Pakistan. Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was sentenced in April in his absence to five years in prison for corruption and was banned from holding public office for ten years. She was also fined $ 8.6 million and her assets were confiscated.
Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Pakistan. Pakistan tested two new robots in April, called Ghauri II and Shahin I, with a range of 230 and 70 km respectively. From May to July, Pakistani troops were involved in conflict with India in Kashmir. Commander General Pervez Musharraf admitted that Pakistani soldiers had entered Indian soil. Pakistan’s retreat in July, following US pressure, provoked irritation in the army and fueled public dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his authoritarian exercise of power. Since 1997, Sharif had increased his power at the expense of both the presidential office and the Supreme Court and also supported the military leadership.
During the autumn, pressure on Sharif increased. Strikes and demonstrations were carried out in protest against a new sales tax. Islamic fundamentalists demanded a social development similar to that in Afghanistan. The government adopted the Anti-Terrorism Act to ban the actions, but was only met by continued protests.
On October 12, Sharif dismissed Army Chief, de facto Commander-in-Chief, General Musharraf. He replied with taking power in a coup. Sharif and other high-ranking politicians were placed under house arrest, the parliament dissolved and the constitution repealed. Exception laws were introduced. Musharraf formed a military-dominated National Security Council, and an unpolitical expert government was subordinated to this.
Pakistan was expelled from the Commonwealth. However, Musharraf refused to provide any timetable for a return to democratic rule. The military regime launched a campaign against corruption, blocked hundreds of bank accounts, most of its senior politicians, and demanded back billions in outstanding bank loans. According to the regime, 322 families owed the banks $ 4 billion, equivalent to a third of the state budget. Nawaz Sharif and several high-ranking government officials were expected to be charged with terrorism and attempted murder. The charges were based on the statement that in connection with the dismissal of Musharraf, Sharif would have ordered his aircraft, with which he was on his way home from a business trip, to be denied land in Karachi. After the military took control of the airport, the plane could land.
Pakistan’s economy was in an acute crisis during the autumn, with a growing trade deficit and a foreign exchange reserve of just $ 1.4 billion, equivalent to three weeks of imports. Foreign investment had fallen by 32% in 1998-99, mostly due to concerns over corruption.
In November, the United States attacked a Pakistani military post 2½ km from the border with Afghanistan, killing 24 soldiers. The unprovoked attack led to strong condemnation by both the Pakistani government and the military and a further deterioration of the already tense relationship between the two former allies. At the same time, the crisis revealed deep internal tensions between the military and civilian government. The United States has traditionally supported the Pakistani military coups, but now it was the Pakistani president and prime minister who secretly contacted the United States because they both feared a military coup that would cede superpower control over the country. The relationship became so tense that for a few weeks President Ali Zardari fled to Dubai. Allegedly for health reasons, but in reality because he feared a coup was imminent. The affair got its name Memogate and helped to further undermine the government and president of a country that was already heavily critical of the United States. The Pakistani military just stopped the supply corridor through Pakistan so that the North American forces and mercenaries in Afghanistan could no longer get supplies along that path. A week later, gasoline convoys to supply the US military were attacked and set on fire.
Prime Minister Gillani tried to implement economic reforms, but the reforms simply led to high inflation and a drastic decline in the economy. At the same time, he was closely linked to Zardari’s corruption, and was a close ally of the United States, who unrestrictedly waged war in Pakistan. On April 26, 2012, the Supreme Court convicted him of contempt of court for refusing to reopen the corruption cases against Zardari and Banazir. On the same day he was removed as Prime Minister and Member of Parliament. Gillani was replaced at the Prime Minister post by PPP member Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who sat from June 2012 to March 2013. Ashraf was not the PPP’s first candidate for the post. It was Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, but the country’s anti-drug police issued an arrest warrant on him for drug offenses, and the PPP therefore had to go to plan B.
Baluchistan was hit in September by extensive floods sending 700,000 on the run.
In October, Pakistani Taliban conducted a murder trial against 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai. The reason was her uncompromising struggle for girls’ right to schooling and education. The assassination attempt was condemned in Pakistan and in the rest of the world. In December, Parliament passed a law granting girls and boys aged 5-16 years equal and free right to schooling. At the same time, the educational obligation was introduced.
Ashraf continued the PPP’s delaying tactics regarding the corruption case against Zardari. However, in January 2013, the corruption investigations reached Ashraf himself when the Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant against him for having received a bribe. In March, the government and Ashraf resigned. As interim prime minister, Independent Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, who had a past as Supreme Court president, was deployed. He only sat for 3 months.
The May 2013 parliamentary elections became a sing-along for the anti-corruption PPP, which lost 2/3 of its seats in parliament. It had to settle for 40 seats, while the conservative PML-N got 166 (and 32.77% of the vote). The PML-N began negotiations with a number of independent MPs and in July the party’s leader Nawaz Sharif was inaugurated as new prime minister.
Mamnoon Hussein of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) won the presidential election in July 2013 and was in office in September. Hussein was elected by 432 votes against 77 to Wajihuddin Ahmed of PTI. The PPP and its allies had announced in advance that they were boycotting the elections and that the incumbent President Zardari did not stand for a second term. It was the first time in the country’s history that a peaceful transition was made from one sitting president to the next. The military has a long-standing tradition of otherwise not letting the president sit out his term.