Pakistan: Chronology of Events, November 2006 - February 2007

This report provides a chronology of recent events involving Pakistan and Pakistan-U.S. relations. Sources include, but are not limited to, major newswires, the U.S. Department of State, and Pakistani news outlets. For a substantive review, see CRS Report RL33498, Pakistan-U.S. Relations. This report will not be updated.

Pakistan: Chronology of Events, November 2006 - February 2007

January 29, 2007 (RS21584)


This report provides a chronology of recent events involving Pakistan and Pakistan-U.S. relations. Sources include, but are not limited to, major newswires, the U.S. Department of State, and Pakistani news outlets. For a substantive review, see CRS Report RL33498, Pakistan-U.S. Relations. This report will not be updated.

Pakistan: Chronology of Events, November 2006 - February 2007


FATA: Federally Administered Tribal Areas

NWFP: North West Frontier Province


A suicide bomber killed himself, a policeman, and a civilian near a Shiite procession in the northwestern city of Dera Ismail Khan. Seven others were injured. On the same day, two rockets hit a Shiite mosque in Bannu near North Waziristan, injuring 11 people, two seriously.


House Speaker Representative Pelosi and six other Members of Congress met with President Musharraf in Islamabad. On the same day, a bomb blast in Peshawar killed 15 people, most of them policemen including the city's police chief, and injured some 60 other people in a possible sectarian attack.


A suicide bomber killed himself and a security guard at a major Islamabad hotel. Six other Pakistani nationals were injured. On the same day, suspected Islamist militants killed one policeman and critically wounded another in the town of Tank near South Waziristan. Also, militants attacked a tribal police post in the Bajaur tribal agency, critically wounding a policeman. Finally, a State Department official traveling in Pakistan reportedly said the Bush Administration was seeking changes to Pakistan-specific provisions of H.R. 1 (see 1/5 entry).


Pakistan, Afghanistan, and NATO opened the first joint intelligence sharing center in Kabul to boost cooperation against Taliban and other extremists. On the same day, the Indian army claimed that Pakistani and Indian troops had exchanged small arms fire across the Kashmiri LOC. Also, a car bomb exploded in the city of Hangu in northwestern Pakistan, killing two people and injuring four others in a suspected sectarian attack. Finally, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin won a $187 million contract to produce and equip seven PC-3 maritime surveillance aircraft for Pakistan.


President Musharraf ended a four-day tour of capitals in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and the U.A.E., where he exchanged views with Arab leaders on "the deteriorating situation in the Middle East, especially the Palestine issue." On the same day, Prime Minister Aziz insisted that the root of the ongoing Taliban insurgency lay in the Afghan government's weak authority, and he called "ridiculous" claims that Islamabad or Pakistan's intelligence agencies were supporting or providing safe haven to pro-Taliban militants. Also, a Population Ministry official said Pakistan's growth rate had dropped from 2.1% to 1.8%, in line with the target of a 1.3% rate by 2020.


Islamabad lodged a formal protest with Washington and London over cross-border fire by U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan that killed one Pakistani soldier and injured two others.


A suicide car bomber killed four Pakistani soldiers and a civilian in North Waziristan. Nine other soldiers were injured in the attack on an army convoy near the town of Mir Ali.


A New York Times report said, "More than two weeks of reporting along this [Pakistan-Afghanistan] frontier ... leaves little doubt that Quetta is an important base for the Taliban, and found many signs that Pakistani authorities are encouraging the insurgents, if not sponsoring them." A Pakistani army official later admitted that Afghan refugee camps inside Pakistan provided safe havens for insurgents, but Islamabad denied that it was insincere in efforts to combat the Taliban.


The Pakistan Navy inducted the first of eight PC-3 maritime surveillance aircraft purchased from the United States. On the same day, security forces reported destroying 4 tribal militant camps and arresting 30 "miscreants" in Baluchistan.


Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, leader of the moderate faction of the separatist Hurriyat Conference in Indian Kashmir, arrived in Islamabad for talks with top Pakistani leaders.


Information Minister Durrani said the federal cabinet had decided that current assemblies would elect the Pakistani president in September or October of 2007. On the same day, New Delhi lodged a formal protest with Islamabad over an alleged cross-border shooting incident that left two Indian soldiers injured.


The Pakistan army launched an airstrike on a suspected militant training camp in South Waziristan, reportedly killing up to 20 "miscreants," some of them foreigners. The attack came just hours after Secretary of Defense Gates arrived in Afghanistan. Islamabad denied reports that the attack had in fact been launched by an American drone. Local tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud vowed to take revenge for the attack. On the same day, U.S. military commanders in Kabul said Taliban militants were "taking advantage" of the 9/06 truce to triple the rates of their cross-border attacks in Afghanistan. Also, Afghan intelligence agents arrested a purported Taliban spokesman after he crossed into their country from Pakistan. A subsequent "confession" from the suspect placed Taliban chief Mullah Omar in the Pakistani city of Quetta.


Islamabad said it would begin closing four Afghan refugee camps near the Afghan border in an effort to reduce the cross-border movement of insurgents in the region. On the same day, Massachusetts-based Raytheon signed a $284 million agreement to provide Pakistan with 700 air-to-air missiles to Pakistan beginning in 2008.


Foreign Minister Kasuri hosted Indian External Affairs Minister Mukherjee's visit to Islamabad, where the two men agreed to launch in mid-March a fourth round of the Composite Dialogue that began in 2004. On the same day, a top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said fugitive Islamist militant Jalaluddin Haqqani was sending fighters into Afghanistan from a base in Pakistan.


Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Boucher met with President Musharraf in Islamabad to discuss U.S.-Pakistan relations and efforts to stabilize neighboring Afghanistan. Secretary Boucher subsequently paid visits to Peshawar and the FATA.


Director of National Intelligence Negroponte told a Senate panel that "Pakistan is a frontline partner in the war on terror. Nevertheless, it remains a major source of Islamic extremism and the home for some top terrorist leaders," adding that Al Qaeda's "core elements ... maintain active connections and relationships that radiate outward from their leaders' secure hideout in Pakistan ...." Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Maples told the same panel that, "Pakistan's border with Afghanistan remains a haven for Al Qaeda's leadership and other extremists," and that tribal leaders in Waziristan had not abided by most terms of the 9/06 truce agreement. Islamabad later called the allegations "incorrect." On the same day, Pakistan army troops attacked supply trucks used by suspected pro-Taliban militants in North Waziristan, the first such attack since the 9/06 truce. The action appeared to have been taken with the assistance of U.S.-provided intelligence and in support of a U.S.-led offensive across the border in Afghanistan.


Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman won a $50 million contract for fire control radars for F-16 fighters to be used by Pakistan.


The House passed H.R. 1 (see 1/5 entry). On the same day, Pakistan released from jail 115 India fishermen in a gesture of goodwill ahead of foreign minister-level talks.


President Bush nominated U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Crocker to be the new U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. On the same day, a top U.N. official in Kabul said Pakistan needed to take more action against Taliban leaders as required under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1267 of 1999. Also, India's prime minister said he hoped to someday conclude a treaty of security, peace, and friendship with Pakistan. Islamabad said such a treaty would be possible only after the Kashmir dispute is resolved.


Four tribal militants were killed and two security personnel injured in fighting in Baluchistan.


H.R. 1, the Implementing the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007, was introduced in the House. The bill includes a provision that would end U.S. military assistance and arms sales licensing to Pakistan in FY2008 unless the President certifies that the Islamabad government is "making all possible efforts" to end Taliban activities on Pakistani soil. Another section of the bill would suspend all arms sales licenses and deliveries to any "nuclear proliferation host country" unless the President certifies that such a country is, inter alia, fully investigating and taking actions to permanently halt illicit nuclear proliferation activities.


In a electronic rare interview, Taliban chief Mullah Omar, widely believed to be hiding in Pakistan, said he would never negotiate with the U.S.-supported government in Kabul until foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan, and he denied receiving external assistance or "safe haven" from Pakistan. On the same day, Prime Minister Aziz said his government wanted some three million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan to return home as part of an effort to combat the Taliban insurgency.


U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Schoomaker met with President Musharraf in Islamabad to discuss bilateral counterterrorism cooperation. On the same day, the Pakistan army reportedly launched fresh military operations against tribal militant camps in Baluchistan.


Islamabad announced intentions to fence and mine sections of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in an effort to halt the movements of Taliban militants in the region. A U.N. human rights official later expressed concern that the mining would endanger civilians, and the plan came under fire from tribal leaders in the FATA, as well as from Afghan leaders. On the same day, a car bomb exploded outside the Peshawar airport, killing one person and injuring two others. Also, a bomb exploded at a girl's school in northwestern Pakistan near the FATA. Police blamed pro-Taliban militants for the nonlethal blast.


Gunmen opened fire on a Sunni funeral in northwestern Pakistan, killing four people and injuring eight others in a likely sectarian revenge attack.


Two days of Pakistan-India talks on the militarized Sir Creek dispute ended with agreement to conduct a joint survey. On the same day, suspected pro-Taliban militants attacked a government vehicle in North Waziristan, killing one policeman and injuring two others. Also, Pakistan and India began a prisoner swap involving 57 Pakistani nationals and 70 Indians. Finally, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists called for a full investigation into the reported beating of a New York Times reporter and the detention of her photographer by apparent Pakistani government officials in Quetta.


The U.N. Children's Fund accused the Islamabad government of preventing aid groups from distributing food and tents to Pakistanis affected by the insurgency in Baluchistan.


Pakistan's ambassador to the United States said it was "premature" to conclude that the 9/06 peace deal with North Waziristan tribes was a failure. On the same day, India's prime minister welcomed recent peace proposals from Pakistan, saying they "contribute to the ongoing thought process." Also, Foreign Minister Kasuri met with his Iranian counterpart in Tehran where the two men agreed to speed up efforts to finalize a pipeline project to deliver Iranian natural gas to India via Pakistan.


An Afghan officials claimed to have detained a Pakistani intelligence agent with alleged links to Al Qaeda. On the same day, a pro-government tribal leader formerly aligned with Baloch separatists was killed along with two companions in a bomb blast in Baluchistan.


The United States launched a three-year, $11.5 million effort to improve children's health in Pakistan's tribal areas. On the same day, unidentified gunmen shot dead a senior policeman and his driver in the Bannu district near North Waziristan.


Pakistan's Anti-Narcotics Force received $850,000 worth of vehicles and counternarcotics security equipment from the United States.


Pakistan's Supreme Court blocked a new attempt to enact a Taliban-style Islamic law bill in the NWFP. The controversial Hasba (or accountability) bill is opposed by President Musharraf.


Islamabad claimed to have arrested more than 500 Taliban militants in 2006 and remanded 400 of them to Afghan custody.


Afghan President Karzai again blamed Pakistan for supporting pro-Taliban militants and seeking to "enslave" the Afghan people.


Brussels-based International Crisis Group issued a report criticizing the apparent failure of Islamabad's efforts to "appease" Islamist militants in Pakistan's tribal regions.


Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable Hatf III (Ghaznavi) short-range ballistic missile.


Foreign Minister Kasuri ended a two-day visit to Kabul without resolving differences between Pakistan and Afghanistan over the composition of proposed tribal councils to stem the Taliban insurgency. On the same day, London-based Amnesty International criticized Islamabad for human rights abuses related to its cooperation with the U.S.-led "war on terror," including the arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and torture of hundreds of people.


The Pentagon notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan worth up to $855 million. The deal involves refurbishment and modification of three excess P-3 aircraft with the E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning suite. On the same day, Washington unveiled the Secure Freight Initiative, which seeks to prevent nuclear-related smuggling into the United States by placing specialized x-ray and optical scanners at sea ports in six foreign nations, including Karachi.


Maryland-based Lockheed Martin won a $144 million contract to provide materials for F-16 combat aircraft being sold to Pakistan.


President Musharraf told an interviewer that Pakistan is "against independence" for Kashmir, instead offering a four-point proposal that would lead to "self-governance," defined as "falling between autonomy and independence." Many analysts saw the proposal as being roughly in line with New Delhi's Kashmir position. Some opposition political parties and Kashmiri separatist groups rejected Musharraf's proposal as an abandonment of Islamabad's long-held policy, but the Foreign Office insisted that Pakistan's "legal position" continues to be based on relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.


A suicide bomber, suspected to be of Uzbek origin, killed himself and a policeman in North Waziristan.


In a major privatization move, the Pakistan government sold a ten percent share of the country's largest oil company for $813 million. On the same day, a suicide bomber killed himself in the parking lot of a military facility in Peshawar. No other casualties were reported.


Education Secretary Spellings led the U.S. delegation at a meeting of the U.S.-Pakistan Education Dialogue in Washington. On the same day, Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable Hatf IV (Shaheen I) medium-range ballistic missile. Also, Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered the government to disclose the whereabouts of 41 suspected security detainees who have "disappeared." Human rights groups claim to have recorded more than 400 cases of such secret detentions since 2002.


Suspected pro-Taliban militants in South Waziristan killed a tribal cleric they accused of being a "U.S. spy."


Chinese President Hu Jintao ended a four-day visit to Islamabad, where China and Pakistan sought to bolster their "all-weather friendship and all-dimensional cooperation" with the signing of 18 new pacts, including a bilateral Free Trade Agreement.


Heavy fighting between government security forces and armed rebels broke out in the Kohlu district of Baluchistan.


Police in Quetta arrested 47 suspected Taliban militants.


British Prime Minister Tony Blair ended a two-day visit to Pakistan, where Britain and Pakistan agreed to forward their "abiding partnership" and London vowed to more than double its development assistance to Pakistan to $944 million over the next three years.


Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable Hatf V (Gauri I) medium-range ballistic missile.


The Pakistan-India Composite Dialogue resumed when Foreign Secretary Khan made a two-day visit to New Delhi for talks with his Indian counterpart. The two officials gave shape to a joint anti-terrorism mechanism proposed in September and they agreed to continue the dialogue process in early 2007.


Pakistan's National Assembly passed the Women's Protection Bill amending the controversial Hudood Ordinances which apply Islamic law to cases of rape. Islamist politicians boycotted the vote in protest.


The Pentagon notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan worth up to $160 million. The deal involves thousands of military radio systems. On the same day, lawmakers in the NWFP again passed a controversial Hasba (or accountability) bill that would establish Taliban-style Islamic laws in the region.


A pro-government tribal chief and eight other people were killed when a bomb destroyed their vehicle in South Waziristan.


A suicide bomber killed himself and 42 army recruits at a military training camp at Dargai in the NWFP, not far from the site of the 10/30 Chingai madrassa attack.


Some 82 people were killed in a pre-dawn air attack on a religious school at Chingai in the Bajaur tribal agency. The Pakistani military claimed to have undertaken the attack after the school's pro-Taliban leader continued to train terrorists and shelter "unwanted foreigners" despite repeated warnings. Many observers speculated that the attack had in fact been carried out by U.S. drones.