Chronology: Pakistan

The Middle East Journal, Winter 2006 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Pakistan


July 18: Women human rights activists in the northwestern city of Peshawar protested a ban on female candidates in local elections in the remote Dir district, instituted one week earlier. The region is a stronghold of the Islamist Jamaat Islami Party. [BBC, 7/ 18]

UK police confirmed that three of the four London suicide bombers visited Pakistan in 2004. Security officials had been trying to establish what the men did during their visits. The three, all Britons of Pakistani descent, and one other bomber were among 55 people killed in the London blasts on July 7, 2005. [BBC, 7/18]

July 20: Police arrested over 100 clerics and seminary students during a countrywide crackdown on hardline Islamists. Dozens of suspected militants were also arrested on July 19. The crackdown came as Pakistan continued to face pressure after it was revealed that three of the four July 7 London subway bombers visited the country. [DAWN, 7/20]

July 29: President Pervez Musharraf said all foreign students at religious schools, even those holding dual citizenship, must leave the country. It was the latest in a series of measures the President announced since it was revealed that three of the four London bombers had visited Pakistan and one had attended a madrassa. [BBC, 7/29]

Aug. 1: The leader of the opposition in Pakistan's National Assembly, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, was refused entry to Dubai as his name was on a United Arab Emirates' blacklist. Rehman is General Secretary of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a six-party religious alliance. He was a supporter of Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime and was a critic of President Musharaff's association with the US-led War on Terror. [BBC, 8/1]

Aug. 4: Pakistan's Supreme Court declared various clauses of a bill introducing a Taliban-style moral code in the northwest frontier province to be unconstitutional. The legislation called for an official monitor to enforce the observance of Islamic values in public places. The court said its opinion was advisory and it could not reject the bill, which goes into effect if signed by the governor of the province. [BBC, 8/4]

Aug. 7: India and Pakistan agreed to notify each other in advance of any ballistic missile tests. The move was meant to decrease tensions by clarifying intentions through transparency. [Pakistan Times, 8/7]

Aug. 11: Pakistan announced it tested its first cruise missile, the Babur missile, capable of carrying nuclear and conventional warheads within a range of 310 miles. India was not informed of the test despite an August 7 agreement. A Pakistani military spokesman noted the agreement did not cover cruise missiles. [BBC, 8/11]

Aug. 16: Three papers were banned for publishing "hate material" in the province of Sindh. The periodicals were the first to be outlawed in President Pervez Musharraf's crackdown on provocative religious material. [BBC, 8/16]

Aug. 18: Voters went to the polls in the first phase of elections to elect half of the 110 districts' local councils. Political parties were not allowed to take part in the polls, but a specific quota for women and minorities encouraged their participation. …

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