Pervez Musharraf, 2002 News
president of Pakistan, proved to be an invaluable ally of the United States in its war on terrorism. But he faced bitter criticism at home, where a percentage of the population considers his pro-American stance collaborationist and a betrayal of Islam. Attacks by Islamic militants on Western and Christian sites increased after Musharraf began cozying up with the U.S. In April voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum to extend Musharraf's presidency for another five years. The vote, however, outraged opposing political parties and human rights groups that said the process was rigged. In August he made sweeping changes to the constitution that allow him to dissolve parliament and appoint supreme court justices and military leaders. In June Musharraf halted the infiltration of Muslim militants and weapons into India-controlled Kashmir?an attempt to thwart a nuclear confrontation with India.