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Flag of Pakistan
  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. A New Government
  10. Fighting Breaks Out
  11. A New President and U.S. Involvement
  12. A Resurgence of Attacks
  13. Government Assaults on Taliban Meet Strong Resistance
  14. Floods Ravage the Country
  15. Osama bin Laden Is Killed
  16. Ties with U.S. Strained
  17. Pakistan Faces Internal Strife
  18. Nawaz Sharif Returns to Post as Prime Minister in Historic Election
  19. Historic Christian Church Destroyed by Taliban
  20. Taliban Leader Killed in a Drone Strike
A New Government

In the parliamentary elections in February, Musharraf's party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, which has been in power for five years, suffered a stunning defeat, losing most of its seats. The opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, which was led by Bhutto until her assassination and is now headed by her widow, Asif Ali Zardari, won 80 of the 242 contested seats. The Pakistan Muslim League-N, led by Sharif, took 66 seats. Musharraf party's won just 40. His defeat was considered a protest of his attempts to rein in militants, his coziness with President Bush, and his dismissal of Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N formed a coalition government. In March, Parliament elected Fahmida Mirza as speaker. She is the first woman in Pakistan elected to the position.

In March, Zardari selected Yousaf Raza Gillani, who served as speaker of Parliament in the 1990s under Benazir Bhutto, as prime minister. One of Gillani's first moves as prime minister was to release the Supreme Court justices that Musharraf ousted and detained in late 2007.

The new government signaled a change of course with the announcement that it would negotiate with militants who live and train in Pakistan's remote tribal areas. The policy met resistance from the United States, which, with approval from Musharraaf, has stepped up its attacks against the militants.

In May, the coalition government reached a compromise agreement to reinstate the Supreme Court justices who were dismissed in Nov. 2007 by Musharraf. The agreement fell apart days later, when the Pakistan Muslim League-N said it would withdraw from the cabinet because the Pakistan Peoples Party insisted on retaining the judges who replaced those who were dismissed by Musharraf. In addition, the two parties disagreed on how to reinstate the justices. Sharif wanted the judges immediately reinstated by executive order; Asif Ali Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan People's Party preferred it be done through Parliament, a process that may be protracted.

Next: Fighting Breaks Out
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