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Pakistan Timeline - 2007

January 3

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz states that Pakistan will continue to respect the "easement rights" clause of the Durand Line agreement of 1893 which allows cross-border social and commercial interaction for the tribes in the border area, but it will fence and mine the border despite Afghanistan’s opposition.

January 4

In a suspected sectarian incident, unidentified gunmen shot dead a Shia leader, Syed Ali Imam Jaffari, in the Kotwali police precincts of Peshawar in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). He was the President of the local unit of the Shia outfit Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqh-e-Jafria (TNFJ) and caretaker of Imam Bargah Ali Imam in Kotwali.

The Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) chief, Syed Salahuddin, has denied any link between the al Qaeda and his outfit and said it is not in the "interest of the Hizb" as it is "fighting" all Kashmiris and not Muslims alone. "As far as we Kashmiris are concerned, we are only confined to Kashmir.... We have no introduction or links with the Al-Qaeda. I think it is not in our interest to side with Al-Qaeda because we are not fighting only for the Muslim Kashmiris but for all the Kashmiris including non-Muslims," Salahuddin said in an interview to a Pakistan-based private news channel.

January 5

A gas pipeline is blown up in the Dera Bugti district of Balochistan province, disrupting supply to a nearby gas plant.

January 6

There is a "human pipeline" that arranges for alienated British Muslim youths – many of them born in the UK of Pakistani heritage – to travel to Pakistan for indoctrination and training at temporary terrorist "camps", believed to be operated by the al Qaeda leaders, according to a report in the current issue of Newsweek. The report quoted US authorities as saying that the UK-Pakistan pipeline had played a role in several planned terrorist plots.

January 6

Security forces (SFs) kill four insurgents, including ‘commander’ Dur Mohammed, and arrest seven others during a raid on a farrari (fugitive) camp in the Dera Bugti district of Balochistan.

Unidentified miscreants blew up a portion of the railway track at Nasirabad in Balochistan.

SFs continue their crackdown on insurgents and their alleged camps in various areas of the Dera Bugti and Kohlu districts.

January 7

Security agencies arrest 16 suspected Taliban operatives from Pishin in Balochistan. They are arrested during a raid in the Pishin Bazaar.

January 9

Two SF personnel, Sakhi Jan and Zainullah, are killed during an encounter with the insurgents in the Chakar Marri village in the Bolan district of Balochistan. Nine insurgents and two SF personnel are injured in the clash.

Unidentified assailants behead an Afghan journalist, Anwar Saleh in the Hangu town.

A Pakistani immigrant, Shahawar Matin Siraj, is sentenced to 30 years in prison for hatching an unsuccessful plot to blow up a busy Manhattan subway station as revenge for wartime abuses.

January 11

Pakistan army attacked supply trucks used by suspected militants for cross-border attacks in Afghanistan. It was the army's first reported attack in North Waziristan since a September 2006 peace agreement between the Government and pro-Taliban militants. The army, reportedly acting on intelligence provided by the US-led coalition in Afghanistan, used mortars and artillery in the attack on January 10-night at Gurvek, near the border, spokesperson Major General Shaukat Sultan told AP. However, he said it was not clear if any militants were killed in the incident, adding the target of the attack were several supply trucks used by militants.

January 12

US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Boucher said in Islamabad on January 12 that Pakistan and the United States had been unsuccessful in eliminating terrorists and both needed to do more, according to Dawn. "Pakistan has not succeeded despite signing an agreement with tribal people in North Waziristan as terrorists are still going into Afghanistan. Likewise, the United States did not succeed in Afghanistan to curb violence and extremists, and they both need to harness more efforts to make the region peaceful and safe," he told a press conference after high-level talks in the capital.

January 13

The US National Intelligence Director, John Negroponte, said that al-Qaeda leaders have found a secure hideout in Pakistan from where they are rebuilding their strength. Negroponte told a Senate committee that al-Qaeda was still the militant organisation that "poses the greatest threat to US interests… They are cultivating stronger operational connections and relationships that radiate outward from their leaders' secure hideout in Pakistan to affiliates throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Europe," he said. However, he did not specify where in Pakistan the group's leadership was hiding.

January 14

Two girls and a woman belonging to the same family died when they stepped on an explosive device in the Matta area of Swat district in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Eye-witnesses said that the victims - Nimro, 16, her sister Jan Bibi, 5, and Fahmeeda, wife of Gul Hameed - were cutting grass in the fields when the explosive device went off, killing them on the spot.

Pro-Taliban militants shot dead a suspected Uzbek militant and captured another in the Butkhela village of North Waziristan.

A bomb attached to an Afghanistan-bound petrol tanker supplying fuel to American forces in that country exploded in the Chaman town of Balochistan but caused no casualties.

January 15

A bomb exploded at an Afghan refugee camp in the Nowshera district of NWFP, killing four people and injuring five others. Eyewitnesses and officials said that the explosion at around 11 p.m. blew up the house of a prayer leader, Maulvi Masoodullah, killing his brother Ismail and three guests. However, officials put the death toll at two. Masoodullah was reportedly arrested later.

President Pervez Musharraf rejected US Maj. Gen. Benjamin Freakley’s claim that Jalaluddin Haqqani was operating from inside Pakistan to foment violence in Afghanistan, and said that the "baseless allegations" could harm Pakistan-US cooperation in the war on terror.

About 2,000 ethnic Pashtun tribesmen rallied at Chaman in the Balochistan province to condemn the Pakistan government’s new border control measures. Chanting anti-Pakistan slogans, the protesters asked the government to abandon its plan to plant mines and build a fence along parts of its frontier with Afghanistan.

January 16

Pakistan Army helicopter gun-ships attacked a suspected militant hideout in South Waziristan early on January 16-morning, killing at least 20 militants. Helicopter gun-ships targeted a cluster of compounds at Salamt village in the Zamzola area, 30km to the east of Razmak in South Waziristan. Officials said that the compounds situated in a desolate area were completely destroyed, killing most of the people inside. "This used to be an Arab-dominated hideout… But as of now, we don't know whether any of them has been killed," one official said. Another official, citing intelligence reports, said some 25 militants had been killed and bodies of eight of them had been retrieved from underneath the rubble. Of the eight, five were stated to be Afghans and three locals from the Kikari Mehsud tribe inhabiting the Ludda sub-district of South Waziristan.

Police arrested nine suspected Taliban militants in Kuchlak, some 25 kilometers from Quetta, capital of Balochistan. A senior police official said the militants – believed to be from Ghazni province of Afghanistan – were staying at a small hotel.


January 17

Top militant commander Baitullah Mehsud vowed to avenge the air strikes at Zamzola on January 16 in the next two weeks in his native South Waziristan which, in his words, would cause pain to Pakistan.

A detained Taliban spokesperson has said the movement’s fugitive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar is hiding out in Pakistan with the protection of that country’s intelligence agency, said Afghan intelligence officials. Abul Haq Haqiq, who was known to the media as Mohammad Hanif, was arrested in the eastern province of Nangarhar late on January 15. During interrogation he reportedly said Omar was in the western Pakistan city of Quetta (capital of Balochistan province), the Afghan intelligence agency said in a statement. "He is under the protection of the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] in Quetta," it quoted Hanif as saying.

January 18

Railway traffic between Quetta, capital of Balochistan province, and the rest of Pakistan was suspended as the main tracks were blown up by insurgents near Dera Murad Jamali. An explosive device blew up a portion of the tracks linking Quetta with Sindh, Punjab and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in the Kajla Mor area. Nasirabad District Police Officer, Qazi Hussain, disclosed that the Jaffar Express and Balochistan Express were due to cross the area when the tracks were blown up.

January 19

Security forces destroyed at least four camps of the insurgents and arrested 30 people during an operation launched in the Kohlu and Sibi districts of Balochistan.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, called for giving up armed struggle to pave the way for fruitful negotiations for a lasting settlement of the Kashmir issue. The Mirwaiz (a hereditary title of one of Kashmir's important religious seats, and also head priest of the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar), who along with other senior leaders of the APHC, is on a visit to Pakistan, stated this after a series of meetings in Islamabad, including talks with President Pervez Musharraf.

January 21

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that "certain Pakistani circles" were protecting insurgents fighting in Afghanistan and added that drugs and corruption in his Government were contributing to the violence. Karzai, speaking at the opening of a new session of the Afghan parliament, said the danger from the insurgency and drugs would intensify in the coming year. "The enemies of Afghanistan’s freedom and independence very disgracefully continued their intervention and meddling in our internal affairs," said Karzai. According to him, "They formed terrorist groups consisting of international terrorist networks under the protection of certain Pakistani circles for martyring mercilessly our children, teachers and clerics."

January 22

A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a military convoy near Mirali in North Waziristan, killing four security force personnel and a woman, and injuring 23 persons, including 20 soldiers. The incident occurred at the Khajori checkpoint, about two kilometers east of Mirali town, when a joint convoy of the army and paramilitary force was heading from the Bannu Garrison to Miranshah, administrative headquarters of North Waziristan.

The Foreign Office rejected reports that Taliban chief Mullah Mohammed Omar is in Pakistan and said he is probably leading the Taliban resurgence from Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam rejected the claim and said Omar was most probably in Kandahar. "We have very regular meetings, intelligence sharing with the US, to some extent with Afghans. Nobody has any information about the whereabouts of Mullah Omar," she told a weekly press conference in Islamabad. "But, generally, the likely scenario is that he is in Kandahar where he’s marshalling his fighters," she added.

January 23

The Karachi unit Amir (chief) of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), identified as Mohammad Ali alias Mama, was arrested by the police during a raid in the Korangi area of Karachi. Superintendent of Police Fayyaz Khan said that Ali was a suspect in the murders of Lyari’s Qari Habibur Rehman and Maulana Abdul Kareem Naqshbandi. He is reported to have become the LeJ Karachi unit chief about a year ago.

January 24: Five men including, two British Pakistanis, were arrested during raids in Britain on January 23 under anti-terrorism laws. Two men, aged 25 and 29, were detained in Halifax, West Yorkshire, "on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism," said London’s Metropolitan Police. The BBC reported that they were thought to be British Pakistanis, being held on suspicion of involvement in facilitating terrorist activities overseas, although the police declined to comment. The other three suspects, two aged 24 and one 32, were arrested by anti-terrorism officers who raided four addresses in Manchester.

January 25

One person was killed and six others sustained injuries in a car bomb attack at Hangu in the NWFP. "At the moment, it appears to be a suicide attack," Station House Officer of Hangu Police Saeed Khan told reporters. Saeed said the dead man was identified as Hayat, an Afghan refugee who was living in the Katakarni camp in Hangu. Deputy Inspector General of Kohat Police Salahuddin told reporters that police had arrested three men in connection with the attack– one in Kohat and the others in Peshawar.

Suspected militants ambushed a police vehicle and killed one police personnel and injured another in the Tank town of NWFP, adjoining South Waziristan.

January 26

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside Hotel Marriott in the capital Islamabad, killing a guard, Tariq Mehmmod, and wounding five persons. The unidentified man detonated explosives strapped to his body after the security guard tried to stop him from entering the hotel through a side entrance. "It was a suicide attack. The suicide attacker and a guard were killed," Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said. The suicide bombing occurred hours before a Republic Day function at the hotel hosted by India’s High Commission. The function, however, went ahead after the explosion.

January 27

Fifteen people, including six police officials, were killed and 60 others injured in a suicide attack targeting a Muharram procession near Qasim Ali Khan Mosque in the Dilgaran area of Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar, capital of NWFP. Peshawar police commissioner Mallik Muhammad Saad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, three other police personnel and a Nazim (local official) were among those killed in the blast. Superintendent of Peshawar Police Zaibullah said that an unidentified bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body when police stopped him from entering the procession, which was to be taken out from Qasim Ali Khan Mosque.

January 29

A suicide bomber killed two people, including a policeman, at Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP. Assistant Superintendent of Police, Captain Hamad, said that the suicide bomber, wearing a black shawl, blew himself up as policeman Abdul Halim was searching him. He said that Naseer, a civilian working at a nearby petrol pump, was also killed, and seven other people, including two policemen, were injured. "The suicide bomber was a young boy. He initially refused to be searched, and when police began searching him, he blew himself up, killing a policeman, a civilian and himself," said another police officer Aslam Khattak.

January 30

Two people died in a town in NWFP where a pre-dawn rocket attack on a Shiite Muslim procession sparked a burst of sectarian violence. Army personnel were sent into Hangu, 100 kilometres south of Peshawar, capital of NWFP, to restore order after the rocket landed near police protecting the procession to mark the holy festival of Muharram. The two fatalities were from the Sunni community, said Mayor Ghani ur-Rahman. However, it was not immediately clear if the men were killed by the rocket or during the brief clashes between Sunnis and Shiites that followed. Nineteen people were reported injured.

January 31

Two people were killed in a shooting incident at an unauthorised procession of Muharram in the under-curfew town of Hangu in NWFP, adding to two deaths in a mortar attack on a Shia procession the day before.

February 1

Suspected militants ambushed a van and killed two government officials and a police personnel in North Waziristan. Two Communication and Works Department officials and police personnel Nekmatullah were on their way to Mir Ali when four gunmen in a vehicle fired at their van, killing all three on the spot and wounding three others.

Two civilians were killed in a bomb blast at Bara in NWFP. Official sources said a civilian, identified as Dakhan, was inspecting a bomb at home – after his neighbour Bilal found it in the nearby fields – when the blast occurred, killing Dakhan and his daughter-in-law and injuring six persons, including five children.

February 3

A suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden jeep into a military convoy, killing two soldiers and injuring seven others in the Barakhel area of Tank district in NWFP. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack but authorities suspected pro-Taliban tribal militants from South Waziristan were behind it.

February 5

A pro-government tribal leader was among two people killed in a landmine explosion in Nawagai tehsil (administrative division) near the border with Afghanistan.

February 6

Suspected militants killed two Afghan nationals they accused of being spies of the United States in North Waziristan. An administration official told that the two bodies, recovered near Mubarak Shahi village were kept in the Town Hall in Miranshah for identification, but were later buried at Sheikh Adam cemetery when nobody came to claim them.

A suicide attacker blew himself up in the car park of Islamabad airport, killing himself and injuring 10 people, mostly security force personnel. Police officials said that the attacker arrived at the airport close to 8:50 pm in a taxi with two other people and was stopped for checking by Airport Security Force officials who asked for his identification. The man opened fire at the guards and then ran towards the VIP lounge of the airport forcing the security officials to return fire, which led to an explosion.

February 7

Two armed motorcyclists killed an Intelligence Bureau official at Zarghun Khel post near Darra Adam Khel in the North West Frontier Province while he was on his way to Peshawar after attending a Jirga (tribal grand council).


February 10

A civilian, identified as Abdul Ghani Jan, was killed and two persons wounded during a landmine blast in the Sibi district of Balochistan.

A blast at the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Peshawar, capital of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) at around 4:30am damaged four vehicles and some property, but nobody was injured as the office was closed, said an ICRC spokesman and police.

February 12

At least 700 Taliban activists have crossed from Pakistan into Afghanistan to reinforce militants attacking a key dam, a major source of electricity and irrigation, a provincial governor in Afghanistan said. "We have got confirmed reports that they are Pakistani, Uzbek and Chechen nationals and have sneaked in," Helmand Governor Asadullah Wafa told Reuters. The Kajaki dam has seen major fighting in recent weeks between the Taliban and NATO forces, mainly British and Dutch.

February 14

In a suspected sectarian incident, two unidentified gunmen killed Shia leader Jawad Hussain in the Dera Ismail Khan city of North West Frontier Province (NWFP). Hussain was a local leader of the Shia group Tehrik Nifaz Fiqa-i-Jafria (TNFJ).

President General Pervez Musharraf has said that the Government will not allow the Talibanisation of Pakistani society, nor allow the Taliban to impede development and prosperity. "The Taliban system will not be allowed to come to the country and the Taliban will not be allowed to hamper the path to development and prosperity. We will continue to move forward to transform Pakistan into a moderate, enlightened, Muslim welfare state," Gen. Musharraf said in his address at a seminar titled ‘Voices of Asia for the process of peace, cooperation and security’, held in Islamabad at the Institute of Strategic Studies.

President Musharraf has said that the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) will be amalgamated into the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) after the Taliban and al Qaeda elements are eliminated from the region. In an interview with ARY Television aired on February 14, Gen. Musharraf said the Government had started work towards this end in 2000 with the consent of tribal elders, who welcomed this step. "We should have amalgamated FATA into the NWFP province much earlier. We had the same idea when our forces entered the area," he said.

A top US military commander called for "steady and direct" attacks on Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan. Lt-Gen Karl W. Eikenberry, the outgoing commander of the US forces in Afghanistan, warned that the Karzai Government would suffer an irreversible loss of legitimacy among Afghanis if the internal situation did not improve. He claimed that senior Taliban and al Qaeda leaders have set up training camps and recruiting grounds in Pakistan’s tribal areas, which they use for carrying out attacks in Afghanistan. Since September 2006, when Pakistan signed a peace deal with tribesmen in North Waziristan, "the cross-border attacks have tripled," he said. "Al Qaeda and Taliban leadership presence inside Pakistan remains a very significant problem," Gen Eikenberry told the House Armed Services Committee in Washington, warning of the "growing threat of Talibanization" inside Pakistan.

February 15

The Government has decided to repatriate all Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan by 2009. This was announced at a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Cabinet Committee held in Islamabad. The committee – headed by Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao –devised a strategy to send all Afghan refugees back to their homeland in three years, from 2007 to 2009. Under the strategy, four camps of Afghan refugees located in Balochistan and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) will be removed in the ongoing year. In the first phase, two of them -- one in each province -- will be dismantled in March.

February 17

Seventeen people, including a senior civil judge, were killed and 30 others injured in a powerful suicide bombing in the Quetta District Courts compound. The blast occurred inside the courtroom of Senior Civil Judge Abdul Wahid Durrani at 11:05am (PST). Tariq Masood Khosa, Balochistan’s Inspector General of Police said, "It was a suicide bombing which is evident from the recovery of the heads of two persons. One of them entered the courtroom and blew himself up."

February 18

Two children were killed and three SF personnel wounded in two separate landmine explosions in Balochistan.

The Government has ordered immediate closure of all offices of the Al-Rashid Trust (ART) and Al-Akhtar Trust (AAT) throughout Pakistan after the United Nations Security Council declared them to have links to militant groups. Interior Ministry reportedly directed the four provinces, the chief secretaries of the Northern Areas and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) and the Islamabad Capital Territory district administration to close the offices, schools, hospitals and other ongoing projects of ART and AAT in their respective areas. They have also been asked to detain the staff of the two trusts, impound their vehicles and confiscate equipment from their offices.

February 19

President Pervez Musharraf said that the attack on the Samjhauta Express would not be allowed to sabotage the ongoing peace process with India. "Such wanton acts of terrorism will only serve to further strengthen the resolve to attain the mutually desired objective of sustainable peace between Pakistan and India," Gen. Musharraf said in a statement.

February 20

An Islamist "fanatic" shot dead the Social Welfare Minister of Punjab province, Zile Huma Usman, in an open court in her hometown of Gujranwala. Police said Muhammad Sarwar shot dead the minister during a brief power cut during the open court at Pakistan Muslim League House. Police arrested Sarwar immediately after the shooting and later said he was a religious fanatic opposed to women being independent, and had been implicated in four murders and two attempted murders in Gujranwala. "He considers it contrary to the teachings of Allah for a woman to become a minister or a ruler. That’s why he committed this action," the police said in a statement.

An Afghan refugee was beheaded for allegedly being a US spy in North Waziristan. The decapitated body of Nek Amal, a 35-year old man from Zozak village in the Afghan province of Khost, was found in Saidgey village, near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in North Waziristan.

Federal Minister for Frontier Regions, Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, survived an attempt on his life in the Sani area of Bolan district in Balochistan province. The minister was reportedly going to Sibi from his native town of Shoran to attend a meeting.

An eight-member bench of the Supreme Court ruled that the office of the Mohtasib (ombudsman), as envisaged in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Assembly’s Hasba Bill, could not be delegated judicial powers and a seminary-qualified person could not be graded an ‘aalim’ for appointment as a provincial Mohtasib. The court said the NWFP Assembly should review the Hasba Bill to exclude controversial sections, otherwise the rest of the bill was okay. The bench was giving its ruling on a reference filed by President Pervez Musharraf, who had sought the court’s opinion on Hasba Bill’s validity.

February 21

A tribal elder was shot dead in the Tank district of NWFP. Police said armed men intruded into the house of Malik Karim Khan in the Totkai locality of Tank on February 20-night and shot him dead. Malik Karim belonged to South Waziristan and had shifted to Tank due to the security situation in Waziristan.

Intelligence agencies indicated that Taliban commanders plan to carry out 12 suicide attacks in various parts of Pakistan. According to intelligence reports submitted to the Interior Ministry, the attacks have been planned by Taliban commanders such as Baitullah Mehsud, Abdullah Mehsud, Sheikh Khalid Mahmood and Nazir Wazir. The reports also name five of the 12 expected suicide bombers and their targets. They say that Nurani, a resident of Ghazni district in Afghanistan, has been given the task to carry out a suicide attack in Islamabad or Sargodha. Gul Jan, who belongs to the Mehsud tribe in South Waziristan, has reportedly been tasked with an attack in Lahore. Miatol, who belongs to a Punjabi tribe, is stated to be planning an attack in Dera Ismail Khan. Ziaul Haq, a resident of Shand Estate, is reported to be preparing a suicide blast in the Bahawalpur region. Mohammad Zaman, a resident of Waziristan, is said to be planning attacks in Lahore and Rawalpindi.

Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network continue to operate from the area that straddles the Durand Line, said the US State Department without specifying whether the alleged Al Qaeda camps are on the Afghan or Pakistan side of the border. "We continue to be concerned about the existence of Al Qaeda’s leadership that’s out there, Osama bin Laden among others," the department’s deputy spokesperson Tom Casey told a briefing in Washington. "And we continue to be concerned as you know, about cross-border activities from Pakistan to Afghanistan," he added. Casey was commenting on a New York Times report earlier this week that the al Qaeda leadership has successfully revived the terrorist network, working from bases in North Waziristan.

February 22

Police in Quetta, capital of Balochistan province, seized eight kilograms of explosive material, a detonator and a remote-controlled bomb from the Hazar Gangi area, but no arrests are made.

Security agencies claimed to have averted at least four major terrorist attacks in different parts of the country and said that 19 suspects, who are being controlled by some people in tribal areas near the Afghan border, had been arrested. An interior ministry official told that seven people had been arrested from Dera Ismail Khan on January 29. They are local Taliban and belonged to the Mehsud tribe from South Waziristan. Further, 12 Afghan nationals are arrested for suspected links with militants in Faisalabad on January 29, he added. The interior ministry official informed that a countrywide terror alert, especially in capital Islamabad, had been issued after investigations revealed presence of some suicide bombers in various parts of the country. The terror threat level had not been loared from ‘red alert’, he added.

February 23

A bomb exploded in the Mastung town of Balochistan province without causing any loss of life or injuries. According to police sources, a home-made bomb planted along the wall of the office of the Public Safety Commission with timer exploded at around 10.30pm (PST). The wall of the Public Safety Commission office collapsed while windowpanes of many nearby houses are destroyed in the explosion.

Five private English medium schools providing co-education remained closed in Peshawar, capital of NWFP, after security agencies advised their management to make security arrangements for themselves. The institutions are reportedly in the grip of rumours that suicide bombers may target private schools that provide co-education. The five educational institutions – the City School, Peshawar Grammar School, Frontier Education Foundation, four branches of the Beacon House School in various parts of the city and a branch of Bloomfield School in the University Town – are closed by their respective administrations after receiving instructions from security agencies that terrorists may target them.

Security agencies warned that a female suicide bomber in fashionable clothes and sunglasses might target Pakistan Air Force (PAF) installations in Peshawar, capital of North West Frontier Province, to avenge an air strike on a Madrassa (seminary) in Bajaur on October 31, 2006. "This suicide bomber will be different from others. This one will not have a beard... it will be a good-looking girl with the aim to avenge the air strike," official sources told. Sources said that the would-be suicide bomber would target PAF-run schools and colleges to kill as many male and female students as possible. However, PAF spokesperson Air Commodore Sarfraz Ahmed Khan said "We got no special threat."

Maulana Ameer Hamza of the Jama’at-ud-Da’awa said that a suicide attack is, beyond doubt, an act of terrorism. He said that someone who kills himself to kill others also "recounts for the sins of those who (he has) killed." The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s Hafiz Hussain Ahmed said that since Islam did not permit the killing of innocent people, it is necessary to figure out why suicide bombers went to such extremes. He said that since there is no way of effectively stopping a suicide bomber, the only solution is to eliminate the causes which gave rise to such resentment that people resorted to suicidal tactics. He added that no final Fatwa could be given on the issue, since a suicidal defence strategy is employed by the Pakistani Army at Chawinda to repel an Indian attack during the 1965 war, a strategy that is approved by the religious scholars of the time. However, he said that an Islamic war by an Islamic state could not be compared to the recent wave of suicide attacks that targeted innocent civilians.

Former minister and Sunni cleric Dr Mehmood Ahmad Ghazi reportedly said, "A suicide attack is clearly murder and its legality is further called into question by the fact that they occurred in a Muslim state which is not occupied by infidels." Other clerics quoted in the report included Sunni scholars Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman and Allama Jamil Ahmed Naeemi and Shia clerics Allama Abass Hussain, Allama Sheryar Aabidi, Allama Shehnshah Naqvi and Allama Ather Mashhadi.

February 24

The power supply to several parts of Quetta, capital of Balochistan province, is disrupted after some unidentified people fired a rocket at the Sheik Mandha grid station near Askari Park.

Three suspected militants are killed at Cheechawatni near Multan in the Punjab province when the explosives they are carrying on a bicycle detonated. Police said that two of the men are from a Madrassa (seminary) that had links with the banned Sunni group, SSP.  

February 25

A woman and her two children are killed when insurgents fired a rocket at their house in the Kahan area of Kohlu district in Balochistan province. Government officials, however, did not confirm the report.  

Insurgents also blew up a two-foot section of the railway track near the provincial capital Quetta with a powerful bomb. Police defused three other bombs found near the blast’s site.  

A bomb blast is reported outside a security force’s check post. No loss of life or injuries is reported.  

Another rocket is fired at the Balochistan Constabulary’s check post in the Khuzdar district. The rocket missed the intended target and landed a few meters away from the check post. No damage is reported.

"Police have arrested 40 students and six teachers of Aziz-ul-Aloom, a seminary in Cheechawatni," a police official said. "Maulana Alam Tariq, the late Maulana Azam Tariq’s brother, is among the arrested," he informed. "The suspects are members of the Sunni extremist group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi [LeJ]," police sources said.

The main railway track near Dera Murad Jamali is blown up late, severing rail link between Quetta, capital of Balochistan province, and rest of the country for a second time in 24 hours. "At least three feet of the rail track near village Sona Khan Bugti is blown up when an explosive device went off," said Nasirabad District Police Officer Qazi Hussain Ahmad.

February 26

A militant is killed and his accomplice wounded during a clash with police at Tank in the NWFP after a gang had taken away the city’s fire engine from Wazirabad locality. Witnesses said three police personnel are injured when the militants hurled a hand grenade on them.

In NWFP, a police station is partially damaged in a rocket attack at Bannu. No casualties are reported. "The Mandan police station is attacked the night between Sunday and Monday," said police officials.

In Balochistan, a bomb explosion is reported from the Mastung town. No loss of life or injuries is reported.

February 27

Al Qaeda is re-establishing training camps in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zwahiri are probably there too, the new US intelligence chief said. "To the best of our knowledge the senior leadership [of Al Qaeda], number one and number two, are there," retired admiral Michael McConnell, the new Director of National Intelligence, told a Congressional hearing.

Director of United States National Intelligence Mike McConnell told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Al Qaeda and the Taliban maintain "critical sanctuaries" in Pakistan's northwestern tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. He said that while 75 percent of Al-Qaida's leadership has been killed or captured, a new generation of terrorists is training in Iraq, the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region and East Africa. Criticising Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf for making agreements with local tribal leaders who since have allowed the Taliban and Al Qaeda to regroup, McConnell said, "The president of Pakistan believed that he could be more effective by signing this peace agreement. And in our point of view, capabilities of Al Qaeda for training and so on increased." He added, "We believe (Pakistan) could do more."

Security forces captured a high-ranking Taliban leader, Mullah Obaidullah Akhund in Quetta, capital of Balochistan. An unidentified security official said that Akhund, the third most senior member of the Taliban’s 10-member leadership council, is arrested after a visit to Pakistan by United States Vice-President Dick Cheney. The head of the Interior Ministry’s Crisis Management Unit, retired Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, however, denied that Akhund had been detained. 

February 28

Two American states have clamped restrictions on a Pakistani bank on terror finance-related suspicions. "Two US states have restricted this bank from dealing in transactions in foreign exchange, transfers of credits to foreign banks and importing and exporting currency or securities," sources claimed, without naming the bank or the two US states that have subjected the bank to this action. Asked what had prompted the US states to take this action, the sources said that it is a news report carried by a section of the Pakistani press accusing this bank and others of involvement in terrorist money transfers from the UK. UK-based charities had allegedly transferred funds through this bank’s branch in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, and this money landed in the hands of alleged terrorists who helped finance the UK-bombing plot in 2006.

President Pervez Musharraf warned foreign terrorists hiding in Pakistan’s mountainous tribal areas to leave the country or face the consequences. Speaking at a large public gathering at Larkana he said, "People come to Pakistan from outside – they are living in our mountains and spreading terror not just in Pakistan, but the world over." He added, "These people are endangering Pakistan’s image and its security and should leave, or they will be dealt with."

Five Afghans with suspected links to the Taliban have been arrested during a raid in a hotel in Quetta. Police official Qazi Abdul Wahid said, "They appeared to be affiliates of the Taliban and we are interrogating the suspects about their links."

March 1

A madrassa (seminary) teacher, identified as Akhtar Usmani, is killed by suspected Taliban militants for allegedly spying for the United States and his beheaded body is found in Jandola – a town in Tank, near the border of South Waziristan. Tribal officials aid that the slain teacher had also made recordings of anti-Taliban speeches. Urdu word ‘munafiq’ (hypocrite) is scrawled across his forehead.

President General Pervez Musharraf said that the government is willing to hold talks with insurgents in Balochistan to end the violence in the province. Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Sibbi festival in Sibbi, he said, "They should tell us what their demands are. We are ready to give them everything." He, however, added that "no power can separate Balochistan from Pakistan". Musharraf further said, "We have the capability to counter terrorist acts in Balochistan. Those indulging in terrorist acts are also from among us. I appeal to them to give up these activities and join the development process."

March 2

Three policemen are killed and nine others, including an anti-terrorist Judge Bashir Ahmed Bhatti, are wounded when a remote-controlled bomb attached to a bicycle exploded in Multan. Bhatti is travelling to his court when the bomb went off damaging his vehicle. "A bomb of high intensity is planted on a bicycle in front of a basketball stadium near the court, and it exploded as the car of the special anti-terrorism court judge passed. It is a targeted attack… Two police gunmen died on the spot, and another nine people are injured: the judge, six policemen and two bystanders," said district police chief Munir Ahmed Chishti.

March 5

In North Waziristan, suspected militants shot dead two tribesman accused of spying for United States (US) forces operating in Afghanistan. Body of 30-year-old Qayyum Shahmiri was found early south of Miranshah. Another body was found later from a drain in Manzar Khel town, south of Miranshah. Notes left with the bodies described the killed as ‘American spies’.

March 6

Around 15 people were killed and several others injured in a reported clash between the Wazir Zalikhel sub-tribe and foreign militants near Azam Warsak in South Waziristan. Eyewitnesses told, "Among the dead are 13 militants, most of them Uzbeks and Tajiks, while two brothers of Zalikhel chieftain Malik Saeedullah were also killed." Eyewitnesses further said, "Foreign militants and their local supporters attacked the brothers of the chieftain on Tuesday, killing both of them, and this led to a gunbattle." A confirmation of the report from authorities in Wana, however, could not be received.

First meet of the anti-terrorism mechanism (ATM) between India and Pakistan takes place in Islamabad in accordance with the September 2006 decision of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pervez Musharraf. A five-member delegation led by K.C. Singh, Additional Secretary in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), left for Islamabad on March 5. According to the officials, the meeting will have a broad agenda, where specifics will be discussed. They confirmed that the February 19 explosions in the Samjhauta Express would figure in the talks.

March 7

The death toll rises to 19 in a reported clash between the Wazir Zalikhel sub-tribe and foreign militants near Azam Warsak in South Waziristan on February 6. "The death toll has risen to 19, from 15 yesterday. The dead include 12 Uzbek militants and three local supporters, three members of local peace committee and one Afghan shopkeeper," a security official said, adding, "The militants regrouped Tuesday night and torched two residential compounds belonging to Malik Saadullah(a pro-government tribal chief). Militants also abducted six of Saadullah's men but released three of them after a few hours."

A bomb attached to a motorcycle went off near a vehicle carrying pro-government tribal elders in Sui, killing one of the elders and wounding 12 others, an official said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said that the Taliban and al Qaeda are using Pakistan's tribal areas, particularly North Waziristan, to regroup. "I would say the Taliban and Al Qaeda have been able to use the areas around, particularly North Waziristan, to regroup and it is a problem. We are working together with Pakistan to address that problem," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon.

A Pakistani official has denied that there is a link between the Government and the Taliban. Shafqat Jalil, the press counsellor at Pakistan's permanent mission to the United Nations (UN), wrote in a letter that the attempt to link the Taliban to Pakistan's domestic political situation was based on "incorrect information".

March 8

A suspected member of banned SSP outfit, identified as Sarwar Alam alias Alami, was shot dead by gunmen at Dera Ismail Khan.

The outgoing US Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker has said that the peace deal between the Pakistan Government and tribal elders in Waziristan, though "well written", has not been implemented.

President Pervez Musharraf has said that the country is facing 'serious threats' of suicide bombing and extremism, which need to be checked before it is too late. "The menace of terrorism, particularly suicide bombing and extremism, is eating up the fabric of society like a termite and we all have to play our role in combating it," he said.

Pakistan Navy's submarine force Commodore Farrukh Mahfouz said that Pakistan would not allow its maritime area to become a 'floating base' for international terrorism.

March 9

Suspected pro-Taliban rebels in Pakistan’s tribal belt shot dead an Afghan refugee accused of spying for United States forces operating in neighbouring Afghanistan. Abdul Rahim was shot dead in Mohammad Khel village south of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district on March 8, a security official said.

Two gunmen on a motorcycle killed a Shia businessman, Anwar Ali Shah at Dera Ismail Khan.

Pakistan Government agreed to launch no more land or air attacks in North Waziristan and also agreed to the withdrawal of the army from check posts into camps. The deal was signed between the North Waziristan political agent representing the NWFP Governor and "Tribal leaders of North Waziristan, local mujahideen and elders of the Utmanzai tribes". The party of the second part agreed to ensure that no attacks were carried against law-enforcement agencies or on government assets and there would be no "target killings". The tribal elders and others also agreed not to set up a parallel administration, and accept the writ of the Pakistan Government.

March 10

Security forces killed three militants who were trying to enter Pakistan from Afghanistan in Dwatoi of North Waziristan. A junior commissioned officer was also killed during the encounter, the first direct confrontation with militants following the September 5, 2006 peace accord between the government and pro-Taliban elders. The army provided no details about the identity of the slain militants.

Unidentified assailants shot dead a retired Shia soldier in Dera Ismail Khan of NWFP and a government employee from the community in the same region on March 10. Local police officer Aslam Khattak said, "The murders appear to be sectarian terrorism".

March 12

Suspected Sunni militants shot dead a Shia man, identified as Syed Arshad Abbas, in Dera Ismail Khan city of the NWFP.

March 12

The headless body of a person was found in a sack on a roadside in Jandola town, bordering South Waziristan. Pakistani militants beheaded the accused of spying for United States forces in Afghanistan. The severed head had been placed near the sack and a note near his body read "US spy" and "Rawalpindi", in an apparent reference to the garrison city housing the army headquarters.

March 13

Gunmen shot dead two persons, a Shia and a Sunni, in the Dera Ismail Khan Town of NWFP, raising the toll from sectarian violence in the town in the last week to seven, Police said. Police said that Niaz Ahmed, a teacher from the minority Shia community, was shot dead by unknown assailants on a motorcycle when he was going to school in Dera Ismail Khan.

Gunmen on a motorcycle killed Maulana Farooq Ahmed, a Sunni cleric, in the same city, said local police officials. Ahmed was a member of the outlawed SSP.

March 14

SFs arrested Wahid Bakhsh Qambar, Tump area leader of the banned BLA, along with 13 of his men after a brief clash in the Tump area, security officials said arms, were recovered from the incident site.

Two senior US officials –- the secretary of defence and the military chief -– have once again accused Pakistan of allowing the Taliban and al Qaeda to continue their activities in FATA.

March 16

The NWFP Governor Ali Muhammad Jan Orakzai said that continued hostilities between two religious groups in Bara had threatened peace and were hampering development projects in the Khyber Agency. According to an official statement, Orakzai was talking to a jirga of Afridi tribe elders, who called on him at the Governor’s House to apprise him of progress made, so far, in resolving the dispute between the two religious factions in the Bara subdivision. He said numerous innocent people had lost their lives in the ongoing conflict, warning that the political administration could not allow such a tense situation to persist any longer, as it was bringing a bad name to the Afridi tribe and the political administration.

March 17

A jirga (council) of Mamoond tribal elders and senior administration officials warned tribesmen against sheltering foreign terrorists in Bajaur Agency that overlooks Afghanistan’s Kunar province. Tribal elder Malik Shah Jehan told the jirga "Anyone sheltering foreigners will be punished heavily." Quoting tribal elders the report said that the jirga is a step towards a North Waziristan-like peace accord. The report further said that the government was trying to reach a North Waziristan-like peace accord with Bajaur militant leader Maulana Faqir Muhammad.

March 18

Unidentified men gunned down a watchman and blew up four video CD shops in Bukshali Bazaar in Mardan in the NWFP.

Five workers of the Muslim Students Federation (MSF), the student wing of the ruling Muslim Conference, sustained bullet wounds in a clash with activists of pro-independence National Students Federation (NSF) near Muzaffarabad in the PoK. The clash erupted after MSF activists pasted a poster of their organisation’s "Kashmir banega Pakistan" rally outside a shop which reportedly belonged to the family of an NSF leader in Zaminabad village, along the Muzaffarabad-Kohala road.

A Pakistani official denied that Pakistan was playing a "direct role in arming and financing" the Taliban.

March 19

Militants shot dead a traffic policeman at a bazaar in Tank. The shooting appeared to be linked to a string of attacks on Policemen by suspected pro-Taliban militants in the region since January.

March 20

President General Pervez Musharraf warned militants that they should lay down their arms, otherwise "they will be eliminated and allowed to exist no more." Where does decency stand on the way to blowing up gas pipelines and railway tracks? These elements are opposed to development and want their hegemony to prevail. I warn them to surrender, otherwise they will be eliminated and they will not be allowed to exist any more ... these miscreants are minimal in number, and we will deal with them. If they want to fight, I know (how) to fight more than them," said Musharraf while inaugurating the Gwadar deep-sea port.

Pakistan Ambassador to United States Munir Akram told the UN Security Council that there was no proven direct co-relation of an increase in incidents inside Afghanistan with the conclusion of the North Waziristan agreement signed by the Pakistani Government with tribal leaders. He said that suicide attacks, facilitators and Taliban commanders were crossing over from Pakistan, crossing of the border was in both directions, and the Taliban must be controlled on both sides of the border. He refuted allegations of "safe havens and sanctuaries" for Taliban in Pakistan as "unsubstantiated".

March 19-22

Nearly 160 people, including 130 foreign militants, were killed in four days of fighting between the al Qaeda-linked militants and Pakistani tribesmen. Fresh fighting broke out on March 19 in Shin Warsak village, seven kilometers west of Wana. Earlier, a battle between foreign militants, most of them Uzbeks, and ethnic Pashtun tribesmen erupted in the remote area near the Afghan border on March 6, when militants tried to kill a pro-Government tribal leader, in which seventeen people, most of them Uzbeks, were killed. This followed Government efforts to convince the tribesmen to help keep order and stop militant raids into Afghanistan. "It's a success of the Government tribesmen strategy ... the tribesmen are fed up with them because they and their activities adversely affect their lives and business," said Military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad.

A Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) – Fazlur Rehman dominated tribal jirga on March 22 brokered a temporary cease-fire between foreign militants and Wazir tribes in South Waziristan. "Both sides have agreed to the jirga demand for a ceasefire," said Niaz Muhammad Qureshi, JUI-F information secretary for South Waziristan. "We are glad that the two sides conceded to the tribal elders and clerics’ plea for silencing their guns in order to solve their issues through peaceful means," he added. Senior militant leaders like Baitullah Mehsud, Sirajuddin Haqqani, son of senior Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, and an unnamed Taliban commander from across the Afghan border reached undisclosed locations in South Waziristan to take part in the cease-fire negotiations. "They are all monitoring the situation and discussing with key local militant commanders how things can be cooled down," said tribal sources. Tribal sources said that Maulvi Nazir, commander of pro-Taliban tribal militants in Wazir areas, at one point was unwilling to negotiate a cease-fire with foreign militants and their local harbourers. "The jirga members convinced him after hours-long parleys," said sources in Dera Ismail Khan city, 200 miles south of Peshawar.

Government is considering launching an offensive to flush out foreign militants in the Waziristan tribal region, particularly in Wana. A senior ministry official said the Government had prepared a plan in consultation with the army.

March 21

Five FC personnel were killed and four injured when unidentified gunmen ambushed their vehicle in the Bramcha area of Chagai district, an FC official said.

Tribesmen, led by Maulavi Nazir, are reported to have recovered 18,00 hand-grenades, 175 rocket-propelled grenades, 188 Kalashnikovs and thousands of rounds of ammunition from a private jail run by Uzbeks in the Kaloosha area.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed worry that Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan was serving as a possible safe haven for terrorists and said extremists in the area have to be dealt with.

March 23

The NWFP Governor Ali Jan Orakzai said that foreign militants battling tribesmen in South Waziristan could still avail an amnesty offer if they surrendered to the authorities. Orakzai said there could be around 500 foreign militants still hiding in the area.

Unidentified insurgents blew up an electricity tower in Mohmand Agency in the NWFP. Unidentified miscreants had sabotaged some towers in November 2006. The MRM has been blamed for previous sabotages of electricity towers and Government officials have accused the organisation for this recent subversive activity. However, the MRM has denied involvement in this incident, saying that the administration was making false allegations against the organisation to foil its March 26 strike. The MRM demanded that 25 villages, which were part of the agency and later included in the settles areas, be re-included in the agency.

Suspected militants have now started sending threatening letters to owners of internet cafés and video centres and principals of Government and private schools in Charsadda, following similar incidents in other areas. The letters warn, "Do away with un-Islamic practices, otherwise you will have to face dire consequences." It was written in the notes that all video centres and Internet cafes must be closed between March 23 and April 23. According to the letters, female students should start wearing veils or "face dire consequences".

March 24

After a one-day lull, clashes erupted once again between local tribal militias and foreign, mostly Uzbek militants, in North Waziristan.

March 25

Pakistan army patrols of the border with Afghanistan and refugee camps are helping to block Taliban reinforcements moving into the south, a NATO commander said. A NATO and Afghan operation launched in the southern province of Helmand nearly three weeks ago had not been met with any "major mobilisation" of forces, Major General Ton van Loon told reporters. In that area, "We are seeing that there are limited amounts of foreign fighters coming into the country and I think the Pakistanis are really making a big difference," the Dutch General told reporters. There had been an "increase in patrolling at the border and around refugee camps by the Pakistani army," he said.

The NWFP can only be renamed through a referendum, Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Salim Saifullah Khan said in a statement.

March 26

A police officer and two attackers were killed, while 13 others, including three paramilitary soldiers and a constable, were wounded when suspected militants attacked a police station, an armoured personnel carrier and FC fort with hand grenades in Tank city of NWFP, Police and residents said.

Tribal militants praised by the Government for a bloody assault on foreign fighters in Pakistan said that they would continue to go to Afghanistan to fight foreign forces. The tribal militia told reporters that they had not turned against the foreigners for the Government’s sake. "We will continue our jihad (in Afghanistan) if that is against America, the Russians, British or India as long as we have souls in our bodies," Haji Sharif, an aide to Maulvi Nazir, told reporters in Wana. Nazir’s representatives escorted reporters to the area, where sympathies for the Taliban run high and which is generally off-limits to outside journalists. Sharif said "Our activities across the border have been affected by our crisis with the Uzbeks. We have enemies in our home," he said.

Tribesmen in the Bajaur agency gave an undertaking to the Government to deny shelter to "locals as well as foreigners, including Afghans" involved in terrorist or anti-state activities. The five-point undertaking was signed by 800 tribal elders at a jirga held at the regional headquarters of the agency in Khaar. It was signed by tribal region’s administrator Shakeel Qadir Khan as a witness. The meeting was attended by elders from two major tribes, Utmankhel and Tarkhani, ulema, parliamentarians and officials of the political administration. "This is an undertaking and not an agreement. This is an undertaking by the tribesmen and the government is not a party to it. We have not pledged anything in return," the administrator said.

March 27

Unidentified gunmen attacked an ISI vehicle in the Rashakai area – 10-kilometres from Khar Bazaar of Bajaur Agency, killing four officials, including Deputy Director Mohammad Sadique alias Major Hamza, said officials. The other three officials were identified as Saeedur Rehman, Hussain Ahmad and Umer Khan.

President Pervez Musharraf denied that his Government was behind the disappearances of hundreds of citizens and said that they were in the custody of jihadi groups. The President said that they had probably been "brainwashed" into joining militant groups.

March 28

At least 25 Taliban militants and a paramilitary soldier were killed in a gun battle that continued for six-hours in the Tank town of NWFP. Tank District Police Officer Mumtaz Zarin said that security forces killed at least 25 militants when more than 200 Taliban cadres attacked the city from all sides. A police source said that two police stations, a paramilitary fort and bank branches were damaged in the Taliban attack.

March 29

At least four persons were killed and as many wounded in clashes between two militant groups in South Waziristan.

A suicide bomber blew himself up in an army training area in Guliana near Kharian Cantonment, killing two soldiers and injuring seven others.

March 30

Pakistani tribesmen traded heavy rocket and mortar fire with foreign al Qaeda militants in South Waziristan for a second day, leaving 56 people dead. Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said, "Fifty-four people were killed today (and) two yesterday. They include 45 foreigners."

Maulana Abdul Aziz, the prayer leader at Lal Masjid and principal of Jamia Hafsa in Islamabad, gave the Government a week’s deadline to "enforce Sharia" in the country, otherwise "clerics will Islamise society themselves". "If the government does not impose Sharia within a week, we will do it," Aziz told a gathering after Friday prayers.

The Council of Islamic Ideology said that the Government should take stern action against religious organisations challenging the writ of the Government and disrupting law and order in the country.

March 31

Local tribesmen attacked foreign al Qaeda militants hiding in bunkers in the ongoing clashes that killed five people in South Waziristan, bringing the total death toll since fighting began on March 19 to 177.

April 1

An amended EU report on Kashmir asked Pakistan to disarm the militants, shut down terrorist training camps and end the flow of weapons and money to the Taliban and other militants based in Pakistani territory. The report, cleared by the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said Pakistan-based militant groups like the LeT and HuM were continuing operations. It noted that while there has been a steady decline in the number of victims of terror attacks over the past five years, the activities of constantly mutating terrorist groups like the LeT and HuM have caused "hundreds of deaths in Jammu and Kashmir and beyond."

April 2

Ten people were killed and an unspecified number of them wounded in renewed fighting between the pro-government tribesmen and foreign militants, even as the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe gave a call to all the tribesmen to go after the foreign militants and their local supporters to purge the area from outsiders.

Two people were killed and nine others injured in a clash between two religious groups at Khyber Agency in the FATA.

The Jirga (tribal council) in Wana resolved that all the foreigners and their local supporters were liable to death and all those tribesmen able to pick guns should join the tribal force to eliminate these elements or evict them from the agency.

April 4

An estimated 50 people were killed in fresh clashes between pro-government tribesmen and foreign militants in South Waziristan. A tribal army led by Maulana Nazir, a pro-government militant commander waging a fight against Uzbek militants, captured the strategic area of Sheen Warsak west of Wana after a fierce battle in which 19 Uzbeks and five tribesmen were killed. Three paramilitary soldiers were also killed during the fighting. In a gun-battle in Zaghunday, north of Sheen Warsak, the tribal army killed 25 Uzbeks.

Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao told reporters in Islamabad that around 200 Uzbek militants and 50 tribesmen have been killed since March 19. "This is the result of the agreements the government made with tribal people in which they pledged to expel foreigners and now they are doing it," he said.

April 5

Hard-line religious leaders established a Qazi court (a parallel judicial system) in the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in capital Islamabad, challenging the writ of the government for the fourth time over the past 45 days. According to an announcement from Lal Masjid, the court comprising 10 Muftis will decide disputes and give their verdict in accordance with ‘Islamic injunctions’.

Three Pakistanis are facing life imprisonment after they were charged in connection with the suicide attacks on London’s transport system on July 7, 2005, in which 52 persons were killed. Mohammed Shakil, 30, of Beeston, a suburb of Leeds; Sadeer Saleem, 26, also of Beeston; and Waheed Ali, 23, who recently lived in London but was originally from Beeston, were arrested on March 22, 2007

The elders of the Ahmedzai Wazir tribe have formally requested the government for air support and supply of weapons against foreign militants, said a deputy spokesman for the Maulana Nazir-led militants.

Pakistan rejected a United States media report that it was secretly aiding a militant group for attacks across the border in Iran as "tendentious". It described as an "absurd and sinister insinuation" that Pakistan was part of a "secret campaign" against Iran.

April 6

Pro-government tribesmen stormed key bunkers occupied by foreign Al Qaeda militants, killing around 20 people, said security officials.

Authorities imposed a curfew in Kurram Agency following sectarian violence in which three people were killed and the Army was called out to control the situation. Hospital sources said that three people were killed and 13 injured when Shias were attacked in an Imambargah in the morning. Trouble erupted when Shias staged a demonstration outside their mosque against local Sunnis who allegedly chanted anti-Shia slogans during a religious rally last week.

Formally announcing the establishment of a parallel judicial system, the pro-Taliban Lal Masjid administration vowed to enforce Islamic laws in Islamabad and threatened to unleash a wave of suicide bombers if the government took any action to counter it.

April 7

At least 40 persons were killed and an unspecified number of them wounded at Parachinar and other parts of the Kurram tribal agency in the FATA on the second day of sectarian clashes. Arbab Muhammad Arif, Secretary (Security) for the FATA denied the suggestion that Pakistan Army’s helicopter gun-ships had caused most of the fatalities by firing at combatants from the air.

April 8

16 more persons were killed in the Kurram Agency of FATA as sectarian clashes spread to most parts of the tribal region bordering Afghanistan. Nine Shias and seven Sunnis were reportedly killed in different villages of the Kurram Agency.

April 9

Pro-government tribesmen have reportedly cleared the Azam Warsak area in South Waziristan of Uzbek militants linked to the al Qaeda and hoisted their flags after establishing their control. An official said that around 2,000 tribal volunteers and militants allied to ‘commander’ Maulana Nazir entered Azam Warsak on April 9-morning and hoisted white flags. "With God’s help, we have forced Qari Tahir Khan and his supporters to flee," Mullah Owais Hanafi, a spokesman for the tribal army led by Maulana Nazir, said in a statement. Qari Tahir Khan is a local name for Tahir Yuldashev, leader of the outlawed Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

At least four SF personnel were killed and two others wounded in an ambush by insurgents near the Tartani area of Kohlu district in Balochistan. SFs retaliated and claimed to have arrested at least 12 armed insurgents, four of whom had been injured in an encounter.

Despite a cease-fire between the rival Sunni and Shia groups, sectarian riots continued in different parts of the Kurram Agency in FATA. Political Agent Sahibzada Mohammad Anees informed that the truce brokered in many areas of the region with the help of tribal elders had failed to quell clashes in far-off areas.

Ministers and officials of the intelligence agencies reportedly voiced opposition to a crackdown on students of the pro-Taliban Jamia Hafsa and Jamia Fareedia and the Lal Masjid administration for political and security reasons. Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao told the meeting, chaired by President Pervez Musharraf, that the government could not afford the use of force against seminary students since general elections were near.

April 10

Eight more persons were killed on the fifth day of the sectarian clashes in the Kurram Agency of the FATA.

April 10-11

At least 45 more people were killed during sectarian clashes in the Kurram Agency of FATA as Shia and Sunni combatants continued to attack each other’s villages with heavy weapons despite warnings of military action by the government against those refusing to stop fighting. For the sixth day, fighting occurred in most parts of the Kurram Agency bordering Afghanistan.

April 11

Pakistani security forces operating in South Waziristan have made a three-tier security deployment to stop cross-border infiltration by militants into Afghanistan, said Major Gen Gul Muhammad, a senior military commander in Wana, headquarters of South Waziristan. He also said that Pakistan would shortly commence fencing of its borders along a 12-km stretch with Afghanistan to ‘choke off’ cross-border infiltration. He disclosed that Pakistani forces had set up 33 check-posts along South Waziristan’s borders with Afghanistan, conducting regular patrolling, mostly through the night and sharing information with western forces across the border. According to him, troops operating in the border region had also imposed a night curfew in a stretch of three kilometers to check cross-border movement.

April 13

Three SF personnel were killed when a landmine exploded in the Tartani Manjara area of Kohlu district in Balochistan.

April 16

Three children were killed and four other people, including two women, were wounded when a hand grenade exploded inside a house in the Badhbare village in the outskirts of Peshawar, capital of NWFP.

April 17

Activists of the SSP are conspiring for the release of their imprisoned colleagues from various jails through violent means, according to intelligence reports submitted to the Interior Ministry. Intelligence reports said that SSP presidents of southern Punjab districts, Lahore, Gujranwala, Karachi, Sukkur and Dera Ismail Khan have been directed to help their jailed comrades escape from police custody on their way from jails to courts. 48 SSP activists have been imprisoned at Adyala Jail and eight of them are on death row. Most of the SSP activists have been detained in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat Jail, the Bahawalpur Central Jail and jails in Karachi.

A clerics’ convention on the protection of seminaries declared that suicide bombings were un-Islamic and must not be encouraged. A declaration made at the convention organised by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman faction) in Peshawar, capital of the NWFP, accused "secret forces" of plotting suicide attacks against Muslims. Nearly 2,000 clerics from across Pakistan reportedly participated in the convention. NWFP Chief Minister Akram Durrani said no seminary in the province and the tribal areas was involved in terrorism, adding that some "secret forces" were creating law and order problems to bring a bad name to the provincial government.

April 19

Afghan troops tore down a new anti-Taliban fence erected by Pakistani soldiers on the border between the two countries, leading to a gun-battle which caused no casualties. The clash was the first since President Pervez Musharraf announced plans earlier in 2007 to fence 35 kilometers of Pakistan's northwestern frontier to stop the movement of militants along the Afghan border.

The US military does not have permission to conduct operations inside the FATA of Pakistan even if it has information that Osama bin Laden is hiding in that area, said the commander of the US Central Command. Admiral William Fallon told a Congressional hearing that the arrangement they had with Islamabad did not allow them to take direct military actions against targets inside Pakistan.

April 21

The outlawed JeM is reportedly re-organising itself under its new commander Mufti Abdul Rauf, younger brother of the outfit’s chief Maulana Masood Azhar. The JeM had established a transit camp in the capital Islamabad for its activists coming from southern Punjab and traveling to Kohat where another camp had been established. "Mufti Abdul Rauf is spearheading the re-organisation of JeM," the sources said. Rauf appeared on the scene after Maulana Azhar went underground following two suicide attacks on President General Pervez Musharraf. The camp in Islamabad is supposed to serve as the base for the outfit for its propaganda campaign and distribution of pamphlets in the tribal areas.

April 22

Three children died in an explosion in the Khad Kocha area of Mastung district in Balochistan. Police said two motorcyclists hurled an explosive device into the house of one Habibullah Lehri. It exploded killing his 12-year-old daughter Shakara and two sons, five-year old Imdadullah and two-year old Nasibullah.

April 23

Six people were killed and 12 others sustained injuries when Lashkar-i-Islam activists and SFs exchanged fire at Bara in the Khyber Agency of FATA.

Pakistan has adopted a four-pronged strategy based on military, political, administrative and developmental measures to tackle terrorism and extremism, President Pervez Musharraf said.

April 25

Unidentified militants shot dead three people in a targeted sectarian attack in the Dera Ismail Khan district of the NWFP. The assailants fired from a Kalashnikov rifle on a vehicle in which two brothers from a prominent Shia family, Najaf Ali Shah and Syed Ali Shah, and their Sunni employee were traveling. An unnamed official of the NWFP government is reported to have blamed the attack on the banned Sunni group SSP and urged Shias to remain peaceful.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto admitted that supporting the Taliban was a big mistake on the part of her government. Addressing students at the London School of Economics, she said her government thought that Taliban could restore peace in Afghanistan but it did not happen. "We made mistakes and so did others. We thought Taliban would restore peace," she said.

April 26

Following two more killings in sectarian violence, the administration imposed a curfew in the Dera Ismail Khan district of the NWFP. Police said two motorcycle borne unidentified gunmen opened fire on two people sitting outside a shop, killing them on the spot in the cantonment area.

President Pervez Musharraf has accused the Afghan government of "doing nothing to fight terrorism" and said that it is ‘losing the war’ against Taliban. He denied accusations of President Karzai that the al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar were in Pakistan, saying the two men were ‘probably’ holed up in Afghanistan. President Musharraf also said any attack by the US on Iran would fuel sectarian tension in Pakistan, adding, "Most Pakistanis are anti-American, and that feeling would grow."

April 27

Four people were killed and three others sustained injuries when five missiles fired from Afghanistan struck the Darul Uloom Hassania seminary in the Saidgi area of North Waziristan. The seminary belongs to tribal militant commander Maulana Noor Mohammad, who had signed a peace deal with the government in September 2006.

A top al Qaeda ‘commander’, who led operations in Afghanistan and also plotted the assassination of President Pervez Musharraf, has been taken into US custody. Abd al Hadi al-Iraqi, who was taken to Guantanamo Bay within the past week, was reportedly intercepted as he was trying to reach Iraq to manage the al Qaeda operations and possibly plot attacks against western targets outside Iraq, Pentagon spokesperson Bryan Whitman said. Recently, he associated with leaders of extremist groups allied with the al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the Taliban, the Pentagon added.

Pakistan said that a total of about 1,400 people have been killed in over 100 military operations in South and North Waziristan and asked the international community to extend over a billion dollars for development schemes to win the hearts and minds of the people. The NWFP Governor informed that Pakistani forces had killed over 600 militants, including foreigners, and handed over to the United States an equal number of persons involved in acts of terrorism. He said approximately 700 security force personnel had died besides more than 100 pro-government tribal elders.

The Lashkar-e-Toiba ([LeT]; also known as Jama’at-ud-Da’awa) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed endorsed various steps taken by the Islamabad-based Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) administration for the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law) in Pakistan. "The Lal Masjid administration talks about Sharia, therefore we support it," he said in his Friday sermon at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi.

The Supreme Court has decided to prepare policy guidelines to control the operational role of intelligence agencies until the government enforces a law or the parliament legislates on the matter. Defence Secretary Kamran Rasool disclosed that 56 out of 148 people identified by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan had been traced.

April 28

April 28: 31 people, including five police personnel, were killed and Federal Interior Minister Sherpao and his young son Sikandar Sherpao Khan were among several people wounded in a suicide attack, moments after the minister finished a speech at a public rally in his hometown Charsadda in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The head of the suicide bomber, who had a brown beard and was aged between 30 and 35 years, was found at the site of the blast near Station Koroona in Charsadda, and "he looks like an Afghan," NWFP Inspector General of Police Sharif Virk told reporters.

April 29

Suspected militants attacked the army check post at Naridog in North Waziristan, killing one soldier. Three militants were killed when the troops deployed the check post returned fire.

Suspected militants shot dead two men in South Waziristan for "spying for the United States." The bodies were found near Khirgi check-post in the Jandola town, the gateway to South Waziristan. An unnamed official said that a note found besides the two bodies accused them of spying for the US and of making fake currency.

The Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, who survived a suicide attack at Charsadda in the NWFP on April 28, disclosed that preliminary investigation has revealed that Waziristan-based tribal militant Abdullah Mehsud was behind the attack. According to the minister, "preliminary investigations have revealed that the attack was committed by a suicide bomber of Abdullah Mehsud."

April 30

Pakistan has asked Britain to hand over eight suspected members of the BLA in a trade-off for extraditing to Britain Rashid Rauf, the suspected ring leader of the alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airliners. Among the Baloch suspects are three brothers, Zamran, Khairbiyar and Balach Marri, who are being sought in relation to the murder of a senior judge.

May 2

The Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam rejected the US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2006 that the leadership of al Qaeda was in Pakistan. Talking to a TV channel, she said Pakistan was the only country that had arrested top leaders of the al Qaeda from the FATA. "If the US State Department has such news, it should share it with the Pakistan government," she added.

May 5

Two unidentified gunmen killed a Shia man, identified as Imdad Hussain, at Dera Ismail Khan in the NWFP, days after a weeklong curfew was lifted.

May 6

Unidentified gunmen shot dead two Shia clerics in a suspected sectarian attack at Chaubara town near Multan in the Punjab province. The attackers, reportedly Sunni militants, attacked the clerics who were sleeping in the guesthouse of a Shia leader. The clerics died on the spot while another guest, a Shia lawyer, was wounded.

May 7

Intelligence agencies have warned the Interior Ministry’s Crisis Management Cell (CMC) that a Waziristan-based Jihadi group has planned suicide attacks at police offices to avenge the killing of its members by security forces. The CMC has urged the provincial home secretaries, the provincial police chiefs and the inspectors general of police of the Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir, and the Islamabad chief commissioner to take necessary measures to prevent any untoward incident. The letter warned that militants may carry out suicide attacks on police training centers and police lines in the coming months. The CMC letter informed that some terrorists had already entered Punjab from Waziristan to launch suicide attacks.

May 8

Pakistan has increased the number of its troops deployed along the Afghan border to 90,000 to make it more difficult for the Taliban and al Qaeda militants to cross, Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri said. However, he provided no details of when the troop increase occurred or where exactly the troops were deployed. He also disclosed that Pakistan had increased the number of military posts along the frontier from 100 to 110.

May 9

The US Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, told a congressional panel that the United States has military missions in the FATA of Pakistan to pursue al Qaeda leaders hiding there. He said that al Qaeda had established training facilities in FATA and the extremist leaders based there also had links to terror cells in other parts of the world.

May 10

Pakistan has erected the first section of a fence on the Afghan border completing 20 kilometers of fencing in North Waziristan’s Lwara Mundi area. Another 15-kilometre stretch would soon be fenced in the neighbouring South Waziristan.

President Pervez Musharraf said that security forces (SFs) are on the verge of wiping out militant camps in Balochistan, while reiterating an amnesty offer for the insurgents. He informed that the SFs had destroyed 65 ‘farari [‘absconders’ or insurgent] camps’ in Balochistan and the remaining three or four camps would be eliminated soon." President Musharraf stated that the government had established its writ in Balochistan and 25 districts which had been previously considered "B areas" had now been converted into "A areas".

May 12

At least 34 people were killed and more than 130 injured during street violence between supporters of President Pervez Musharraf and suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry in Pakistan's commercial capital Karachi.

May 13

The government is reported to have ordered the paramilitary Rangers to shoot rioters on sight and imposed Section 144 as eight people were killed and nine persons, including three police personnel, injured on the second day of violence in Karachi, capital of Sindh province.

At least seven Afghan soldiers were killed after they opened fire on Pakistani positions in a border region, Pakistan Army spokesperson Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad said.

May 14

A strike called by opposition parties and lawyers’ bodies in protest against the violence in Karachi shut down shops and markets in all major cities including Karachi, where seven people died in further violence. The strike was also reportedly observed in Lahore, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Quetta, while lawyers boycotted courts across the country.

A US military personnel and a Pakistani soldier were killed and a few others sustained injuries when their convoy was attacked following a flag meeting near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

A 24-hour curfew was clamped in the Tank town of NWFP after a paramilitary soldier and a civilian were killed and 10 people sustained injuries in a series of grenade and rocket attacks on SF personnel and exchange of fire between militants and SFs.

May 15

25 people were killed and at least 35 others wounded when a suicide bomber blew himself up on the ground floor of the Marhaba Hotel in Peshawar, capital of the NWFP. Most of those killed were Afghans, including the restaurant’s owner Sadruddin and his two sons, two women and a five year-old child.

May 16

Six people were killed and 15 others, including four police personnel, were injured in clashes between SF personnel and Islamic militants in the Tank city of the NWFP. According to witnesses, a rocket fired by the militants landed in the Rizwan Grain market of the city on Tank-Dera road, killing five civilians, including two brothers. Clashes in different parts of the city occurred for more than two hours and both sides used rockets and light cannons, causing collateral damage to bazaars and residential areas, residents said.

The Chinese government has requested Pakistan to hand over more than 20 Chinese insurgents hiding in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Sources said the Chinese authorities had claimed that more than 20 activists of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, an Islamist militant outfit fighting for an independent East Turkestan in China’s Xinjiang province, were hiding in the tribal areas.

May 18

The pro-Taliban Lal Masjid (Red mosque) in Islamabad took four police personnel hostage, accusing them of spying for the government.

The in-charge of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Aziz, again threatened the government of suicide attacks all over the county if any operation was conducted against the mosque. "I invite the government to conduct the operation and see what will happen in the country," he threatened.

May 19

The Lal Masjid administration in Islamabad freed two of the four police personnel who were abducted on May 18 in return for four men it said had been detained by the police on false charges. The government agreed to release the four men on May 21. Lal Masjid’s Ghazi Abdul Rashid told the officials that the other two policemen would remain in captivity until the release of the seven other men also on the clerics’ list. Meanwhile, a district administration team led by City Magistrate Farasit Ali Khan told the clerics that only four people were in police custody and not 11 as claimed by the clerics.

Al Qaeda’s command base in Pakistan’s tribal areas is being increasingly funded by money coming from the group’s affiliate in Iraq, Los Angeles Times reported on its Website. Citing unidentified senior US intelligence officials, the newspaper said there had been a significant increase in the movement of al Qaeda operatives and money from Iraq to Pakistan. The report also said a major hunt for al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden launched by the CIA in 2006 has produced no significant leads on his whereabouts.

May 21

Pakistan refuted a claim that there was al Qaeda’s base command in the tribal areas and declared that the government was determined to take action against ‘remnants’ of the group who may be hiding in the country.

May 22

SF personnel clashed with Islamist militants at Zakerkhel village in North Waziristan in the FATA, killing three foreigners and one tribesman. The gun-battle reportedly occurred when talks between tribal elders and militants hiding in a house in the village failed. According to the deal signed between the government and militants in September 2006, the army has to take the peace committee into confidence before taking action in the area. This was the first coordinated operation in the area since the deal was brokered.

Two activists of the Lashkar-i-Islam were killed and three others wounded when supporters of the rival Ansaar-ul-Islam attacked a mosque with mortar shells in the Shah Kot area of Bara (a sub-division of Khyber Agency) in FATA.

Two people, identified as Ghulam Nabi Magsi and Mohammad Ibrahim Mengal, were killed and three others sustained injuries in a bomb explosion in the industrial area of Hub in Balochistan. According to police, the bomb was planted at a bus stop close to a bridge on the RCD highway in the industrial town.

The Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal led NWFP government struck a nine-point peace agreement with an Islamist cleric who has led a campaign through an unlicensed radio station against polio vaccinations and education for girls in the Swat district. In exchange for allowing the FM radio station to continue broadcasts, Maulana Fazlullah of the outlawed TNSM agreed to now support the polio vaccination campaign and education for girls, as well as government efforts to establish law and order. He also agreed to wrap up all training facilities for militants and making of weapons, and support the district administration in any operation against anti-state elements.

May 23

President Pervez Musharraf said in an interview that talks with the Taliban and other opposition may be necessary to bring stability to Afghanistan. He claimed that Pakistani intelligence agencies played no role in the creation of the Taliban, although he acknowledged that Pakistan gave the extremists legitimacy by being among the only countries to establish diplomatic relations when Taliban took over the government of Afghanistan. Gen. Musharraf added that Pakistan was the only country that had a military, political, developmental and administrative strategy to defeat extremism.

May 24

The pro-Taliban Lal Masjid (Red mosque) students freed the two police personnel abducted on May 18, following the release of several of their colleagues as a result of ‘back channel’ negotiations between clerics of the mosque and the local administration, reports said. Spokesperson of the interior ministry, Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema, however, claimed that the two personnel of Islamabad Police — Assistant Sub-Inspector Aurangzeb and constable Jehangir — were released ‘unconditionally’.

May 25

A Pakistan-born US national, Syed Hashmi, accused of supplying military equipment to al Qaeda was extradited to the US. He now faces a trial in the US over allegations that he was a "quartermaster" and supplied al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The pro-Taliban Lal Masjid (Red mosque) administration announced that its students would attack audio and video shops, massage centers and brothels in Islamabad if their owners did not wind up their businesses immediately. The deadline reportedly ended in April and the owners fear attacks from the mosque brigade anytime.

In a telephonic address on the occasion of the inauguration of the basement of a mosque at Kohat in the NWFP, the Islamabad-based Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Aziz asked the Taliban to continue their jihad against obscenity, prostitution, video shops and other social vices and expand it to the entire NWFP. According to him, "it is now the responsibility of all believers to support the activities of the Taliban in the province against CD shops and obscenity."

May 28

Four local Taliban militants were killed in a clash with police in the Bannu district of NWFP. Two police personnel and civilian were injured in the encounter, officials said.

A suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden Land Cruiser into a FC vehicle in the same area, killing two FC personnel, identified as Fareed Hussain and Nametullah and injuring another identified as Masood Afsar.

Militants shot dead Mir Zarwali Khan, assistant district officer of the FC in the Boltonabad area on the Tank-Jandola road in the Tank city. The driver of the vehicle in which he was traveling also suffered injuries. Later, the militants set the vehicle on fire.

May 29

Four persons, including a wanted insurgent, were killed and seven others sustained injuries in a shootout between SF personnel and armed men in the Dera Allahyar area of Jaffarabad district in Balochistan.

Spain’s High Court convicted three Pakistanis for sending money to al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, but cleared them and eight others of preparing terrorist attacks in Barcelona. The suspects had faced up to 32 years in jail for alleged involvement with al Qaeda, drug trafficking and planning attacks on a shopping centre and other targets in the city, where they lived and were arrested in 2004.

May 30

Militants attacked the house of a senior government official in the Jatai Qala area of Tank district in the NWFP after midnight and shot dead 13 people, including two women. Two children were injured, police said. Chief of the Gomal police station, Sanaullah Marwat, informed that militants attacked the house of Amiruddin Khan, Khyber tribal region’s political agent, with rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades and assault rifles. He said that the militants had come from the adjoining South Waziristan.

The Interior Ministry’s National Crisis Management Cell has reportedly warned three federal ministers that they are on the hit list of Baitullah Mehsud, the South Waziristan-based Taliban leader, and should take extra security measures. Baitullah Mehsud, according to reports, was running the biggest suicide training camp in the country and planned to assassinate Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and Minister for Political Affairs Amir Muqam. Mehsud is believed to have been behind the suicide attack on Sherpao on April 28, the sources said.

The Islamabad-based Lal Masjid (Red mosque) cleric, Maulana Abdul Aziz, warned the government of suicide attacks if it launched an operation against the mosque. Addressing reporters during a consultative meeting at Lal Masjid, Aziz said thousands of students were ready to carry out suicide attacks, adding that the mosque administration was preventing them from doing so.

June 1

Top army commanders endorsed the "pivotal role" of General Pervez Musharraf as the President of Pakistan and Chief of the Army Staff in the ongoing reforms process in the country. Expressing their support to the president, the top army brass reaffirmed that "Pakistan Army is committed to lending full support towards realisation of the vision set by the president for a dynamic, progressive and moderate Islamic state."

June 2

Five persons, including a senior tribal journalist, were killed in an explosion in Malasyed, 20 kilometers from Khar in Bajaur Agency of the FATA.

June 3

Hafiz Muhammad Hamid, brother of Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the LeT chief, was deported along with his family from the United States. Hafiz Hamid was imam (priest) at the Islamic Centre of Greater Worcester, Massachusetts, and had been fighting immigration regulation infringements for the last several months. His other brother, Hafiz Muhammad Masood, is also fighting deportation and is now waiting for the next hearing of a US federal immigration court on October 11, 2007.

June 5

Police said that they had arrested two suspected militants wanted in the 2002 abduction-cum-murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl. Attaur Rehman and Faisal Bhatti, both members of the outlawed Sunni group LeJ, were arrested along with weapons and explosives while they were in a car traveling towards Balochistan on June 4 in Kashmor, a town northeast of Karachi (capital of Sindh province). However, a lawyer for the duo’s families said they were arrested by security agencies in 2003 and have been secretly held in custody since then.

June 8

Three persons were killed and seven others sustained injuries when a bomb exploded on a bus in the Hub town of Balochistan. Police said the explosive device was planted in front of a hotel on RCD road at Ghulam Qadir Chowk and exploded when the bus was passing through.

June 10

The government has proposed to empower the State Bank of Pakistan to get information relating to any business transaction from banking companies and financial institutions in order to identify offences of money laundering or funding of terrorism.

June 11

The Karachi Police has arrested three terrorists and identified the suicide bomber who was allegedly responsible for the Nishtar Park incident in Karachi on April 11, 2006. Two LeJ cadres were arrested during raids in two different areas of Karachi. Based on their information, the police conducted an operation in Peshawar, in NWFP where it arrested the third alleged terrorist. All three of them, police claimed, had confessed to their involvement in the suicide attack. The suicide bomber has been identified as Siddiq and is said to have hailed from Mansehra in the NWFP. Police said that the attack was planned at Wana in South Waziristan under supervision of LeJ and the local al Qaeda. Karachi Police sources said that the Abdullah Mehsud group was involved in the attack and his cousin Abid Mehsud, resident of Orangi Town in Karachi, planned the attack.

June 11

Angry crowds in PoK set ablaze a hospital of the Jama’at-ud-Da’awa, set up by the LeT chief Hafeez Mohammed Sayeed, after the outfit’s cadre allegedly killed a boy and injured two others in a land dispute. The incidents occurred at Pajgran village near Muzaffarabad, capital of PoK. The Jama’at-ud-Da’awa in a press release from its headquarters in Lahore, however, said local "land mafia" set fire to its surgical hospital set up to treat the 2005 earthquake victims. Police, meanwhile, they had arrested over a dozen activists of the Jama’at-ud-Da’awa, including the one who had allegedly shot dead 17-year old Adnan Shah.

June 12

Rockets fired from Pakistan at a US and Afghan military base in south-eastern Afghanistan landed on civilian houses and injured a family of five, an Afghan governor claimed. Several rockets were fired late on June 11 at a base in Paktika province, just kilometers away from the Pakistani border. Around 50 rockets have been fired into the district called Barmal in the past few days from across the border, he claimed.

June 14

Seven army soldiers, a police constable and a passer-by were killed when some unidentified armed men attacked a van on the Zarghoon road in Quetta. Police said the victims were going to the Quetta Staff College from the railway station in a hired vehicle after arriving in the city by Chiltan Express.

The US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher, praised Islamabad’s role in the "war on terror" and agreed to the Pakistani assertion that there was no solid evidence of Mullah Omar’s presence in Balochistan

June 15

The United States Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Boucher, said in Islamabad that holding of free and transparent elections in Pakistan was a bigger problem than the issue of President Musharraf’s uniform. Boucher denied that he had come to Pakistan to broker a deal between President Musharraf and the Pakistan People’s Party. He also said that President Musharraf had assured the US that the issue of his two offices would be settled in accordance with the Constitution and the US believed him.

June 16

Cleric of the Taliban-linked Lal Masjid (Red mosque) in Islamabad, Maulana Abdul Aziz, issued a death fatwa against staff at a magazine for publishing a fashion-shoot advertisement entitled Adam and Eve. The fatwa has been issued against the chief editor, publisher and other staff of an English language magazine called Octane.

The US State Department described President Pervez Musharraf as an agent for "positive change" in Pakistan but if there are issues with Islamabad, the US will not hesitate to "speak out" about them "in a respectful manner."

June 19

At least 22 people were killed and 10 others sustained injuries when a missile hit a cluster of compounds in the Datakhel area of North Waziristan. A Madrassa (seminary) used by the Taliban as a hideout was attacked by a US-controlled drone, killing over 20 militants and wounding 15 others, a report said. The ISPR Director-General, Major General Arshad Waheed, however, denied reports that Pakistan army or coalition forces had carried out the attack. "It was an accidental blast in the area and, according to the tribal administration, 20 people were killed," he claimed. Tribal sources quoted local militants as saying that the attack had been carried out from Afghanistan. The US-led coalition in Afghanistan said it was not involved.

June 20

The caretaker of a seminary near a site in North Waziristan which was the target of a suspected missile strike on June 19 has said that a total of 34 people were killed, and all of them were locals. Maulana Muhammad Amir, caretaker of the Ziul Aloom seminary in the Dattakhel area, said all those killed were local tribesmen, and the target was not a Madrassa, as reported in the press, but "a tent on a hilltop".

China has asked Pakistan to locate and hand over 22 Chinese rebels who are believed to be hiding somewhere in the tribal areas in Pakistan, a source in the interior ministry said. China had reportedly provided a list of 22 wanted militants belonging to the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, a secessionist group based in the Sinkiang province bordering Pakistan.

June 21

Three people, including two brothers, were killed when their tractor hit a roadside bomb at Khapianga village in the Lower Kurram Agency area of the FATA.

The Pakistan Ulema Council awarded its highest honour to the al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, saying it was in reaction to Britain’s knighthood for writer Salman Rushdie. "We are pleased to award the title of Saifullah to Osama bin Laden after the British government’s decision to bestow the title of ‘Sir’ on blasphemer Rushdie… This is the highest title for a Muslim warrior," the council’s chairman Maulana Tahir Ashrafi said.

June 22

Students of the pro-Taliban Lal Masjid (Red mosque) and Jamia Hafsa seminary raided a Chinese massage centre in the Sector F-8/3 area of Islamabad and took hostage five Chinese nationals, including three women and two men. Jamia Hafsa administration alleged that a brothel was being run under the garb of the massage centre.

A local militant commander denied the existence of training camps in North Waziristan and warned that his supporters would lose patience if the government carried out a military operation in the region. "There will be a tit-for-tat response if the government violates the peace deal by launching combat operations," warned militant commander Maulana Abdul Khaliq Haqani, who had signed a peace agreement with the government in September 2006.

June 23

10 civilians were killed and 13 others injured in North Waziristan in a mortar attack from Afghanistan. "Ten innocent people were reported killed when some mortars hit civilians in Mangroti village in the Shawal region," military spokesman Maj-Gen Waheed Arshad said.

A roadside bomb blast killed three paramilitary soldiers and wounded two others in Mir Ali town, 20-kilometres east of Miranshah.

June 26

Unidentified assailants killed two people in the Satellite Town area of Quetta, capital of Balochistan. Amir Hussain Mughal and Rizwan had come to Quetta from Mandi Bahauddin on June 25-night. The police are reported to have described the incident a terrorist act.

June 27

Three militants were killed when a bomb they were planting on a road used by the Pakistan army detonated prematurely at Datta Khel in North Waziristan. The blast reportedly occurred on a route used by troops to travel between Lwara Mundi and Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan.

June 28

Additional security has been provided to three federal ministers on the basis of intelligence reports that militants in South Waziristan have decided to assassinate them. Minister for Interior Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and Minister for Political Affairs Amir Muqam have also been provided bullet-proof automobiles. Sherpao, who survived an assassination attempt on April 28, 2007, at Charsadda in the NWFP, is being described as a prime target. On the orders of militant commander Baitullah Mehsud, more than three suicide bombers have reportedly been sent to attack the ministers. Sources said that Mehsud decided to target the ministers after four militants carrying RDX were arrested in Islamabad a week ago.

June 29

The beheaded body of an Afghan national was found in a dry water course at Momadgut in the Mohmand Agency of the FATA. Witnesses said a note was found near the body stating: "Whoever spies for the United States will face the same consequences." It is reportedly the first incident of its kind in the Mohmand Agency.

President Pervez Musharraf said that an operation could be launched against the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa brigade, but a raid would lead to heavy casualties on both sides because a large number of suicide bombers were inside the mosque and seminaries.

June 30

Two suspected terrorists were killed while attempting to plant a bomb in a Hazarkhani warehouse, in the jurisdiction of Yakatoot police station in Peshawar. Three time bombs, hand grenades and two kilograms of explosives were recovered from the incident site.

July 1

A special report, which the New York Times claims to have been shown, warned President Pervez Musharraf that Islamic militants and Taliban fighters were rapidly spreading beyond the tribal areas and that without "swift and decisive action," the growing militancy could engulf the rest of the country. The report prepared by the Interior Ministry said that security forces in the NWFP were outgunned and outnumbered and had forfeited authority to the Taliban and their allies. According to the report, even areas like Peshawar, Nowshera and Kohat are threatened by Talibanisation.

July 2

A soldier from Mir Ali in North Waziristan was murdered and his associate abducted by armed assailants.

Militants in the Bajaur Agency of the FATA warned clerics that if they do not take back the fatwa (edict) against suicide bombing, they should prepare to face the consequences. The warning was delivered in a pamphlet in Pushto pasted outside shops in Khar, regional headquarters of Bajaur Agency. The militants also disputed the clerics’ decree that Islam "does not allow intimidation," saying this opinion should also be withdrawn. "Those who are working against the interests of Mujahideen or defaming us should stop doing so," the pamphlet warned.

July 3

At least 12 people were killed and around 150 injured in a daylong shootout between seminary students and security force personnel near the pro-Taliban Lal Masjid (red mosque). The administration confirmed that a journalist, one soldier of the para-military Rangers, a businessman, seminary students and bystanders were among the dead.

July 4

11 people, including six SF personnel, are reported to have died in a suicide attack on a caravan of SFs in North Waziristan. The caravan of SFs was going to Bannu in the NWFP from Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan. A suicide attacker rammed his explosive-laden car with the caravan near Mir Ali. Four SF personnel and a passer-by child died on the spot while two soldiers and three passers-by succumbed to injuries at a hospital. The suicide attacker also was killed.

Four civilians were killed and two police personnel were wounded in a bomb blast that targeted a police vehicle in the Swat district of NWFP.

A police personnel, Zahir Shah, was killed and four others sustained injuries during a rocket attack on a police station in the Mata area of Swat district. The blast followed calls on a private Islamist FM radio station in the area for launching a jihad against the government in retaliation for the mosque confrontation in Islamabad. NWFP police chief Sharif Virk blamed Maulana Fazlullah, who leads a proscribed militant organisation, for both these attacks. Fazlullah, who had recently signed an agreement with the NWFP government, in broadcasts on his FM channel on July 3 and 4, asked his supporters to take up arms against the government to avenge the action taken against Lal Masjid and carry out suicide attacks.

Four police personnel were killed and two others sustained injuries when suspected Taliban militants attacked their vehicle in the Mattani police precincts of Peshawar, capital of the NWFP.

Talks between a three-member Ulema (religious scholars) delegation and Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi failed after he refused to surrender unconditionally. The head of the delegation, Maulana Zahoor Alvi, said Ghazi was not ready to surrender till the troops surrounding the mosque were withdrawn.

Maulana Abdul Aziz, brother of Ghazi, was arrested while trying to flee in a burqa (veil). Aziz was caught after a group of 50 burqa-clad women from the mosque started screaming as they were taken to a nearby school for security checks after surrendering, saying the procedure was un-Islamic.

At least 1200 students are reported to have surrendered to the government as SFs surrounded the mosque complex and announced amnesty for those who laid down their arms. Interior Ministry spokesperson, Brigadier (r) Javed Iqbal Cheema, said 1,100-1,200 students had surrendered by 10:30 pm, but several were still inside the mosque along with cleric Ghazi. The government confirmed the deaths of 16 people and injuries to 98 from the clashes, but unofficial reports put the death toll at 20 and 200 injured.

July 6

Four Pakistan Army personnel, including a Major and a Lieutenant, were killed in an IED attack on a military convoy in the Dir district of NWFP. According to the locals, the outlawed TNSM could be "behind the blast." Dir is a stronghold of the Jamaat-e-Islami and the outlawed TNSM.

A Waziristan tribe killed four suspected Taliban militants while rescuing a Pakistan Army captain who was abducted at gunpoint. Lashkar, an armed group of the Dirdoni tribe, chased the militants after they abducted Captain Faisal Islam, a trainer at Razmak Cadet College in North Waziristan. Four militants were killed in the ensuing encounter while Captain Islam and two Lashkar men sustained injuries.

President Pervez Musharraf escaped another assassination attempt when around 36 rounds fired at his aircraft from a submachine gun in Rawalpindi missed their target. However, the ISPR denied that the president’s plane had been attacked.

The holed up chief cleric of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi, told a TV channel that he and his associates were ready to die and would never surrender. "We have decided that we may be martyred, but we will not surrender… We are sacrificing our lives for the supremacy of our religion and for the enforcement of Islamic laws. We have no regrets and we will embrace martyrdom," he said.

The government once again rejected a conditional surrender offer made by Ghazi. Information Minister Mohammad Ali Durrani informed a press conference that Ghazi would not be humiliated if he surrendered. Interior Secretary Kamal Shah disclosed that so far 1,221 people, including 795 men and 426 women, had surrendered and 19 had died.

July 7

President Pervez Musharraf warned the militants holed up in Lal Masjid to surrender or be prepared to get killed. He said the people barricaded in the mosque had defamed Islam and Pakistan, but the government had exercised restraint despite having capability of ousting and killing them.

July 8

Unidentified gunmen shot dead three Chinese workers and injured another in Peshawar, capital of the NWFP. The Chinese reportedly were engaged in the business of turtles and exported hides to China and other countries.

A senior Pakistani army commando, Colonel Haroon Islam, was shot dead by Islamic militants besieged in the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, said Major General Waheed Arshad, head of the ISPR.

The army and paramilitary forces were again deployed at all important checkpoints in North Waziristan. The checkpoints had been vacated following a peace agreement between the government and militants in 2006. Sources said troops had taken positions at major checkpoints in Miranshah, Mirali and Razmak areas and started digging trenches and checking vehicles on main roads in the region.

Eight "high value terrorists" wanted by Pakistan and other countries are holed up inside the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, while another was killed by security forces in the ongoing operation, disclosed Religious Affairs Minister Ejazul Haq. However, the minister refused to reveal the identities of these militants. He informed that SFs killed one of these suspected terrorists inside Lal Masjid on the second day of the ongoing operation. He was the mastermind of the failed suicide attack on Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz at Attock in 2005, he added. Haq also said that the militants and not Abdul Rashid Ghazi, Lal Masjid’s deputy chief cleric, were controlling the mosque.

July 9

Pakistan Muslim League President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain continued making efforts to defuse the Lal Masjid standoff till late July 9-night despite failing to achieve any major breakthrough in resolving the crisis. President Pervez Musharraf had sent a delegation of politicians and clerics led by Shujaat to negotiate with Lal Masjid deputy prayer leader Abdul Rashid Ghazi the release of several hundred students stranded in the mosque. The delegation was reportedly told to persuade Ghazi to surrender along with the militants holed up in the mosque. However, this initiative suffered a set back when the delegation refused to enter the mosque and Ghazi turned down their offer to come out for talks due to security reasons. Reports indicated that Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, chief of the HuM, was part of the clerics’ delegation.

July 10

Abdul Rashid Ghazi, deputy chief cleric of the Lal Masjid, was among dozens killed as Pakistan Army commandos stormed the 75-room mosque compound after a weeklong standoff with militant students. More than 50 militants and nine soldiers were killed in the 15-hour operation, which commenced shortly before dawn, said Major General Arshad Waheed, Director General of the ISPR. He informed that 29 soldiers and many others were injured. Independent sources, however, said the total death toll was likely to be much higher. Social worker Abdus Sattar Edhi told reporters that his charity had supplied 500 shrouds to the security forces. Some other sources said that more than 80 militants were killed. The operation was approved after talks between a delegation of ministers and clerics led by Pakistan Muslim League President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain failed to negotiate a surrender with Ghazi.

The government took Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, chief of the banned HuM, into protective custody after the death of Abdur Rashid Ghazi. "Fazlur Rehman Khalil has been taken into protective custody at his residence-cum-Madrassa in Islamabad in view of the security situation," said the sources. Khalil was a close aide of Ghazi and had reportedly played a crucial role in talks between the government and the Lal Masjid administration. Farooq Kashmiri, another militant commander, who was called in from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) two days ago, was reportedly already in government custody.

July 11

Security forces collected 73 bodies of militants as they cleared the Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa of mines and booby traps after flushing out or killing all the militants holed up inside. Major General Arshad Waheed, Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations, informed reporters that the cleanup operation was almost complete and that 73 bodies had been collected, and none of them were of women. He also said that another soldier was injured in overnight fighting, taking the casualty figures for the armed forces to 10 deaths and 33 wounded. Three more militants were also killed in the fighting overnight, the military spokesperson informed. However, he did not disclose the number of civilian casualties.

Britain is investigating how the ringleader of a failed 2005 London bombing plot, identified as a possible terrorist, went to Pakistan for terror training, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said. Brown confirmed reports of the investigation after it emerged that Muktar Said Ibrahim, who was convicted along with three other defendants, had made the trip barely six months before the attacks, although he was on bail. The Woolwich Crown Court in London heard during the trial that Ibrahim travelled to a militant training camp in Pakistan in December 2004. He was there at the same time as Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, two of the four British nationals who later blew themselves up on the London transit system on July 7, 2005, killing themselves and 52 commuters.

Al Qaeda has become entrenched in a remote corner of Pakistan and the United States fears a military strike could spawn new militant activity in the country, US officials said.

Al Qaeda’s second-in command Ayman al Zawahri, in an internet video posted, called for revenge over a government assault that killed more than 70 militants inside the Islamabad-based Lal Masjid. "This crime can only be washed by repentance or blood," Zawahri said in the video posted on web sites used by Islamists. "If you do not retaliate ... (President General Pervez) Musharraf will not spare any of you," he said, addressing Pakistani Muslims and their clerical leaders.

July 12

A suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the Political Agent’s office in the Miranshah area of North Waziristan, killing four people and injuring three others. Political agent Pirzada Khan, who was in the office at the time, is reported to have escaped unhurt. Three of the dead were identified as Attaullah, Fareedullah and Saddique Amin, also a government employee. The Taliban have, however, denied involvement in the suicide attack.

A suicide bomber killed three police personnel, Sub-Inspector Taj Maluk and constables Riaz and Islam Gul, by detonating the explosives wrapped around his waist in the Swat district of NWFP. The suicide attack came moments after a military convoy passed through the area, informed police officer Abdur Rashid Khan. Unconfirmed reports said that there were two suicide bombers.

President Pervez Musharraf defended the Lal Masjid operation and declared that no mosque or seminary would be allowed to be misused like the Jamia Hafsa. "We will not let any mosque and madrassa [seminary] follow Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa," Gen Musharraf said in a televised address to the nation. According to him, "I am an ardent supporter of madrassas but these kinds of madrassas will not be allowed to function in the country." He stated that militancy, extremism and terrorism in the country would be crushed. "We have yet to achieve our goals to get rid of these menaces," he warned. President Musharraf said that the abduction of Chinese citizens, a shameful act in itself, was aimed against a country which had always supported Pakistan, providing the country with necessary political, economic and military assistance. "It was an embarrassing moment when the Chinese president telephoned me to seek protection for Chinese citizens working in Pakistan", the president said.

July 13

Suspected militants killed three pro-government tribal leaders at Miranshah in North Waziristan.

Federal Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao disclosed that 102 persons lost their lives in the operation at Lal Masjid, including 91 civilians, 10 army and one Ranger’s official. He also said that four to five corpses have been identified as that of suspected foreign militants. He also said 248 people sustained injuries in the operation. The minister informed that 242 students are still in jails and students below 18 years have been sent home, adding that Maulana Abdul Aziz’s wife and two daughters will remain in custody, as there are cases filed against them. He revealed that the government had the tape of Abdur Rashid Ghazi when he was pleading for the safe passage for the foreigners. However, Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah told reporters after the minister’s press conference that "In the final assault some 75 people were killed in the complex and I think 50 to 60 were militants and the rest were women and children."

The local Taliban in the Bajaur Agency of FATA ‘held’ six people on the charge of taking drugs and paraded them naked in a bazaar in Inayat Killey.

President Pervez Musharraf directed all federal and provincial governments to crackdown on religious extremism and militancy in the country, reiterating the government’s determination to free the country from terrorism. Referring to growing extremism in the NWFP, he directed the provincial security agencies to combat militancy by carrying out coordinated efforts in the tribal and settled areas of NWFP. Gen. Musharraf also approved a plan for the immediate deployment of paramilitary forces in the Swat valley of NWFP to crush the growing militancy in the area. He also directed armed forces personnel not to wear their uniforms in public in the NWFP for fear of backlash from the Lal Masjid operation. He said the federal security agencies would execute and monitor all military operations in the NWFP and FATA and the NWFP government would only assist them.

July 14

At least 23 Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were killed and 27 others injured when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-packed car into their convoy. An unnamed senior administration official said the attack occurred 20-kilometres southeast of Miranshah when a FC convoy was heading towards Miranshah from the Razmak area.

Abdullah Farhad, a spokesman for the Taliban in North Waziristan, said the militants would consider the 2006 peace deal with the government over if the security forces were not withdrawn from the area by July 15.

President Pervez Musharraf has failed to contain al Qaeda and must regain control over areas bordering Afghanistan, said Stephen Hadley, President George Bush’s national security adviser. Answering questions in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s ‘Political Capital with Al Hunt’, he said Musharraf’s strategy of giving tribal leaders more autonomy "has not worked the way it should have". The US is working with the Pakistani government to thwart the latest threats, Hadley said, adding that the Musharraf government is "beginning to take some moves that will reassert control in those areas".

July 15

At least 47 people were killed and over a hundred injured in suicide bombings targeting security forces in the Swat and Dera Ismail Khan districts of the NWFP in apparent revenge attacks by militants for the Lal Masjid operation. In the first attack, at least 13 SF personnel and six civilians, including three children, were killed and more than 50 people sustained injuries at Matta in the Swat district when two suicide bombers rammed two cars packed with explosives into an army convoy early in the morning. At approximately 4:15 pm (PST), a suicide bomber blew himself up at the Dera Ismail Khan Police Lines as candidates took police entrance exams. Police official Safiullah said that 26 people were killed, including 12 police personnel and the suicide bomber, and 61 others were wounded.

Tribal militants in North Waziristan unilaterally scrapped their 10-month-old peace accord with the government on the expiry of a four-day deadline and threatened to launch attacks against the security forces in the area. Soon after the expiry of the militants’ deadline on July 15, leaflets announcing the scrapping of the peace accord were distributed in Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan.

July 16

A joint investigation team of the Punjab Police, the Federal Investigation Agency and several intelligence agencies have detained 39 people and transferred them to an undisclosed location in connection with the failed assassination attempt on President Pervez Musharraf on July 6 in Rawalpindi. Sources said that the suspected attackers’ telephone calls had been traced to these people, adding most of them belonged to the NWFP.

July 17

A suicide bomber struck outside the venue of a lawyers rally in Islamabad, killing 16 people and injuring at least 63, including 10 police officials. The powerful blast occurred at about 8:27 pm outside the main entrance of the corridor leading to the venue of the event in F-8 Markaz, shortly before Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was to pass through the site to give a speech to lawyers of the Islamabad District Bar Association. The site was 40 meters away from the main stage where hundreds of supporters of the PPP and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz had set up camps to welcome the chief justice. The blast occurred within the PPP camp and many of the dead, including three women, were activists of the party.

Four persons, including three soldiers, were killed in a suicide attack at the Kajhri security check-post in North Waziristan. Three soldiers, a civilian and the bomber died in the attack, and two people were injured, said military regime spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad.

The National Intelligence Estimate, a consensus view of all 16 US spy agencies, released warned that al Qaeda "has protected or regenerated key elements of its homeland attack capability, including a safe haven in the Pakistani FATA."

July 18

A military convoy coming from Lwara Mandi was attacked in the Ghazlami area, 40 kilometers west of Miranshah in North Waziristan. "Seventeen soldiers were martyred and 12 others injured in the clash," military spokesman Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad said. Denying that the militants had ambushed the convoy he said that 12 to 15 militants were killed in retaliatory fire. Gen Arshad also said that five militants were killed when Frontier Corps personnel challenged them near Mir Ali.

July 18

President Musharraf said that al Qaeda was on the run in the tribal areas and the flow of Taliban from Pakistani territory to Afghanistan had been reduced. He pointed out that the Pakistan Army was dispatching two full divisions of troops to the troubled areas in the NWFP and also raising new paramilitary forces to aid civil power.

July 19

22 civilians and seven police officers were killed and around 50 people injured in a suicide car bomb attack at the Gadani Bus Stop in the industrial town of Hub in Balochistan. Inspector General of Police Tariq Masood Khosa said, "It was a suicide attack that was targeted at Chinese engineers working in Balochistan… It is premature to say who masterminded the blast. One can’t say if it was to avenge the military operation in Jamia Hafsa or was carried out by Baloch insurgents or Taliban elements."

15 persons, including a prayer leader and two children, were killed and several people injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up during night prayers at a mosque at Pathan Lines Centre in the Kohat Cantonment area of NWFP. Most of the victims were reportedly army officials. Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao said, "Indirectly these attacks are a backlash reaction against the Red Mosque."

Five civilians and two police personnel were killed and 35 others injured when a suicide bomber set off his explosives-packed car at the Hangu Police Training College (PTC) in NWFP. Police official Rehman Gul Khan said the suicide bomber wanted to take his car inside the PTC on the main Hangu-Kohat Road where 500-600 police cadets were doing their routine morning parade. The suicide bomber blew up the vehicle when police personnel deployed at the PTC gate tried to stop him.

July 20

Four persons, including a paramilitary soldier and two civilians, were killed and five others injured when a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into the Boya security check post near Miranshah in North Waziristan.

Two militant commanders from the Marri tribe, Daula Khan Marri and Kamal Khan Marri, and their 100 armed supporters, who had been fighting the security forces in Balochistan, surrendered their weapons before the Commander of the Southern Command, Lt-Gen Khalid Shamim Wyne. The commanders reportedly announced their full support for development schemes launched by the government in the Marri area.

A meeting presided over by President Pervez Musharraf approved ‘an all-encompassing strategy’ to combat terrorism, extremism and growing militancy in the country, particularly in the NWFP and tribal areas.

A 13-member full court of the Supreme Court (SC) reinstated Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, ruling that his suspension by President Pervez Musharraf was "illegal."

July 21

SFs killed 13 militants in Ghulam Khan, 15 kilometers north of Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan. The incident occurred when unidentified militants attacked a Frontier Corps check-post. The troops also reportedly arrested seven militants and seized a vehicle.

July 22

Gunship helicopters killed seven militants who were shooting at an army convoy from hilltops in Qutab Khel, five kilometers east of Miranshah. Six SF personnel were wounded in the clash.

Taliban militants in North Waziristan demanded that the government abolish security check-posts before further talks for the revival of the September 2006-peace deal with the government.

Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden is alive and sheltering in the lawless parts of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan, US National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell said. In response, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao told AFP "Our stance is that Osama bin Laden is not present in Pakistan… If anyone has the information he should give it to us, so that we can apprehend him."

Frances Townsend, Homeland Security Adviser to President George W. Bush, said that the US would consider using military force to neutralise alleged al Qaeda hideouts in Pakistan.

July 22-23

Heavy fighting killed at least 35 militants and two soldiers in North Waziristan, the military said. Major General Waheed Arshad, chief of the Inter-Services Public Relations, informed that at least 30 militants died in a series of clashes since late July 22, and five more were killed in a battle that continued on July 23-evening. Two soldiers were killed and 12 others injured in the violence over the past 24 hours, he added.

July 23

The pro-Taliban groups warned Pakistani soldiers to quit fighting or face the "gift of death" through new suicide attacks. In pamphlets, distributed in Miranshah town, entitled "Till Islam Lives in Islamabad" a group calling itself the Mujahideen-i-Islam threatened that suicide bombs would again bring soldiers the "gift of death". They warned that suicide attackers "love death more than you love your 5,000-rupee salary, nude pictures of Indian actresses and liquor." It added "We know that you have become America’s slave and are serving infidel Musharraf and have become a traitor to your religion for food, clothes and shelter."

The Federal Government rejected the local Taliban demand for the removal of security check posts across North Waziristan.

Pakistan said it would not allow any attack by the United States on the FATA in a hunt for al Qaeda, saying the counter-terrorism measures would be taken by its own security forces.

July 24

At least nine persons, including a woman, were reportedly killed and 40 others wounded when unidentified militants fired a series of rockets on civilian population in the Bannu city of NWFP. Police official Khawaja Muhammad said that a rocket hit a house at Tafsil Street in the Bannu main bazaar at around 1:35am. He said that when people gathered at the site another rocket landed in the area, killing nine people. He said that another rocket hit a house in the Gopa Khel area, one hit a bookstore in Chowk Bazaar, while a fifth rocket struck a mosque.

Taliban leader Abdullah Mehsud blew himself up to avoid arrest after he was surrounded by security forces in a house at Zhob in Balochistan. Police arrested three of Mehsud’s accomplices, including his brother Abdul Rehman Mehsud. Anti-terrorist Force (ATF) commandoes raided the house of Sheikh Ayub Mandokhel, a district leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Maulana Fazlur Rehman faction), before morning prayers after learning that Mehsud was inside. "The ATF asked Abdullah Mehsud to surrender and take off his shirt when they had almost overpowered him. However, he refused to surrender and blew himself up with explosives," said an unnamed source in the provincial capital Quetta. The ATF also arrested Ayub’s younger brother, Sheikh Azam, and his son, Sheikh Sheryar.

Four SF personnel were killed in an attack by militants on the Kambar check post at Dattakhel in North Waziristan.

July 25

A former Taliban commander, Mullah Naimatullah Nurzai, was shot dead by two motorcycle borne assailants near Boghara village near the border town of Chaman in Balochistan. Naimatullah was special assistant to the Governor of Khost during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and he also fought against the Northern Alliance as a Taliban commander.

Three members of a team of a private company were shot dead and two wounded by unidentified armed men hiding in the mountains of Zehri area of Balochistan. The members of the team were conducting a survey on the link road between Zehri and the main highway.

The dead bodies of two SF personnel were found at Inayat Bazaar in the Bajaur Agency of the FATA, with a letter saying those spying for the US and its allies would meet the same fate. Unidentified militants had abducted the two Frontier Corps soldiers, Siad Gul Khattak and Muhammad Riaz, from the Kagai area on July 23-night.

The US authorities have reportedly pointed out the locations of nine alleged terrorist training camps in North Waziristan to Pakistani authorities and an anti-terrorism campaign has been started in the area.

July 26

Taliban leaders told local residents to "shoot on sight anyone looting public property disguised as Taliban," as the presence of government security forces in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan, is reported to have diminished, locals said.

July 27

At least 15 people, including eight police personnel, were killed and 53 others wounded, when a suicide bomber struck a group of police personnel in a restaurant following a clash between the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) activists and the police after Friday prayers in Islamabad. The bomber reportedly blew himself up at the Muzaffargarh Nihari House and the Pakwan Centre, some 500 yards away from the Lal Masjid in a busy business centre in a thickly populated area of the capital, at about 5.20 pm.

Abdul Raziq Bugti, spokesperson for the Balochistan government and a prominent politician, was assassinated in a high-security zone of the provincial capital Quetta by unidentified gunmen. The BLA claimed responsibility for the incident which occurred on the Zarghoon road, half a kilometre away from the Governor House and Balochistan Secretariat.

The US Congress have passed a law that would tie US aid to Pakistan to significant progress by Islamabad in cracking down on al Qaeda, the Taliban and other militants. The legislation, which is tied to the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act of 2007, prohibits specified military assistance under the Arms Export Control Act and the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to Pakistan until 15 days after the US president certifies that the Pakistani government is making all possible efforts to prevent the Taliban, al Qaeda and other extremist groups from operating in areas under its sovereign control.

President Pervez Musharraf rejected US threats to strike at militants holed up in Pakistan territory near the Afghan border, saying that American forces would not be allowed to operate in the area as Pakistani forces were quite capable of doing this. He also rejected the US allegations that al Qaeda was regrouping in Pakistan's tribal area. "A small number of al Qaeda elements present in the area are on the run and we are pursuing them," the president stated.

July 28

Three police personnel were killed when militants opened fire on them in the Lal Qila Midan area of the Lower Dir district in the NWFP.

Gunmen have forcefully occupied a mosque and an adjacent shrine in the Lakaro area of Mohmand Agency in the FATA and announced that they will continue the ‘mission’ of slain Lal Masjid (Red mosque) deputy chief cleric Maulana Ghazi Abdur Rashid and establish a seminary at the place. The gunmen announced that they were renaming the mosque as ‘Lal Masjid’ and the seminary would be called ‘Jamia Hafsa Umme Hassan’.

July 29

The Government has sounded a red alert in the wake of reports about the presence of 600 suicide bombers within the limits of the national capital Islamabad and asked security force personnel to avoid gathering in groups and not to wear uniform in public.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said that Islamist extremist leaders were plotting to overthrow President Pervez Musharraf’s Government and had converted madrassas (seminaries) in Pakistani cities into military headquarters with well-stocked arsenals.

July 30

Three paramilitary soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device exploded close to the Mashes camp near Miranshah in North Waziristan

Three paramilitary soldiers were killed and another sustained injuries when a convoy hit a roadside bomb near Thall picket. The convoy was going from Dosali to Bannu in the North West Frontier Province.

A helicopter gunship fired on a suspicious car that was following an army convoy near the Afghan border, killing four suspected militants. "The army spotted the car and ordered them to stop and they ignored the warning. They were fired on by a helicopter escorting the convoy… Four people inside the car were killed, they are suspected militants," said an unnamed security official.

July 31

Security forces, assisted by helicopter gun-ships, killed 15 militants in an encounter near the Banda checkpoint in North Waziristan. Major General Waheed Arshad, Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations, said 18 "miscreants" were killed when about 40 of them tried to attack a military checkpoint near Miranshah. Though the military spokesperson denied any casualties among the troops, villagers said some soldiers were killed or injured in the fighting.

Authorities in Nepal have arrested a Pakistani national who was carrying more than $250,000 in fake Indian currency, officials said.

The United States has asked Pakistan to hand over India's most wanted fugitive and international terrorist Dawood Ibrahim for his alleged links to al Qaeda-related terrorists groups and involvement in the global heroin trade. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Agency have sought assistance from Pakistan's Interior Ministry, the Anti-Narcotic Force and Inter-Services Intelligence to trace Dawood in Pakistan. Dawood has been described by the American agencies as "an al Qaeda facilitator now living in Pakistan who has already been placed in the same category as top al Qaeda operatives with Interpol issuing a special notice against him."

August 2

Police shot dead a suspected suicide bomber as he tried to attack a police training centre at Sargodha in the Punjab province. A police personnel was also killed in the exchange of fire with the attacker. The policeman reportedly tried to stop the man as he ran towards the ground, where around 900 young recruits were taking morning exercises.

The government has so far deported 554 foreign students from seminaries across Pakistan, while cases of another 717 such students are under consideration for deportation, the Interior Ministry told the National Assembly in a written reply to a question. The ministry disclosed that 12,395 of the total 13,500 madrassas across Pakistan had been registered during the government’s drive to regulate seminaries and no religious school could be opened without the government’s no objection certificate under the new rules.

The United States wants Pakistan to defeat al Qaeda in the battlefield and will not hesitate to use its own forces to achieve this objective, said Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns. Burns observed that al Qaeda had built a safe haven in Pakistan, while the Taliban leadership operated from bases in and around Quetta, capital of Balochistan. He also said Pakistani banks were involved in laundering money for al Qaeda and other terrorist outfits.

August 3

At least four people were killed during a shootout between tribesmen and SF personnel in the Asadkhel area of North Waziristan. The exchange of fire followed a bomb explosion moments before the arrival in Asadkhel of a convoy of army and FC which was on way from Bannu in the NWFP to Razmak. The remote controlled bomb explosion, however, caused no casualty. Three missiles were also fired at an FC checkpoint and the Miranshah Fort.

A suicide blast targeting the family of a government official killed two persons and injured six members of the family in the Gora village of Swat district in the NWFP.

August 4

Four SF personnel, two each from the army and Frontier Corps, were killed and six others injured when militants attacked the Salanghi check post in Dosali area, 35-kilometres south of Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan. In the retaliatory fire SFs killed 10 militants.

Nine persons were killed and 43 others injured when a suicide car bomber triggered an explosion at a busy bus stop near the entry point of Parachinar city in the Kurram Agency of FATA. A 10-year-old girl was among those killed in the attack.

August 6

The ISI, Pakistan’s external intelligence agency, have reportedly ‘detained’ Dawood Ibrahim, along with his lieutenant Chhota Shakeel and the mastermind of the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts Tiger Memon. Intelligence sources said the trio was rounded up on August 2 from their hideout near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and taken to a ‘safe-house’ on the outskirts of Quetta, capital of the Balochistan Province.

Following an upsurge in suicide bomb blasts in the country, the government issued directives for re-arresting all terrorists, who were released from various jails.

Talks between the Taliban and a tribal jirga (council) about the law and order situation in the Bajaur Agency of the FATA failed, as the government refused to release arrested militants.

August 7

President Pervez Musharraf said that recent suggestions from the United States that it might launch unilateral strikes against al Qaeda in Pakistan were "counterproductive" to the fight against terrorism.

Calls for jihad against India and the United States of America were made in Pakistan's National Assembly by the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Syed Tanveer Hussain, who argued that the dispute over Kashmir would be settled in "one month" if jihadis were allowed free entry into areas under Indian control. Hussain, who found support from the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, said that Quranic concepts should be allowed to guide foreign policy since in the case of Kashmir, there was clearly an US-India conspiracy to make the region autonomous. He said talks were never going to settle the issue. Hussain said that "our love affair with US should come to an end and we should have better relations with Iran, Russia and China. We should wage jihad against US and resolve the Kashmir issue through jihad, not talks."

August 7-8

At least 12 militants were reportedly killed and several others injured during helicopter raids by the security forces at Degan village in North Waziristan. Military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad said that the operation commenced at 5:00am when artillery and Cobra helicopters targeted two compounds of the militants. "The militants used to regroup and prepare attacks on security forces and take refuge at these compounds," he disclosed.

August 8

Taliban militants captured Chargano village at Darra Adamkhel in the NWFP when rival tribesmen surrendered to them after clashes which left five people dead and at least 10 others injured. Witnesses said that some 20 families of the Qasimkhel tribe surrendered themselves to the militants after 35-hour-long gun fight between the two sides.

Four militants were killed and the commandant of Makran Scouts (a wing of the Frontier Corps) and another security force personnel injured in an encounter in the Mand area of Turbat district in Balochistan, close to the border with Iran.

The ulema (religious scholars) of Wafaq-ul-Madaris Al-Arabia Pakistan (WMAP), the main confederacy of seminaries, have decided to join hands with the leaders of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal and collect funds to launch a countrywide movement against the Lal Masjid operation. This decision was taken at the WMAP’s supreme council meeting held on August 6-7 at Multan in the Punjab province, which was presided over by WMAP president Maulana Saleemullah Khan.

August 9

At least 15 people were reported to have died after army’s helicopter gun-ships attacked the Degan village in North Waziristan following a roadside bomb blast which left four soldiers injured.

Unidentified assailants shot dead two pro-government tribesmen at Mir Ali in North Waziristan.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told a four-day joint Pakistan-Afghan peace Jirga (assembly) in Kabul that both nations could defeat a resurgent al Qaeda and Taliban if they worked together.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz ruled out the imposition of emergency in the country for the time being.


August 10

At the ongoing peace Jirga in Kabul, Pakistan proposed formation of a joint tribal council to open negotiations with Afghan resistance groups and work for a truce to create necessary conditions for peaceful resolution of the conflict.

August 11

Three police personnel were killed by militants in an ambush in the Hangu district of the NWFP.

Troops killed three suspected militants in an encounter in the Mir Ali town of North Waziristan. One SF personnel was injured in the incident.

Two civilians were killed and five others, including an army soldier, injured when militants attacked an army convoy with a remote-controlled bomb at Patassy Ada in North Waziristan.

August 12

The provincial secretary-general of the banned SSP, Aslam Farooqui, was shot dead in Peshawar.

Afghanistan and Pakistan pledged to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries in their respective tribal regions and fight the opium trade financing militants. They also agreed to establish a council, comprising 25 delegates from each country, to promote reconciliation with the ‘opposition’ and cooperation between the neighbours.

In an address to the concluding session of the Joint Peace Jirga in Kabul, President Pervez Musharraf said both Afghanistan and Pakistan had to get away from what he called the backwardness and violence of Islamic extremism. The president conceded that there was support from Pakistani tribal areas for the insurgency in Afghanistan, extremism and ‘Talibanisation’.

August 13

Four civilians were killed and eight others sustained injuries when a vehicle of the National Rural Support Programme struck a roadside explosive device in the Ushu Valley, near the tourist resort of Kalam in the Swat district of NWFP.

At least three militants were killed during an encounter with the SF personnel which ensued after the militants attacked Dargai check post in South Waziristan.

The Interior Ministry has directed police to tighten security around English medium schools in the country after intelligence reports showed extremists planning hostage taking at private English medium schools.

August 15

Two persons were killed in a bomb blast at Turlandi in the Swabi district of the NWFP. The bomb exploded at around 9:00am at Saleem Tuition Centre, about 30 kilometers from the district headquarters, killing two teachers, Salimullah and Umer Nasir. Police said one of the dead had links with some jihadi groups.

The BLA claimed that it had killed two security force personnel in the Dera Bugti district. The two soldiers, Mumtaz Ahmed and Mukhtar Ahmed, died when insurgents fired four rockets targeting a patrolling team in the Sui police area. "We accept responsibility for the attack on the occupying forces on Baloch land. More attacks will follow this," said Basham Baloch, a BLA spokesman.

Pakistani tribal elders have been threatened with reprisals for attending the August 9-12 Joint Peace Jirga at Kabul aimed at ending support for al Qaeda and Taliban militants, officials said. An anonymous letter sent to the elders at Bajaur in the FATA threatened unspecified "action" against them for attending the Jirga. "Your participation at the Jirga was not a good decision… Action will be taken against you," officials quoted the letter as saying. Security official Adalat Khan said at least four tribal elders in a remote town in the region had received the warnings.

August 16

Ten militants and two soldiers were killed in an attack on a military convoy in South Waziristan. "Militants ambushed a military convoy near Chaghmalay, and air support was sought against them. Ten militants were killed and 12 injured while the security forces suffered two casualties," said military spokesperson Major General Waheed.

A roadside bomb explosion killed tribal elder Nawabzada Shamsul Wahab Khan and his driver and injured two of his bodyguards in the Bajaur Agency of FATA.

Two soldiers were killed and four others injured in a roadside explosion near Kaka Ziarat in North Waziristan, and the security forces arrested six persons for carrying out the attack.

August 17

Officials and residents said the death toll in the clashes in South Waziristan reached to 32, including 19 militants and 12 soldiers. At least 12 security force personnel were injured.

At least eight people died during clashes between activists of the rival Lashkar-i-Islam and Ansaar-ul-Islam groups at Sandapaal in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency in the FATA.

In North Waziristan, two Uzbek nationals and two men of the Janikhel tribe were killed when security forces fired at a car which did not stop for checking at the Jaler checkpoint. One person was arrested.

August 18

Two soldiers were killed and an equal number of them injured in a suicide attack at the Dharkhubi checkpost near the Mir Ali town in North Waziristan. The suicide attack came hours after troops attacked three suspected militant hideouts in South Waziristan, triggering a shootout that left at least 10 soldiers injured.

Two more soldiers were killed when militants attacked Isha and Qamar checkposts in North Waziristan.

August 19

At least 15 militants were killed during military operations that targeted militant hideouts near the Mir Ali town in North Waziristan. Military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad said the military attacked hideouts of the militants after security checkpoints near Mir Ali came under attack. "We have credible information that the two compounds have been destroyed and 15 miscreants, including 10 Uzbeks, have been killed in the strike," Arshad said. There were unconfirmed reports that an Iraqi national Abu Akasha, a suspected al Qaeda operative, may have been the target of the military operation.

Two women, two children and a man were killed in a village near Mir Ali town in military operations involving Cobra gunship helicopters. Tribal sources in Mir Ali said the five civilians were killed in Hormuz and Issori when the gunship helicopters bombed and strafed the two villages. The Mosaki, Hasokhel and Khushali villages were also attacked by the five helicopters and several houses were damaged.

August 20

Six SF personnel were killed and 18 persons, including a civilian, were wounded when a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a checkpoint on Kurram Road in the Hangu district of NWFP. Hangu District Police Officer Ghulam Mohammad Khan disclosed that the suicide bomber came in a blue jeep from Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan, and struck the Militia Mandoori check-post. A woman is reported to have died when SFs opened indiscriminate fire after the incident. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. Their purported spokesman, Abdul Hai Ghazi, said from Waziristan, "We carried out the suicide attack in Thall and killed 20 soldiers."

A man accused of using his computer skills to help al Qaeda has been released after three years in custody, a government official and the man’s lawyer said. Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, an engineering graduate, was suspected of having sent coded e-mails to al Qaeda operatives possibly planning attacks in the United States, Britain and South Africa. Khan, who was arrested from Lahore in July 2004, has also been linked with terrorist plots in the US and Britain, and to the arrests of suspects in Britain.

August 21

Security agencies are reported to have traced a network of terrorists operating across Pakistan and arrested two members allegedly linked to last month’s suicide bombings in Islamabad, Interior Ministry spokesperson Brigadier (r) Javed Iqbal Cheema told reporters in Islamabad. He said these terrorists were linked with Lal Masjid and Waziristan. Official sources identified the two as Imdad Hussain of Dera Ismail Khan in NWFP and Nasir Mehmood of Murree. Hussain was arrested from Rawalpindi and Mehmood in Murree last week.

Mufti Munir Shakir, head of the Lashkar-e-Islam group in the Khyber Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas, was released on August 21 after 13-months of "protective custody". The cleric, in his 40s, heads the Lashkar-i-Islam which confronts the rival Barelvi school of thought group Ansaar-ul-Islam.

August 22

Three Frontier Corps (FC) personnel and three militants were killed when militants attacked a check-post jointly manned by police and FC personnel in the Miran police precincts of Bannu in NWFP.

August 23

President Pervez Musharraf rules out an imposition of emergency in the country, saying that political instability must be avoided and "we will maintain the supremacy of law and constitution".

August 24

A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into the military convoy at Qamar Picket near the Mir Ali town in North Waziristan, killing five soldiers and injuring 10 others. The same convoy, which had come from Bannu in the North West Frontier Province and was on its way to Razmak, was attacked once more when it proceeded further. Another suicide bomber riding a vehicle struck the convoy near Asadkhel village on the road to Razmak, killing two soldiers and injuring two others. Military officials stated that two militants were killed by the troops in retaliatory firing.

President Pervez Musharraf told a group of parliamentarians from the FATA that the army would be withdrawn from tribal areas after January 2008. "Paramilitary forces including Frontier Constabulary, Levies and Khasadars will take over the charge of tribal areas from military, which would be withdrawn after January 2008," said the president.

Some soldiers of the Frontier Corps are reportedly deserting the force due to regular and violent attacks by the militants in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, sources said. Military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad, however, called the desertion of a "few jawans insignificant incidents."

August 25

SFs killed five militants and arrested another in the Datakhel area of North Waziristan in a clash which followed an attack on the Ismailkhel security post leaving one soldier dead and two others wounded. Officials said the SFs retaliated after the Ismailkhel post had been attacked with rockets and missiles.

An army helicopter opened fire on a vehicle on a road near Miranshah in North Waziristan killing three suspected militants. The official said the vehicle was targeted because it failed to stop at a checkpoint at Mir Ali, about 20-kilometers from Miranshah.

August 26

US-led security forces and Afghan troops attacked Taliban positions inside Pakistan in fresh clashes that left at least 19 militants dead, security forces said. The US-led coalition said it received permission from Pakistan to attack across the border on August 25, but this was denied by the chief military spokesperson in Islamabad.

Four police personnel were killed and two others sustained injuries in a suicide attack on a police van in the mountainous Shangla district of NWFP. It was reportedly the first-ever terrorist incident in the Shangla district.

August 28

Militants freed 18 Frontier Corps (FC) personnel, including a senior officer, and a political agent in the Sam area of South Waziristan after an assurance from the government that it would abide by the February 2005 peace agreement. Chief negotiator Maulana Mirajuddin, a Member of the National Assembly, informed that all hostages had been released unconditionally. He, however, said the militants wanted the government to respect the February 2005 peace accord.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has alleged that elements of the ISI "continue the alliance with both the Taliban and al Qaeda to this very day" on the premise that Pakistan’s security requires "strategic depth" in the shape of a friendly or pliant Afghanistan.

August 30

Seven security force personnel died and an unspecified number of people were wounded when suspected militants attacked the Frontier Corps check post at Swat in the NWFP.

Militants in South Waziristan abducted around 150 Pakistan Army personnel and shifted them to their hideouts in the mountains.

August 31

Two soldiers of the Frontier Corps (FC) and a civilian were killed and eight people sustained injuries in two attacks at Mingora in the NWFP. FC personnel and police stationed at the Pakistan-Australia Institute for Hotel Management came under attack in the Guli Bagh area leading to the death of two paramilitary soldiers, Noor Bahadur and Waheed Nawaz, and injuries to six soldiers. Official sources said that a police patrol rushed to the area and struck an improvised explosive device on the Langar Road. A civilian, Hazrat Ali, who had been arrested for timber smuggling and was in the police van, was killed in the blast while two police personnel were wounded.

September 1

Four paramilitary troops were killed and six others injured in a suicide attack at a check-post in the Mamoond area of Bajaur Agency in FATA. Local residents said that a civilian was killed when the security forces opened fire after the attack.

September 2

Two persons were killed and 11 others, including a tribal elder, were injured when a remote-controlled bomb exploded at a shop in Wana, headquarters of South Waziristan.

Authorities at Kandahar in Afghanistan detained four Pakistanis on suspicion of helping insurgents build bombs. "On a tip-off we captured four Pakistanis who are experts in making suicide-bombing vests and remote-controlled bombs," police officer Abdul Qayoum Katawazi said.

September 4

At least 30 people were killed and 70 others wounded in two suicide attacks at Qasim Market and RA Bazaar in the garrison city of Rawalpindi. The first suicide bomber targeted a bus that was carrying about 35 employees of a defence agency to their office near the Qasim Market, killing at least 20 people. Soon after, another blast occurred near the RA Bazaar police station, killing 10 more people.

September 5

Two personnel of the Frontier Corps and a passer-by were shot dead in an attack by armed assailants on the Brewery Road in Quetta, capital of Balochistan.

September 6

Six persons, including four suspected foreigners, were killed when a Cobra gunship attacked a car in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan. A statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations said the car was occupied by suspected foreigners and it was tracked down and attacked with a missile fired by a helicopter. Two tribesmen present in the area at the time of the attack were also killed.

Suspected militants abducted and later beheaded two women, identified as Maino and Malaki, for alleged prostitution in the Cantonment Police precincts of Bannu in the NWFP.

September 7

Intelligence agencies have reportedly warned the Interior Ministry that three suicide bombers have entered Islamabad to target the capital’s two busiest commercial centres, Jinnah Super and Super Market, in the next few days. The suicide bombers were linked to the Waziristan-based tribal militant Baitullah Mehsud. Acting Inspector General of Islamabad Police Shahid Nadeem Baloch confirmed that the police had received a warning about the suicide bombers from the Interior Ministry.

September 8

Ten militants were killed and seven SF personnel injured after militants attacked a military convoy in the Pusht Ziarat area, about 95 kilometers southwest of Miranshah in North Waziristan. An unnamed SF official said the military convoy was coming to the Mana army camp from Shawal when the militants attacked it in Pusht Ziarat – an area between North and South Waziristan.

Four soldiers were killed and two others injured when suspected militants opened fire on a small military convoy in the Kohistan district of NWFP. It was the first attack on the army in the Kohistan district.

September 9

The increasing number of suicide attacks in Afghanistan is often carried out by young Afghan men who pass through religious schools in Pakistan, a United Nations report said. The "majority of those who came from Pakistan are Afghan, but not all, either refugees or coming in and out of Afghanistan," UNAMA head Tom Koenigs told reporters ahead of the document's release. There are more than two million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The report, however, cited a "senior" Taliban commander as saying that 80 percent of suicide attackers passed through recruitment centres, training facilities or safe houses in Pakistan's Waziristan area. "The tribal areas of Pakistan remain an important source of human and material assistance for the insurgency generally but suicide attacks in particular," the report said.

A jirga (council) of Safi tribes signed a peace agreement with the local Taliban at Bawtha in Mohmand Agency. Malik Zahir Shah Safi, a jirga member, said the Taliban representatives assured the jirga that militants would not harm government officials or damage public property. The jirga decided if the Taliban did not honour the peace accord, Safi tribes would side with the government and if the government did not respect the agreement, they would not cooperate with it (the government).

September 10

Seven people, including five militants - three of them senior commanders, were killed while three others sustained injuries in an encounter between militants and the SFs in the Makeen area of South Waziristan.

Two local tribesmen, including a woman, were killed in Makeen when a stray rocket hit their house. There were unconfirmed reports that both were close relatives of militant commander Baitullah Mehsud.

A court in San Francisco sentenced a Pakistani-American man to 24 years imprisonment following his conviction last year for taking part in training at an al Qaeda terrorist camp. 25-year old Hamid Hayat was jailed after being found guilty in April 2005 of providing "material support" to al Qaeda training in Pakistan and lying about it to FBI agents.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was arrested and deported to Saudi Arabia four-and-a-half hours after he arrived in Islamabad from London to challenge the rule of President Pervez Musharraf.

Two civilians were killed in crossfire between suspected militants and SFs at Ishengai village in the Makeen area of South Waziristan.

September 11

19 people were killed and 15 others wounded when a teenage suicide bomber blew himself up near a thickly-populated area of Bannu Choongi in the Dera Ismail Khan district of NWFP. The incident occurred at around 3:10 pm (PST) when police directed a suspected passenger of a pickup on the way to Kech village to come out and offer a body search. As the passenger came out of the vehicle, he blew himself up, killing 18 people on the spot, including two police personnel, who wanted to search the bomber. Another person succumbed to his injuries later, raising the death toll to 19. Deputy Inspector General Police, Habibur Rahman, stated that the bomber was 14 to 15 years of age.

September 12

40 militants were killed in an attack by Army gunship helicopters in the Shawal area of North Waziristan. Military spokesperson, Major General Waheed Arshad, stated that Pakistan Army gunship helicopters and artillery were used in the operation against the militants, who had established their hideouts in the Shawal area and involved in attacks on military convoys.

September 13

Taliban militants attacked a military base near the Afghan border, leading to an encounter with the security forces in which at least 50 militants and two soldiers were killed. Eight soldiers were wounded in the clashes. Military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad said security forces repelled repeated militant attacks, adding that army helicopters and ground fire destroyed four militant positions.

At least 20 people were killed in a bomb blast in a high-security military area in Tarbela Ghazi area of Haripur District. The bomb exploded in the mess of Karar Company of the Special Services Group. The communication and wireless system of security agencies was also reportedly affected by the explosion. Two unnamed intelligence officials said that it was a suicide attack, and that the bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the canteen where dozens of commandos were having dinner. The Tarbela facility is the headquarters of the SOTF, a unit of the Pakistan Army's elite Special Services Group, which had been set up with American aid to neutralise al Qaeda.

Seven people were killed on when armed assailants lobbed a hand-grenade and opened fire on a minibus near the Karachi University. The Islami Jamiat Talaba (student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami) alleged that activists of the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO) had attacked its workers who were in the bus. The APMSO, however, denied the allegations.

September 14

Two children were killed and five others injured when two landmines exploded in Shinkot Gang of the Bajaur Agency of FATA. The landmines were planted at the main gate of a residential compound of a tribesman, Noor Jamal, which exploded in quick succession killing his two sons.

September 16

At least 18 soldiers were killed when tribal militants attacked a security check-post at Pashte Ziarat in the Shawal area of North Waziristan. Troops in retaliation killed 18 militants.

Four unidentified tribal militants were killed in clashes with the troops in North Waziristan.

Pakistan’s Election Commission has amended rules that bar Government servants from contesting Presidential polls, a move that has paved the way for President Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s re-election to the top post. Secretary to the Election Commission, Kunwar Irshad, said that the poll panel has amended Presidential election rules, so that Article 63 of the Constitution that has a clause to bar Government servants from participating in elections unless they have been retired for at least two years, no longer applies to the President. Irshad said the rule of Article 63 (K) stating that "if he (the candidate) has been in the service of Pakistan or of any statutory body or any body which is owned or controlled by the Government or in which the Government has a controlling share or interest, unless a period of two years has elapsed since he ceased to be in such service" has been amended to exempt Musharraf who continued as Chief of Army.

September 17

Two security force personnel were killed and four others injured in a rocket attack by militants on a security forces convoy at Talli village near Sibbi town in Balochistan.

September 17

As many as 129 personnel of Pakistan Army, FC and 56 police were killed in 22 suicide attacks in nine months since January 2007. According to an Interior Ministry report on suicide attacks, 51 suicide attacks took place since January 2007 to date in which 14 attacks targeted military personnel, four targeted FC, four targeted police, while the remaining 29 targeted the civilian population. The report said that Lal Masjid military operation had caused an increase in suicide attacks on army and paramilitary forces. The report also reveals that military was mostly targeted in the North West Frontier Province and FATA. Mir Ali, Miran Shah and Tank remained the most favorite targets of suicide bombers. During the period in question, three suicide attacks took place in the Punjab province targeting the army.

September 18

President General Pervez Musharraf will step down as army chief provided he is re-elected as president, government lawyers told the Supreme Court. Sharifuddin Pirzada, the State counsel, and Malik Muhammad Qayyum, the Attorney General, submitted a statement in the court stating, "If elected for the second term as president, General Pervez Musharraf shall relinquish the charge of the office of the chief of army staff soon after election but before taking oath of the office of the president of Pakistan for the next term. The nomination papers of General Pervez Musharraf should be scrutinised by the chief election commissioner/returning officer independently and in accordance with the law." A nine-member bench headed by Justice Rana Bhagwandas was hearing petitions challenging the President’s two offices.

September 18

President General Pervez Musharraf will step down as army chief provided he is re-elected as president, government lawyers told the Supreme Court. Sharifuddin Pirzada, the State counsel, and Malik Muhammad Qayyum, the Attorney General, submitted a statement in the court stating, "If elected for the second term as president, General Pervez Musharraf shall relinquish the charge of the office of the chief of army staff soon after election but before taking oath of the office of the president of Pakistan for the next term. The nomination papers of General Pervez Musharraf should be scrutinised by the chief election commissioner/returning officer independently and in accordance with the law." A nine-member bench headed by Justice Rana Bhagwandas was hearing petitions challenging the President’s two offices.

September 19

The government ruled out the option of setting up permanent military bases in the tribal areas.

September 20

Two Pakistani nationals accused of channeling 1 million euros ($1.40 million) to Muslim militants were arrested in Spain. A. Muhammad Shan and P. Mehmood Sandhu reportedly used money from drug trafficking to fund radical groups in Spain and abroad. They were detained in Madrid and Barcelona after a three-year operation by Spanish National Police and the US Federal Bureau of Intelligence.

Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has vowed to retaliate against ‘infidel’ President Pervez Musharraf for the killing of Lal Masjid (red mosque) cleric Ghazi Abdul Rashid, US Websites said. "We in al Qaeda call on God to witness that we will retaliate for the blood of Ghazi and those with him against Musharraf and those who help him," a Website quoted Laden as saying. In another video, al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri warned that General Musharraf would be ‘punished’ for the killing of Ghazi. "Let the Pakistan Army know that the killing of Ghazi and the demolition of his mosque have soaked the history of the Pakistani army in shame ... which can only be washed away by retaliation against the killers of Ghazi," he said.

The ECP announced that the presidential election would be held on October 6. General Pervez Musharraf, whose five-year term as President expires on November 15, will be the government candidate for another term in office as head of State.

September 21

Two women and a paramilitary soldier were killed and eight others injured in clashes between security forces and militants at Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur Agency in the FATA.

Three militants were killed and two others, including a woman, injured when two groups of Taliban clashed in South Waziristan.

Unidentified militants opened indiscriminate fire on former federal minister and Awami National Party (ANP) leader Muhammad Afzal Khan Lala at Bedara in the NWFP, killing his driver and gunman and wounding the ANP leader, his nephew and two servants.

September 22

At least two people, including an Afghan refugee, were killed in the remote Sorandara Musakhel area of Mohmand Agency in FATA.

Two militants were killed as SFs retaliated when militants fired six rockets at Zara Mila post near Mirali town of North Waziristan.

September 23

At least 10 persons were killed and 14 others injured in a clash between activists of two rival tribal groups in the Barqambar Khel area of Bara tehsil (administrative division) in the Khyber Agency.

Security agencies have reportedly forwarded intelligence reports to senior government officials regarding suicide attacks expected to be carried out by women bombers across the country, Interior Ministry sources said. "There are chances that that male and female former students of Jamia Hafsa, Jamia Fareedia and Lal Masjid that managed to escape from ‘Operation Silence’ could carry out suicide attacks across the country," the intelligence agencies’ reports said.

September 25

A government counsel informed the Supreme Court that General Pervez Musharraf would continue to stay as army chief if he was not re-elected president for a second term. "If he loses, President Musharraf will continue to remain in uniform till the time another army chief is appointed by the new president," Attorney-General Malik Mohammad Qayyum submitted to a nine-member bench hearing petitions against President Musharraf holding two offices.

September 26

The Superintendent of Police (Investigation Cell), Syed Sharyab, and his two guards died when their vehicle was ambushed in the Samungli area of Quetta, capital of Balochistan, His driver and security in charge of the Pakistan Television Centre (Quetta) were wounded in the incident. The proscribed Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

Two militants of the Taliban were killed and eight others sustained injuries during a clash with a gang of alleged criminals in the Naryab area of Hangu district in the NWFP. The encounter reportedly continued for several hours and the Taliban took seven men of the gang hostage. They also took away a vehicle and set another on fire. The Taliban also abducted three men of the group from the Doaba area.

Militants belonging to some unnamed banned outfits have reportedly started a new campaign of issuing life threats through letters to Christians, especially in the NWFP and Punjab for the last three months.

USA’s intelligence agency National Intelligence stated that al Qaeda continues to recruit Europeans for explosives training in Pakistan because Europeans can more easily enter the United States without a visa. Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, said that European al Qaeda recruits in the border region of Pakistan are being trained to use commercially available substances to make explosives, and they may be able to carry out an attack on U.S. territory.

Leading civil society organisations threatened to halt their operations throughout the country if the government failed to stem the increasing number of attacks on non-governmental organisations by extremists in the NWFP. UN agencies, which reportedly bore the brunt of extremist attacks earlier this year in Bagh, were also represented at the meeting.

September 27

Two tribesmen were killed and five others wounded in a gun-battle in the Mirali area of North Waziristan.

September 28

The Supreme Court cleared the way for President Pervez Musharraf to contest the October 6 presidential election while remaining Army chief, by dismissing as "non-maintainable" all petitions challenging his eligibility.

September 29

In the Datakhel area of North Waziristan, two soldiers were killed and three others wounded when a checkpoint was attacked.

September 30

Senior representatives of the US and Pakistan signed a $750-million, five-year agreement for American assistance in the development of the FATA, with $105 million to be provided in 2007, a US Embassy press release said.

Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister, said that al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden didn’t want her to return to Pakistan, as he was against women’s rule. She said Osama didn’t believe in democracy. Bhutto also stated that the government would provide her security upon her arrival in Pakistan.

October 1

A suicide bomber disguised in a woman’s burqa (veil) blew himself up at a busy police check-post in Bannu in the NWFP killing at least 16 people, including four police personnel, and injuring 29 persons. Police officer Asar Islam told, "A man disguised in a burqa got out of an auto-rickshaw when police stopped the vehicle for a search at a checkpoint. He then blew himself up."

Two tribesmen were killed and 10 others wounded when a vehicle hit a landmine in the Kurram Agency of the FATA. Officials stated that the vehicle carrying 11 passengers and a driver was heading from Sadda to Tander when it hit the landmine on a dirt track in the Mir Karim Kandaw area at about 4.30pm (PST).

Two Frontier Constabulary personnel were killed in a militant attack on the Rocha check-post in Bannu, NWFP.

October 2

Two police personnel, Tajjamul Hussain and Taj Hussain, and a Levies Force soldier, Arbab Khan, were killed and two others wounded when militants attacked a check-post on the main Thall Road in the Hangu town of the NWFP.

A terrorist network allegedly involved in recent suicide attacks in different parts of the country, including Islamabad and Rawalpindi, has been neutralized. In a weekly press briefing, Interior Ministry spokesperson Brigadier (retd) Javed Iqbal Cheema said eight terrorists were arrested on October 1 in the Chauntra area of Rawalpindi in a predawn raid by the Punjab Police.

The US military said that it expected al Qaeda to continue its "re-emergence in sanctuaries in Pakistan’s tribal areas from where it supported attacks in Afghanistan." Sanctuary was provided to al Qaeda and Taliban militants after Islamabad signed a peace deal with them in a desperate attempt to quell the unrest in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in September 2006, a US military official claimed.

The US is pressing President General Pervez Musharraf "very hard" to allow for free and fair elections, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. She singled out parliamentary elections due early 2008 as a "critical test" of the Musharraf administration’s commitment to democratic principles.

President General Pervez Musharraf promoted Lt. Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani to the rank of four-star general and nominated him as his successor as chief of army staff. Kiyani will replace the outgoing Vice Chief of Army Staff General Ahsan Salim Hayat and assume office on October 8 – two days after the presidential election.

October 3

14 civilians were killed and five others sustained injuries when their bus hit a landmine in the Bulandkhel area of North Waziristan. The bus, going from Thall to Shewa, struck the landmine near the Tauda Cheena Bridge at about 5.30 pm (PST). The blast targeting the bus occurred hours after pro-Taliban militants raided a security check-post near Mirali in a pre-dawn attack, killing two soldiers and injuring four more. "Ten miscreants were killed in the resulting clash," military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad said.

Two militants belonging to the Bugti tribe, identified as Khuda Bakhsh Chakrani Bugti and Nabi Bakhsh Chakrani Bugti, were killed and three persons, including a Frontier Corps soldier, were injured after security forces clashed with militants at Khalani village in the Jaffarabad district of Balochistan. Seven tribesmen were arrested and an unspecified quantity of arms, including rocket launchers, rockets, hand-grenades, automatic rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition, was recovered after the clash.

Afghan security forces allegedly arrested four Pakistanis suspected of being suicide bombers from Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. They were reportedly arrested after a raid on a house in the outskirts of the city along with some suicide jackets. All the four hailed from the Punjab province of Pakistan and identified them as Mohammad Hussain, Abdul Rauf, M. Shoaib and Hassan. He said that they were being interrogated and they had disclosed that they belonged to the proscribed LeJ.

October 4

Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud executed three soldiers from a group of more than 250 taken hostage last month in South Waziristan and vowed to carry out more executions if the government continued the "Mehsud tribes’ humiliation". The bodies of the three soldiers were found on the Wana-Jandola road in Jandola near the border with South Waziristan.

President Pervez Musharraf reached an understanding with the former Prime Minister and PPP leader Benazir Bhutto that will secure the party’s tacit support to him in the October 6 presidential election in return for a law giving her indemnity against corruption charges. The agreement, in the form of a "national reconciliation ordinance," is likely to grant indemnity to all those who held public office or were in government service between 1985 and November 17, 1999 against whom cases were registered but who have not yet been convicted.

October 6

Polling was held for the 14th presidential election at Parliament House and all four provincial assemblies. President Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan People’s Party’s candidate Makhdoom Amin Fahim, lawyer’s candidate Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed and Faryal Talpur were the candidates. However under the Supreme Court ruling, the results would not be announced after the completion of polling. The Supreme Court on October 5 allowed the present assemblies to conduct the presidential election, but directed the Election Commission to keep the results classified until a final decision is reached on the petitions challenging the candidacy of President General Pervez Musharraf.

One soldier was killed and 18 others injured when an army convoy was ambushed in North Waziristan.

October 7

President General Pervez Musharraf returned victorious as the President of Pakistan for another five-year term in a smooth presidential election held on October 6. However, a formal notification of his success was not issued as validation of his candidature is yet to be decided by the Supreme Court. Musharraf bagged 98 per cent (671) of the total votes polled (684), and overall he got 57 per cent out of total 1,170 votes of parliament and four provincial assemblies.

SFs assisted by heavy artillery and helicopter gun-ships killed 65 militants but lost 20 soldiers in two encounters in North Waziristan. Fierce clashes occurred between the SFs and militants at Mirali and Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan. The fighting began on October 6-night when militants ambushed an army convoy in Mir Ali, 24 kilometers east of Miranshah, on the Miranshah-Bannu road.

Three civilians were also killed when an artillery shell fired by the SFs hit their house in the Sokhail village of North Waziristan.

October 8

Pakistani helicopter gun-ships and troops have killed 130 militants during clashes near the Afghan border, while 45 soldiers have also died, the army sources said. The clashes broke out after militants set off IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and conducted ambushes on the security forces on October 7, military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad said. He added, "The forces retaliated and killed 130 militants in air strikes and ground attacks. Forty-five security personnel were also martyred."

The United Jihad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin has announced a unilateral cease-fire in the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir for three days from October 12 to 14 on the occasion of Ramadan. A news agency quoting spokesman of the Pakistan-based UJC, Syed Sadaqat Hussain, said the decision was taken at a meeting presided over by Syed Salahuddin, who also heads the HM. The meeting decided there would be complete cease-fire for three days on the part of all militant groups operating in Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesman said.

October 9

At least 50 people were killed and 200 others injured after fighter jets bombed a village market near Mirali town in North Waziristan. Military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad said the bombing had targeted militant hideouts in the Ipi, Khedherkhel and Khushali Torikhel villages of Mirali sub-division, adding that he had no confirmation of the number of fatalities. He, however, put the number of militants killed in three days of fighting at 150 and the army’s casualties at 45.

Two soldiers were killed in a bomb blast in Mamoon Panga in North Waziristan.

Two soldiers are reported to have died and four wounded in an attack on Gharlamai check-post west of Miranshah.

The White House released a national strategy for combating terrorism, terming Pakistan as an al Qaeda safe haven, which can be used for launching another 9/11 like attack inside the United States. This is the first time that the country has been named as an al Qaeda safe haven in a White House policy document. Al Qaeda has "protected its top leadership, replenished operational lieutenants, and regenerated a safe haven in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas — core capabilities that would help facilitate another attack on the Homeland," the document said.

October 10

The PAF warplanes continued attacking localities of Mir Ali subdivision in North Waziristan, killing 15 more persons. Officials of the political administration and tribal sources said that the PAF planes targeted Haiderkhel, Ipi, Hasukhel, Musaki, Mullagan, Hurmaz, Zeeraki, Khushali and other villages of the area, mostly peopled by non-combatants. They said eight persons were killed in Haiderkhel, four in Hurmaz and three in Hasukhel villages. However, military spokesperson Major-General Waheed Arshad claimed that no air strike was launched against the militants since October 9-afternoon.

The NWFP Governor Ali Muhammad Jan Orakzai dissolved the provincial assembly and appointed the former Water and Power Development Authority chairman Shamsul Mulk as the caretaker chief minister.

The Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said that elections for the national and provincial assemblies would be held in the first week of January 2008 under a caretaker setup. "I think the elections for national and provincial assemblies will be held in the first week of January," Aziz said, adding, "The national parliament and provincial assemblies will complete their terms on November 15 and elections will be held 60 days after that."

President Pervez Musharraf has asked former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to delay her return to Pakistan from a self-imposed exile till the Supreme Court decides on petitions challenging his re-election. "Benazir should not come back to Pakistan on October 18 and she should delay her return till the Supreme Court decision regarding the presidential election," Musharraf said.

October 11

The former Primer Minister Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party rejected President Pervez Musharraf’s suggestion that she should postpone her planned October 18 return to Pakistan as "uncalled for" and asserted she would return as scheduled.

October 11-12

Local Taliban militants shot dead six alleged criminals to avenge the death of their four associates in the Pandialai tehsil (administrative division) of Mohmand Agency in the FATA. They also abducted six other ‘criminals’.

October 13

Four persons were killed and another sustained injuries when militants ambushed their vehicle in the Arkot area of Swat district of NWFP.

Pro-Taliban militants reportedly released 30 of the over 200 SF personnel they had abducted over a month ago in South Waziristan.

October 14

Security force personnel killed two pro-Taliban militants, including an Uzbek, after they fired on a paramilitary checkpoint near the Mir Ali town in North Waziristan. "One Uzbek and one local militant were killed in retaliation while two wounded militants escaped," army spokesman Major-General Waheed Arshad disclosed.

October 17

From 2001 to 2007, the United States extended $10.09 billion in assistance to Pakistan, the highest single year figure being $1.77 billion, which was remitted in 2007. The projected figure for 2008 is $840 million only. According to figures tabulated by the Congressional Research Service, the breakdown is as under: Total economic support funds ($1.89 billion), other development aid ($453 million), foreign military financing ($1.27 billion), other security-related aid ($377 million), coalition support funds ($5.93 billion), total non-food aid plus coalition support funds ($9.9 billion) and food aid ($177 million).

The deployment of armed forces in the FATA was challenged before the Supreme Court. Deputy chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami in Bajaur Agency and former Member of National Assembly Sahibzada Haroonur Rashid filed the civil miscellaneous application through his counsel Barrister Farooq Hassan praying it to restrain General Pervez Musharraf from deployment of the armed forces in the FATA.

October 18

A suicide bombing in a crowd welcoming former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto killed 143 persons and injured approximately 550 others in Karachi. Two explosions struck near a truck carrying Benazir, but she was not injured and was hurried to her house. The two explosions occurred a minute apart shortly after midnight near Karsaz bridge close to the vehicle Benazir Bhutto was traveling in, at the head of a procession of hundreds of thousands of PPP supporters who had flooded the streets of Karachi to welcome their leader on her return from eight years in self-imposed exile.

Rioting and gunfire broke out in Dalmia, Malir, Gulistan-e-Jauhar and the National Highway after the two bomb blasts, and the protesters set fire to a petrol pump on the Super Highway. Some 20,000 security force personnel had been deployed in Karachi to provide protection for Ms Bhutto.

Benazir Bhutto landed at the Karachi airport around 1.45 in the afternoon. Talking to the media on her arrival, she said the massive turn out of the people from across the country on the streets of Karachi was a clear message that people of Pakistan wanted undiluted democracy in which they had the empowerment.

October 19

The suicide attacks on former premier Benazir Bhutto that killed 143 people may have been the work of al Qaeda and the Taliban, said an unnamed official of the Sindh government He cited intelligence reports that three suicide bombers linked to the Waziristan-based Taliban ‘commander’ Baitullah Mehsud were in Karachi. However, an alleged associate of Mehsud, Isa Khan, denied involvement.

Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister and chairperson of the PPP, said that the suicide blasts during her homecoming parade in Karachi a day earlier were "an attack on democracy, and an attack on the very unity and integrity of Pakistan." The former premier said that a "brotherly country" had informed her in advance about the attacks, but she didn’t identify the country by name. Benazir Bhutto’s husband Asif Ali Zardari blamed a Pakistani intelligence agency for the suicide attacks.

October 20

At least eight persons, including two women and a child, were killed and 28 others injured when a powerful bomb planted in a pickup vehicle exploded at a bus stand in the main market of Dera Bugti in Balochistan. Mir Liaquat Bugti, son of Mir Ahemdan Bugti, a government ally and chieftain of the Raijha Bugti tribe, who was the main target of the bomb blast survived the incident as his car crossed the target spot only a few seconds before the explosion, local officials said. The banned Baloch Republican Army claimed responsibility for the incident.

Suspected Taliban militants shot dead two pro-government tribal elders as they traveled through the northwestern tribal region of Bajaur. The victims were part of a council of tribal elders that met last week with aides of militant leader Baitullah Mahsud, trying to forge a cease-fire between government forces and militants, said Fazal Rabi, a local government official.

President Pervez Musharraf approved a draft empowerment package for the Northern Areas, giving enhanced political, administrative and financial powers to a region currently administered by the federal government. The package envisages law-making powers for the Northern Areas Legislative Council. Under the Legal Framework Order, the federal government would devolve its powers to district governments to be set up through elections in the six districts of the Northern Areas - Gilgit, Ghanche, Gizer, Skardu, Astore and Diamer.

October 21

The October 18-suicide bombing at a rally in Karachi to welcome former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in which at least 143 people were killed was reportedly the deadliest ever in terms of casualties bringing the total number of suicide attacks in the country to 56. According to the Interior Ministry figures, before the October 18 incident, 55 suicide bombings occurred in the country since January 2002 killing almost 574 people. In Karachi, six suicide attacks have been carried out since May 8, 2002.

October 22

A pro-Taliban militant was killed and two others wounded in a failed attempt to blow up the office of a women’s rights group in the Karak district of NWFP The militants had been attempting to plant a bomb at the Khawando Kor (sisters’ home), local police officer Hajit Khan said. The bomb exploded prematurely and one militant was killed, Khan said, adding that two injured accomplices had been arrested.

Five militant groups have set up an organisation called Tehrik-i-Taliban in the Mohmand Agency of the FATA to eliminate elements operating as Taliban. The organisation’s spokesman Abu Nauman Askari said the militant groups had joined forces and would work in coordination to flush out gangs carrying out criminal activities in the name of Taliban. A 16-member Shura was formed to coordinate activities of the groups.

The Taliban in Afghanistan have denied involvement in the October 18 assassination attempt on Benazir Bhutto.

The Prime Minister and Interior Minister rejected the PPP’s demand for foreign experts to assist in the inquiry into the October 18 suicide bombings in Karachi.

October 23

Three suspected militants were killed and another was injured in an encounter with the SFs in the Kurdan area near Dera Bugti in Balochistan. SF personnel also arrested two militants and seized a cache of arms and ammunition, including AK-47 rifles, rocket launcher, rockets, grenade and hundreds of rounds.

Former Prime Minister and Pakistan People’s Party chairperson Benazir Bhutto has reportedly received more assassination threats. According to her lawyer Farooq H. Naek, a two-page letter in Urdu contained derogatory remarks about her, besides the threat to assassinate her. Written by "the head of suicide bombers and a friend of Al Qaeda and Osama", it also contained a threat that women commandos and suicide bombers could also be used to assassinate Benazir.

President General Pervez Musharraf unveiled a political, administrative and development reforms package for the Northern Areas. The President also announced that the Northern Areas council had been given the status of a legislative assembly with powers to debate and pass its budget. He said a seventh district consisting of Hunza and Nagir subdivisions would be carved out of the Gilgit district and two subdivisions of Dagone and Raundo will be set up in the Baltistan region. The President announced the setting up of a commission under the deputy chairman of Planning Commission to resolve boundary disputes between the Northern Areas and the North-West Frontier Province. The region has so far been governed by the government of Pakistan through the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas under the Northern Areas Legal Framework Order, 1994.

The US State Department said that Pakistan has not been successful in closing down "terrorist networks" and their supporters. Spokesperson Sean McCormack stated that the US views Pakistan’s performance in the war against terrorism as less than satisfactory. He also said that President Musharraf had decided to support the US on his own and the US had been supportive of his effort.

October 24

Two soldiers were killed and an equal number of them were wounded in a roadside bomb blast near their convoy as it was travelling to Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan.

The NWFP government deployed thousands of paramilitary and police personnel in the troubled district of Swat as part of a phased plan to reassert its writ in 59 villages of the district and curb the growing militancy.

The U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that the United States is encouraging Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to work more closely with moderates, including former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Rice, speaking at a U.S. congressional hearing, said the United States hopes "that there will be an effort of all moderates to be prepared for fully democratic elections to take place in the parliament in December, so that Pakistan can take that next step toward a more stable democratic environment."

October 25

18 soldiers and two civilians died and 35 others, including nine civilians, were injured in a bomb blast aimed at a vehicle carrying FC personnel in the Swat district of the NWFP. The blast occurred at Nawan Killi, about a kilometer from Swat city, at around 2:45 pm (PST). It set off an explosion of ammunition carried inside the military truck, triggering bullet fire. The blast also damaged 25 shops, a service station, a CNG station and a petrol pump. Deputy Inspector-General of Police Akhtar Ali Shah said the evidence suggested a suicide bombing. A close aide of Maulana Fazlullah, a cleric who heads the pro-Taliban group TNSM said that the cleric’s supporters were not behind the blast. "

October 26

Militants publicly executed four security force personnel in a village, 16-km west of Mingora, the headquarters of Swat district in the NWFP, and exchanged heavy gunfire with security forces in a nearby sub-district.

NWFP Home Secretary said two civilians were killed and another wounded in an encounter between militants and security forces in Imam Dheri, the village of Maulana Fazlullah, leader of the TNSM.

October 27

Militants publicly executed two more security force personnel and seven civilians in the Swat district of NWFP, taking the total such killings since October 26 to 13. Maulana Sirajuddin, spokesman for the pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah, confirmed that they had beheaded the security force personnel.

October 28

At least 29 people were killed and 55 others wounded on the third consecutive day of clashes between Taliban militants and the SFs in the Swat district of the NWFP. The dead included 15 militants, 11 SF personnel and three civilians.

October 29

Pro-Taliban militants and security forces agreed to a temporary cease-fire in the Swat district of the NWFP after four days of clashes in which at least 60 militants were killed. "There is a temporary (truce) arrangement," said NWFP Inspector General Police Sharif. The NWFP Home Secretary Badshah Gul Wazir said that there were "reports around 60 miscreants were killed in three days of fighting. The toll could be higher." He said that a total of 20 security force personnel and civilians were killed since October 26.

October 30

A suicide bomber killed eight people, including three police personnel, and injured at least 18 others, including 14 police personnel, when he blew himself up at a police picket near district courts in the cantonment area of Rawalpindi. President Pervez Musharraf had been meeting governors and chief ministers at Camp Office less than a kilometer away from the incident site. The fortified army posts at the checkpoint and the nearby gate to the residence of Joint Chief of Army Staff Chairman General Tariq Majid were scarred with shrapnel and spattered with blood. The suicide bomber was aged between 10 and 20, Javed Iqbal Cheema, spokesperson for the interior ministry, said. The suicide bomber’s target was General Tariq Majid, who took office three weeks ago and who was inside the Military House at the time of the explosion. According to sources, he has been on the hit list of the militants ever since he supervised the Operation Silence in June-July 2007 to flush out militants from the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad.

October 31

Four civilians were killed when militants and security forces exchanged gunfire in the Miranshah city of North Waziristan. Two shells hit a local hotel, killing Faqir Zaman, Masood Rehman, Hareef Shah and Walayat Khan and damaging the hotel. At least four others were injured.

A supporter of Fazlullah known as Mullah Nidar warned in a speech over the radio that the militants may use suicide attackers if the government launched any major operation in Swat (NWFP).

Police said that Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network and the Taliban were likely linked to the October 30-suicide attack in Rawalpindi that killed seven people. The blast may also be a reaction to an ongoing government crackdown on militants in northwest of the country and a raid on Lal Masjid in Islamabad in July 2007, the Islamabad police chief said.

October 31-November 1

Fierce clashes ensued on October 31-night between the militants and the security forces SFs at Khwazakhela town in the Swat district of NWFP with conflicting reports about casualties. The NWFP Home Secretary, Badshah Gul Wazir, put the number of casualties at 60-70, all militants, while the Taliban spokesman claimed that only one of their colleagues and seven civilians, including two women, were killed. There were, however, some independent reports of the killing of 56 people, including 41 militants and 11 SF personnel, and injuries to some 26 persons. According to some reports, a FC camp also came under the Taliban siege, which the Home Secretary rejected. Sirajuddin, who is the spokesman and military commander of Maulana Fazlullah, claimed that they had taken at least 70 paramilitary soldiers and two foreigners hostage.

November 1

A suicide bomber rammed his motorcycle into a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) bus, killing seven officers of the PAF and three civilians on the Faisalabad Road in Sargodha in Punjab province. At least 28 people were wounded in the attack. The bus was reportedly carrying PAF staff from the Mushaf Mir Airbase to Kirana Ammunition Depot when the bomber targeted the bus at approximately 6.45a.m.

A missile fired from the Afghanistan side of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border hit a house in the Charmang area of Bajaur Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas killing two people.

November 2

A militant hideout, once owned by the late Taliban commander, Mullah Dadullah, was destroyed in North Waziristan, killing nine unidentified people, including two foreign militants.

Militants loyal to pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah paraded 48 soldiers before media personnel in the Swat town of NWFP. The SF personnel had surrendered during a week of fierce clashes.

November 3

President Pervez Musharraf imposed a state of emergency in the country and promulgated a Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) holding the Constitution in abeyance. An official statement without using the word 'President' for Musharraf said, "Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf has imposed a state of emergency in the country and issued a Provisional Constitutional Order." Under the PCO, the Constitution would remain in abeyance. However, the Senate, National Assembly and the Assemblies of Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan were not suspended. The local governments would also continue to work. The proclamation of emergency order cited "increasing interference by some members of judiciary" and increasing terrorist attacks as justifications. The emergency was imposed when the Supreme Court was hearing a petition challenging Musharraf's eligibility to contest presidential elections.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry stated that seven Supreme Court (SC) judges issued an interim order declaring the state of emergency illegal after President Musharraf issued a provisional constitutional order proclaiming it. Later Chaudhry was expelled as the Chief Justice and the SC denied, in a statement, that any order had been passed stating the PCO was incorrect.

November 4

Pro-Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud released over 200 soldiers who had been taken hostage in South Waziristan on August 30. Military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said, "The 211 soldiers the militants have released reached Wana." He also confirmed that the government had released 25 militants including a relative of slain Taliban commander Abdullah Mehsud, Sohail Zeb, in exchange for the soldiers’ release. Officials said the soldiers and militants had been exchanged through jirga (tribal council) members at Tiarza tehsil (revenue division), 25 kilometres northeast of Wana.

Following the imposition of a state of emergency in Pakistan, a nationwide crackdown on lawyers, politicians and civil society activists was launched. Among the arrested were former Supreme Court Bar Association president Munir A Malik, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz acting President Javed Hashmi, former Inter-Services Intelligence chief Hameed Gul, Sindh High Court Bar Association President Abrar Hassan and lawyer Ali Ahmad Kurd. 14 Supreme Court judges, who refused to take oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order promulgated by President General Pervez Musharraf were detained at their residences.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said that the government is committed to holding general elections. He told reporters, "We are committed to making sure that elections are held and that the democratic process flourishes in Pakistan. There could be some timing difference on the election schedule but we have not decided yet." The prime minister said no decision had yet been made on whether parliament will extend its tenure, due to end on November 15.

November 5

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said that the general elections will be held "on schedule" in January 2008. Talking to the media at the Prime Minister’s secretariat, Aziz informed the National Assembly session has been convened for November 7 while the federal cabinet will meet on November 6.

The country-wide crackdown on anti-emergency protesters continued and hundreds of protesters were arrested by the security forces. Police used baton-charges to control demonstrations by lawyers at courts in Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Multan. Several opposition activists, lawyers, civil society members and some journalists were arrested. Between 1,500 and 1,800 people were reportedly detained nationwide. These included 700 arrests in Punjab and 500 in Sindh.

Police raided the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) headquarters at Mansoora and put the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) President Qazi Hussain Ahmed under house arrest for 30 days. JI leader Liaqat Baloch disclosed that 600-700 party activists were arrested in Punjab and Sindh overnight.

November 6

Militants capture Madyan town in the NWFP and hoisted their flags over buildings after security forces surrender. "They seized Madyan town today, they have already overrun Matta and Khawazakhela towns," said an unnamed police official. He admitted that the police gave up their weapons, vehicles and control of local police stations.

Pakistan People’s Party leader Benazir Bhutto warns President General Pervez Musharraf to lift the state of emergency in the country and announce free and fair elections.

November 7

Pro-Taliban militants capture one police station, paramilitary force camp and other government buildings at Kalam, extending their hold over the Swat valley. Militants loyal to the rebel cleric Maulana Fazlullah are reportedly in control of six tehsils (revenue division), including Kabal, Matta, Khawazakhela, Charbagh, Maydan and Kalam, out of the eight tehsils in the Swat district.

The National Assembly passes a resolution endorsing the proclamation of emergency in the country and the Provisional Constitution Order. Members of the Pakistan People’s Party boycotted the assembly session. As the other opposition members have already resigned, only the Pakistan Muslim League and its allies attended the session.

November 8

At least 60 Frontier Constabulary personnel surrender and hand over their weapons to Taliban militants who besieged the Drushkhela camp at Matta tehsil (revenue unit) of Swat district in NWFP.

Shakilur Rehman, owner and chief executive of the Jang group of newspapers, receives an email by a Taliban outfit threatening to blow up the printing press and the staff of the Jang publications unless they stop printing photographs of young women. Rehman said he had been subjected to great pressure and threats since the beginning of 2007, including an attempt on his life, for which he had filed a criminal complaint in a city police station in Karachi.

Government amends the Army Act of 1952 and President General Pervez Musharraf will issue an ordinance allowing military courts to prosecute terrorists and any civilians suspected of terrorist or subversive activity. The amendment will allow intelligence agencies to apprehend any person suspected of terrorism.

President Pervez Musharraf said that national elections will take place before February 15. "It was my commitment and I am fulfilling it," Musharraf told the official media after chairing a meeting of the National Security Council. Musharraf’s announcement comes just hours after United States’ President George W. Bush called him personally for the first time since he imposed emergency rule, urging him to hold elections and quit as Army Chief.

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party will hold a public meeting on November 9 in Rawalpindi to protest the emergency rule. Bhutto threatened to launch a mass motorcade from Lahore to the capital Islamabad on November 13 unless Musharraf quits as Army chief.

November 9

Three persons are killed and two others, including a former provincial minister, are injured when a suicide bomber blows himself up in the house of Federal Minister for Political Affairs Amir Muqam in Peshawar, capital of the NWFP. The blast occurs at around 3.45pm (PST) when the minister was having a meeting with some of his associates at his home in Hayatabad. Muqam, who is also provincial president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League, escaped unhurt.

At least two soldiers are killed and 14 others wounded when a military convoy hits a roadside bomb near Kabal in the Swat district of NWFP.

Militants set free all the 51 Frontier Constabulary personnel, who surrendered themselves before Maulana Fazlullah-led militants at Darushkhela town in the Matta subdivision of Swat district.

The government places former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto under a brief house arrest early, and detains several of her supporters to block a mass protest against the imposition of emergency rule by President Pervez Musharraf. The house arrest orders are later withdrawn.

November 10

Attorney General Malik Mohammad Qayyum said the state of emergency "is likely to be lifted in a month" if the law and order situation improves. "In any case, it won't go beyond two months because we don't want to make it a permanent feature. If the law and order situation improves or if there are no untoward incidents, it will be much sooner than that," he said.

November 11

Police temporality detained around 600 Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) activists while heading for the Lahore airport to welcome PPP chief Benazir Bhutto who was arriving from Islamabad. Police also arrested around 350 PPP workers who were observing a "black day" in Karachi to protest the proclamation of emergency.

President Musharraf said that general elections will be held by January 9 but under the state of emergency he imposed on November 3. He also stated that the National Assembly and provincial assemblies will be dissolved in the coming days, upon completion of their terms. The president added that he will quit the military and be sworn in as a civilian president as soon as the Supreme Court strikes down challenges to his October 6 re-election. He, however, declines to say when the constitution will be restored or emergency lifted.

November 12

Seven militants were killed and four others injured in artillery shelling by the security forces on their hideouts in the Ghulam Khan area of North Waziristan following an attack on a convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Corps in which one soldier was killed and 10 others injured. Military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad said three of the dead militants were foreigners seemingly Uzbeks while the remaining were local.

Four militants were killed and over 50 others injured as army helicopters continued pounding their positions in various areas of the Swat district in NWFP.

November 13

The former Prime Minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairperson Benazir Bhutto was put under house arrest in the early hours of November 13 to prevent her from leading a long march on Islamabad. Police said an order under section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order had been issued by the Punjab government to detain Benazir Bhutto for a week in the house of PPP Senator Latif Khosa where she has been staying since her arrival in Lahore on November 11.

Around 500 local Taliban militants in NWFP took over control of Shangla district headquarter Alpuri, occupying the District Police Office, District Coordination Office and police lines offices without facing any resistance from the government. Alpuri union council Nazim Sabir said that the armed militants, led by Maulana Muhammad Alam, a close associate of TNSM leader Maulana Fazlullah, captured the district.

November 14

Thirty-three militants, two soldiers and five civilians were killed as army helicopters continued targeting Taliban positions in various areas of Swat in the NWFP for the third consecutive day.

Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan was arrested from outside the Punjab University’s new campus in Lahore after he had been manhandled and detained in the campus allegedly by activists of the Islami Jamiat Talaba. Imran Khan had gone to the university at the invitation of a joint action committee of students. The visit had been approved by Qazi Hussain Ahmed, chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, to which the IJT is affiliated.

November 15

Thirty more people, including 20 militants and four civilians, were killed and more than 70 others, including 50 civilians, injured as security forces continued bombing suspected militants’ hideouts in the Shangla and Swat districts of the NWFP on the third consecutive day. Military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad confirmed that 20 militants were killed - 12 of them in Shangla and eight in Swat.

The News quoting Army sources based in the Swat district reports that 20 more militants were killed when troops backed by helicopter gun ships and artillery attacked pro-Taliban militants in Kuza Banda, Basham and Shangla.

Two soldiers were killed and three others wounded in explosions in North Waziristan while reports of a massive movement of troops were received from some areas. All main roads were closed to traffic because of movement of security forces from Datakhel to Bannu.

President Pervez Musharraf named Mohammedmian Soomro, the chairman of the Pakistan Senate, as the Prime Minister of a caretaker government tasked with conducting parliamentary elections in January 2008.

Police said that they have lifted the house arrest of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. "The government has withdrawn the detention order," Zahid Abbas, a senior police official, told Associated Press. "The house is no longer a sub-jail but security will remain for her own protection. She's free to move and anyone will be able to go to the house," Abbas said. Bhutto, a two-time former prime minister, was detained on November 13 to prevent her from leading a protest against President Gen. Pervez Musharraf's declaration of a state of emergency.

The former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief, Gen (retired) Hameed Gul, his son and two other detained people were released after the government withdrew detention orders in Islamabad.

There are 500 to 700 militants operating in small groups in different troubled areas of the North West Frontier Province. Military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad stated this to a private television channel on November 15, while commenting on the present situation in the Swat district.

President General Pervez Musharraf who as Chief of Army Staff promulgated the state of emergency and Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) on November 3 has transferred the power of lifting the emergency to the office of president. He amended the PCO with the Provisional Constitution (Amendment) Order 2007, issued on November 14-night. The order comes into force at once and will be deemed to have taken effect on November 3, 2007. The importance of the amendment is that the power to lift the emergency now vested in the office of the president, said Attorney General Malik Qayyum.

The government has begun extradition proceedings for Rashid Rauf, a suspect in a terrorist plot to blow up US-bound passenger planes in Britain, Federal Investigation Agency Director General Tariq Pervez told AFP.

November 16

At least 20 persons, including two doctors, were killed and over 50 others were injured during a sectarian clash at Parachinar, the headquarters of Kurram Agency, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Militants captured Puran subdivision in the Shangla district of NWFP. Militant spokesman Sirajuddin told The News that they had captured the subdivision and later handed it over to a commission of local pro-Taliban Ulema (cleric) and elders on the condition they would not allow the security forces and police in the town. "They signed an agreement with us and promised physical and financial assistance," he claimed.

November 17

Pakistan Army accelerated its operation in the Swat and Shangla districts of NWFP killing 20 militants. Officials and local residents told that artillery and mortar shelling forced the militants to retreat from Alpuri subdivision, which serves as district headquarters of Shangla. Military spokesman Major-General Waheed Arshad told that security forces targeted militant hideouts and positions in different areas of Shangla district, killing 20 militants and injuring several others. He further said that Alpuri was cleared of militants and the troops could enter there anytime on November 18.

The widow of tribal journalist Hayatullah Khan was killed in a bomb blast at her home in the Hurmuz village of North Waziristan, while her children were unhurt. "A bomb went off close to a boundary wall of her room killing her instantly," said Ehsanullah Khan, brother of late Hayatullah Khan. Ehsanullah told BBC that the people who had killed Hayatullah were "responsible for the Saturday incident."

November 18

Security forces used Cobra helicopters in an attempt to end the sectarian violence in which at least 86 persons were killed and an unspecified number of them injured in Parachinar in three days. The military said that 11 soldiers had been killed and 32 others injured since November 16. Officials said that reports of riots had also been received from Sadda, Balishkhel, Tangai and Jilamai areas of Lower Kurram where rival groups were using heavy weapons.

More than 40 people, including 10 civilians, were killed in the Swat and Shangla districts of the NWFP when gunship helicopters and security forces continued targeting militants’ hideouts and faced retaliation. Approximately 30 civilians were injured in the prolonged shelling by military choppers and artillery in the two districts. Military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad said that the security forces continued pounding militants’ strongholds in both the regions but said he did not have the actual death toll suffered by the militants on November 18. Gen Waheed also termed a claim made by militants’ spokesman Sirajuddin to have killed 45 Pakistani soldiers in the Belay Baba area of Shangla district as baseless.

The visiting US Deputy Secretary of State, John Negroponte, urged President General Pervez Musharraf to end the state of emergency before holding elections. "Emergency rule is not compatible with free, fair and credible elections, which require the active participation of political parties, civil society and the media," he said.

November 19

The Supreme Court dismissed all petitions which had been filed before the proclamation of the state of emergency to challenge General Pervez Musharraf’s eligibility to contest the election for presidential term. These petitions were being heard earlier by an 11-judge bench, but most of its members stood deposed on November 3 after they refused to take the oath under the Provisional Constitution Order. The decision taken by a 10-member bench leaves way for allowing the Election Commission to notify Gen. Musharraf’s re-election after the only pending petition is decided on November 22. Headed by Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar, the bench dismissed some of the main petitions for non-prosecution and the others for having been withdrawn, but it served notice on relatively unknown petitioner, Dr Zahoor Mehdi, to appear before it on November 22.

Even as 35 more persons, including 16 Taliban militants and seven soldiers, were killed in fresh clashes between the security forces and militants, thousands of people fled the troubled areas in Swat district.

28 people were killed and 27 others injured on the fourth day of sectarian clashes in the Kurram Agency of FATA.

In what appears to be a revenge action for sectarian killings at Parachinar in the FATA, the Taliban beheaded three truck drivers near Darra Adamkhel in the NWFP.

November 20

At least 30 more militants loyal to the pro-Taliban group TNSM were killed in clashes with security forces (SFs) in the Swat valley of NWFP, the army said. The latest deaths take the toll reported by the army from a week of fighting to around 150. "Our offensive against militants has been continuing since last night and there are reports that 20 to 30 more militants have been killed," military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad told AFP. Maulana Fazlullah’s spokesman, meanwhile, claimed that 15 soldiers had been killed and their weapons seized in the Shangla district, but the calm could not be confirmed from independent sources, Dawn reported.

Six persons died as sectarian clashes continued in the Kurram Agency of the FATA. The warring factions attacked each other’s positions with heavy weapons in the Sadda, Balishkhel, Tangai, Arawali, Terimingal and Piwar areas. A 16-member peace jirga (council) headed by Pir Haider Ali Shah had brokered a cease-fire on November 19 but it has not taken effect in some parts of the agency.

The Election Commission (EC) announced that polling for the national and provincial assemblies would be held on January 8, 2008. Chief Election Commissioner, Justice (retd) Qazi Mohammad Farooq, announced the schedule which in effect means the beginning of the seven-week election process with nomination papers to be filed from November 21 to 26. The scrutiny of the papers will take place from November 27 to December 3, appeals against acceptance or otherwise of the nomination papers may be filed by December 7 and decisions on such appeals will be taken by December 14. The nomination papers can be withdrawn by December 15 and the final list of candidates will be published on December 16. After the publication of the list, candidates will have 22 days of electioneering in accordance with a ‘code of conduct’ prepared by the EC.

Azhar Ali Farooqui, the Chief of Karachi Police, confirmed that the twin explosions of October 18 were suicide bombings and two bombers had attacked the convoy of former Prime Minister and Pakistan People’s Party Chairperson Benazir Bhutto.

November 21

Some 52 persons, including 30 militants and 10 civilians, were killed in fresh violence in the Swat and Shangla districts as the troops and Taliban militants continued to clash and more villages were emptied of their fleeing population. On the casualties suffered by the security forces, military spokesperson Major General Waheed Arshad said three soldiers were killed and five or six sustained injuries in attacks by militants in the Kabal area of Swat. While he expressed ignorance about military casualties in the adjoining Shangla district, unconfirmed reports said seven soldiers were killed in fighting there.

Balochistan Liberation Army chief Nawabzada Balach Marri was killed along with his bodyguards in a clash somewhere inside Afghanistan, triggering widespread violence in capital Quetta and some other parts of the Balochistan province.

November 22

Another 25-30 militants and 13 civilians were killed and several soldiers injured in fighting in the Swat and Shangla districts of NWFP even as the exodus of villagers continued.

Two more persons were killed in sectarian clashes in the Kurram Agency of the FATA, as the jirga (council) from Orakzai and Hangu succeeded in brokering a cease-fire in Sadda and Balishkhel.

The Supreme Court (SC) rejected the last petition challenging President General Pervez Musharraf’s re-election paving the way for him to step down as army chief and take oath as civilian president. A SC full bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Abdul Hameed Dogar gave the verdict after a brief hearing of the petition filed by Zahoor Mehdi. After hearing the petition, the Chief Justice said, "The petition is dismissed". Earlier on November 19, the court had dismissed five other petitions challenging Musharraf’s re-election.

A Pakistani man, who pleaded guilty to distributing terrorist propaganda and helping a terrorism suspect breach a control order, was jailed for six years in Britain. 25-year old Abdul Rahman was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court to six years for dissemination of a terrorist publication and three years for aiding contravention of a control order, making him the first person to be convicted in Britain of such offences.

President Pervez Musharraf sought to justify his emergency rule, saying that foreign militants based in Pakistan were planning terrorist attacks around the world. He said that Pakistan had to "get our own house in order" and then show its efforts to the West. "Foreigners are sitting here and are planning terrorism all over the world," General Musharraf said in a weekly televised broadcast on the PTV. "We have caught people who had maps of European countries and targets there. They (the West) are asking us to eliminate these people… We are also concerned because these people are also carrying out suicide bombings inside Pakistan," he stated.

The 53-nation Commonwealth suspended Pakistan after President Pervez Musharraf failed to meet a deadline to lift emergency rule and resign as Chief of the Army Staff. The Commonwealth had given General Musharraf time until November 22 to lift the state of emergency he imposed on November 3.

November 23

Fifteen more people were killed in continuing clashes between the security forces and militants in the Swat and Shangla districts of the NWFP.

Three police personnel and a minor girl were killed in three separate incidents claimed by the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), while several vehicles and official buildings were attacked as protests against the killing of Balach Marri, leader of the BLA, continued for the third day.

Three more people were killed as sectarian violence continued in the Pewar, Teri Mangal, Qunj Alizai and Maqbal areas of Upper and Mengak and Tangi of Lower Kurram. The situation in Parachinar and Sadda town, however, remained peaceful as the army, Frontier Corps and Kurram Militia personnel had taken control of the town. The cease-fire also remained intact in Balishkhel and Ibrahimzai where no untoward incident took place while severe fighting continued in the Tangi and Mengak areas on November 23-night. The death toll in the fighting so far reached 129 while more than 300 people have been injured in the clashes.

Endorsing President Pervez Musharraf’s reasons such as rise in terrorism and judicial activism for imposing the state of emergency and suspending fundamental rights, the Supreme Court validated all actions taken by him in his capacity as Chief of Army Staff.

November 24

Two suicide bombers simultaneously targeted military personnel and installations at two different places in Rawalpindi, claiming over 32 lives and wounding 55 others. In the first attack that occurred at 7.55 am (PST), the suicide bomber while trying to enter the Hamza Camp, the main office of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), from the out-gate hit the staff bus of the agency. The blast, which occurred 200 metres from Faizabad at the Murree Road, killed over 30 personnel on the bus and among the guards standing at the main gate. The attack took place at almost the same time near the GHQ when another suicide bomber blew up his car after hitting an Army check-post when he was intercepted while trying to infiltrate into the high security zone. Two Army personnel were killed while one was injured.

At least 50 people were killed in renewed sectarian violence in Parachinar in the FATA. "We have reports that more than 50 people died in the clashes," an unnamed official said. Last week, rival groups fought fierce gun-battles which left around 112 people dead, forcing the government to deploy troops to restore order.

The Election Commission of Pakistan formally confirmed President General Pervez Musharraf's October 6 election for another five-year term by sending the return of election to the Cabinet Division. "The Chief Election Commissioner Justice (Retd) Qazi Muhammad Farooq has sent the return of presidential election to the Cabinet Division on Saturday," said the Commission's Secretary Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad.

November 25

Security forces claimed that they had killed 30 militants and captured two strategic mountain positions of militants and key routes to Imam Dehri in the Swat valley of NWFP. Troops, backed by artillery and helicopter gun-ships, captured the key positions of Najia Top and Usmani Sar after shelling the Imam Dehri, Koza Banda and Bara Banda areas. According to a military press release, 30 militants had been killed in the operation since November 24-night. It further said that two soldiers had been killed and two others injured in the operation.

Four persons were killed and six others wounded when security forces bombed a village after coming under rocket attack from Taliban militants in the Mirali sub-division of North Waziristan. The militants had fired at least 26 rockets on the Khajuri checkpoint and a paramilitary camp in Mirali, causing injuries to a soldier.

Former premier Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan after eight years of exile and vowed to contest the general elections. Talking to the media after arriving in Lahore from Medina at 6.25pm (PST), he said all decisions regarding participation in elections would be made on the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM)’s platform. He said the APDM would participate in the elections if General Pervez Musharraf withdrew the emergency declaration he issued on November 3 and released opposition members who had been jailed. "Everything that was done must be reversed and drawn back completely… You must have a level playing field for fair elections," he said.

November 26

Security forces used artillery and gunship helicopters on pro-Taliban militants in the Swat valley of NWFP, killing 40 militants, including two commanders, and losing four soldiers, said military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad.

Unidentified people killed two government officials in Quetta, capital of Balochistan, as violence that erupted in the city after the death of Baloch nationalist leader Balach Marri continued.

November 27

After suffering huge losses, the militants in Swat vacated all the seized police stations and other government buildings and decided to go underground while the government closed down all the FM radio channels in the district, including the one run by TNSM leader Maulana Fazlullah. In the adjoining Shangla district, the security forces retook the main town Alpuri from the militants and forced them to retreat to the nearby mountains. Military officials in Mingora said four militants were killed in clashes with the security forces.

Armed men shot dead three Marri tribesmen in the Tali area of Sibi district during an operation conducted by the security forces looking for illegal arms and ammunition.

November 28

President Pervez Musharraf handed over the command of the army to the new Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. He passed the baton of command to Gen Kayani at a ceremony held in the Army Hockey Stadium, close to the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. "Although I would not be in uniform tomorrow, my heart will continue to beat it as it has been my family since I joined it at the age of 18. It is a sad moment for me to bid farewell to the army after serving it for 46 years. This is life and every good thing has to come to an end," Musharraf told the army top brass and government leaders.

Military authorities said they had evicted militants from most of the troubled areas in the Swat valley while all the displaced government officials returned to their jobs in Shangla district after the retreat of Maulana Fazlullah-led militants from their positions in the district headquarters of Alpuri.

Gunmen ambushed a paramilitary convoy in the Panjgur district of Balochistan, killing three soldiers and injuring five others.

November 29

President Pervez Musharraf promised to lift the state of emergency and withdraw the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) on December 16. In a brief address to the nation on the state television and radio, he urged opposition parties for the second time in the day to refrain from boycotting the elections. "I am determined to lift emergency on December 16 and withdraw the PCO and hold fair and free elections on Jan 8," the president said hours after he was sworn in for another five-year term.

At least 12 civilians were killed and 11 others wounded when helicopter gun-ships pounded the Allahabad village of Swat district in NWFP.

A roadside bomb that targeted a military convoy killed five soldiers in North Waziristan.

November 30

Security forces killed a militant and arrested another after returning fire from militants on their check post in North Waziristan. Security officials said the militants attacked Banda post, four kilometres south of Miranshah, injuring a paramilitary soldier. "Security forces returned fire, killing a militant and arrested another, while also destroying their two vehicles," said officials.

Security forces arrested 11 loyalists of the pro-Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah in the Swat district of NWFP.

December 1

At least six people, including four women and a child, were killed and more than 15 people were injured when stray shells landed on their homes in Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan. The shells hit the homes during an exchange of fire between militants and security forces after the militants attacked the Banda check-post.

A Frontier Corps soldier, identified as Allah Ditta, was killed in an attack by militants on a check-post in the Dera Bugti district.

December 2

The local Taliban killed three people and injured five others in an attack on a cockfight fare at the Shene Ghundae village in the Shabqadar dub-division of Charsadda district of NWFP.

December 3

Six students of a seminary near Qila Saifullah were killed and four others injured in a bomb blast. The management of the Jamia Imdadul Alum Mullah Bakhtair Adda suspects that an Afghan national who had stayed in the seminary overnight might have a hand in the explosion.

December 4

In the first such attack of its kind, a female suicide bomber blew herself up in a high security zone in Peshawar, capital of the North West Frontier Province. Except for the suicide bomber, who was said to be in her mid-30s, no other casualty was reported in the blast.

An Afghan national was killed and two soldiers and two civilians were wounded in separate attacks on houses and a security camp in the Mirali sub-division of North Waziristan.

December 6

Security forces captured Imam Dheri, headquarters of the pro-Taliban militant leader Maulana Fazlullah of the TNSM, and the Khwazkhela area in Swat district. The army also blew up the houses of Fazlullah and his spokesman Maulana Sirajuddin, besides seizing several weapons, computers and some bottles of liquor from the site.

December 7

The military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad confirmed that eight militants were killed and four arrested after a clash in Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan.

A policeman and a militant were killed and three policemen were injured when a check-post came under attack in the Charsadda district of the NWFP. Police sources said that about 15 militants had attacked the post, some 18 kilometres north of Charsadda city, at about 1am. Police subsequently returned fire, killing a militant.

December 8

The Pakistan Army claimed that it has cleared almost all militants from Swat after killing 290 rebels and arresting another 143 in recent weeks. Major General Nasser Janjua said 20,000 troops backed by helicopter gun ships and artillery had driven the militants out of their strongholds in an ongoing military operation. "Fazlullah is still on the run with hardcore militants estimated to be between 200 to 400, including some foreigners," Janjua told reporters in Mingora.

President Pervez Musharraf dismissed assertions that al Qaeda leaders are present in Pakistan. In an interview aired by CNN, the president said, "It is just their guess. So I don’t want to make such wild guesses." According to AP, he challenged anyone to provide him with firm intelligence, adding, "They (al Qaeda) can be anywhere."

December 9

Three police personnel and seven civilians, including two children, were killed and a child was wounded in a car bombing in the Swat district. The suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden jeep when he was stopped at the Ningolai check-post in Kabal sub-division at around 11.15am. According to a bomb disposal official, about 10kg to 15kg of explosives were used in the blast.

December 10

Five persons, including four of a family and a child, were killed and another child was injured when Army neutralised suspected militant hideouts with artillery in the Chaparyal and Venai areas of Swat district of the NWFP.

Eight persons, including five schoolchildren, were injured when a suicide bomber exploded his car targeting a Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) bus carrying air force employees’ children at a military base at Kamra about 50 kilometres northwest of Islamabad. "A suicide bomber exploded his white car on the outskirts of the PAC factories on the Qutba-Attock Road on Monday at 7.30am near a PAC school bus carrying children to schools in Attock City," said the Pakistan Air Force, adding that the bomber was alone in the car and he died immediately after the explosion.

December 11

Troops launched artillery attack on suspected militant hideouts near the Piochar and Loe Namal towns in the Swat district on December 10-night, killing 20 militants and injuring at least 15 others. "According to our information, 20 militants were killed while 10-15 were injured on Monday night," military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad told AFP.

December 12

Fifteen soldiers were killed and 38 others injured in an attack and in roadside explosions in different areas of North Waziristan. However, the military said in a statement that six soldiers had been killed and 25 injured in the ambush. It informed that militants had suffered 15 casualties in a counter-attack. Major General Arshad Waheed said security forces backed by gunship helicopters spotted the fleeing militants and opened fire, killing 15 of them in "immediate retaliation", AP reported. Local people said they had seen the bodies of 15 soldiers and disputed the military’s claim that 15 militants had been killed.

Troops killed 20 militants in an ongoing operation against supporters of Maulana Fazlullah of the TNSM in the Swat district. Troops targeted suspected hideouts of the militants in the valley’s Puchaar and Loee Namal towns. The operation, which commenced on December 11-night, continued the next day, in which 20 militants were killed, AFP reported. Provincial government spokesman Amjad Iqbal said that the troops "extensively engaged militant locations, which resulted in a number of militant casualties."

Intelligence agencies have reportedly foiled a plot to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf by arresting some al Qaeda terrorists from Karachi’s Malir area, and seizing a large amount of ammunition from their possession. Al Qaeda operatives told interrogators that they were plotting to kill Pervez Musharraf during his next trip to Karachi. The terrorists had planned to blow up the entire bridge on Drig Road at the precise moment when Musharraf’s convoy was to reach there while coming from the airport to Shahrah-e-Faisal, sources said, adding that two more attacks were planned in case Musharraf survived the first one. The terrorists also told interrogators that their plans would be carried out despite their arrest as the group had been divided into smaller groups to execute their tasks.

December 13

Two suicide bombings near an army check-post in Quetta, capital of Balochistan, killed seven people, including three personnel of the Pakistan Army, military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said. An official at the Inter-Services Public Relations said three of the dead were soldiers, while the remaining four were civilians.

Intelligence agencies have warned against a spate of suicide attacks by terrorists based in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Swat, targeting VVIPs, including President Pervez Musharraf, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the US and Indian embassies and sensitive national and military installations, sources told Daily Times. "The high value targets include the top government hierarchy, top politicians including former religious affairs minister Ejazul Haq, and the Attock Oil Refinery in Rawalpindi. Besides the US and Indian embassies, their consulates and several other religious and political personalities are also on the hit list," said a confidential National Crisis Management Cell report. The report titled, "Threat to VVIPs, Politicians, Foreign Missions and Military Installations," was forwarded on December 12 to all home secretaries and police chiefs of the four provinces, the federal capital, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Northern Areas.

December 14

President Pervez Musharraf introduced six more amendments in the Constitution through executive orders a day before the lifting of the emergency, revocation of the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) and restoration of the Constitution. Attorney General Malik Mohammed Qayyum stated that Article 41(3) had been amended to remove a confusing clause in the Constitution that was inserted by the government of Gen Zia-ul-Haq. He said an amendment in Article 44 (2) allowed the incumbent president to seek re-election for a fresh term of five years, notwithstanding any bar in the Constitution. The Attorney General said the judges who had taken oath under the PCO would take a fresh oath under the Constitution after its restoration on December 15 (today) at 1.30pm. The president made amendments in six articles of the Constitution in exercise of his powers under the Provisional Constitution Order No 1 of 2007 through promulgation of the Constitution (Second Amendment) Order, 2007.

Taliban militants from tribal areas and some districts of the NWFP decided to set up a centralised organisation for a joint war against the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan and appointed Baitullah Mehsud as their Central Amir (chief), said a spokesman for the militant commander. The militants have named their movement as Tehrik Taliban-i-Pakistan and said the aim of the movement was to enforce Sharia (Islamic law) in their respective areas. The decision was taken at a meeting of 40 Taliban leaders, held in an undisclosed place in South Waziristan. "The sole objective of the Shura meeting was to unite the Taliban against NATO forces in Afghanistan and to wage a ‘defensive jihad’ against Pakistani forces here," Baitullah’s spokesman Maulana Omar said.

December 15

President Pervez Musharraf lifted emergency rule in Pakistan, exactly six weeks after imposing it. Stressing that this was the first time in the country’s history that emergency was being lifted in a mere 42 days, he said the situation had improved so much that restoring the Constitution was not a difficult decision. Simultaneously, he revoked the November 3 provisional constitutional order (PCO) and restored the Constitution, but with all the amendments he made during this period.

A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden bicycle into a military check-post, killing five persons and injuring 11 others in Nowshera in the NWFP. The District Police Officer Mubarak Zeb disclosed that six people, including the suicide bomber, were killed as he detonated himself at the entrance of the Army Supply Corps centre.

Rashid Rauf, allegedly involved in a London terror plot to blow up transatlantic flights in August 2006, disappeared from outside a local court in Islamabad, where he was brought from the Adiala Jail for a hearing. Official sources confirmed he was brought to the court of Zafar Awan in Islamabad for hearing of a case and when he was being guarded by two policemen, he managed to escape. Rauf had remained in detention even after all charges against him had been dropped amidst reports that Islamabad was seriously considering a request from London to extradite him to the UK.

December 16

Three paramilitary troops were injured when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan.

At least 12 army recruits were killed and two wounded in a suicide attack near the Army Public College in the heart of the Kohat cantonment area in NWFP. The recruits were returning to their barracks after the morning exercise when a boy aged 15 to 17 years rushed towards them and blew himself up. Ten recruits were killed on the spot and two others died later in hospital.

Two children were killed and six members of a family sustained injuries in an exchange of fire between security forces and militants near Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan.

Militants in North Waziristan announced a unilateral cease-fire on the eve of Haj and Eidul Azha (Festival of Sacrifice), saying they would not attack troops till January 1, 2008.

Three paramilitary troops were injured when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan.

December 17

At least 12 army recruits were killed and two wounded in a suicide attack near the Army Public College in the heart of the Kohat cantonment area in NWFP. The recruits were returning to their barracks after the morning exercise when a boy aged 15 to 17 years rushed towards them and blew himself up. Ten recruits were killed on the spot and two others died later in hospital.

Two children were killed and six members of a family sustained injuries in an exchange of fire between security forces and militants near Miranshah, headquarters of North Waziristan.

Militants in North Waziristan announced a unilateral cease-fire on the eve of Haj and Eidul Azha (Festival of Sacrifice), saying they would not attack troops till January 1, 2008.

December 19

Two pro-government Bugti tribesmen were killed and five injured when a vehicle was blown up with a remote-control bomb in Bekar area, some 122km from Dera Bugti town in Balochistan. District Police Officer Najam Tareen confirmed that the assailants’ main target was Wadera Ali Mohammad Masoori Bugti, the father of Mir Tariq Hussain Masoori Bugti, a candidate for the BP-24 Dera Bugti seat. However, Mir Tariq’s father survived the attack and two cousins were killed.

December 20

A Pakistan-born architect convicted of plotting a "jihad" bombing campaign in Australia had his appeal dismissed. Faheem Khalid Lodhi was sentenced to 20 years jail in August 2006 after a jury found him guilty of planning to blow up the electrical grid in Sydney. Lodhi was convicted of preparing for a terrorist act by seeking information about chemicals capable of making explosives. He was also found guilty of possessing a "terrorism manual" and of buying two maps of the Sydney electricity grid in preparation for a terrorist act.

The government has reportedly decided to ban Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a militant outfit that was formed on December 14 in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The government has banned 18 militant outfits and put two on the watch list since 2001.

December 21

At least 50 persons were killed and 80 others injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in the midst of worshippers offering Id-ul-Adha prayers at the Markazi Jamia Masjid Sherpao in Charsadda, 20-km from Peshawar in the NWFP. The apparent target was Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, the Interior Minister in the just-dissolved government, who was among the worshippers. The former Minister, however, escaped unhurt in the attack, but his son Mustafa was among the wounded. The mosque is located next to the former Minister’s home and was packed with more than 1,000 worshippers at the time of the attack.

December 22

Local people in the Kahan area of Kohlu district in Balochistan said that the security forces (SFs) in a retaliatory move attacked a village situated at the border of Kahan and Bekar area of Dera Bugti. They said that seven people, including a child and two women, were killed in the attack. The SFs retaliatory move was initiated after unidentified people attacked a vehicle of the Pakistan Muslim league (Q) candidate at PB 24 Dera Bugti Tariq Masuri in the Bekar area.

December 23

Nine civilians and four SF personnel were killed and more than 25 persons wounded in a suicide attack on a military convoy in Mingora in the Swat district of NWFP. The convoy was returning after carrying out counter-insurgency operations in the various areas of Khwazakhela and Charbagh in Swat district when it was attacked. Claiming responsibility for the suicide attack on the convoy, Taliban spokesman Sirajuddin said that the Taliban had started their suicide attacks on security forces from December 23.

Nine people were killed and several others wounded in fresh clashes between SFs and tribesmen in the Kurram Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) after a group of armed men set ablaze houses and shops in the Parachinar city on December 22-night. The area has reportedly remained cut of from the rest of Pakistan since rival factions blocked the main road about a month ago.

December 24

Four pro-government Bugti tribesmen were killed and three others injured in an ambush near Dera Bugti, some 500-km from Quetta.

Three persons were killed and 20 others injured in sectarian clashes at Parachinar in the Kurram Agency of the FATA.

Two persons were shot dead by the security forces for violating the curfew in the Swat area of NWFP.

December 25

At least 31 persons have died and more than 50 wounded so far in the continuing sectarian violence in the Kurram Agency. The clashes have intensified after receiving support from the local Taliban from other tribal areas, news channels and the eyewitnesses said.

December 26

32 persons, including five children, a woman and two Frontier Constabulary personnel, were killed and scores of others injured in continued sectarian violence in Kurram Agency on the fourth consecutive day. Official sources said the rival groups attacked each other’s positions in Balishkhel, Sadda, Sangina, Khar Kali, Ali Zaik, Bagan and Upper Kurram. Curfew has been clamped in Parachinar for the last five days without any break thus causing severe shortage of edibles and medicines. Heavy weapons, including mortar and rocket shells, are allegedly being used by both the warring groups.

December 27

Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairperson, was assassinated in a gun and suicide attack as she drove away from a campaign rally just minutes after addressing thousands of supporters at Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi. 30 more people were killed and over 100 others wounded when a suicide attacker riding on a motorbike blew himself up after firing at Benazir who was waving to her supporters from her vehicle’s sun roof. PPP spokesman Farhatullah Babar stated that Benazir fell inside the vehicle after receiving bullets in her head and neck. Witnesses said three gun shots were heard before the suicide blast near her Black Lexus bullet-proof vehicle. She later died at the Rawalpindi General Hospital.

Following the assassination, PPP activists reacted violently in different cities in Punjab, Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan. Angry protestors took to the streets, pelted stones, burned government and private property and various vehicles besides chanting slogans against the government. At least 10 people were killed in different parts of the country, including two in Lahore, during the exchange of fire.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin citing an alleged claim of responsibility by al Qaeda for Benazir Bhutto's assassination, CNN reported. Italian news agency Adnkronos International said that al Qaeda Afghanistan commander and spokesman Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid had telephoned the agency to make the claim. "We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahadeen," the agency quoted Al-Yazid as saying.

27 people were killed and 42 others sustained injuries in fresh sectarian clashes between rival groups in the Kurram Agency of FATA. According to local tribesmen, violence intensified after the arrival of a large number of militants from the adjoining areas of North Waziristan and Hangu.

Four boys were killed when a grenade they found by a canal near the central city of Dera Ghazi Khan in the Punjab province exploded.

December 28

The former Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) minister, Asfandyar Amirzaib and eight persons were killed and several others injured in a roadside bomb blast near the Manglore village of Swat in the NWFP.

At least 27 people were killed and many wounded in violence during a nationwide outpouring of grief and protest strikes over Benazir Bhutto’s assassination while army was deployed in 16 districts of Sindh and paramilitary forces elsewhere in the country. A complete general strike and funeral prayer congregations in all the country’s four provinces, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) Kashmir and Northern Areas marked the day as the former Prime Minister, killed in an unidentified assassin’s gun-and-bomb attack in Rawalpindi on December 27, was buried at her ancestral Garhi Khuda Bux village in the Sindh province.

The Interior Ministry claimed that the death of Benazir Bhutto was neither a result of a bullet wound nor a bomb splinter, but of a fracture to her skull when her head struck the lever of her vehicle’s sunroof as she ducked the gunfire and bomb blast. Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema told journalists that there was "irrefutable evidence" that the attack was masterminded by South Waziristan-based al Qaeda leader Baitullah Mehsud.

December 29

20 people, including 16 militants, were killed and nine others sustained injuries in a gun-battle near Lower Kurram’s Mingak area.

The government said that 38 people have died in the violence across the country since December 27 after the assassination of former Primer Minister Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi. Property worth billions of rupees was destroyed in two days of arson and looting. The Interior Ministry said that 765 shops, 18 railway stations and 174 banks had been burnt across the country.

December 30

Two suspected suicide bombers were killed in Haroonabad in the Bahawalnagar district of Punjab province early when the devices they were carrying exploded prematurely in an apparent botched attack on former religious affairs minister Ejazul Haq.





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