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Pakistan

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Flag of Pakistan
Index
  1. Pakistan Main Page
  2. The New Republic
  3. A Shaky Government
  4. President Musharraf Extends Power
  5. A Relationship with the Taliban
  6. Musharraf's Political Troubles
  7. The Return of Benazir Bhutto
  8. Bhutto's Assassination and Successor
  9. Fighting Breaks Out in Kashmir
  10. A New President and U.S. Involvement
  11. Government Assaults on Taliban Meet Strong Resistance
  12. Floods Ravage the Country
  13. Osama bin Laden Is Killed; Ties with U.S. Further Strained
  14. Pakistan Faces Internal Strife
  15. Nawaz Sharif Returns to Post as Prime Minister in Historic Election
  16. Taliban Leader Killed in a Drone Strike; Pakistan Launches Offensive Against Militants
  17. Taliban Attack on an Army-Run School Kills Dozens
A Shaky Government

In the 1990s, Pakistan saw a shaky succession of governments—Benazir Bhutto was prime minister twice and deposed twice and Nawaz Sharif three times, until he was deposed in a coup on Oct. 12, 1999, by Gen. Pervez Musharraf. The Pakistani public, familiar with military rule for 25 of the nation's 52-year history, generally viewed the coup as a positive step and hoped it would bring a badly needed economic upswing.

To the surprise of much of the world, two new nuclear powers emerged in May 1998 when India, followed by Pakistan just weeks later, conducted nuclear tests. Fighting with India again broke out in the disputed territory of Kashmir in May 1999.

Close ties with Afghanistan's Taliban government thrust Pakistan into a difficult position following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Under U.S. pressure, Pakistan broke with its neighbor to become the United States' chief ally in the region. In return, President Bush ended sanctions (instituted after Pakistan's testing of nuclear weapons in 1998), rescheduled its debt, and helped to bolster the legitimacy of the rule of Pervez Musharraf, who appointed himself president in 2001.

On Dec. 13, 2001, suicide bombers attacked the Indian parliament, killing 14 people. Indian officials blamed the attack on Islamic militants supported by Pakistan. Both sides assembled hundreds of thousands of troops along their common border, bringing the two nuclear powers to the brink of war.

Next: President Musharraf Extends Power
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