Pakistan: Significant Recent Events, March 26 - June 21, 2007
Pakistan: Significant Recent Events,
March 26 - June 21, 2007
July 6, 2007
Susan G. Chesser
Information Research Specialist
Knowledge Services Group
Pakistan: Significant Recent Events,
March 26 - June 21, 2007
Many see Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf as currently facing the
most serious challenges to his authority since he wrested control of Pakistan’s
government in a 1999 coup. Set off by the March 9, 2007 suspension of the chief
justice, Pakistan’s citizenry has grown vocal in its objections to Musharraf.
Subsequent restrictions on the media increased the outrage, and journalists have
joined thousands of lawyers and social activists in the streets to demonstrate against
the president and demand his resignation. Pro-government groups have countered,
resulting in factional fighting and bloodshed. In addition, long hours without
electricity and safe water, historically high temperatures, and natural disasters, have
much of Pakistan’s population of 165 million on edge.
On top of this, “Talibanization” has spread throughout the tribal areas and into
major cities. Militant mosques make demands on the government, while village
groups blow up shops that sell such agents of Westernization as music CDs and
movie videos. Many reporters and analysts believe the federal government has lost
its command of much of the country and speculate on a post-Musharraf government.
Conflicts with neighboring countries include cross-border fighting, infiltration
by militants, and territorial disputes. Gunfights with foreign militants and border
patrols plague Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. Spring thaws have heightened
tensions with India along the Line of Control.
For additional analysis, see CRS Report RL33498, Pakistan-U.S. Relations, by
K. Alan Kronstadt.
This report will be updated as warranted.
In troduction ......................................................1
Pakistan: Significant Recent Events,
March 26 - June 21, 2007
This report documents major events that occurred recently in the country of
Pakistan. It also reflects on Pakistan’s evolving relationships with the United States
and with neighboring countries. Sources include Pakistani news outlets, U.S.
government reports, and international resources.
Listed below, in chronological order, are significant events that took place in or
affected Pakistan or involved Pakistan’s relations with the United States or
neighboring countries, such as Afghanistan, India, Iran, or China. This report covers
events from March 26 through June 21, 2007.
For a list of the acronyms used in this report, please refer to the Appendix.
03/26/07 — Pakistani security forces in Baluchistan discovered and freed three
Iranian policemen who had been abducted on February 27. A fourth
policeman had been killed. On the same day, local government
officials, tribal elders, and pro-Taliban militants in Bajaur signed a
peace deal. Government officials promised not to make arrests
without conferring with tribal elders, while tribesmen and militants
pledged not to shelter foreign militants or allow “subversive”
activities.1 Also, the Supreme Court of Pakistan directed the attorney
general to submit information by April 10 on the whereabouts of
“hundreds of people” taken into official custody.2
Services Intelligence. Subsequently, 11 people were arrested for
involvement in the attack. On the same day, it was reported that the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had repatriated
1 “New Peace Deal Inked in Bajaur,” The Post (Pakistan), March 27, 2007.
2 “SC Sets Deadline on Missing Persons,” The Post (Pakistan), March 27, 2007.
political opposition members protested peacefully in Lahore and
Karachi to denounce the suspension of the chief justice.
03/28/07 — Authorities placed an indefinite curfew on the Tank district in the
North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) after at least five people were
killed and two were abducted within three days during clashes
between Pakistani troops and alleged Taliban militants. Shops and
businesses were closed.
03/29/07 — In an interview with The New York Times, Afghan President Hamid
Karzai stated that he received “almost daily” reports of suicide
bombers coming into Afghanistan from Pakistan. Karzai said he
believes the Pakistani government does not want his government to
succeed.3 On the same day, a suicide bomber blew himself up at an
army base near Kharian in Punjab province, killing one soldier and
injuring six or seven others.
03/30/07 — The State Bank of Pakistan projected a GDP growth rate of 6.6% to
This inflation rate is higher than the annual target but “substantially
lower relative to the preceding year.”4
03/31/07 — Fresh fighting in South Waziristan Agency killed an estimated 56 to
Reportedly, Mullah Dadullah arrived in the area to negotiate a peace
deal. Also, Commander of U.S. Central Command Admiral William
J. Fallon met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to discuss
the situation in Afghanistan.
04/01/07 — Pakistani security forces carried out operations against farari camps
(rebel bases) in Baluchistan arresting 45 insurgents, seizing land
mines, arms, and ammunition, and destroying hideouts. One security
official was killed.
04/02/07 — Two people died and nine were injured when two religious groups
exchanged gunfire in the Khyber tribal agency in the Federally
Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). On the same day, an all-tribes
jirga in the city of Tank pledged to support the government. Also, the
2007 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers
noted that Pakistan made progress in 2006 toward improving
copyright enforcement but still does not sufficiently protect all
3 Nicholas Kristof, “An Interview with Hamid Karzai,” New York Times, April 1, 2007.
4 Sarfaraz Ahmad, “SBP Asks Govt to Address Inflation,” Daily Times (Lahore), March 31,
intellectual property. This shortage of safeguards remains a serious
obstacle to trade and investment.5
congressional delegations led by Representative Silvestre Reyes,
Representative John Tierney, and Senator John McCain. Musharraf
reportedly told the delegations that “security along the Pak-Afghan
border is a joint responsibility of Pakistan, Afghan and coalition6
forces in Afghanistan.” Also, a tribal army of up to 3,000 volunteers
gathered to support a pro-government militant commander in South
Waziristan tribal agency in the FATA to drive out Uzbek and
Chechen militants and local sympathizers reportedly linked to al
Qaeda. Over the past month, up to 250 people, mostly foreigners,
died in the fighting.
claim the United States “has been secretly advising and encouraging
a ruthless militant group” from Baluchistan that declared
responsibility for the February attack in Iran that killed 11
Revolutionary Guards.7 On the same day, Pakistan’s Foreign Office
refuted the “tendentious ABC News Report ... and the absurd and
sinister insinuation that Pakistan was part of a ‘secret campaign’
against Iran.”8 Also, the Supreme Court indicted seven police
officers and district management officials for “grossly manhandling”
Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on March 13,
2007. The chief justice was suspended and charged with misconduct
and misuse of authority by Pakistani President Musharraf on March
04/05/07 — Dr. Gholam Ali Haddad Adil, speaker of the Iranian Majlis
(Parliament), reportedly said during his visit to Islamabad that he did
not think Pakistan was supporting any CIA-sponsored group to create
instability in Iran. On the same day, the U.S. Department of State’s
annual Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record
5 See [http://www.ustr.gov/assets/Document_Library/Reports_Publications/2007/2007_NTE
6 “Pak-Afghan Border Security Joint Responsibility, President Tells U.S. Lawmakers,” The
Baluchistan Times, April 3, 2007.
7 Diane Sawyer and Brian Ross, “Secret War in Iran; Is U.S. Supporting Rebels?” Good
Morning America, April 4, 2007.
8 “Foreign Office Takes Serious Note of the Tendentious ABC News Report,” Ministry of
Foreign Affairs Pakistan, April 5, 2007, available at
[http://www.mofa.gov.pk/Press_Rel eases/2007/April/PR_102_07.htm] .
9 “IGP, 6 Others Indicted for CJP Manhandling,” The Post, April 5, 2007.
functional democracy is critical to the strength of our long-term
04/06/07 — Maulana Mohammad Abdul Aziz, head cleric of Lal (Red) Mosque
in Islamabad, announced that he had established a religious court at
the mosque to “dispense Islamic justice.” He also claimed to have
thousands of volunteers willing to commit suicide attacks if the
government raided the mosque or did not close down brothels and11
video stores within a month. On the same day, it was reported that
20 Uzbek and Chechen militants and seven Lashkar tribesmen died
in a gunfight in South Waziristan. After the area was cleared of al
Qaeda militants, Pakistani army troops moved in, the first to return to
the area following troop withdrawal as a condition of the February
2005 peace agreement with local tribes. Also, Aftab Ahmed Khan
Sherpao, Pakistan’s interior minister, announced that his ministry had
located 10 of the people reported missing to the Supreme Court. All
10 had been detained by the governments of the United States or
04/07/07 — Meeting with a congressional delegation led by Representative Nita
Lowey, Pakistani President Musharraf reportedly stressed the need for
negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.
During the meeting, the United States and Pakistan signed a $1
million border management pact that will add 50 platoons to the
Frontier Corps to stop the movement of Taliban and al Qaeda
04/08/07 — The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reportedly
discussed in its annual general meeting the “dysfunctional
government” and other issues. The HRCP issued a statement that
said that current conditions indicate “a strong link between state
agents and militant groups that are operating in the country with
impunity,” and that the present system of governance would continue
until “unrepresentative organs of the state — the military, the mullah
and the all-consuming intelligence agencies — are brought under
control and prevented from undermining both the state and the
societies.”12 On the same day, fighting between Sunnis and Shias
broke out in Kurram tribal agency in the FATA. Reports vary, but at
the end of three days, up to 40 people had died and 200 to 300 were
injured. Authorities entered into negotiations with tribal elders, and
a curfew was imposed.
10 See [http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/80699.pdf].
11 “We Will Resort to Suicide Hits,” The Post (Pakistan), April 7, 2007.
12 “HRCP Says No Action in jamai Hafsa Case Shows Military-Jihadi Link,” Daily Times,
April 9, 2007.
04/09/07 — Four Pakistani soldiers were killed and two others injured when their
truck struck a land mine in Baluchistan. A spokesman for the
Baluchistan Liberation Army reportedly claimed the separatist group
had used a remote-controlled bomb. On the same day, it was reported
that militant groups in the NWFP had kidnaped teenaged boys and
trained them in “hatred-based education.” Some boys returned home
while others participated in extremist attacks in Afghanistan and
Kashmir.13 Also, India’s Border Security Force killed six people
trying to cross the Line of Control (LOC) from Pakistan into India.
Mosque for “inciting hate.”14 Also, the Lal (Red) Mosque religious
court issued a fatwa against Pakistan’s tourism minister, Nilofer
Bakhtiar, for un-Islamic behavior after local newspapers printed a
photo of a Frenchman giving her a hug. Bakhtiar said it was a
“congratulatory pat” following a successful parachute jump.15
Finally, in a meeting with Pakistani Interior Minister Sherpao, Deputy
Assistant Secretary of State John Gastright reportedly said that the
prudent policies and “enlightened moderation” of President
Musharraf had set Pakistan “on the road to progress.”16
04/11/07 — Major-General Gul Muhammad, commander of Pakistani army forces
in South Waziristan, reportedly said the military blocked all main
routes so that Taliban insurgents could not cross into Afghanistan.
He also claimed Pakistani tribesmen cleared foreign militants linked
to al Qaeda from strongholds in the area. On the same day, Pakistani
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, speaking at Pakistan’s National
Defence University, referred to legislation pending in the U.S.
Congress and reportedly said that “given the sacrifices that Pakistan
has made in the war on terror, any legislation critical of Pakistan
would involve a negative public reaction and prove to be17
04/12/07 — Four members of an Iranian criminal gang and a Pakistani border
security official were killed during a raid on a hideout along the
border of Pakistan and Iran. On the same day, Pakistani President
Musharraf reportedly announced that tribal fighters in South
Waziristan had killed up to 300 foreign militants in a month of
fighting. He also said the tribal army had asked for, and received
13 Ashfaq Yusufzai, “Pakistan: Parents Say Islamist Militants are Stealing Sons,” Inter Press
Service, April 9, 2007.
14 “Pakistan Blocks Web Site of Radical Mosque for Spreading ‘Hate Material,’” Associated
Press Newswires, April 10, 2007.
15 Salman Masood, “Photos of a ‘Pat’ Yield a Decree Against a Pakistani Minister,” The
New York Times, April 10, 2007.
16 “Musharraf Behind Pakistan Progress, Says Gastright,” The Post, April 11, 2007.
17 “U.S. Criticism to Backfire: PM,” Daily Times, April 12, 2007.
support from, the Pakistani army. Major-General Gul Muhammad
said the initiative “was an indigenous movement.”18 Also, a jirga of
20 Sunni and Shia clerics in Kurram tribal agency announced a
ceasefire after 55 people died in a week-long battle.
04/13/07 — A Frontier Corps trooper and a Pakistani army soldier died while
clearing land mines for a road project in Baluchistan. On the same
day, it was reported that any advantages achieved through a record
inflow of $13.5 billion in foreign direct investment, remittances from
expatriates, and loans would be wiped out by the trade deficit. Also,
thousands of protesters in Islamabad supporting Chief Justice
Chaudhry burned an effigy of Pakistani President Musharraf and19
shouted, “Go Musharraf go” and “Stop attacking the judiciary.”
04/14/07 — Speaking at a military academy, Pakistani President Musharraf
reportedly said, “Pakistan is passing through a difficult stage and a
difficult phase. Externally, there is an existence of regional turmoil
which has very direct and indirect fallout on the country ... Internally
we face the menace of religious extremism, fundamentalism and
sectarianism.” He told graduating cadets that extremism demanded
“a prudent approach.”20 On the same day, it was reported that the
Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission had discovered up to 1,000
sites from which uranium could be mined for proposed nuclear power
04/15/07 — Up to 100,000 people rallied in Karachi against the extremist Lal
(Red) Mosque, which has unleashed a Taliban-style anti-vice crusade
in Islamabad. The rally was organized by the pro-government
Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) political party. On the same
day, Pakistani President Musharraf reportedly said the Pakistani
military would not work with the United States in “any joint military
operation ... against al Qaeda and Taliban militants on the Pakistani
side” of the Pak-Afghan border.”21
04/16/07 — Susan Schwab, the U.S. Trade Representative, met with Pakistan’s
commerce minister, Humayun Akhtar Khan. It was reported that
18 “‘No Taliban Infiltrating into Afghanistan from S. Waziristan,’” Daily Times, April 12,
19 Munir Ahmad, “Thousands of Protesters Support Chief Justice Suspended by Pakistani
President,” Associated Press Newswires, April 13, 2007.
20 “Pakistan Passing Through a ‘Difficult’ Phase, Says Musharraf,” The Press Trust of India
Limited, April 14, 2007.
21 “Musharraf Rules Out Joint US-Pak Operations Against Militants,” Asian News
International, April 15, 2007.
American concerns for labor and sanitary standards and intellectual
property piracy halted negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty.22
04/17/07 — During a visit to Beijing, Pakistani Prime Minister Aziz and Chinese
Premier Wen Jiabao reportedly signed up to 27 agreements in
technology, banking, education, defense, infrastructure, and
investment. On the same day, an editorial in the Business Recorder
stated that the UK government “provides a much larger volume of
economic assistance to Pakistan” than the U.S. government does,
giving aid for education, health, and social development programs
with “very little noise from the British Parliament or think tanks or
even the influential media” that Pakistan is not doing enough in the
war on terror. The editorial further said that while the government
and population of Pakistan appreciate the assistance received from the
United States, “the pundits in the U.S. who believe that they can use
the leverage of U.S. official aid to paralyse Pakistan’s economy are
sadly mistaken as they have an exaggerated sense of the importance
of these official flows.” 23
04/18/07 — The president of the Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry
noted that Pakistan’s economy doubled in the past five years to $135
billion, and that foreign direct investment increased from less than $1
billion three years ago to more than $3.5 billion in the 2005-06 fiscal
year. On the same day, Admiral William Fallon, Commander, U.S.
Central Command, testified before the House Armed Services
Committee that if Osama bin Laden was hiding in the FATA, Fallon
could not send soldiers across the border or conduct activities without
coming to an agreement specific to the operation with the Pakistani
government. Also, Chief Justice Chaudhry filed petitions in the
Supreme Court challenging the suspension that Musharraf filed
against him and the composition of the five-judge Supreme Judicial
Council that will hear the charges.
04/19/07 — Thousands of protesters in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, and Peshawar
rallied against extremism and denounced the actions of students of
madrassas and seminaries affiliated with Lal (Red) Mosque. Asma
Jehangir, chairwoman of the HRCP, reportedly said there was a
“mullah-military alliance” to exploit Pakistanis in the name of
Islam.24 On the same day, Afghan officials claimed Pakistani troops
fired on Afghan soldiers who were pulling down a disputed fence on
the border. Pakistani officials claim the Afghan patrol opened fire
without provocation. There were no casualties in the exchange.
22 Arif Rana, “No Ice Breaks on BIT with US,” Business Recorder, April 16, 2007.
23 Ishrat Husain, “Is US Assistance Really So Critical for Pakistan?” Business Recorder,
April 17, 2007.
24 “Civil Society Rallies Against Extremism,” Daily Times, April 20, 2007.
04/20/07 — Mullah Nazir, leader of the tribal militia that killed dozens of al
Qaeda-linked foreign militants in South Waziristan, reportedly said
he would provide refuge to Osama bin Laden because tribesmen
“support oppressed people.”25
04/21/07 — AP Television News in Peshawar obtained a video, copies of which
were being sold in village bazaars, of a 12-year-old boy beheading a
Pakistani man accused of being an American spy and betraying a
Taliban official who was killed in December in Afghanistan.
04/22/07 — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declined Pakistani President
Musharraf’s offer to mediate an agreement between Israel and
Palestine. Olmert reportedly said he preferred to maintain direct
contact with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. On
the same day, three video and music shops were bombed in the
NWFP where extremists consider those businesses un-Islamic.
04/23/07 — Six people, including four boys aged 14 and 15, were killed by police
and security forces in the FATA when students of a school run by the
extremist group Lashkar-i-Islami attacked the home of a rival chief.
On the same day, it was reported Pakistan’s Federal Investigation
Agency and Interpol had recovered 43 children who had been
smuggled to Middle Eastern countries since January to be used as
camel jockeys. The agency arrested 26 human traffickers and agents.
Also, the Daily Times reported that ongoing strikes by lawyers
protesting the suspension of Chief Justice Chaudhry have created a
backlog of cases filed with various courts. At least 23 judicial
officers around the country, including judges and a deputy attorney
general, resigned in protest of the judiciary’s loss of autonomy.26
04/25/07 — Unidentified gunmen shot dead two members of a prominent Shia
family and their Sunni employee in a targeted sectarian attack in the
NWFP. On the same day, Pakistani Prime Minister Aziz reportedly
stated that Pakistan could not sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty or the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty because it neighbors another nuclear
state. Also, addressing the London School of Economics, former
Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto reportedly said that her
administration’s support of the Taliban had been a mistake.
04/26/07 — The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) concluded a seven-day
mission to Pakistan to examine developments following the March 9
suspension of and accusations of misconduct against Chief Justice
Chaudhry. In a preliminary report, the ICJ stated that “it would
appear that the Executive reacted increasingly to the judicial activism
25 Alamgir Bitani, “Pakistani Taliban Militant Offers Refuge for bin Laden,” Reuters News,
April 20, 2007.
26 Rana Tanveer, “Lawyers’ Strike Building Up Backlog of Cases,” Daily Times, April 23,
of the Chief Justice” in cases in which the chief justice “seemed to
have irked agencies of the Executive.” In conclusion, the ICJ mission
stated that “irreversible damage to constitutional order in Pakistan”
could be caused if the government did not “restore a fundamental
democratic principle that is pivotal for the rule of law in Pakistan —
the independence of the judiciary.”27 On the same day, one civilian
in Afghanistan was killed during an attack from Pakistan in which 20
rockets were fired.
04/27/07 — Four people died and three others were wounded when a house and
two religious schools exploded in North Waziristan tribal agency near
the Afghan border. A military official said the victims had
accidentally set off the explosion while making bombs, while local
officials claimed missiles were fired either from Afghan territory or
from an unmanned U.S. drone. On the same day, the Pentagon
announced that it had taken custody of Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi, a top al
Qaeda commander and the leader in a 2003 assassination attempt on
Pakistani President Musharraf. Also, Mark Ward, the senior deputy
assistant administrator for the Asia and Near East Bureau of the
United States Agency for International Development (USAID),
announced that the agency was pledging $1.5 billion in a five-year
development program for the FATA.
04/28/07 — Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Pakistan’s interior minister, was the
apparent target of a suicide bomber at a public rally in the NWFP. At
least 26 people died and 50 were wounded, including Sherpao and his
son, also a member of Parliament. It was later reported that the
Afghan suicide bomber was linked to an Indian group trying to
destabilize Pakistan’s society. On the same day, transport
associations claimed that 10,000 trucks stopped transporting goods,
including supplies for U.S. and NATO troops, into Afghanistan until
Afghan authorities removed illegal check points where local
commanders collect fees. Truckers also wanted a guarantee of safe
passage into Afghanistan.
04/30/07 — The U.S. Department of State’s Country Reports on Terrorism
estimated that up to 900 Pakistanis died in “more than 650 terror
attacks in 2006, with another 1,500 people seriously injured.” It was
noted that attacks came from both international groups, such as al
Qaeda, and from “militant sub-nationalists.” The report highlighted
the cooperative efforts of Pakistani, British, and American law
enforcement agencies that uncovered the London-Heathrow bomb
plot and resulted in arrests of the conspirators.28 On the same day, a
meeting of Pakistani President Musharraf and Afghan President
27 International Commission of Jurists, ICJ Concludes Mission to Assess Developments
Related to Reference Against Chief Justice Chaudhry, April 26, 2007, available at
[ h t t p : / / www.i c j .or g/ news.php3?i d_ar t i c l e =4154&l a ng=en] .
28 See [http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2006/].
Karzai, hosted by Turkish President Ahmed Necdet Sezer, concluded
with the Ankara Statement by which Musharraf and Karzai agreed “to
deny sanctuary, training and financing to terrorists and to elements
involved in subversive and anti-state activities in each other’s
country” and to share intelligence.29 Also, the International Container
Security facility opened at Port Qasim in Karachi to screen cargo
containers headed to the United States. The $8 million cost was
shared by the U.S. and Pakistani governments.
Trade Representative has kept Pakistan on the Intellectual Property
Rights Watch List and will conduct an Out-of-Cycle Review due to
the continued marketing of patent-infringing pharmaceutical30
products. On the same day, Human Rights Watch reportedly said
that Pakistani President Musharraf’s scheme to be reelected by the31
sitting Parliament before holding a general election was a “sham.”
05/02/07 — According to the Annual Report of the United States Commission on
International Religious Freedom, the political alliance between
Pakistani President Musharraf’s government and “militant religious
parties” has strengthened the militants and given them “influence in
the country’s affairs disproportionate to their support among the
Pakistani people,” leaving the government ineffectual in responding
to chronic “sectarian and religiously motivated violence” against
minorities. The commission recommended that the State Department32
designate Pakistan as a “country of particular concern.” On the
same day, the Capital Development Authority in Islamabad allocated
property for six of the seven mosques that were razed in January
2007. The mosques were demolished because they had been built
illegally and were considered security risks. The demolitions led to
much of the conflict between Lal (Red) Mosque and the government.
05/03/07 — The Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority (PNRA) ran quarter-page
ads in Urdu- language newspapers asking readers to advise authorities
of any found nuclear material that had been misplaced from medical
or industrial research facilities. A PNRA spokesperson reportedly
said no particular incident initiated the ad campaign. The government
of Pakistan and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees
29 “Musharraf, Karzai in Ankara to Discuss Afghan Insurgency,” Daily Times, April 30,
30 See USTR, 2007 Special 301 Report at [http://www.ustr.gov/assets/Document_Library/
R e p o r t s _ P u b lications/2007/2007_Sp ecial_301_Review/asset_upload_file230_11122.pdf]].
31 “Musharraf Re-Election Plan ‘a Sham’: Rights Group,” Reuters News, May 1, 2007.
32 See Annual Report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom,
(UNHCR) published a report of findings following the 15-week drive
to register Afghan refugees living in Pakistan. Registration findings
indicated that up to 74% of the registered refugees are under age 28
and may have never lived in Afghanistan.33
05/04/07 — Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered the government to submit
affidavits detailing the apprehension, detention, and release of, or
efforts in locating 56 missing persons allegedly picked up by
intelligence agencies. On the same day, explosions in tribal areas
destroyed or damaged 20 music shops after business hours.
Shopkeepers had received letters warning them against keeping their
businesses open and selling items considered un-Islamic. Finally,
masked gunmen in North Waziristan killed a government driver
while militants wounded eight Pakistani soldiers, three seriously, in
a grenade attack on a military convoy.
05/05/07 — Tens of thousands of supporters lined the roads and cheered Chief
Justice Chaudhry as he traveled by motor convoy from Islamabad to
Lahore. The throngs slowed the usual four-hour journey to 21 hours.
On the same day, three private television channels lost their
transmission to parts of Sindh province. The Pakistan Electronic
Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) denied involvement, but cable
operators reportedly claimed to have been ordered to stop
transmitting coverage of the rally for the chief justice. Also, residents
of Karachi, angered by frequent and unannounced power blackouts,
attacked three offices of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation
(KESC), where they damaged the offices and roughed up staff.
Almost all parts of Karachi experienced outages, but the sections that
were worst-hit had power shut down for over six hours. A KESC
spokesperson explained that the corporation had to interrupt power
to cover a supply shortage.
05/06/07 — A crowd of 20,000 in Lahore listened to Chief Justice Chaudhry
speak. He reportedly told them, “The concept of an autocratic
system of government is over ... Those countries and nations who34
don’t learn from the past vanish.” On the same day, Syed Qamar
Abbas, former NWFP provincial minister and head of the opposition
Pakistan People’s Party, was gunned down by unknown assailants on
motorcycle. A relative was killed with him.
defying the directive of the Water and Power Development Authority
(WAPDA) to close by 8:00 p.m. to conserve energy and reduce the
periods of power outages.
33 “Registration Report Offers Insight into Afghans in Pakistan,” UNHCR News Stories,
May 23, 2007. Available online at [http://www.unhcr.org/news/NEWS/4639c94b4.html].
34 Salman Masood, “Throngs Attend Speech by Pakistan’s Suspended Judge,” The New York
Times, May 7, 2007.
05/08/07 — Armed men attacked a construction company in Baluchistan. One
worker was killed, one was wounded, and three were kidnapped.
Employees refused to continue working until security was improved.
05/09/07 — The government of Pakistan contributed $5 million to UNHCR
towards the Repatriation Program for Afghan Refugees. On the same
day, the United Nations and other aid agencies suspended all work in
the area of Pakistani Kashmir devastated by the October 2005
earthquake after a house occupied by two aid workers was torched by
suspected Islamists. Clerics and an organization called the Joint
Action Committee had warned the organizations against hiring
05/10/07 — Police arrested 12 suspects accused of plotting a terrorist attack in
Karachi at a rally for the chief justice scheduled for May 12, 2007.
As a result, the Pakistani interior minister asked the chief justice to
postpone travel to Karachi, but the latter refused. On the same day,
former Pakistani Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Jamali appeared
before the National Assembly and asked that a May 12 rally in
Karachi planned by the pro-government MQM party as a show of
support for Pakistani President Musharraf be postponed so opposing
groups would not clash.
05/11/07 — Up to 500 political workers from various opposition parties were
arrested in Karachi, and 15,000 police were reportedly deployed in
preparation for a visit and speech by the chief justice and counter-
rally planned by the pro-government MQM party. The General
Secretary of opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-
N) demanded that the MQM party postpone its rally “if they really
want to see Karachi as a peaceful city.”35
05/12/07 — The chief justice arrived at the airport in Karachi but was unable to
leave to deliver his speech at the Sindh High Court due to roadblocks
and reports of gunfights. After several hours, he and his attorneys
returned to Islamabad. Men armed with shotguns and assault rifles
fired on the judge’s supporters and television stations and torched
dozens of vehicles. Bystanders claimed to have witnessed MQM
political party activists gun down workers of opposition parties. At
least 42 people died and over 100 were injured. People claimed that
police did nothing to protect rally participants, and it was reported
that the Sindh home department had directed police stations to equip
officers only with batons. One officer was quoted as saying, “It was36
as if we were just put here to watch.” On the same day,
approximately 30,000 to 50,000 people joined a pro-government rally
in Islamabad. Local organizers had hoped to attract more than
35 “Arrests, Blockades Ahead of CJP’s Karachi Visit,” Daily Times, May 12, 2007.
36 “Shahra-e-Faisal Turned into Killing Field,” Daily Times, May 13, 2007.
violence in Karachi, Pakistani President Musharraf reportedly said the
government had not wanted to hold a public rally but only did so
because opposition parties were “exploiting the issue” of the
suspended chief justice.37
and troops were reportedly advised to shoot anyone involved in
fighting. Opposition parties, lawyers’ groups, and human rights
organizations condemned the federal government, the Sindh
provincial government, and the pro-government MQM political party
for causing the violence in Karachi. Opposition party activists
attacked MQM workers and burned and destroyed their offices in
several towns in Sindh and the NWFP. An HRCP spokesperson
reportedly stated, “Only a callous, irresponsible and unrepresentative
government could have celebrated in Islamabad while Karachi
burnt.”38 On the same day, Mullah Dadullah, the Taliban’s top
operational commander, was killed in a U.S.-led operation in
Helmand province of Afghanistan. Also, Afghan National Army
soldiers and Pakistan’s Frontier Corps exchanged gunfire at border
posts in NWFP. Six Afghan troops died.
05/14/07 — Border fighting between Afghan and Pakistani forces continued into
the morning. Artillery hit a school, bazaar, and clinic and killed
seven children. Following a meeting to call an end to the border
skirmishes, gunmen fired upon a NATO convoy, killing U.S. Army
Major Larry J. Bauguess, Jr. and a Pakistani soldier and injuring
several others. A Pakistani general said unidentified “miscreants”
dressed as Pakistani soldiers did the shooting.39 On the same day,
four masked gunmen broke into the Islamabad home of Syed Hamad
Raza, a deputy registrar of the Supreme Court, and shot and killed
him. The Daily Times reported that Raza was a “prime defence
witness” in the case to suspend Chief Justice Chaudhry.40 Also, a
general strike called by opposition parties shut down Karachi and
other major cities in protest of the May 12 violence. Up to 10,000
lawyers in Lahore boycotted court proceedings and marched in the
streets shouting “Go Musharraf go,” then held a funeral in absentia
for the Karachi “martyrs.”41
05/15/07 — A suicide bomber detonated a bomb in a hotel restaurant at midday
in Peshawar, killing at least 24 people and wounding another 25.
Authorities said it was too early to determine if the bombing was
37 “People Are With Me,” Daily Times, May 13, 2007.
38 “HRCP Cals for Disarming MQM,” Dawn, May 14, 2007.
39 “U.S. Soldier Shot to Death in Pakistan,” The New York Times, May 14, 2007. “Gunfight
Breaks Out at Pakistan-Afghan Border Meeting,” Reuters News, May 14, 2007.
40 “SC Additional Registrat Target-Killed,” Daily Times, May 15, 2007.
41 “10,000 Lawyers March on The Mall,” Daily Times, May 15, 2007.
done in retaliation for the killing of Mullah Dadullah. On the same
day, retired U.S. General John Abizaid, speaking at the Australian
Defence College, reportedly said that “a meltdown in the security
apparatus” in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia “could have implications for
us that make the current situation [in Iraq and Afghanistan] look
easy.”42 Also, pro-Taliban militants firing mortars and machine guns
killed five civilians in Tank in the NWFP. Injured were 12 civilians
and six police.
05/16/07 — Up to six Afghans and Pakistanis died in a clash with police who
were sent to demolish Afghan homes in a Baluchistan refugee camp
slated to be shut down by August 2007. On the same day, thousands
of Afghans protesting border skirmishes gathered outside the
Pakistani embassy in Kabul shouting, “Death to Pakistan, death to
05/17/07 — The U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense
Authorization Act for FY2008 (H.R. 1585). Section 1206 concerns
Pakistan’s security forces, while Section 1232 deals with the stability
of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region. On the same day, the
Afghan army traded mortar and small arms fire with Pakistan’s
Frontier Corps at the border between Pakistan’s FATA and
Afghanistan’s Paktia province. Four Afghan troops were killed.
Also, Pakistani President Musharraf reportedly stated in a television
interview that former Prime Ministers Mian Nawaz Sharif and
Benazir Bhutto would not be allowed to return to Pakistan prior to the
next general election, although their return might be reconsidered
after the election. Any reported cooperative deal between Bhutto and
Musharraf that would have allowed her lawful return appeared “to be
05/18/07 — Students of the Lal (Red) Mosque madrassa seized four policemen
with their vehicle and arms. Top cleric Abdul Aziz Ghazi blamed the
government for “encouraging licentious western lifestyle” and “urged
masses to rise up against all evil forces of the country.”44 The
government exchanged several students who had been detained
earlier for two of the police officers. On the same day, Saud Memon
died in a Karachi hospital. He had been included on Pakistan’s “most
wanted” list as a key financier of an outlawed group associated with
al Qaeda and had owned the property where Wall Street Journal
reporter Daniel Pearl’s body was found in 2002. Authorities reported
that he died of tuberculosis and meningitis, while his family claimed
he had been poisoned. His family said Memon had been detained in
42 David McLennan, “Fears Over Pakistan, Saudi ‘Meltdown,’” Canberra Times, May 16,
43 “BB-Musharraf Deal Dead?” Daily Times, May 18, 2007.
44 “Lal Masjid Students Seize Four Policemen,” The Post, May 19, 2007.
March 2003 and sent to Guantanamo, then was later released to
Pakistani authorities. Also, 31 people died and at least 60 more were
injured in windstorms, floods, and other rain-related incidents in
regions of the NWFP. Finally, the editor-in-chief of the South Asian
News Agency was dragged from his vehicle in Islamabad, beaten,
asked if the chief justice was his father, and warned “to give up the
coverage of anti-government activities.” He was left severely injured
and was hospitalized.45
05/19/07 — A total of 13 people died and 25 more were injured during armed
clashes between rival militant groups in several villages in the FATA.
On the same day, the Karachi City Courts police station registered a
case against the Sindh government, MQM political party activists,
and high police officials “for opening fire on lawyers, besieging the
bar building, attempted kidnap and injuring the Karachi Bar
Association members” on May 12 at the rally for the suspended chief46
05/20/07 — The Los Angeles Times reported that a 2006 initiative increased CIA
operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan by adding 50 “clandestine
operatives” with the objective of locating Osama bin Laden and
Ayman al Zawahri. Although the increase in personnel did not meet
the primary objective, intelligence officials reported that “al Qaeda’s
command base in Pakistan is increasingly being funded by cash
coming out of Iraq, where the terrorist network’s operatives are
raising substantial sums from donations to the anti-American
insurgency....” CIA officials reportedly said their efforts to locate bin
Laden were hampered by the September 2006 “peace agreements”
that the Pakistani government brokered with leaders in North
Waziristan tribal agency and the subsequent withdrawal of Pakistani
troops from the border region.47
05/21/07 — The 43rd victim of the May 12 violence in Karachi died from gunshot
wounds. On the same day, 10 tankers carrying oil for U.S.-led
coalition forces in Afghanistan were destroyed or damaged when two
remote-controlled missiles hit them while standing in a parking lot
near the border at Torkhum in NWFP.
05/22/07 — Pakistani security forces and helicopter gunships attacked a suspected
al Qaeda training camp in North Waziristan, killing four foreign
militants. On the same day, the World Bank approved a $350 million
credit to support the government’s medium-term reform program.
The Second Poverty Reduction Support Credit will finance reforms
45 Kaswar Klasra, “Journalist Beaten Up for ‘Supporting CJP,’” The Post, May 19, 2007.
46 “MQM Activists, Police Booked,” The Post, May 20, 2007.
47 Greg Miller, “Bin Laden Hunt Finds al Qaeda Influx in Pakistan,” Los Angeles Times,
May 20, 2007.
“to maintain macro-economic stability, improve management and
effectiveness of public expenditures, and assist power sector
reforms.”48 Also, President Bush nominated Anne Patterson, current
Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law
Enforcement Affairs, to be the new U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan.
05/23/07 — It was reported that U.N. officials were investigating allegations from
2005 that Pakistani peacekeepers trafficked gold and weapons with
Congolese militia members rather than disarm them.
05/24/07 — The European Parliament voted 522-9 to adopt a report on Kashmir
prepared by Baroness Emma Nicholson in November 2006. The
report discusses the impact of the October 2005 earthquake in Azad
Kashmir and the response of the Pakistani government, the dialogue
between India and Pakistan regarding the LOC, and confidence
building measures implemented by both countries.49 The Pakistan
Foreign Office said the “numerous factual inaccuracies, distortions
and extraneous elements” detract from the “objectivity and
credibility” of the report.50 On the same day, Nilofer Bakhtiar,
Pakistan’s tourism minister, resigned her position following
condemnation and a threatened fatwa about a newspaper photo
showing her being touched by a Frenchman. She later withdrew her
resignation after government leaders reassured her of their support.
(See entry for 4/10) Also, the Lal (Red) Mosque released the last two
police officers held hostage after the government stopped all contact
with mosque administrators.
05/25/07 — The Pakistani government reported to the Supreme Court that 98 of
the reported missing persons have been traced, and most have been
released to their homes. On the same day, 11 of the 14 tribal elders
who make up the peace and coordination committee in North
Waziristan resigned in protest of the air and ground offensive of the
Pakistani forces that killed four foreign militants. Also, a recent
survey by Gallup Pakistan indicated that 78% of Pakistan’s urban
residents experience a power shutdown almost every day.51 Finally,
President Bush signed the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care,
Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007
48 “World Bank Supports Pakistan’s Reform Programme,” BBC Monitoring South Asia,
May 23, 2007.
49 See Draft Report on Kashmir: Present Situation and Future Prospects, European
Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2005/2242(INI) at
[ ht t p: / / www.eur opar l .eur opa.eu/ me et docs/ 2004_2009/documents/pr/640/640763/640763
50 Qudssia Akhlaque, “EU’s Role as Kashmir Peace Broker Questioned,” Dawn, May 26,
51 “78% Urban Citizens Say They Face Power Shut Down in Everday,” The Baluchistan
Times, May 25, 2007.
(H.R. 2206) into law (P.L. 110-28). The statute specifies levels of
funding to reimburse Pakistan for support provided to U.S. military
operations, to support Pakistan’s counter-drug activities, and to
finance the Economic Support Fund for Pakistan. Section 3809
identifies the conditions for financing the Economic Support Fund.
05/26/07 — Pakistani President Musharraf launched the government-funded
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan to handle “all aspects that
relate to the global marketing and promotion of goods and services
exported from Pakistan ... to achieve a ‘quantum leap’ in exports52
within 5 years.” On the same day, a bomb exploded near a military
convoy near Tank, killing at least two soldiers and wounding several
more. Also, Chief Justice Chaudhry reportedly told attendees of a
seminar on separation of powers, “Power corrupts and absolute power
corrupts absolutely.” According to news reports, Chaudhry did not
name Musharraf but made a “veiled criticism” when he said the
concentration of power in one man as both president and military
chief could be dangerous.53 Finally, an infantryman in the Indian
army was killed in Jammu and Kashmir during a gunfight between
troops and armed militants attempting to infiltrate India across the
LOC. After a 90-minute battle, the militants retreated into Pakistan-
occupied Kashmir. The Indian Defence Ministry reported militants
made 82 attempts to cross the LOC in April 2007 and succeeded 79
05/28/07 — Four suspected pro-Taliban militants and three Frontier Corps
personnel were killed and two policemen injured in three incidents in
Bannu and Tank districts in NWFP.
05/29/07 — One person died and six were injured when a car bomb exploded
outside the High Court in Peshawar in the NWFP. On the same day,
security forces, acting on a tip-off, raided a militant hideout in
Baluchistan and killed two nationalist rebels and two civilians. Also,
opposition senators submitted a motion to debate the behavior of
Pakistani Prime Minister Aziz as characterized in a new biography of
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The book alleges that Aziz
tried to “charm” Rice who only stared at him. The motion before the
Senate claimed that the material was “shameful for the entire nation”
and needed to be discussed.54
05/30/07 — Meeting by invitation with the foreign ministers of the G8 countries
in Germany, the foreign ministers of Afghanistan and Pakistan issued
a joint statement that they “renewed their governments’ commitment
52 “How Will TDAP Function?” Business Recorder, May 26, 2007.
53 Paul Alexander, “Pakistan’s Suspended Chief Justice Makes Veiled Criticism of Military
President on Live TV,” Associated Press Newswires, May 26, 2007.
54 “Senate Moved for Debate on Rice’s Biography,” Daily Times, May 30, 2007.
to strengthen cooperation and dialogue between their countries and
governments at all levels.”55 On the same day, speaking to army
officers at the Jehlum Garrison in Punjab province, Pakistani
President Musharraf reportedly said that some private television
channels had aired shows with “unbalanced reporting and
presentation,” thereby “creating pressure on judges.” Referring to the
issue of the suspension of the chief justice, Musharraf said the media
should not politicize “what was purely a judicial and legal matter.”
He reportedly said the government did not intend to curb the
“unprecedented freedom” the Pakistani media enjoy, but said the
media must report responsibly, avoid exaggeration, and must not
“demoralize” the nation.56 Also, the government banned all political
gatherings of more than five people in Islamabad for two months.
Finally, up to 100 suspected pro-Taliban militants armed with
rockets, hand grenades, and rifles attacked the home of a senior
government official near Tank. Some 13 people died and several
others, including children, were injured. An editorial in the Daily
Times claims this “Islamic execution” highlighted the “diminishing
hold of the government and state on its territory.” Rising tribal
militancy implies increasing approval in all parts of Pakistan for
Taliban-style governance as “key to replacing the present ‘America-
ensl aved’sys t em . ”57
05/31/07 — Muhammad Ali Durrani, the Pakistani Federal Minister for
Information and Broadcasting, reportedly said that the “government
would not allow negative propaganda against the armed forces,
judiciary, and other constitutional institutions.” He said the
government would strictly implement the rules of PEMRA.58
Television stations claimed they had received “verbal instructions”
not to show live coverage of political rallies.59 On the same day,
police arrested four Kashmiri men for the murder of Syad Hammad
Raza, who had worked as chief of staff to the chief justice. (See entry
06/01/07 — More than 10,000 pro-Taliban supporters gathered in a Baluchistan
village to hear an audiotape reported to be of Mullah Mansoor
Dadullah, who replaced his slain brother, Mullah Dadullah, as a
Taliban commander. On the tape, Mansoor Dadullah purportedly
55 “Afghanistan, Pakistan Pledge Cooperation,” The New York Times, May 30, 2007.
56 “Every Pakistani Must Respect Armed Forces: Musharraf,” Daily Times, May 31, 2007.
57 “Editorial: Descent into nihilism and anarchy,” Daily Times, June 2, 2007.
58 “Pakistan Information Minister Warns Media Not to Attack National Institutions,” BBC
Monitoring Media, June 1, 2007.
59 “Pakistan Bans Demonstrations in Capital, Military Warns Against Unrest Over Justice’s
Ouster,” Associated Press Newswires, June 1, 2007.
said that “we will never forget the blood of our martyrs and will
complete Dadullah’s mission of expelling the infidels and their
lackeys from our motherland.” According to the Daily Times,
“several current and former members of [P]arliament from hardline
Islamist political parties” also spoke before the crowd.60
06/02/07 — Suspended Chief Justice Chaudhry led a 75-mile, 11-hour convoy of
lawyers from Islamabad to Abbottabad in the NWFP to hold a rally
since gatherings have been banned in Islamabad. An estimated
50,000 to 100,000 people greeted the justice en route or heard him
speak at the rally. On the same day, PEMRA issued letters to
television stations asking them not to air programs that “encourage”
violence, promote an “anti-state attitude,” contain “aspersions against
the judiciary and the integrity of the armed forces,” or “malign or61
slander anyone in public life.” Also, members of the Cable
Operators Association of Pakistan announced that they would cease
broadcasting any channel that carried programs “against the ‘armed
forces, judiciary and the integrity of Pakistan.’”62 Finally, a roadside
bomb explosion in FATA killed five people, including a regional
government official, two policemen, and a tribal journalist.
06/03/07 — The New York Times reported that former Pakistani Prime Minister
Benazir Bhutto and Pakistani President Musharraf have been
“conducting discreet negotiations” for a deal to drop corruption
charges against Bhutto and allow her return from exile while keeping
Musharraf as president. Bhutto believes the election of 2007 may be
“Pakistan’s last chance to choose a moderate path.”63
06/04/07 — Indian troops killed four suspected Muslim militants trying to cross
the “de facto border” from Pakistan into Indian-held Kashmir. The
Indian army claimed this was the sixth time in 10 days that64
“infiltrators” tried to cross the LOC. Also, Pakistani President
Musharraf issued an emergency ordinance to give PEMRA the power
to revoke the broadcasting licenses or confiscate transmission
equipment of any independent television stations that defied its rules.
Fines for violators were increased tenfold. Finally, several
independent stations claimed their transmissions had been blocked or
interrupted and alleged that the government pressured cable
companies to interfere with broadcasts.
60 “Thousands Gather in Killi Nalai to Hear Taliban Speeches,” Daily Times, June 2, 2007.
61 “Pakistani Media Decry Government Limits,” The New York Times, June 3, 2007.
62 “Cable Operators to Move Against Channels Ridiculing Army,” Dawn, June 3, 2007.
63 Carlotta Gall, “Former Leader Talks of Return to Pakistan, and Maybe Power,” The New
York Times, June 4, 2007.
64 “Indian Army Alleges Rise in Infiltration from Pakistan,” Daily Times, June 5, 2007.
06/05/07 — Police in Sindh province claimed to have arrested two militants
linked to the 2002 murder of journalist Daniel Pearl. A civil rights
attorney, however, reportedly stated that the two men were arrested
in 2003 and had been secretly detained by the government since that
time. On the same day, authorities in Punjab province arrested
hundreds of opposition party activists in advance of a scheduled day
of protest against the government. Also, police filed a preliminary
complaint against 200 journalists for challenging a ban on rallies in
Islamabad. The journalists had gathered to protest the government’s
tightened restrictions on the media. The complaints were later
shouting “We want freedom” and “PEMRA ordinance unacceptable.”
Parliamentarians of opposition parties joined the protest, shouting
“Go, Musharraf, go.” The session was adjourned.65 On the same day,
the provincial government of Baluchistan announced that it had
reached an agreement with the government of Iran to run electricity
transmission lines to Quetta to electrify rural areas of the province.
Also, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2446 to
reauthorize the Afghanistan Freedom and Security Support Act of
Media groups were asked to nominate two journalists to report on the
Assembly. The ousted reporters remained outside the Parliament
building and protested. On the same day, Pakistani Prime Minister
Aziz announced that implementation of the amended PEMRA
ordinance would cease until a six-member committee reviewed the
06/08/07 — Pakistani Prime Minister Aziz accepted the resignation of Pakistani
Tourism Minister Nilofer Bakhatiar. (See entry for 5/24.)66 On the
same day, two towns in the Turbat district of Baluchistan flooded
following the heavy rains of tropical cyclone Gonu, and 15,000
people were evacuated for fear of a possible dam break. Also,
Karachi residents protesting an eight-hour long electrical outage
blocked traffic, burned tires, and threatened a general strike. Finally,
in an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal, former Pakistani Prime
Minister Benazir Bhutto claimed that Pakistani President Musharraf’s
65 Zulfiqar Ghuman and Naveed Siddiqui, “Journalists Stage Noisy NA Protests,” Daily
Times, June 7, 2007.
66 The loss of women politicians has become a noted problem in Pakistan. See Declan
Walsh, “Female Afghan and Pakistani Politicians Forced from Office: Outspoken Women
MPs Incur Conservative Wrath,” The Guardian, May 23, 2007.
government has “undermined secular forces,” fueled instability, and
become a tiger “clearly eating his own tail.”67
06/09/07 — Pakistan’s government announced a budget of 1.87 trillion rupees
(US$30.9 billion) for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2007. The budget
projected a deficit of 398 billion rupees and a growth target of 7.2%.
Up to 275 billion rupees were allocated for defense, an increase of 25
billion. The government proposed to spend 520 billion rupees on
public sector development to generate jobs. On the same day,
Pakistani President Musharraf withdrew the amended PEMRA
ordinance after broadcasters vowed to develop a new code of conduct
in three days. Also, a heat wave killed as many as 285 people around
the country in a few days. Temperatures in Lahore, at 118/F, were
the highest in 78 years. Finally, a bomb blast outside a hotel in the
town of Hub in Baluchistan killed three people and wounded nine.
06/10/07 — Pakistan agreed to join the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan
“declared that the global initiative does not cover Pakistan’s military
nuclear facilities or activities” but only civilian plants and actions.68
On the same day, six people died in a clash between Indian troops and
Islamic militants along the LOC.
06/11/07 — After a month of legal arguments and deliberation, Pakistan’s
Supreme Court ruled that it will be the judiciary body to hear the case
of the government’s accusations of misconduct and misuse of
authority against Chief Justice Chaudhry. He had challenged the
impartiality of the Supreme Judicial Council, specially appointed by
the government to conduct the inquiry against him. On the same day,
tribesmen in the FATA protested unannounced power cuts by
blocking traffic and chanting slogans against the WAPDA and the
government. Leaders reportedly said that if the government did not
stop the power outages, area residents would “take actions on their69
06/12/07 — Three Indian soldiers and five suspected Islamic militants died in two
clashes near the LOC. A spokesman for the Indian army reportedly
claimed the Pakistani government had done nothing “to stop terrorists
from infiltrating along treacherous routes in Kashmir.”70 On the same
day, in retaliation for the torture and death of a 17-year old boy, a
67 Benazir Bhutto, “Democracy for Pakistan,” The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2007.
68 “Pakistan: To Join Intl Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism,” Dow Jones International
News, June 10, 2007.
69 “Tribesmen protesting load shedding block Pak-Afghan road,” Daily Times, June 12,
70 “India Accuses Pakistan of Infiltration in Held Kashmir as Death Toll Mounts,” Daily
Times, June 13, 2007.
mob burned down the temporary hospital that had been established
by Islamic non-governmental organization Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) in
Azad Kashmir following the October 2005 earthquake. The U.S.
government has identified JUD as a terrorist organization, and local
residents claimed the group tried to appropriate property loaned to
them temporarily. Members of JUD reportedly argued that the local
“land mafia” attacked them.71
06/13/07 — Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central
Asia, arrived in Islamabad for meetings with officials. At a reception
attended by journalists and politicians, Boucher did not comment on
protests against the suspension of the chief justice but reportedly
stressed that “the judicial process had to be respected.” He also said
the “lively debates” in the press indicated that the media enjoyed
freedom and that the U.S. government expected free elections in
06/14/07 — Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher visited Quetta for talks
with Baluchistan provincial officials. Several hours after Boucher
left, gunmen opened fire on Pakistani troops driving through Quetta
and killed seven soldiers and two police officers. Also, power
loadshedding outages plagued most of the country. Akram Khan
Durrani, chief minister of NWFP, reportedly said that ongoing power
outages were “unbearable and threatening the writ of the government
by increasing unrest among people.”73 Tariq Hassan, the Sindh chief
minister, reportedly suggested that the KESC should be nationalized
if it could not overcome its power crisis. The Islamabad Electric
Supply Corporation in Rawalpindi shut off power for several hours
at a time. The outages led to water shortages and increased prices for
06/15/07 — Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher denied that he was
visiting Pakistan to negotiate a deal between Pakistani President
Musharraf and former Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto. He
reportedly said the United States believed President Musharraf’s
assurances that the question of holding the offices of the presidency
and head of the army would be settled according to the Constitution.
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Commander of U.S.
Central Command Admiral William Fallon arrived in Pakistan on
separate visits. On the same day, an Election Commission secretary
announced that there would be 12 million fewer registered voters for
this year’s election because the voter list in 2002 had been inflated.
71 “Mob Burns Down JUD Hospital in PoK,” The Press Trust of India Limited, June 12,
72 Rana Qaisar, “‘Judicial Process Must Prevail in Pakistan,’” Daily Times, June 14, 2007.
73 “Growing Unrest Over Power Shortage in NWFP: ‘Loadshedding Unbearable, Govt Writ
Challenged,’” Daily Times, June 15, 2007.
The commission anticipates there will be 60 million voters registered
for the 2007 election, compared to 72 million registered in 2002.
06/16/07 — Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte purportedly told reporters
that he brought Pakistani President Musharraf a “message ... of a
strong friendship and trust for and with the government and people of
Pakistan.” He said it was up to Musharraf to decide when to quit as
Army chief.74 On the same day, tens of thousands of people chanted
“Down with dictatorship” and cheered the chief justice as he traveled
from Islamabad to Faisalabad in Punjab province.75
06/17/07 — Residents of Karachi rioted in the streets to protest long power
outages. The worst hit areas had gone without electricity for 16
hours, while other sectors lost power for four to six hours. Mukhtar
Ahmad, advisor to the prime minister on energy, said the costs of
ending the power crisis will be as much as US$16 billion, more than
government resources. He reportedly claimed that Pakistan will have
enough power to meet demand by 2010.76 Authorities in Rawalpindi
blamed power problems on storms that brought down trees and
billboards onto power lines and transformers. On the same day,
Chief Justice Chaudhry told a rally in Faisalabad that a country can
only progress if it follows its Constitution. He reportedly told
thousands, “We cannot get rid of the label of developing country
without ensuring the security of the life and property of citizens.”77
06/18/07 — U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker launched a three-year, $11.5 million
program to improve health care for children under age five across the
FATA. On the same day, a senior WAPDA official was reported to
have said that Pakistan was experiencing the “worst energy crisis” in
its history. The nation’s system has a shortfall of 20% or 3,000
megawatts of electricity. The official was quoted speculating that the
energy crisis “might prove to be more lethal for the government than
the ongoing political and judicial crises.”78 Because of the energy
crisis, the government announced that it will pursue the $7.4 billion
Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project in spite of objections from
the U.S. government. The IPI pipeline is expected to be completed
in three to five years to deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and
India. Also, Pakistan denounced Great Britain’s plan to knight author
Salman Rushdie. Mohammed Ijaz ul-Haq, Pakistan’s religious affairs
74 “U.S. Officials Back Pakistan’s Musharraf,” Agence France Presse, June 16, 2007.
75 Zia Khan, “Thousands Cheer Pakistan’s Suspended Judge as He Travels to Protest Rally,”
Associated Press Newswires, June 16, 2007.
76 “Govt Doesn’t Have Funds to End Power Crisis: Official,” Daily Times, June 18, 2007.
77 Irfan Ghauri, “‘Separation of Powers Between Organs of State a Must’: No Rule of Law,
No Progress, Says CJP,” Daily Times, June 18, 2007.
78 “Pakistan Power Shortage Adds to Musharraf Woes,” Agence France-Presse, June 18,
minister, is reported to have said that a suicide bomb attack would be
justified “unless the British government apologizes and withdraws the
‘sir’ title.” Ul-Haq also encouraged Muslim countries to unite and
break diplomatic ties with London.79 He later retracted his
comments. Finally, it was reported that Pakistan’s States and
Frontier Regions Secretary had announced that Pakistan planned to
repatriate 94,000 Afghan refugees by June 30, 2007. Additional
groups will be returned in August and October.
06/19/07 — Explosions in a madrassa in North Waziristan tribal agency killed up
to 30 militants, many of them Uzbeks, Chechens, and Arabs.
Accounts differ, with local residents claiming students were killed
when NATO forces from the Afghan side of the border fired missiles
or when an unmanned U.S. drone crossed into Pakistani air space and
attacked. Reportedly, anonymous intelligence officials confirmed
allegations of a NATO attack, but NATO denied any attack was made
across the border. A Pakistani army general alleged the explosions
accidentally occurred while militants were building bombs in their
hideout. On the same day, Pakistan and the United States signed an
agreement for the United States to provide $200 million in budget
support for the Federal Public Sector Development Programme for
the fiscal year starting July 1, 2007.
06/20/07 — Pakistan declined India’s requirement to authenticate troop positions
in Siachen. India’s Minister of Defence, A. K. Antony, had stated
that this would be a condition before demilitarization could begin.
On the same day, the Pakistani Interior Ministry announced that it
would rebuild seven mosques in Islamabad. Jamia Hafsa students
agreed to withdraw from the children’s library they have occupied
since January 2007 when reconstruction is started. (See entry for
06/21/07 — Opposition parliamentarians filed charges of corruption against
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and requested his
disqualification and removal from office. The charges alleged that
Aziz engineered the March 2005 crash of the Karachi Stock
Exchange for the profit of cronies and pushed forward the costly
attempt to privatize Pakistan Steel Mill, which ultimately failed the
scrutiny of Pakistan’s Supreme Court. On the same day, hundreds of
residents of Karachi rioted in the streets in protest of a 16-hour power
outage. Six persons were injured, including two security guards, and
13 arrested, while property and vehicles were damaged. Also, the
Pakistani Ulema Council, an association of 2,000 scholars, awarded
the title “Saifullah” or Sword of Allah, considered to be “the highest
title for a Muslim warrior,” to Osama bin Laden in reaction to
Britain’s knighthood of Salman Rushdie. Pakistani traders
79 “Rushdie Knighthood Justifies Suicide Attacks,” Dow Jones International News, June 18,
associations offered a reward of 10 million rupees to anyone who
80 “Pakistan Scholars Honour Bin Laden in Rushdie Row,” Agence France-Presse, June 21,
June 21, 2007.
CJPChief Justice of Pakistan
FATAFederally Administered Tribal Areas - a region in Pakistan of
seven tribal areas and five frontier regions that borders
HRCPHuman Rights Commission of Pakistan
ICJInternational Commission of Jurists
IPIIran-Pakistan-India - name of gas pipeline planned to run from
Iran to deliver natural gas to Pakistan and India
JUDJamaat-ud-Dawa - an Islamic organization
KESCKarachi Electric Supply Corporation
LoCLine of Control - the border that separates Pakistani-controlled
Kashmir from Indian-controlled Kashmir
MQMMuttahida Quami Movement - a pro-government political party
NATONorth Atlantic Treaty Organization
NWFPNorth-West Frontier Province - a province north of the FATA
that borders Afghanistan
PEMRAPakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority
PML-NPakistan Muslim League-Nawaz - an opposition political party
PNRAPakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority
USAIDUnited States Agency for International Development
UNHCRUnited Nations High Commission for Refugees
USTRUnited States Trade Representative
WAPDAWater and Power Development Authority