new, sweeping powers.

-after Musharraf is elected, an amendment known as the 'legal framework order' gives him a five year term plus power over many civil institutions and the power to dismiss national and state assemblies. The MMA is indispensable in getting the 'Legal Framework Order' passed into law. The parliament becomes Musharraf's instrument.

-parliament is deadlocked with increased power from the religious parties.

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.

2007- -January- tensions increase around the radical Red Mosque in Islamabad.

-9 March-mass protests follow Musharraff’s suspension of Pakistan’s Chuef Justice Iftakar Mohammed Choudhury for abuse of power. Chouhury has been probing the armed forces about cases of missing persons.

-11 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.

-20 July- the Supreme Court reinstates Justice Choudhury

-August- Benazir Bhutto holds secret talks with Musharraf about returning to Pakistan to form a partnership with him in upcoming elections providing he resgins from the army.

-Aug. 23- the Supreme Court decides Nawaz Sharif can return to Pakistan.

Sept. 8- General Musharraf has Sharif arrested upon his return to Pakistan. Sharif is exiled again to Saudi Arabia- in defiance of the Supreme Court's August ruling.

-14 September- Bhutto says she will return from exile in London in mid-October.

-16 September- Pakistan's electoral commission amends a clause stating that a government servant cannot run for office without first being retired from their position for two years. A public servant can now run without leaving office. The amended clause would allow President Musharraf to run again for president. Musharraf's term as president expires November 15.

-18 September- presidential lawyers say that Musharraf will step down as army chief only if he is elected president.

-Oct. 5-in a deal with Musharraf opposition PPP leader Benazir Bhutto agrees to abstain rather than to boycott the Pakistan election if the charges against her are dropped before she returns from exile in London.

-Oct. 6- Musharraf sweeps the elections.

RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS. In January, tensions developed around the Islamist 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 the issue of missing persons and other matters involving military rule.
It appears the anger about his dismissal was shared both by Islamist and democratic opponents of the government. Meanwhile, weeks of conflict involving Pakistan's Islamist extremists finally culminated in the army's assault on the Red Mosque and the killing of most of its radical defenders which led in turn to counter-attacks by Islamists all around the counrty. To make matters worse for Musharraf, the Supreme Court reinstated Choudhury

With Musharraff weakened by the Choudhury and Red Mosque affairs, Benazir Bhutto, in exile in England, chose the moment to gamble on a return to Pakistan by offering Musharraff a political partnership. As sole viable opposition leader it seemed a wise move. Moreover the return of her old adversary, Nawaz Sharif was nipped in the bud when when Musharraf had him arrested and exiled again at the airport September 8. The future of Pakistan is more likely being played in the Supreme Court than it is on the electoral field. On Sept 16, the court declared that a civil servant, contrary to former rulings can run for office without a mandatory two years absence from his post- clearing the way for Musharraf to run in elections. He still must abide by a promise to resign his army post upon taking office. He must also honour a pledge for Benazir Bhutto to return to Pakistan on October 17 free of corruption charges in return for having her her PPP party abstain instead of voting against him.

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 third millenium BC, the Aryans invaded from Central Asia. The Indus, which runs southward from the highlands of Central Asia and forms northwest India's natural border with continental Asia, would provide a route of invasion and migration into India for millennia to come. 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 penetrated 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. Religous tensions, niherited from the time of secession and intensified with the Sunni revival of the 1980s and 1990s, have combined with the fragility of Pakistani democracy to produce almost chronic political instability.

PROFILE: Ayub Khan: Military Chief who took power in a coup d'etat and suspended the constitution only two years after it was enacted in 1956. Khan, son of an officer in the British Indian Army, was trained at Sandhurst in Britain. He headed the army in East Bengal before being made army chief of the new nation of Pakistan in 1951. As army chief and then as minister of defence in 1954-1956, he was frustrated by the difficulties thrown up by the democratic process in his attempts to bring about military reforms. In 1958 he effected a behind-the-scenes coup d'etat by inducing President Iskandr Mirza to enact martial law before gradually taking power through legal sleight of hand until he had sent Mirza into exile and made himself president. In 1960 he had himself ratified by a village-based referendum which he won by over 90%. In 1962, he brought in a new constitution which provided democracy at the grass roots but abolished it at the national level. Mostly secular in his leanings, he modernized marrriage laws, advocated birth control and subsidized and developed agriculture. The Cold War bolstered his popularity since he sided with the US which flooded the country with economic support. In 1964l, he only narrowly defeated Fatima Jinnah, daughter of Pakistan's founder, after he called for elections confident he could defeat a gathering and growing opposition. The dream was really over when Pakistan lost the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. His government was soon characterized by corruption, nepotism and repression. Challenged by demonstrations and the increasingly popular Zulfikar Bhutto (Benazir's father), he resigned in favour of General Yahya Khan.

LOCATION OF NOTE: The city of Rawalpindi in the valley of the Indus River, just southwest of Islamabad, is the headquarters for the Pakistan Military and Air Force and hence the residence and stronghold of Pakistan's President and head of the armed forces, General Pervez Musharraf. An ancient city with habitation going back 3,000 years, Rawalpindi is on the route of migration and invasion that the Aryans took from Central Asia into India, beginning as an ancient village named for the Rawal , a tribe of Yogis or ascetics. It lay in the easternmost region of the Persian empire and in the path of the Kushan invasions from the north. The Afghan Muslim conqueror Mahmud of Ghazni likewise took the city on a southward march down the Indus before delegating it for rule by the Ghakars. In the 13th century it was destroyed when the Mongols poured down the valley of the Indus and in 1765 it was conquered from the Ghakars by the Sikhs. The British took the city from the Sikhs in 1849 when they made the Punjab region part of British India. Rawalpindi became a military garrison in 1851 and in 1886, after it was connected with a railway, the city grew to be the largest military base in British India. British and Afghan officials signed the treaty ending the Third Afghan War in Rawlpindi in 1919. After Pakistan became independent, Rawalpindi was strategically placed as the country's military capital, on the route between Punjab and disputed Kashmir. In 1960, the capital of Pakistan was moved from Karachi to Rawalpindi until the new capital, Islamabad, was completed in 1969.

EYEWITNESS: From Richard Burton's memoir of the Sindh region on the lower Indus, where he served with the British army in the 1840s: "Deserts spring up, cities, ports and towns fall in the space of time which it takes the Indus to shift its bed for a few miles, or a native prince to remove his capital...It is at once the great fertilizer of the country, the medium of transit for merchandise, and the main line of communication...It is difficult even for a European, to view that noble stream without admiration, not unmixed with awe: the Oriental goes a step beyond...to adoration." -quoted in Sir Richard Francis Burton by Edward Rice.

PRESENT SITUATION: Circumstances in Pakistan remain highly uncertain. If the Supreme Court decides Musharraf's candidacy was not legitimate, he could, as he has hinted, declare a state of emergency which would further destabilize the country. If he is confirmed as president, that too will lead to protests, especially if he breaks his promise to step down as head of the army. In that case he would also lose the support of Benazir Bhutto and her PPP party. But even if he plays by all the rules and serves as president, he will then have to make good his 'reconciliation' deal with Bhutto, not only dropping corruption charges against her, but consenting to some compromise with her vision for the country. On the other hand, if he were actually to step down following an order by the Supreme Court, the country would have to proceed with new elections. Some argue, meanwhile, that Musharraf is the only figure who can prevent the country, with a Taliban insurgency in the North West Frontier and and a separatist movement in Balushistan, from falling into complete chaos.

PLUS CA CHANGE: After the 2002 elections, General Musharraf used an alliance of religious parties and a "legal framework order" to give constitutional trappings to his consolidation of personal power and the weakening of parliament. Back in 1958, General Ayub Khan also sought legal legitimation for his dictatorship. After making President Iskandr Mirza declare martial law, he took total power as "Chief Martial Law Administrator" before assuming the presidency. His decision to run in elections, in 1964, once he was certain he could win them, is not that different from Musharraf's decision to run in 2002 and again in 2007. Both men had personal secular leanings with a careful ear to the religious temperature of the country. The difference is that Musharraf came to power after the Sunni Islamic revolution had begun to sweep Pakistan and the Middle East.

CURIOSITY: For almost ten years after its founding, Pakistan had no constitution. Unable to find a system by which to govern its discordant entities, it was governed by the Government of India act until it forced its own constitution in 1956.

ARTICLE :
Toronto Star
How would Benazir Bhutto face down the Taliban?
Sep 09, 2007 04:30 AM
As Benazir Bhutto comes closer to concluding a deal with President Pervez Musharraf, ending her British exile and re-entering political combat in Pakistan, one might ask how this secular, Washington-backed advocate of women's rights would take on radical Islam in a country in which radical Islam is spreading.
She has twice been prime minister yet, as Wilson John, a senior fellow with the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, says, Bhutto has "an assumed air of royalty and a gross misconception of power which (originally) pitted her against the army and its intelligence agencies."
The fact is, no one in Pakistan has ever been able to confront the ISI (the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency), the army, the alliances of religious parties or the Taliban, all of which are interlinked.
Not even Gen. Musharraf. As a voice in the wilderness, Bhutto has had an easy time criticizing Pakistan's army chief and president. His dictatorship, she says, has only provoked the spread of radical Islam and the proliferation of madrasas (religious schools) in which Islamism is bred. How, she asks, did the Islamist Red Mosque, which had to be taken by storm in July, end up right under the general's nose in Islamabad? He has, she believes, made too many deals with the Taliban and the Islamist parties, implying, of course, that she would never do the same.
So what's her strategy? Musharraf, weakened by an upsurge of Islamist violence, needs a friend. In a proposed power-sharing deal, he would step down as head of the army and Bhutto would help him win the upcoming elections. Then, the two would deal with the Taliban head-on. Sensing her advantage, she has refused to make any deal between her Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the MMA, the main alliance of religious parties; or even with the government religious party, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML). Real confrontation is also far enough away for her to say publicly that the spooks of the ISI were probably implicated in the radicalization of the Red Mosque.
But what would Bhutto do about the ISI in the real world? The intelligence agency, originally empowered by the CIA to train and fund the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet Union, went right on to help form the Taliban itself. Engorged with riches, the ISI is said to have become a "state within a state," which continues, unofficially, to support Islamist groups throughout the country.
Bhutto should know. According to Wilson John, when she was first prime minister back in 1988, the ISI did to her what it has been doing ever since: organizing the anti-secular, Islamist parliamentary coalitions. The agency was also instrumental in bringing the mountain of corruption charges that eventually drove her from the country. It is widely held the ISI brokered the formation of the MMA and other parliamentary alliances that helped forge the "Legal Framework Order" that has shored up General Musharraf's dictatorship.
When Musharraf started to crack down on the Taliban, the uproar caused by the MMA, and presumably its ISI backers, seems to have driven the general to moderate his Taliban policies.
Another element that may well have pushed the general to make deals with the Taliban was the army itself, which had sustained heavy casualties fighting them.
The army, of course, is at the centre of political life in Pakistan and so we must ask again, what would Benazir do? During her first round as prime minister, she briskly purged the army of unfriendly elements only to find herself sidelined from all important military policy-making by its chief of staff, General Aslam Beg. To counter the army, she courted the very religious parties that helped in the formation of Al Qaeda. Pakistan, remember, was founded as a Muslim, religious state – you cannot avoid its myriad religious parties.
Back in 1996, during her second term as prime minister, she sensed the same thing about Afghanistan. The Taliban, a disciplined religious militia, seemed the key to the stable Afghanistan needed to link Pakistan to the new economies of Central Asia. And Bhutto helped them take power. Recently, she told the Independent that she came to regret it.
And what will she say to the religious parties if her backer, Washington, extends its clumsy War on Terror across the border and violates Pakistani sovereignty, as it has threatened to?
In Pakistan, it seems impractical to cold-shoulder even the most fanatical religious parties. Especially if there's a return to democracy.
Democracy, after all, is Bhutto's raison d'ĂȘtre. And, as Winston Churchill pointed out, democracy is not pretty. Nor has it much use for "an assumed air of royalty," let alone "a gross misconception of power."

Hugh Graham is a Toronto writer and journalist, who has written extensively on foreign affairs.

TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF PAKISTAN.

-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.

Islam
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 enlightened, 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.

1658-1707- the Mogul emperor 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.

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.

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.

-Mohammed 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.

-August 14, 1947- death of Mohammed Jinnah, founder of Pakistan.

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

Kashmir

-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

1950- Ayub Khan appointed first chief of the Pakistan military.

1956- Mar 23- Pakistan, heretofore governed by the Government of India Act, is proclaimed an Islamic republic and gets its own constitution.

1958- Oct 7- President Iskander Mirza annuls the constitution and declares martial law, turning powers over to army chief Ayub Khan.

Ayub Khan

1958- Ayub Khan, frustrated by the democratic process, takes power in a coup d’etat, abolishing Pakistan’s newfound constitution and democracy.

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

1962- Ayub Khan brings in a new constitution enacting "basic democracy" or local democracy while abolishing democracy at the national level.

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- Prime Minister Ali Bhutto is arrested by Zia Ul Haq's regime on charges of corruption and murder.

July 5- Bhutto is released.

July 29- Bhutto begins campaigning for his return to power.

Sept 3- Bhutto is re-arrested and freed on bail September 13.

Sept 17- Bhutto is imprisoned.

Oct 24.- Bhutto is tried for vote rigging, corruption and the murder of a political opponent.

1979- April 4- after being sentenced to death, Bhutto is hanged.

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.

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.

-Sunni radical madrassas of Pakistan supported by Saudi Arabia, that began in the 1980s- were seen as a bulwark against Iran. They in turn gave rise to the Taliban. So the taliban arose from the confrontnation of Saudi Arabia with Iran.

-in south Asia, Shia were assertive- so India and pakistan (largest Shia pop at 30 million, after Iran) became the battleground of Saudi-Iranian rivalry in the 80s and 90s.

-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 killed at Dhaka in a plane crash.

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

Benazir Bhutto Prime Minister.

1988- Aslam Beg of the Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) forms a coalition of religious parties (the IJI) against Bhutto. When the relgious coaltion loses, the ISI throws its support behind her rival, Nawaz Sharif, then Chief Minister of Punjab.

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 charges in an offensice believed to be backed by the ISI. Her husband is also placed under arrest for corruption.

Bhutto Ousted.

1990- ISI brokers another coalition against Bhutto and raises large amounts of money to back Sharif gainst Bhutto

-Nawaz Sharif succeeds Benazir Bhutto as prime minister in an election believed to have been rigged with the assistance of the ISI.

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.

- after her election, Bhutto is forced to relinquish all decision-making on nuclear matters to the army, in return for its support.

-Bhutto goes on to purge much of the military general staff of ISI supporters. As a result the military chief, Aslan Beg, (a loyalist of the one-time Zia Ul Haw distatorship) gets her excluded from all military decision-making.

-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)

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.

-1995- Bhutto encourages the formation of the Taliban, seeing it as a friendly Muslim party that will link Pakistan to trade with Central Asia.

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.

-Sharif removes a constituional amendment which gives the president the power to dismiss the prime minister.

1998- Sharif resists pressure from the army to allow the generals a say in government.

Oct. 1- Sharif brings in Islamic law.

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- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, though democratically elected, puts water and power under the control of the army.

-Sharif 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.

-Musharraf dismisses Sharif. Sharif agrees to go into exile rather than face criminal charges.

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.

-Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) helps to form the the King's Party a coalition of Pakistan Muslim parties to back his election as president. The MMA, a large alliance of religious parties, the King's Party and Bhutto's PPP are the largest parties in parliament.

-many believe the MMA was patched together by the ISI to support Musharraf.

-the MMA forms an alliance with the 'King;s party' to back Musharraf in the elections.

Musharraf Consolidates Power, extends Dictatorship,

-Musharraf wins presidential elections. He gains 5 more years in office in a referendum criticized as unconstitutional and biased. He awards himself sweeping new powers.-2002- Musharraf election.

-after Musharraf is elected, an amenndment known as the 'legal framework order' gives him a five year term plus the power over many civil institutions and the power to dismiss national and state assemblies. The MMA is indispensable in getting the 'Legal Framework Order' passed into law. The parliament becomes Musharraf's instrument.

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

-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.

-when Misharraf considers cracking down on the Taliban, his main supporter, the MMA sponsors mass demonstrations and thretens to withdraw its support

-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.

-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.

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

-January- tensions increase around the radical Red Mosque in Islamabad.
-Feb-April- local tribes in Waziristan turn against foegin Taliban fighters for criminal activities 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

-9 March-mass protests follow Musharraff’s suspension of Pakistan’s Chief Justice Iftakar Mohammed Choudhury for abuse of power.

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

April- protests increase against the dismissal of Justice Chouhury.

-12 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.

-11 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.

-20 July- the Supreme Court reinstates Justice Choudhury

-9 August- Musharraf decides against emergency rule.

-23 Aug. the Supreme Court decides exiled oppostion leader Nawaz Sharif can return to Pakistan.

Sept. 8- General Musharraf has Sharif arrested upon his return to Pakistan. Sharif is exiled again to Saudi Arabia- in defiance of the Supreme Court's August ruling.

-14 September- Bhutto says she will return from exile in London in mid-October.

-16 September- Pakistan's electoral commission amends a clause stating that a government servant cannot run for office without first being retired from their position for two years. A public servant can now run without leaving office. The amended clause would allow President Musharraf to run again for president. Musharraf's term as president expires November 15.

-18 September- presidential lawyers say that Musharraf will step down as army chief only if he is elected president.

-Oct. 5-in a deal with Musharraf opposition PPP leader Benazir Bhutto agrees to abstain rather than to boycott the Pakistan election if the charges against her are dropped before she returns from exile in London.

-Oct. 6- Musharraf sweeps the elections.

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