Country, southern Asia. Area: 307,374 sq mi (796,096 sq km). Population (2005 est.):
153,960,000. Capital: Islamabad. The population is a complex mix of indigenous peoples who
have been affected by successive waves of migrations of Aryans, Persians, Greeks,
Pashtuns, Mughals, and Arabs. Languages: Urdu (official), Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Balochi.
Religions: Islam (official; predominantly Sunni); also Christianity, Hinduism. Currency:
Pakistan rupee. Pakistan may be divided into four regions: the northern mountains, the
Balochistan Plateau, the Indus Plain, and the desert areas. The Himalayan and Trans-
Himalayan ranges form the great mountain areas of the northernmost part of the country;
some of the highest peaks are K2 and Nanga Parbat. The country has a developing mixed
economy based largely on agriculture, light industries, and services. Remittances from
Pakistanis working abroad are a major source of foreign exchange. Pakistan is a military-
backed constitutional regime with two legislative houses; its chief of state is the president,
assisted by the prime minister. The area has been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC.
From the 3rd century BC to the 2nd century AD, it was part of the Mauryan and Kushan
kingdoms. The first Muslim conquests were in the 8th century AD. The British East India Co.
subdued the reigning Mughal dynasty in 1757. During the period of British colonial rule, what
is now (Muslim) Pakistan was part of (Hindu) India. The new state of Pakistan came into
existence in 1947 by act of the British Parliament. The Kashmir region remained a disputed
territory between Pakistan and India, with tensions resulting in military clashes and full-
scale war in 1965. Civil war between East and West Pakistan in 1971 resulted in
independence for Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan) in 1972. Many Afghan refugees
migrated to Pakistan during the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980s and remained there during
the Taliban and post-Taliban periods. Pakistan elected Benazir Bhutto, the first woman to
head a modern Islamic state, in 1988. She and her party were ousted in 1990, but she
returned to power in 1993 – 97. Conditions became volatile during that period. Border flare-
ups with India continued, and Pakistan conducted tests of nuclear weapons. Political
conditions worsened, and the army carried out a coup in 1999.
Council of Pakistan American Affairs
The country has a generally hot and dry climate, with desert conditions prevailing throughout much of the area. Along the
western border and in a section of the north are semiarid steppelands and deserts; a subtropical climate with marked
summer rainfall is found in a small section of the northeast along the Himalayan foothills; and a mountain climate that varies
with altitude is found in the north.
The Indus is the chief river of Pakistan and is the nation's lifeline. It flows the length of the country and is fed by the combined
waters of three of the five rivers of Punjab—the Chenab, Jhelum, and Ravi. The waters of the other two rivers, the Beas and
the Sutlej, are largely withdrawn for irrigation in India. Along the Indus and its tributaries are found most of Pakistan's
population, its chief agricultural areas, and its major hydroelectric power stations.
Pakistan may be divided into four geographic regions—the plateau of W Pakistan, the plains of the Indus and Punjab rivers,
the hills of NW Pakistan, and the mountains of N Pakistan. The plateau region of W Pakistan, which is roughly coextensive
with Baluchistan prov., is an arid region with relatively wetter conditions in its northern sections. Numerous low mountain
ranges rise from the plateau, and the Hingol and Dasht rivers are among the largest streams. Large portions of the region
are unfit for agriculture, and although some cotton is raised, nomadic sheep grazing is the principal activity. Coal, chromite,
and natural gas are found in this area, and fishing and salt trading are carried on along the rugged Makran coast. Quetta, the
chief city, is an important railroad center on the line between Afghanistan and the Indus valley.
East of the plateau region are extensive alluvial plains, through which flow the Indus and its tributaries. The region, closely
coinciding with Sind and Punjab provinces, is hot and dry and is occupied in its eastern borders by the Thar Desert.
Extensive irrigation facilities, fed by the waters of the Indus system, make the Indus basin the agricultural heartland of
Pakistan. A variety of crops (especially wheat, rice, and cotton) are raised there. Advances in agricultural engineering have
countered the salinity problems involved in farming the Indus delta. The irrigated portions of the plain are densely populated,
being the site of many of Pakistan's principal cities, including Lahore, Faisalabad (formerly Lyallpur), Hyderabad, and Multan.
Karachi, the nation's chief port, is located west of the irrigated land at a site accessible to oceangoing vessels. The higher
parts of the plain, in the north, as in the vicinity of Lahore, have a more humid subtropical climate.
In NW Pakistan, occupying about two thirds of North-West Frontier Province, is a region of low hills and plateaus
interspersed with fertile valleys. The elevation of the region tempers the arid climate. It is a predominantly agricultural area,
with wheat the chief crop; fruit trees and livestock are also raised. Peshawar and Rawalpindi, the largest cities of this area,
are the only major manufacturing centers. In the northern section of the North-West Frontier Province and in the Pakistani-
occupied sector of Kashmir are the rugged ranges and the high, snowcapped peaks of the Hindu Kush, Himalaya, and
Karakorum mountains; Tirich Mir (25,236 ft/7,692 m) is the highest point in the country outside Kashmir
Pakistan has one of the world's most rapidly growing populations. Its people are a mixture of many ethnic groups, a result of
the occupation of the region by groups passing through on their way to India. The Pathans (Pashtuns) of the northwest are a
large, indigenous group that has long resisted advances by invaders and that has at times sought to establish an
autonomous state within Pakistan. Baluchis, who live mainly in the southwest, have also pressed for the creation of a state
that would incorporate parts of Afghanistan and Iran. Punjabis reside mainly in the northeast, and Sindhis in the southeast.
Pakistan is an overwhelmingly (about 97%) Muslim country. Urdu is the official language, but Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto,
Baluchi, Hindko, and Brahui are also spoken; English is common among the upper classes and in the government.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Pakistan's economy, employing more than 40% of the population. Cotton, wheat, rice,
sugarcane, fruits, vegetables, and tobacco are the chief crops, and cattle, sheep, and poultry are raised. There is also a
fishing industry. Most of Pakistan's agricultural output comes from the Indus basin. The country is now self-sufficient in food,
as vast irrigation schemes have extended farming into arid areas, and fertilizers and new varieties of crops have increased
Pakistan's industrial base is able to supply many of the country's needs in consumer goods and other products. The country
major manufactures textiles (the biggest earner of foreign exchange), processed foods, pharmaceuticals, construction
materials, paper products, and fertilizer. Remittances from Pakistanis working abroad constitute the second largest source
of foreign exchange. Since the mid-1950s electric power output has greatly increased, mainly because of the development of
hydroelectric power potential and the use of thermal power plants.
The annual cost of Pakistan's imports usually exceeds its earnings from exports. The chief imports are petroleum,
machinery, plastics, transportation equipment, edible oils, paper, iron and steel, and tea. Exports include textiles and
clothing, rice, leather and sporting goods, chemicals, and carpets. The chief trading partners are the United States, the
United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and China.
Pakistan is governed under the constitution of 1973 as amended, which provides for a federal parliamentary form of
government. The president, who is head of state, is elected to a five-year term by an electoral college drawn from the national
parliament and provincial assemblies. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is selected by the National
Assembly. There is a bicameral legislature. The National Assembly has 342 members, 272 of them elected by popular vote,
with 60 seats reserved for women and 10 for non-Muslims; all serve five-year terms. The 100 members of the Senate are
indirectly elected by provincial assemblies and the territories' representatives in the National Assembly; they serve six-year
terms. Each province has its own legislative assembly whose members are elected by direct popular vote, a provincial
governor appointed by the president, and a chief minister elected by the legislative assembly. There is an independent
judicial branch of government. Administratively, the country is divided into four provinces and two territories.
The northwest of the Indian subcontinent, which now constitutes Pakistan, lies athwart the historic invasion routes through
the Khyber, Gumal, and Bolan passes from central Asia to the heartland of India, and for thousands of years invaders and
adventurers swept down upon the settlements there. The Indus valley civilization, which flourished until c.1500 B.C., was one
of the region's earliest civilizations. The Aryans, who surpassed the Indus, were followed by the Persians of the Achaemenid
empire, who by c.500 B.C. reached the Indus River. Alexander the Great, conqueror of the Persian empire, invaded the
Punjab in 326 B.C. The Seleucid empire, heir to Alexander's Indian conquest, was checked by the Mauryas, who by 305 B.C.
occupied the Indus plain and much of Afghanistan.
After the fall of the Mauryas (2d cent. B.C.) the Indo-Greek Bactrian kingdom rose to power, but was in turn overrun (c.97 B.C.)
by Scythian nomads called Saka and then by the Parthians (c.A.D. 7). The Parthians, of Persian stock, were replaced by the
Kushans; the Kushan Kanishka ruled (2d cent. A.D.) all of what is now Pakistan from his capital at Peshawar. In 712, the
Muslim Arabs appeared in force and conquered Sind, and by 900 they controlled most of NW India. They were followed by
the Ghaznavid and Ghorid Turks. The first Turki invaders reached Bengal c.1200 and an important Muslim center was
established there, principally through conversion of the Hindus. Although the northeast of the Indian subcontinent (now
Bangladesh) remained, with interruptions, part of a united Mughal empire in India from the early 16th cent. to 1857, the
northwest changed hands many times before it became (1857) part of imperial British India. It was overrun by Persians in
the late 1730s; by the Afghans, who held Sind and the Punjab during the latter half of the 18th cent.; and by the Sikhs, who
rose to power in the Punjab under Ranjit Singh (1780–1839).
British Control and the Muslim League
The British attempted to subdue the anarchic northwest during the First Afghan War (1839–42) and succeeded in
conquering Sind in 1843 and the Punjab in 1849. The turbulence of the region was intensified by the fierce forays of Baluchi
and Pathan tribespeople from the mountainous hinterlands. The British occupied Quetta in 1876 and again attempted to
conquer the tribespeople in the Second Afghan War (1878–80) but were still unsuccessful. With the creation of the North-
West Frontier Province in 1901, the British shifted from a policy of conquest to one of containment.
Unlike previous settlers in India, the Muslim immigrants were not absorbed into Hindu society. Their ranks were augmented
by the millions of Hindus who had been converted to Islam. There was cultural interchange between Hindu and Muslim, but
no homogeneity emerged. After the Indian Mutiny (1857), a rising Hindu middle class began to assume dominant positions
in industry, education, the professions, and the civil service. Although, in these early decades of the Indian National
Congress, vigorous efforts were made to include Muslims in the nationalist movement, concern for Muslim political rights
led to the formation of the Muslim League in 1906; in the ensuing years Hindu-Muslim conflict became increasingly acute.
The idea of a Muslim nation, distinct from Hindu India, was introduced in 1930 by the poet Muhammad Iqbal and was
ardently supported by a group of Indian Muslim students in England, who were the first to use the name Pakistan [land of the
pure, from the Urdu pak,=pure and stan,=land]. It gained wide support in 1940 when the Muslim League, led by Muhammad
Ali Jinnah, demanded the establishment of a Muslim state in the areas of India where Muslims were in the majority. The
League won most of the Muslim constituencies in the 1946 elections, and Britain and the Congress party reluctantly agreed
to the formation of Pakistan as a separate dominion under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act, which went into
effect on Aug. 15, 1947.
Partition and Conflict
Jinnah became the governor-general of the new nation and Liaquat Ali Khan the first prime minister. While India inherited
most of the British administrative machinery, Pakistan had to start with practically nothing; records and Muslim
administrators were transferred from New Delhi to a chaotic, makeshift capital at Karachi. Moreover, an autumn of violence
and slaughter among Hindus and Muslims came between independence and the task of developing the new nation.
Disturbances in Delhi were only a prelude to the slaughter in the Punjab, where the Gurdaspur district had been partitioned
to give India access to Kashmir. Although there was some violence in Calcutta (now Kolkata), the efforts of Mohandas K.
Gandhi prevented widespread killing in partitioned Bengal. The communal strife took more than 500,000 lives; 7.5 million
Muslim refugees fled to both parts of Pakistan from India, and 10 million Hindus left Pakistan for India.
Disputes between India and Pakistan arose also over the princely states of Junagadh, Hyderabad, and Kashmir. In the first
two, Muslim rulers held sway over a Hindu majority but India forcibly joined both states to the Union, dismissing the wishes
of the rulers and basing its claims instead on the wishes of the people and the facts of geography. In Kashmir the situation
was precisely the opposite; a Hindu ruler held sway over a Muslim majority in a country that was geographically and
economically tied to West Pakistan. The ruler signed over Kashmir to India in Oct., 1947, but Pakistan refused to accept the
move. Fighting broke out (see India-Pakistan Wars) and continued until Jan., 1948, when India and Pakistan both appealed
to the United Nations, each accusing the other of aggression. A cease-fire was agreed upon and a temporary demarcation
line partitioned (1949) the disputed state.
In the meantime, Pakistan faced serious internal problems. A liberal statement of constitutional principles was promulgated
in 1949, but parts of the proposed constitution ran into orthodox Muslim opposition. On Oct. 16, 1951, Prime Minister Liaquat
Ali Khan was assassinated by an Afghan fanatic. His death left a leadership void that prime ministers Khwaja Nazimuddin
(1951–53) and Muhammad Ali (1953–55) and governor-general Ghulam Muhammad (1951–55) failed to fill. In East Bengal,
which had more than half of the nation's population, there was increasing dissatisfaction with the federal government in
West Pakistan. In 1954, faced with growing crises, the government dissolved the constituent assembly and declared a state
of emergency. In 1955, the existing provinces and princely states of West Pakistan were merged into a single province made
up of 12 divisions, and the name of East Bengal was changed to East Pakistan, thus giving it at least the appearance of
parity with West Pakistan.
In Feb., 1956, a new constitution was finally adopted, and Pakistan formally became a republic within the Commonwealth of
Nations; Gen. Iskander Mirza became the first president. Economic conditions remained precarious, even though large
shipments of grain from the United States after 1953 had helped to relieve famine. In foreign relations, Pakistan's conflict
with India over Kashmir remained unresolved, and Afghanistan continued its agitation for the formation of an autonomous
Pushtunistan nation made up of the Pathan tribespeople along the northwest frontier. Pakistan joined the Southeast Asia
Treaty Organization in 1954 and the Central Treaty Organization in 1955. After 1956 the threat to the stability of the Pakistan
government gradually increased, stemming from continuing economic difficulties, frequent cabinet crises, and widespread
The Ayub Khan Regime
Finally, in Oct., 1958, President Mirza abrogated the constitution and granted power to the army under Gen. Muhammad Ayub
Khan. Ayub subsequently assumed presidential powers (in 1960 he was elected to a five-year term), abolishing the office of
prime minister and ruling by decree. Under the dictatorship, a vigorous land reform and economic development program
was begun, and a new constitution, which provided for a federal Islamic republic with two provinces (East and West
Pakistan) and two official languages (Bengali and Urdu), went into effect in 1962. The new city of Islamabad, N of Rawalpindi
(which had been interim capital since 1959), became the national capital, and Dhaka, in East Pakistan, became the
In 1965, Ayub was reelected and a national assembly of 156 members—with East and West Pakistan each allocated 75
seats, and six seats reserved for women, who had previously been denied the vote under Islamic strictures—was elected. A
treaty with India governing the use of the waters of the Indus basin was signed (1961). Communal strife was constantly
present in the subcontinent—in Jan., 1961, several thousand Muslims were massacred in Madhya Pradesh state in India,
and there were reprisals in Pakistan; in 1962 there was further communal conflict in Bengal. Diplomatic relations between
Pakistan and Afghanistan were severed (1961–63) after some border clashes and continued Afghan agitation, supported by
the USSR, for an independent Pushtunistan.
A series of conferences on Kashmir was held (Dec., 1962–Feb., 1963) between India and Pakistan following the Chinese
assault (Oct., 1962) on India; both nations offered important concessions and solution of the long-standing dispute seemed
imminent. However, Pakistan then signed a bilateral border agreement with China that involved the boundaries of the
disputed state, and relations with India again became strained. Pakistan's continuing conflict with India over Kashmir
erupted in fighting (Apr.–June, 1965) in the Rann of Kachchh region of NW India and SE West Pakistan and in an outbreak of
warfare (August–September) in Kashmir. Some improvement in relations between the two countries came in 1966, when
President Ayub Khan and Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri of India reached an accord in the Declaration of Tashkent at a
meeting sponsored by the USSR. Despite the accord, however, the basic dispute over Kashmir remained unsettled.
In an effort to gain support in the conflict with India, Pakistan somewhat modified its pro-Western policy after 1963 by
establishing closer relations with Communist countries, especially with China, by taking a neutral position on some
international issues, and by joining the Regional Co-operation for Development Program of SW Asian nations. East
Pakistan's long-standing discontent with the federal government was expressed in 1966 by a movement for increased
autonomy, supported by a general strike. Following disastrous riots in late 1968 and early 1969, Ayub resigned and handed
the government over to Gen. Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, the head of the army, who then declared martial law. The first
direct universal voting since independence was held in Dec., 1970, to elect a National Assembly that would draft a new
constitution and restore federal parliamentary government.
Bangladesh and Bhutto
The Awami League, under Sheik Mujibur Rahman, in a campaign for full autonomy in East Pakistan, won an overwhelming
majority in the National Assembly by taking 153 of the 163 seats allotted to East Pakistan. The opening session of the
National Assembly, scheduled to meet in Dhaka in Mar., 1971, was twice postponed by Yahya Khan, who then canceled the
election results, banned the Awami League, and imprisoned Sheik Mujib in West Pakistan on charges of treason. East
Pakistan declared its independence as Bangladesh on Mar. 26, 1971, but was then placed under martial law and occupied
by the Pakistani army, which was composed entirely of troops from West Pakistan. In the ensuing civil war, some 10 million
refugees fled to India and hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed. India supported Bangladesh and on Dec. 3, 1971,
sent troops into East Pakistan. Following a two-week war between Pakistan and India, in which fighting also broke out along
the India-West Pakistan border, Pakistani troops in East Pakistan surrendered (Dec. 16) and a cease-fire was declared on
Following Pakistan's defeat, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the deputy prime minister and foreign minister, came to power in West
Pakistan. Sheik Mujib was released from prison and eventually allowed to return to Bangladesh. Relations with India
remained strained over the issue of the more than 90,000 Pakistani soldiers who had surrendered after the civil war and
become prisoners of war, over Pakistan's refusal to recognize Bangladesh, and over Bangladesh's declared intention to
bring to trial some Pakistani soldiers on war-crimes charges. A summit meeting held in Shimla, India, in July, 1972, resulted
in an easing of tensions and an agreement to settle differences between the two nations peacefully.
Demarcation of the truce line in Kashmir was finally completed in Dec., 1972. In Aug., 1973, India and Pakistan reached an
agreement on the release of Pakistani prisoners-of-war and the exchange of hostage populations in India, Pakistan, and
Bangladesh—especially of the Bengalis in Pakistan and the Biharis in Bangladesh. Bhutto recognized Bangladesh in Feb.,
1974, prior to the start of a world Islamic summit conference in Lahore. In the mid-1970s Bhutto's government faced
increasing regional tensions among Pakistan's various ethnic groups. After Bhutto's 1977 election victory was challenged by
the opposition, widespread riots ensued.
Failure to reach a reconciliation prompted the army chief of staff, Gen. Mohammed Zia ul-Haq, to depose Bhutto in a military
coup in July and declare martial law. Zia was declared president in September, and Bhutto, convicted of ordering the murder
of political opponents, was hanged in Apr., 1979. In the 1980s Pakistan was dominated by events occurring in neighboring
Afghanistan, where the Soviet invasion resulted in the flight of over 3 million people to Pakistan. Pakistan served as the
primary conduit for U.S. aid to the Afghan resistance, resulting in large amounts of U.S. aid to Pakistan as well. The
relationship prompted Zia to return the government to civilian hands, and in 1985 he announced the end of martial law, but
only after amending the constitution so as to greatly strengthen his power as president.
In 1986, Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his heir as head of the Pakistan People's party (PPP), returned to
the country. In May, 1988, Zia dismissed parliament, charging it with widespread corruption, and announced general
elections for November. In August, Zia died in a mysterious plane crash. The PPP won the November elections, and Bhutto
became prime minister. Despite a strong power base, Bhutto encountered numerous problems in office, including regional
ethnic clashes, the difficulties of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, and long-term tensions caused by Pakistan's poverty
and its uneasy relationship with India. In Aug., 1990, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed Bhutto and her cabinet,
accusing them of misconduct and abuse of power.
November elections brought to power a coalition government headed by Nawaz Sharif, whose administration instituted
economic reform policies of privatization and deregulation in an effort to stimulate growth. In 1991 the parliament passed
legislation incorporating Islamic law (sharia) into the legal code. When Sharif moved to reduce presidential power, he was
dismissed (1993) by President Ishaq Khan; the ensuing crisis was resolved with the resignations of both men. Bhutto's
party won the most seats in new elections later in 1993, and she once again became prime minister, heading a coalition
government; Farooq Leghari, a Bhutto ally, was elected president. In 1995 some three dozen military officers were arrested,
reportedly for plotting an Islamic revolution in Pakistan. In 1996 Bhutto was again dismissed on charges of corruption, by
President Leghari. In 1997, Leghari established a Council for Defense and National Security, which gave a key role in
political decision-making to the heads of the armed forces.
Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League won a huge majority in the 1997 elections and he once again became prime minister.
Sharif soon moved to enact legislation curbing the president's power to dismiss elected governments and to appoint armed
forces chiefs; the supreme court blocked these moves and reinstated a corruption inquiry against Sharif. In an apparent
victory for Sharif, President Leghari resigned in Dec., 1997, and the chief justice of the supreme court was dismissed.
Mohammad Rafiq Tarar became president in 1998. Following the detonation of underground nuclear devices by India in May,
1998, Pakistan carried out its own series of nuclear tests; the United States imposed economic sanctions against both
countries. In the summer of 1999, conflict with India over Kashmir erupted again, with Pakistani-backed troops withdrawing
from Indian-held territory after several weeks of fighting.
In Oct., 1999, a bloodless military coup led by Gen. Pervez Musharraf ousted Sharif, suspended the constitution, and
declared martial law. Sharif was charged with treason, and in Apr., 2000, he was convicted of hijacking an airliner (as a
result of issuing orders to deny permission to land to the plane that Musharraf had been on prior to the 1999 coup) and was
sentenced to life in prison. Sharif subsequently was also convicted on corruption charges, and later exiled (Dec., 2000) to
In June, 2001, Musharraf appointed himself president. A summit in July with Prime Minister Vajpayee of India proved
unfruitful and ended on a bitter note. Following the September terrorist attacks on the United States that were linked to
Osama bin Laden, the United States ended its sanctions on Pakistan and sought its help in securing bin Laden from the
Taliban government of Afghanistan, but Pakistan proved unable to influence the Taliban, who had received support from
Pakistan since the mid-1990s. Pakistan permitted U.S. planes to cross its airspace and U.S. forces to be based there during
the subsequent military action against Afghanistan. These moves provoked sometimes violent anti-U.S. demonstrations
erupted in Pakistani cities, particularly in border areas where many Afghan refugees and Pathans live. In response, the
government cracked down on the more militant Islamic fundamentalist groups.
After terror attacks by Pakistani-based guerrillas on Indian government buildings in late 2001, India threatened to go to war
with Pakistan unless all guerrilla attacks were ended. As Pakistan moved haltingly to suppress such groups the crisis
escalated, but in Jan., 2002, Musharraf attacked religious extremism and its affect on Pakistani society, and stated that no
group engaging in terrorism would be tolerated. A crackdown on such groups was complicated by strong popular Pakistani
support for guerrillas fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, but many Pakistanis also objected to the Islamic fundamentalism
espoused by many of the guerrillas and their supporters. In mid-2002 Pakistan's army established garrisons in a number of
tribal areas for the first time since independence.
Also in January, Musharraf announced plans for national and provincial legislative elections in Oct., 2002, while indicating
that he intended to remain in office. In April, he called for a referendum on extending his rule for five more years. Most
national political parties called for a boycott of the referendum, and turnout appeared low in many locations; Musharraf
claimed a 50% turnout, with a 98% yes vote. In August he imposed 29 constitutional amendments designed to make his rule
impervious to political opposition in parliament.
Meanwhile, tensions with India again reached the brink of war in May, as a result of escalating attacks by Muslim militants in
India. Concern that a conflict might evolve into nuclear warfare prompted international mediation, and the crisis eased after
Pakistan stopped state-sponsored guerrilla infilitration across the line of control in Kashmir. The fighting in Afghanistan,
violence and political turmoil in Pakistan, and tension with India hurt the Pakistani economy, particularly the export textile and
Parliamentary elections in Oct., 2002, resulted in a setback for Musharraf, as the Pakistan Muslim League–Quaid (PMLQ),
which supported him, placed second in terms of the seats it won. Bhutto's PPP placed first, and a generally anti-American
Islamic fundamentalist coalition was a strong third and also won control of the North-West Frontier prov., where the
legislature subsequently approved (June, 2003) the establishment of Islamic law. Zafarullah Khan Jamali, the PMLQ leader,
was narrowly elected Pakistan's prime minister. Tensions with India further eased in 2003, and midway through the year
diplomatic relations were restored.
In Dec., 2003, two attempts were made to assassinate Musharraf, but both failed. That same month he sealed an
agreement with the Islamic parties to pass a modified version of the constitutional amendments he had imposed in Aug.,
2002. He accepted some limitations on his powers, and he agreed to give up his post as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.
Other opposition parties denounced the deal.
Following revelations in the news media concerning the transfer of Pakistani nuclear technology to Iran, Libya, and North
Korea, Abdul Qadeer Khan in Feb., 2004, admitted that he overseen such transfers from the late 1980s until 2000. The
Pakistani government said that Khan, who had led its nuclear weapons program for a quarter century, had sold the
technology for personal gain, but missiles parts were transferred at the same time from North Korea to Pakistan, leading
international arms experts and others to believe that the government was at the very least aware of the transfers. Khan,
revered by many Pakistanis as the “father of the Islamic bomb,” was pardoned by President Musharraf.
In Mar., 2004, Pakistan's military began operations against foreign Islamic militants in South Waziristan, but local militants
who regarded the attacks as a breach of local autonomy joined in fighting against government forces. The fighting continued
into 2005, when operations were also begun in North Waziristan. Agreements with tribal leaders in both regions ended
military operations in Waziristan in late 2006. Fighting also occurred in Baluchistan, where local tribes demanding a greater
share in the provinces mineral wealth and an end of the stationing of military forces there mounted a series of attacks that
continued into 2006. Meanwhile, in Apr., 2004, a bill was passed creating a national security council, consisting of military
and civilian leaders, to advise the government on matters of national interest. Creation of the council gave the military an
institutionalized voice in national affairs.
Prime Minister Jamali resigned and the cabinet was dissolved in June, after Jamali lost the support of the president.
Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, a close political ally of Musharraf, became interim prime minister until Shaukat Aziz, the finance
minister in the outgoing cabinet and Musharraf's choice to succeed Jamali, was elected to the national assembly and took
office (Aug., 2004). In Oct., 2004, the governing coalition passed legislation permitting Musharraf to remain chairman of the
joint chiefs of staff, despite the president's earlier pledge to resign from the post, and at the end of the year Musharraf
announced he would not resign.
In Apr., 2005, Musharraf visited India, and the two nations agreed to increase cross-border transport links, including in
Kashmir, and to work to improve trade between them. Passage (July, 2005) by the North-West Frontier government of a law
calling for Islamic moral policing was challenged by the national government, and the supreme court declared the legislation
unconstitutional. A similar but somewhat weaker bill was passed in 2006 and again challenged. An earthquake in Oct.,
2005, caused widespread devastation in N Pakistan, particularly in Kashmir, killed more than 73,000 and injured nearly as
many, and left an estimated 3 million homeless. Many victims in remote areas were slow to receive aid when those areas
became practically inaccessible as a result of damage to roads combined with inadequate alternative transportation.
In 2006 relations with Afghanistan became increasingly strained as Afghan officials accused Pakistan of allowing the
Taliban and Al Qaeda to use bordering areas of Pakistan, particularly Baluchistan around Quetta, as safe havens and to
send forces and weapons across border into Afghanistan. After a series of bomb attacks (July, 2006) in Mumbai, India, that
India asserted were linked to Pakistani security forces, peace talks were suspended between the two nations, but they
resumed in late 2006 and an agreement designed to prevent an accidental nuclear war between India and Pakistan was
signed in Feb., 2007.
In Mar., 2007, Musharraf suspended Pakistan's chief justice for misuse of authority; the justice had conducted investigations
into human rights abuses by Pakistan's security forces and was regarded as independent of the government. While the chief
justice challenged the move in the courts, Pakistani lawyers and judges denounced the move as unconstitutional, and they
and opposition parties mounted demonstrations in support fo the chief justice, believing that the president was attempting to
remove him as a prelude to extending his presidency beyond the end of 2007. A planned rally in Karachi in support of the
chief justice led to two days of violence in May in which those who died were largely opposition activists; the violence
provoked additional opposition demonstrations and strikes. In July, the supreme court ruled that the chief justice's
suspension was illegal and that he should be reinstated. In June, 2007, there was devastating flooding in Baluchistan after
a cyclone struck the coast; some 2 million were affected by the floodwaters.
In July, Pakistani security forces stormed an Islamabad mosque that had become a focus for Islamic militants; more than 70
persons died. Militants responded with a series of bombings and other attacks in the following weeks, and fighting again
broke out in Waziristan. In September, bin Laden called for jihad against the Musharraf government, and the following month
the government sent troops against militants in the Swat valley in the North-West Frontier prov.
Meanwhile, with parliamentary elections due by Jan., 2008, former prime ministers Sharif and Bhutto made plans to return
from exile. Sharif, who returned in September, was immediately deported, but after negotiations with the government Bhutto
returned in October, surviving an attempted assassination the day of her return that killed more than 130 persons. Musharraf
was reelected president the same month, but the official declaration of the result was postponed until after the supreme
court ruled on whether he was permitted to run while remaining army chief. Before the court could issue its ruling, Musharraf
declared emergency rule, suspended the constitution, and dismissed the members of the court who seemed likely to rule