Pakistan under P. Musharraf (1999-2008)

The attack on Indian positions near Kargil in Kashmir, launched in May 1999 by the Pakistani army chief, General P. Musharraf, surprised the Indian army, but it defended itself successfully. Then was Musharraf ready to give in to US pressure and stop the fighting, but insisted that Nawaz Sharif personally negotiating with the US President in July 1999 as Clinton led in Washington (D. C.). In this way, Musharraf made him responsible for the withdrawal. When the prime minister then fired his army chief, Nawaz Sharif was overthrownin a bloodless coup on October 12, 1999 and took power himself (officially “Chief Executive” since October 15, 1999). In the same month Musharraf appointed a National Security Council, which included three soldiers and four civilians; He initially left President Tarar in office (until June 2001). Domestically, the coup did not meet with any significant resistance, but international criticism was directed against it. On October 18, 1999, the Commonwealth suspended Pakistan’s membership (resumption in May 2004). Visit themakeupexplorer for Pakistan History.

In December 1999, an anti-terrorist court in Karachi brought charges against Nawaz Sharif ; on April 6, 2000 he was sentenced to two life sentences (in July 2000 to a further 14 years in prison, in October 2000 the sentence was lessened by an appeals court). After his pardon in December 2000, Nawaz Sharif left the country. In 2001 the verdict against Benazir Bhutto was also overturned.

In January 2000, the military ruler Musharraf submitted to the Pakistani judiciary; the chief judges were required to take an oath of office on his transitional constitution (several, including the chief judge, were dismissed for refusal). On May 12, 2000, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the military coup of October 1999 and granted Musharraf the right to rule for three years without parliamentary control.

In order to stabilize his power, Musharraf replaced Islamist-minded military personnel in the army and secret service leadership with more moderate forces (including a change in the office of Chief of Staff in September 2000), initiated a national anti-corruption campaign (numerous trials against politicians and officials). Hold local elections on 12th 2000 and on March 21st, 2001, in which political parties were not allowed to participate, and after the dissolution of the parliament (which had already been suspended since the October putsch of 1999) declared himself president on June 20th, 2001 (swearing in by the Colonel Judge on June 21st). By means of a referendum held on April 30, 2002, Musharraf dropped outExtend his term of office for another five years (with 98% of the vote). With a constitutional amendment that he decreed in August 2002 (the president’s right to dissolve parliament, head the National Security Council and appoint the command of the armed forces), Musharraf sought to further strengthen his domestic political position.

In the elections on October 10, 2002, none of the participating parties was able to achieve an absolute majority; the pro-regime parliamentary group of the Pakistan Muslim League, the PML-Q, won 77 seats, the PPP 63 and the Islamist-anti-American alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) 45 seats. On November 21, 2002, the National Assembly elected Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali (* 1944; PML-Q) as Prime Minister; With his cabinet, sworn in on November 23, 2002, two thirds of whose ministers were made up of politicians from the PML-Q, but also of renegade PPP MPs, a civil government resumed its official duties for the first time since the 1999 military coup. In addition to complying with the political guidelines of the still powerful President Musharrafshe was also faced with a strengthened Islamist opposition, which resulted in a. revealed in the takeover of power by the party alliance MMA in the provinces bordering Afghanistan Balochistan and North-West Frontier Province (NWFP). In these areas, from 2003 onwards, the Pakistani army has repeatedly directed its military actions against the Taliban and al-Qaida fighters who had been displaced from the neighboring country and sought refuge, and who were able to rely on the help of some of the regional tribal leaders. In Pakistan, there were repeated violent clashes between Sunnis and the Shiite minority.

In December 2003, after months of negotiations with the Islamist party alliance MMA, Parliament passed the constitutional amendments initiated by Musharraf – which expanded the powers of the state president, in return for which he had to promise to resign from the post of commander-in-chief of the armed forces by the end of 2004; In view of the ongoing fight against terrorism, Musharraf, who was repeatedly the target of assassination attempts (including on December 14th and December 25th, 2003), was authorized by parliament in October 2004 to continue to exercise the function of army chief until 2007 to be able to.

In February 2004, the chief developer and long-time head of the Pakistani nuclear program, Abdul Quadeer Khan (* 1936), admitted that nuclear technology had been passed on to other countries (including Iran) during the 1980s and 1990s, but was rejected by President Musharraf because of his services pardoned for national security (including as the “father of the Islamic atomic bomb”).

In June 2004 the government under Prime Minister Jamali was replaced; the management of the affairs of government was taken over by the chairman of the PML-Q, Chaudry Shujaat Hussain (* 1945). At the end of August 2004, the previous finance minister Shaukat Aziz (* 1949) was elected as the new head of government.

On October 6, 2007, Musharraf was confirmed in an election largely boycotted by the opposition from the central parliament in Islamabad and the four provincial parliaments for a further five years as president; however, his re-election was subject to a final decision by the Supreme Court, which had to consider the opposition’s complaints against Musharraf’s candidacy. As the opposition politician Benazir Bhutto after an amnesty promise from Musharraf Returned to Pakistan from exile in Dubai on October 18, 2007, she escaped an attack by radical forces in Karachi; However, this bomb attack, one of the bloodiest in the country’s history, killed at least 140 people. Based on the threat of terrorism and securing parliamentary elections, Musharraf declared a state of emergency on the country on November 3, 2007 and dismissed the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikar Chaudry (* 1948) and other judges of the Supreme Court who took his step for Declared “illegal” and called on the population to fight against the “dictatorship”. As Bhutto announced that she would lead an opposition protest (“Long March for Democracy”) from Lahore to Islamabad, she was placed under temporary house arrest in November 2007. On November 15, 2007, Bhutto and her former political rival, Nawaz Sharif, a politician of the Muslim League who lived in exile in Saudi Arabia until November 25, 2007, agreed on an alliance against Musharraf. He had repeatedly announced that if he was confirmed as president by the Supreme Court, he would give up his position as army chief. After the dissolution of parliament on November 15, 2007, a transitional government was sworn in, to which the official duties were transferred until the new parliamentary elections originally planned for January 8, 2008. In view of the developments in the country (especially because of the declaration of a state of emergency), the Commonwealth suspended Pakistan’s membership on November 22, 2007 (until May 12, 2008). Also on November 22, 2007, the (newly composed) Pakistani Supreme Court dismissed the last lawsuit against Musharraf’s re-election. On November 28, 2007, he gave the office of army chief to General Ashfaq Kayani (* 1952)and took up his second term as civil president on November 29, 2007. On December 15, 2007, Musharraf lifted the state of emergency again. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in an assassination attempt in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007 triggered international consternation and led to serious unrest in the country, particularly in Bhutto’s home province of Sind. The opposition won the parliamentary elections on February 18, 2008: the strongest party was the PPP, followed by the PML-N led by Nawaz Sharif. Shortly afterwards, both parties agreed on a coalition.

On March 24, 2008, the parliament elected the PPP politician and former President of Parliament (1993–97) Yousaf Raza Gilani as Prime Minister; the latter immediately ordered the release of all judges who were arrested or placed under house arrest when the state of emergency was imposed in November 2007 (including Iftikar Chaudry). Gilani, who was imprisoned under Musharraf 2001-06 himself, was sworn in by him on March 25, 2008 as the new head of government. In order to forestall impeachment proceedings operated by the PPP and the PML-N, President Musharraf stepped upback on August 18, 2008. Thereupon the PML-N declared its exit from the government because of differences with the PPP. The PPP formed a new coalition with the MQM and smaller parties.

Pakistan under P. Musharraf (1999-2008)