Pakistan since 2001

By | November 19, 2021

A summit meeting with the Indian Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee in Agra in July 2001 did not lead to any decisive rapprochement in the Kashmir conflict, despite previous gestures of reconciliation. After the terrorist attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001, at the urging of the USA, Pakistan quickly joined the international anti-terrorist coalition (after which the US sanctions of 1998 were lifted) and – as a neighboring country to Afghanistan and v. a. For many years a decisive pillar of the Taliban regime there – one of the most important factors in the American military action initiated on October 7, 2001. Against the support of the USA by Musharraf there were violent domestic protests; Thousands of radical Islamists from Pakistan fought on the side of the Taliban in Afghanistan, whose diplomatic mission in Islamabad was only closed in November 2001. Pakistan subsequently advanced to become one of the USA’s most important allies in the war against terrorism; In March 2003, the USA lifted sanctions imposed on the country in 1999, clearing the way for economic aid of around US $ 250 million; Allies «(including the possibility of extensive arms deliveries). Occasional American military actions against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan’s border territory with Afghanistan intensified attacks by Islamist forces against the regime Musharrafs as an ally of the USA.

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A new military escalation of the Kashmir conflict occurred in December 2001 when the Indian government blamed Islamist organizations working on it after a terrorist attack on the federal parliament in New Delhi in Pakistan; after a massive deployment of troops and the outbreak of fighting on the Indian-Pakistani border, Musharraf was looking to counter the danger of a new war with India by asking Great Britain and the USA to mediate the conflict and by banning radical Islamist organizations (January 12, 2002) and arresting religious extremists. A new bloody rebel attack on an Indian military base in Kashmir in mid-May 2002 and the Indian accusation against Pakistan of continuing to support the armed Islamist groups in the crisis area exacerbated the situation between the two nuclear powers on the ceasefire line in Kashmir, where India and Pakistan had around 1 million Soldiers contracted. New Pakistani missile tests met with international criticism in the same month. Given the growing military tensions with India, Musharraf at the end of May 2002 his country’s interest in a de-escalation mediated from abroad (including a US mission in June 2002) and in Indo-Pakistani negotiations. After India and Pakistan agreed to resume diplomatic relations in spring 2003 (implemented in July 2003) and in November of the same year on a ceasefire in Kashmir, the two countries agreed on a comprehensive dialogue and peace negotiations in January 2004. The focus of the talks, which began in Islamabad in February, was the search for a peaceful solution to the Kashmir conflict. A strong earthquake on October 8, 2005 (around 87,000 deaths), which particularly affected the Pakistani part of Kashmir, presented the government with difficult problems in the crisis region, but it also resulted in

The growing problems of the US-led international anti-terrorist coalition, above all. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the strategy of President Musharraf threatened to fail: while he presented himself to the outside world as one of the most important allies in the fight against international terrorism under pressure from the USA, he hesitated domestically in the fight against religious extremism. On the publication of cartoons about the Prophet Mohammed The public reacted in a Danish newspaper in February 2006 with demonstrations against Denmark, the USA and against Western influence. When the initially directed mass protests got out of hand and turned against the pro-Western course of the government, they were banned. In 2007 Taliban forces took control of the Swat Valley. The Pakistani-Indian relationship experienced another heavy burden as a result of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, for which India blamed perpetrators from Pakistan.

As a result of military clashes between the army and Taliban fighters, hundreds of thousands fled the north-west of the country in 2008/09. Numerous people lost their lives in a series of attacks by Islamist extremists. The Taliban groups, loosely linked to the umbrella organization Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) since December 2007, intensified their struggle against the government, the security forces and foreign institutions. The army headquarters in Rawalpindi was also attacked in October 2009. The army responded with a ground offensive against the Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan on the Afghan border. Despite the intensified confrontation, an agreement with which the government had tried in February 2009 to pacify the region in the north-west of the country formally remained in force.

The USA increasingly used guided missiles (“drones”) against radical Islamic terrorists who carried out attacks on villages and government institutions, particularly in the northwest. In January 2011 the governor of the Punjab province was assassinated, in March 2011 Shahbaz Bhatti (* 1968), the minister for minorities. Both took moderate political positions. During a commando operation by US special forces in the city of Abbottabad on May 2, 2011, al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden was killed. Relations with the US were strained by the fact that Osama bin Laden had been able to live unmolested in Abbottabad. The numerous terrorist attacks remained the main security problem. V. a. Members of the military and police were attacked, but the Shiite minority was also repeatedly the target of attacks by the Taliban. At the beginning of October 2012, a Taliban commando attacked M. Yousafzai, who was seriously injured, in the Swat Valley.

The student had actively campaigned for girls’ right to an education. After the attack, tens of thousands took to the streets in Karachi to show their solidarity with the girl. In 2014 M. Yousafzai became awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On the night before the presidential election on July 30, 2013, TTP fighters liberated 248 prisoners from a maximum security prison in the north-west of the country, including high-ranking TTP commanders. Peace talks with the Taliban that began in March 2014 were unsuccessful. After an attack on Karachi airport in June 2014, the army launched a ground offensive in the north-western areas. On December 16, 2014, TTP terrorists carried out an attack on an army school in Peshawar. The attack killed almost 150 people, most of them school children. On January 30, 2015, the Sunni terrorist group Jundallah committed a suicide attack on a mosque in Shikarpur (Sindh). Over 70 people died. A suicide attack by a Taliban faction, who belonged to the Christian minority, at least 75 people were killed on March 27, 2016 in Lahore. An attack on a police school in Quetta on October 25, 2016 left at least 60 dead. The act of terrorism was attributed to an extremist group belonging to the so-called Islamic State (IS). On November 12, 2016, over 50 people were killed in a suicide attack on a Sufi shrine in the troubled province of Balochistan and at least 100 others were injured. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

A surprise visit by Indian Prime Minister N. Modi to Lahore, where a direct conversation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took place on December 25, 2015, was seen as a sign of easing in the heavily strained Pakistani-Indian relations.

Nawaz Sharif also attended Modi’s inauguration on May 26, 2014. There were new tensions in 2016 because of the unsolved Kashmir conflict. After separatists from Pakistan killed 18 soldiers in an Indian military base in Uri on September 18, 2016, the Indian and Pakistani military fought for several hours on the ceasefire line in Kashmir 14 days later. Also at the end of November 2016 there was an exchange of fire, including nine civilians were killed. Both nations accused each other of breaking the ceasefire.

Over 90 people died in an IS suicide attack on February 16, 2017 in Sehwan Sharif in the province. On February 26, 2019, the Indian Air Force attacked a suspected terrorist camp on the ceasefire line in Kashmir. Pakistan regards the attack as serious aggression.

Pakistan since 2001