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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Musharrsaf loses Parliamentary Vote; Refuses to Resign


HISTORY IN THE NEWS:



History never dies. It is reborn every minute of every day.

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DEDICATED TO THE ORIGINS OF CONTEMPORARY EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD.

 “'Islamic Democracy' could not be an inspired reproduction of of Western one-man, one- vote democracy. Because populism belonged to the fundamentalists, "power to the people" would mean either rule by by reactionary orthodoxy or or ethnic fragmentation into the historically divided communities that made up the provinces of Pakistan."- Lucian W. Pye in ASIAN POWER AND POLITICS.


TAG: Moderate forces return in what may be Pakistan's freest and fairest elections. However the new lay of the land leaves two traditional strongmen facing one another: former general and current president Pervez Musharraf and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif who gathered almost dictatorial power in the post of prime minister in the mid-1990s before Musharraf ousted him in a coup. Another question: has Pakistani Intelligence stopped meddling in electoral politics or is it still at work behind the scenes?

IN THE NEWS: PAKISTAN'S PRESIDENT MUSHARRAF REFUSES TO RESIGN DESPITE HIS PML-Q PARTY'S LOSS IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS TO ASIF BHUTTO'S FRONT-RUNNING PPP AND NAWAZ SHARIF'S PML-N. BHUTTO AND SHARIF HAVE DECIDED TO FORM A COALITION TO OUST MUSHARRAF. A TWO-THIRDS PARLIAMENTARY MAJORITY CAN MOVE TO IMPEACH HIM; BUT THE TWO PARTIES WILL NEED THE SUPPORT OF OTHER PARTIES TO DO SO. THEY HAVE RULED OUT A COALITION WITH MUSHARRAF'S PML-Q. MUSHARRAF HAS STATED HE WANTS TO WORK WITH THE WINNING OPPOSITION PARTIES IN A SPIRIT OF RECONCILIATION.

REARVIEW MIRROR:
*1971-
-Zulfikar Ali Bhutto elected president- begins in a populist, socialist regime. He brings in nationalization and financial independence from the US.
*1979- April 4- after being sentenced to death, Bhutto is hanged by General Zi Ul Haq.
*1984- Benazir Bhutto exiled to England with her mother. Benazir Bhutto founds the PPP, the Pakistan People’s Party.
*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-Nawaz Sharif succeeds Benazir Bhutto as prime minister in an election believed to have been rigged with the assistance of the ISI.
*2002- 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 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.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Pakistan's Interservices Intelligence Agency (ISI) has a long history of brokering alliances of religious parties to tip the scales in elections. It did so to block Benazir Bhutto in 1988 and to elect Musharraf in 2002. The question is, will the ISI attempt to shore up Musharraf at present- or stack the deck for his replacement in the next Presidential elections? In 1988, the late Benazir Bhutto inherited the PPP or Pakistan People's Party, the populist, secular, democratic and west-friendly party of her father, the revered one-time Prime Minister Zufiqar Ali Bhutto. Ali Bhutto was hanged by the Islamist dictatorship of President Zia Ul Haq in 1978. After succeeding him, Benazir was in and out of power in the 1990s before being exiled and returning, only to be assassinated this past December 27. In 1985, Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) became Chief minister of Punjab. November 1990 saw him elected Prime Minster and he worked with the private sector to strengthen Pakistan's industry and land reform for the peasants of Sindh. Despite US sanctions, he achieved economic progress. In 1997, he was re-elected prime minister and used his overwhleming majority to strip the president of his constitutional power to dismiss the Prime minister. Sharif made the the position of PrimeMinister all-powerful, indeed unassailable to the point of dissenting from the Chief Justice. In 1998, Sharif appointed General Musharraf to head the army. In February 1999, Sharif signed the Lahore Declaration to normalize relations with India. Under pressure from US president Clinton, he withdrew the army from confrontation with India in Kashmir causing discontent in military and Islamist circles. Electricity shortages led him to put the army in charge of water and power and rumours of selling out to the generals led him to attempt to fire Musharraff. On October 12, 1999, Sharif's government was overthrown by Musharraf in a military coup. Charged with conspiracy, he faced crimina charges when the Saudi kingdom intervened and he was allowed to go to exile in Saudi Arabia. In 2002, an alliance of religious leaders, known as 'the King's party' or the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) was brokered by Pakistan's Inter-services Intelligence agency with the express purpose of re-electing General Musharraf- which it accomplished.

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 had turns as 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 Musharraf. Sharif was then charged with money laundering before striking a deal to accept exile in Saudi Arabia. General Musharrraf used the ISI intelligency agency to broker the alliance of religious parties known as the PML-Q or 'the Kings's party" to get himself formally elected in 2002. When Nawaz Sharif attempted to return on September 10 for the 2008 elections, he was exiled by Musharraf. Bhutto, by contrast, secured her return by making a deal that would have entailed an alliance with him if he took office. Not long after she returned, however, Bhutto was assassinated by religious extremists.

THEN AND NOW: In 1958, military chief General Ayub Khan, frustrated by the democratic process, took power in a coup d’etat, abolishing Pakistan’s newfound constitution and democracy and setting a trend of periodic dictatorships over the next half century. Fifty years after his coup d'etat, moderate, democratic forces return once again in what may have been Pakistan's cleanest election yet.

CONTENTS: SCROLL DOWN FOR:
DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
RELEVANT DATES
RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
.PREVIOUS ENTRIES
REMOTE BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
LOCATION OF NOTE:
PROFILE:
CROSS-CENTURY SUMMARY
EYEWTNESS
PRESENT SITUATION
PLUS CA CHANGE
CURIOSITY
TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF

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. The idea of an Islamic State, meanwhile, seemed to be the only solution for an ethnically divided country. The result, time and again, was to be a dictatorship, to some degree Islamic. Yet that did little to solve Pakistan's most deep-seated political problem- how do you define Muslim in a society in which no one agrees on the definition of what it is to be Muslim? But Islam, undefined, remained the shibboleth. 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 for dividing the country on his platform of "Islamic socialism." Though Islam would never find an official definition, attempts at secularized forms of Islam would only feed the electoral power of the religious zealots who wanted to exploit the very practice of democracy brought in by westernized elites, to form a state along the lines of a 7th century Caliphate. 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 1978, 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, Asif Ali Zardan 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. (Born in 1949 in Lahore, Sharif was the son of a Punjab indistrialist. He obtained a law degree and in 1981 became Finance minister for Punjab where he singificantly advanced rural development. In 1985, he became Chief minister of Punjab. On March 31 1988, he was made caretaker after President Zia Ul Haq dismissed both houses of parliament.) In 1988, the year Bhutto was elected, Sharif was re-elected in Punjab before running for Prime Minister on a conservative, anti-corruption platform. In 1990 Bhutto was ousted on charges of corruption. After the election of Sharaf as Prime Minister in November 1990, he worked with the private sector to strengthen Pakistan's industry and land reform for the peasants of Sindh. Despite US sanctions, he achieved economic progress. But in April, 1993, he was dismissed by the president. He was reinstated by the judiciary but after corruption allegations he had to resign along with the president in July. In 1993 Benazir Bhutto was re-elected. Meanwhile, the MML, a powerful alliance of religious parties, was expressly formed by the ISI to block the election of any secular party as well as to gather or to fabricate corruption charges against Benazir Bhutto. In 1996, Bhutto was duly dismissed, again on charges of corruption. In 1997, Sharif was re-elected prime minister and used his overwhelming majority to strip the president of his constitutional power to dismiss the Prime minister. Sharif made the the position of Prime Minister all-powerful, indeed unassailable to the point of dissenting from the Chief Justice. As a result, the president resigned and the supreme court justice was removed. In 1998, in response to social unrest, he suspended many civil liberties and set up military courts. Throughout his career he had already had several run-ins with chiefs of the military. In 1998, Sharif appointed General Musharraf to head the army. But Sharif 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. In February 1999, Sharif signed the Lahore Declaration to normalize relations with India. Under pressure from US president Clinton, he withdrew the army from confrontation with India in Kashmir. Electricity shortages led him to put the army in charge of water and power but rumours of selling out to the generals led him to fire Musharraff. On October 12, 1999, Sharif's government was overthrown by Musharraf in a military coup. Charged with conspiracy, he faced criminal charges when the Saudi kingdom intervened and he was allowed to go to exile in Saudi Arabia. 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, the ISI helped to form 'the King's party' (PML-Q) or the coalition of relgious parties that won Musharraff his electoral majority that year. If anything he needed them on side while he fought the Taliban for Washington. Marsharraf sent the army into Waziristan after the Taliban 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 was 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. bloc which has in turn prevented him from cracking down too hard on the Taliban.

RELEVANT DATES:
1935- the Government of India Act is established and will become Pakistan’s constitution in 1947.
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- 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 (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.
1979- April 4- after being sentenced to death, Bhutto is hanged.
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.
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.
-Oct. 12- 2 suicide bombs directed at Bhutto's convoy from airport, kill donzens, upon her return from British exile.
-November- Musharraf declares emergency rule claiming Islamist threats to the government. Opponents charge him with attempting to lengthen his dictatorship as he uses the emergency to sack the Supreme Court on the eve of its decision about the legitimacy of his election as president while still chief of the army.
-Bhutto placed under house arrest as she plans a march against emergency rule.
-Musharraf says he will work with Bhuttto.
-Musharraf brings in a caretaker government.
-the chief election commissioner determines that elections for Prime Minister will be held on January 8, 2008.
-the election commission ratifies Musharraf's second five-year term in office.
-Nawaz Sharif allowed to return from exile.
-Musharraf hands over command of the Armed Forces to General Ashfaq Kayani.
-Bhutto says she may boycott the January 8 election.
-December 15- Musharraf ends the state of emergency, restores constitution.
-December 27- Bhutto is shot to death as suicide bombers hit her retinue after a rally in Rawalpindi.
2008- January -Musharraf postpones January 8 elections to February 18 due to instability.
-20 police killed at an anti-Musharraf rally outside the High Court in Lahore.
-Feb 18- the PPP and the PML-N sweep parliamentary elections, reducing Musharraf's PML Q.
The PPP's Asif Bhutto and the PML-N's Nawaz Sharif consider a coalition to oust Musharraf.

RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS: In January, 2007, 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 September 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 had to abide by a promise to resign his army post upon taking office. He had to 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. Such was the atmosphere in Pakistan that Bhutto, arriving from exile in Britain, narrowly escaped death from a suicide attack on her convoy. On November 3, Musharraf declared a state of emergency allegedly on the grounds of a conspiracy from religious militants, though it was generally believed that he was merely lengthening his rule; and indeed he used the emergency to sack supreme court justices before they made a decision on the legitimacy of his election victory while still in uniform. Many of his political opponents were imprisoned; all political activity was banned; there was a crackdown on the media and Bhutto was placed under temporary house arrest to prevent her from leading a rally against the state of emergency. Musharraf promised elections for the post of Prime Minister on January 8 but most doubted that they would be free and fair. On December 15 he ended the state of emergency and restored the constitution, causing some question as to whether the state of emergency had indeed been imposed because of a threat from militants. On December 27, Bhutto, while campaigning in Rawalindi, was assassinated in a suicide bomibing. Nawaz Sharif was the only significant candidate left standing in what appeared to an opposition vacuum, until the PPP declared Bhutto's 19 year old son her successor at the head of the party with her widowed husband Asif Ali Zardari acting as regent in what seems more than ever to be a dynasty. Sharif, meanwhile, instructed his own party to boycott the January vote. Suspicions that Musharaff, through negligence or conspiracy allowed the assassination to happen, resulted in widespread rioting verging on anarchy. At the beginning of 2008, Musharraf postponed the election from January 8 to February 19 on grounds of bad security. In the run-up to the elections, suicide bombings took dozens of lives. The intention, most likely, was to prevent what was almost certain to be the return of moderate secular and moderate relgious parties to power.
Nevertheless, Pakistan had the courage to vote.

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.

LOCATION OF NOTE: Sindh, Pakistan's southern-most province where the PPP just made its strongest showing in the elections, giving the party of the late Benazir Bhutto a majority in the Sindh Provincial Assembly as well. Defined more or less by the lower valley of the Indus, the province is home of the Bhutto dynasty and heartland of their Pakistan People's Party. It is also the site of the early civilizations of the Indus. Darius I made Sindh part of the Persian Empire in the sixth century BC. Alexander the Great made it the eastern end of his empire in 325 BC. In the 3rd century BC, Sindh was annexed by the Mauryas, conquered by the Huns in 165 BC and ruled by the Kushans in the first two centuries AD. In 711, Arab invaders conquered Sindh, bringing Islam. Arab rulers like the Abbasids maintained rule, usually nominal, over Sindh and Arab cultural influences remain to the present day. In 1010 AD (crica) the Turkic Afghan warrior Mahmud of Ghazni made it part of his empire. Sindh was briefly included in the 17th century Moghul Empire of Akbar the Great but was otherwise ruled locally or by Afghan Pashtun warlords in the 18th century. The Baluch emirs of Sindh ruled in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when they were defeated by the British under Sir Charles Napier in 1843. Karachi was made the capital by the British and Sindh was administered directly from India until 1937 when it was made an autonomous province. Upon the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Karachi became Pakistan's national capital and Hyderabad the capital of Sindh itself. After the 1947 partition, hundreds of housands of Muslims, known as 'Muhajirs', migrated there. It was part of West Pakistan Province from 1955 to 1970 after which it became a separate province again with Karachi as its capital. In 1967, after resigning from General Ayub Khan's cabinet, in protest against the feudal elitism of Pakistani politics, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto founded the Pakistan People's Party whose by-words were Islam, socialism and democracy. Though the party was founded in Lahore, Punjab Province, Bhutto made Sindh and Punjab together his popular base, garnering especially strong support from the Muhajirs, the large numbers of immigrant Muslims from India who had arrived after partition.

PROFILE: NAWAZ ASHARIF- Born 1949 in Lahore, Sharif was the son of a Punjab industrialist. He obtained a law degree and in 1981 became Finance minister for Punjab where he significantly advanced rural development. In 1985, Sharif became Chief minister of Punjab. On March 31 1988, he was made caretaker after President Zia Ul Haq dismissed both houses of parliament. In 1988 Sharif was reelected in Punjab before running for Prime Minister on a conservative, anti-corruption platform. November 1990 saw him elected Prime Minster and he worked with the private sector to strengthen Pakistan's industry and land reform for the peasants of Sindh. Despite US sanctions,, he achieved economic progress. But in April, 1993, he was dismissed by the president. He was reinstated by Judiciary but after corruption allegations he had to resign along with the president in July. In 1997, he was re-elected prime minister and used his overwhleming majority to strip the president of his constitutional power to dismiss the Prime minister. Sharif made the the position of PrimeMinister all-powerful, indeed unassailable to the point of dissenting from the Chief Justice. As a result, the president resigned and the supreme court justice was removed. In 1998, in response to social unrest, he suspended many civil liberties and set up military courts. Throughout his career he had already had several run-ins with chiefs of the military. In 1998, Sharif appointed General Musharraf to head the army. In February 1999, Sharif signed the Lahore Declaration to normalize relations with India. Under pressure from US president Clinton, he withdrew the army from confrontation with India in Kashmir. Electriity shortages led him to put the army in charge of water and power and rumours of selling out to the generals led him to fire Musharraff. On October 12, 1999, Sharif's government was overthrown by Musharraf in a military coup. Charged with conspiracy, he faced crimina charges when the Saudi kingdom intervened and he was allowed to go to exile in Saudi Arabia.

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.

EYE-WITNESS: "As Zulfikar Ali Bhutto mounted the gallows no one could know what last thoughts occupied an undoubtedly great mind which for so long had been crammed full of the affairs of state: the economy, industry, poverty and international politics. Nor could anyone be sure how he bore himself but, in keeping with the forbearance he had shown throughout his year and a half in solitary confinement, it was undoubtedly with courage, conviction and a clear conscience. For the last few days of his life it poured with rain. It was not the drizzling rain to which Europeans are accustomed but the torrential rain of countries which have hot climates. People in Pakistan were sombre, silent and depressed. They felt helpless in the face of martial law which arrested anyone on the spot who tried to organise a procession of protest. The uncertainty was agonising – any day they might wake up to find that the former prime minister was already dead. Only in the imagination was it possible to conjure up the vision of the solitary figure – once sturdy and robust – waiting in a cold concrete cell with an unwanted beard growing on his pale face, since the use of a razor was no longer permitted. There were only two things for him to await – first to say goodbye to his family – his wife Begum Nusrat Bhutto and his daughter Benazir, both of whom had pursued an unrelenting battle to save his life. He was permitted to spend a final three hours with them. As they emerged from the jail the expression on their faced indicated that they knew what was about to happen. And then his death. At 2 a.m. on 4 April 1979, 21 months after the military coup d’etat which ousted him on 5 July 1977, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed by means of hanging in Rawalpindi district jail where he had spent the last ten and a half months." from BHUTTO: THE FINAL ACT by Victoria Schofield.

PRESENT SITUATION:
Musharraf, in defiance of the threat of impeachment by the newly elected parliament, insists on working with the Pakistan People's Party and Nawaz Sharif's PML-N in a "spirit of reconciliation." With no candidate for Prime Minister from the PPP, the winner in the parliamentary contest, it seems that a battle of wills between two traditional Pakistani strongmen- Pervez Musharraf and Nawaz Sharif is inevitable.

PLUS CA CHANGE: In 1988, Benazir Bhutto was elected Prime Minister in the first open elections after ten years of dictatorship under General Zia Ul Haq. Twenty years later, open elections are held once again after eight years of disctatorship under General Musharraf.

CURIOSITY:
Also in1988- General Aslam Beg of the Inter Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) formed a coalition of religious parties (the IJI) against the election of Benazir Bhutto. When Beg's relgious coalition lost, the ISI threw its support behind her rival, Nawaz Sharif, then Chief Minister of Punjab.

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.

-birth of Mohammed Jinnah.

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 Durand 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

1906- founder of Pakistan, Mohammed Jinnah, joins the Indian National Congress.

1910- North Waziristan is made by the British into 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.

1913- in India, Mohammed Jinnah joins the Muslim League.

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.

1931- seeing little hope in the face of the INC, Jinnah resigns.

1935- Jinnah returns to the Muslim League under popular pressure and reorganizes it along nationalist lines.

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

1937- the Muslim league fares badly in Indian elections.

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.

1945-1946- the Muslim league makes a powerful showing in provincial elections in India.

-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.

-As Governor General, Mohammed Jinnah is Pakistan’s first head of state.

-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 Mujehadeen 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 takes leadership of 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 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. 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 Minister 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.


The Red Mosque

-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.

The Return of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif.

-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.

-almost 200 are killed in fighting in North Waziristan as government forces fight Taliban and Taliban and al-Qaeda-aligned Islamist groups.

Attempt on Bhutto Upon her Return.

-Oct. 12- 2 suicide bombs directed at Bhutto's convoy from airport, kill donzens, upon her return from British exile.

-November- Musharraf declares emergency rule claiming Islamist threats to the government. Opponents charge him with attempting to lengthen his dictatorship as he uses the emergency to sack the Supreme Court on the eve of its decision about the legitimacy of his election as president while still chief of the army.

-Bhutto placed under house arrest as she plans a march against emergency rule.

-Musharraff says he will work with Bhuttto.

-Musharraf brings in a caretaker government.

-the chief election commissioner determines that elections for Prime Minister will be held on January 8, 2008.

-the election commission ratifies Musharraf's second five-year term in office.

-Nawaz Sharif allowed to return from exile.

-Musharraf hands over command of the Armed Forces to General Ashfaq Kayani.

-Bhutto says she may boycott the January 8 election.

-December 15- Musharraf ends the state of emergency, restores constitution.

Assassination of Benazir Bhutto

-December 27- Bhutto is shot to death as suicide bombers hit her retinue after a rally in Rawalpindi.

2008- January -Musharraf postpones January 8 elections to February 18 due to instability.

-20 police killed at an anti-Musharraf rally outside the High Court in Lahore.

-the army kills 90 tribal militants in South Waziristan.

Victory of the PPP and the PML-N in Parliamentary Elections.

-Feb 18- the PPP and the PML-N sweep parliamentary elections, reducing Musharraf's PML Q.
The PPP's Asif Bhutto and the PML-N's Nawaz Sharif consider a coalition to oust Musharraf.
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