Fighting Breaks Out in Kashmir
Skirmishing along Kashmir's Line of Control broke out over the summer of 2008, after more than four years of relative calm. The problems arose after authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir transferred 99 acres of land to a trust that runs a Hindu shrine, called Amarnath. Muslims launched a series of protests. The government rescinded the order, which outraged Hindus. About 40 people were killed in the protests and counterdemonstrations, which involved several hundred thousand people. Despite the hostilities, a trade route between India and Pakistan across the line of control opened in October for the first time in 60 years.
U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Pakistan's Directorate of Inter-Services Intellgence (ISI) helped to carry out an attack outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul in July that killed more than 50 people, including two Indian diplomats. The attack occurred while Gillani was in the United States meeting with President Bush. Officials also said that the ISI has been tipping off militants about U.S. operations against them.
In August, the governing coalition announced plans to "immediately initiate impeachment proceedings" against President Musharraf on charges of violating the constitution and misconduct. The charges stem from his actions in Nov. 2007, when he suspended the country's constitution and fired Chief Justice Iflikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the other judges on the Supreme Court. Days later, on Aug. 18, Musharraf resigned as president. "Not a single charge can be proved against me," he said, adding that he was stepping down to put the country's interests above "personal bravado." Muhammad Mian Soomro, the chairman of the Senate, was named acting president.
On Aug. 25, Sharif withdrew his party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, from the governing coalition, saying he could no longer work with Zardari. He said Zardari went back on pledges to restore Chaudhry to his role as chief justice of the Supreme Court and to work with Sharif to select a presidential candidate. Instead, Zardari announced plans to run for president.