Government In 1999, in a military coup d'etat General Pervez Musharraf took power. He assumed the presidency
in 2001; he had his presidency confirmed by a 2002 referendum, had presidential powers extended (2002), held on
to the position of commander-in-chief of the armed forces despite his promise to relinquish the post (2004).
Foreign Policy In 2001-2002 tensions between India and Pakistan reached the boiling point, both countries
fighting a limited war on the Kashmir Line of Control. The British government urged British citizens to leave the country.
A ceasefire was declared in November 2003; afterward, relations with India gradually improved.
Following 9/11, Pakistan supported the U.S. (and allied) war with the aim to oust the Taliban in Afghanistan. In 1999,
following the coup d'etat, Pakistan's membership in the Commonwealth had been suspended; in 2004 the country
was readmitted. Pakistan did not join the Coalition of the Willing (against Iraq) in 2003.
The announcement that Dr.Abdul Qadeer Khan, the head of Pakistan's nuclear program, had sold nuclear know-how
to states like Iran, Libya and Afghanistan in 2004 caused international consternation; regarded a national hero, he
was pardoned shortly after.
The Economy In 2002 (after the limited wars in Kashmir in 1999 and 2001-2002) Pakistan's economy resumed
growth. The country, to a lesser extent than neighbour India, benefits from outsourcing. A massive earthquake struck
in the Pakistani part of Kashmir in October 2005, killing tens of thousands.
Domestic Policy Pakistan's political parties criticize the dictatorial character of Musharraf's administration.
With the mastermind of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, still at large and the tribal areas of Pakistan, along the border to
Afghanistan, being suspected potential hideouts, the Pakistani forces occasionally undertook campains into these
areas. In 2005-2006, resistance in Baluchistan became a major issue; in August 2006 Pakistani forces succeeded in killing
Baluchi tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.
The cities of Pakistan became the site of occasional acts of violence in a factional struggle between Shia and Sunni
Christophe Jaffrelot (ed.), A History of Pakistan and its Origins, translated from the French, London : Anthem Press (2002) 2004,
KMLA Lib. Call Sign 954.91 J23h |
Article : Pakistan, in : Britannica Book of the Year 2002 pp.474-475, 697 [G]
Article : Pakistan, in : The Statesman's Year-Book 2000 pp.1232-1241, 2001 pp.1203-1211, 2002 pp.1251-1259, 2003 pp.1251-1259,
2004 pp.1256-1265, 2005 pp.1266-1275, 2006 pp.1273-1282 [G]
Entry : Travel Warnings - Pakistan, pp.566-570 in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2000, Supplement [G]
Entry : Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Cabinet, pp.47-49; Background Notes, pp.1001-1010,
in : Countries of the World and their Leaders Yearbook, 2003 [G]
Entry : Pakistan, pp.798-801 in : IMF, International Financial Statistics Yearbook 2001 [G]