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The International Writers Magazine: Historical Background

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Norman A. Rubin


It is almost a daily occurrence of suicide bombings in Pakistani cities, terrorist attacks on civilians in mosques, military incursions in the Northwest province (Swat Valley) in the Tribal Areas etc., that is screamed in headlines in the media – "At least five anti-Taliban leaders have been killed in the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan" – 'A "Shaid' (suicide bomber)  detonated a suicide bomb near the protest rally in the frontier city of Peshawar" – "Pakistani militants ambushed a military convoy in North Waziristan," -  "Gunmen stormed into a major hospital in Lahore early Tuesday." – "About 30 Nato trailers carrying oil and other supplies from Pakistan to Afghanistan were burned… " etc., etc,.

Continuing attacks against important targets, demonstrated that the Taliban, Al Qaeda and other militant groups are still able to strike when they choose their target. While the Pakistani military is thought to have gained the upper hand in the tribal regions, the varied militant groups have continued and are continuing to cause mayhem in civilian areas and military installations in the cities and towns. This highlights a power struggle over the future of the country, thus an immediate solution to this infighting between Moslem and Moslem and attacks upon western interests is urgently needed.
Note: Pakistan is the only Muslim-majority nuclear state.

Pakistan, a country whose two sections, east and west on the Indian continent, were separated from each other by a thousand miles had been made into two independent countries. The western section is now the country of Pakistan and in the eastern part a separate country that was created after a revolt and given independence in 1971 - Bangladesh.
Note: The Bengali Muslims of East Pakistan demanded more self-government and funds for economic development of their country. West Pakistan refused their demands and sent in troops to East Pakistan to crush the dissension, but with Indian army help the Bengalis won their independence.

Pakistan, part of the Indian continent occupies land was crisscrossed by ancient invasion paths; Pakistan was the home of the prehistoric Indus Valley civilization, which flourished until overrun by Aryans c. 1500 b.c. The Muslims came in several waves of migration from the early 1000s to the 1500s; the Muslims kept their own religion and did not convert to Hinduism (the religion of most of Indians, during their rule of India).  After being conquered by numerous rulers and powers, it passed to the British as part of India and became a separate Muslim state in 1947. Pakistan became a republic in 1956. Islamabad is the capital city and the port city of Karachi is the largest city.  Mohammed Junna was the first elected president of the newly formed state.

Pakistan covers an area larger than Texas (311,000 square miles); the country is bordered by India on the east, Afghanistan on the northwest, the Gulf of Oman to the south, and China in the far northeast. A way through the Khyber Hills (Himalayas) through the Khyber Pass connects the country with Afghanistan.
** The name Pakistan is derived from the Urdu words Pak (meaning pure) and stan (meaning country).

"Pakistan system of government consists of a multiparty federal parliamentary system, with a dual political executive comprising a president and a prime minister. Time and time again through the years its democracy has been frequently interrupted by military coups. The federal republic comprises four provinces: Sind, Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Baluchistan, administered by appointed governors and local governments drawn from elected provincial assemblies; Tribal Areas, which are administered by the central government and the Federal Capital Territory of Islamabad."
Note: A new Constitution in 1973 made Pakistan a federal Islamic republic.

Relations with India at the best of time was precarious due the jurisdiction of Kashmir, which both side claimed. India accused Pakistan of backing Islamic militant incursions into Kashmir. Tension with India mounted when in December 2001 when five armed assailants linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani-based Islamic militant group, broke into India's parliament and killed 14 people. India accused Pakistan's intelligence service of supporting the attack and demanded that Pakistan take action against the group. As tensions escalated, the two countries mounted large-scale military build-ups on their borders. Relations were quite precarious a times and the terror attack on Mumbai by Pakistani militants heightened the mistrust by the two countries for each other.

In November 2001, there was a general strike in Pakistan to protest against the US bombing of Afghanistan, and extremist religious parties sought to build upon this opposition to President Musharraf's pro-Western policies; terrorism was their answer. In early 2002, Islamic extremists kidnapped and brutally killed Daniel Pearl, a US reporter. In March 2002, five people, including the wife and daughter of a US diplomat, were killed in a terrorist attack on a church in the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad. It was the second attack on Christians in Pakistan since the US-led war on terror began. Tension mounted - In June 2002 an Islamic militant suicide bomber drove a van loaded with explosives into the US consulate in Karachi, killing 11 people and injuring at least 45 more. Then the extreme religious parties turned their attention to the Pakistani government which they had accused of being pro-western and mounted attacks against government installations and then to other Muslim sects accused of backing the government.

And it continues in its ferocity with attacks on governmental institutions and infighting between Muslim factions till this very day…
© Norman A Rubin June 19th 2010
 normrub2000 at

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