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Chronology of Major Events 2009 - Page 7

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Chronology of Major Events 2009
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Pakistan

Strategic Profile

9 January: Pakistan and Iran failed to agree on the gas price under the $7.6 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline gas project.

15 January: Interior Minister Rehman Malik stated that Pakistan shut down five training camps and detained or kept under surveillance over a hundred people linked to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)/Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in connection with the Mumbai attacks on 26 November 2008.

25 January: US ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Peterson met Pakistan President Zardari and handed over $101 million on account of coalition support fund for Pakistan’s role in the War on Terror.

3 March: The Sri Lankan Cricket team was attacked by terrorists in Lahore killing six policemen. Seven players, an umpire and a coach were injured. 

7 March: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a group of European leaders in Brussels that much of the planning for terror strikes around the world takes place in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

30 March: In a terrorist attack on a Pakistani police training school in Manavan, barely 12 km from the Wagah border, at least eleven people were killed.

7 April: Pakistan turned down a US proposal for carrying out joint operations against Al-Qaeda and Taliban in its tribal provinces as differences between the two countries over the conduct of war on terror surfaced for the first time.

13 April: Pakistan’s Parliament passed a resolution in favour of the controversial Nizam-e-Adal Regulation unanimously paving the way for the enforcement of Shariat law in the Swat valley.

17 April: Pakistan secured promises of more than $5 billion in fresh aid over two years at International Donors Conference held in Tokyo, after President Asif Ali Zardari vowed to step up the fight against militants. The United States and Japan pledged $1 billion each.

27 April: The hardline religious group Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Sharia Muhammadi    negotiating with the Pakistani government pulled out of peace deal in Swat to protest the intensified Pakistani troop operations against Taliban in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) after intense US pressure.

28 April: Pakistani forces backed by fighter jets and helicopter gunships began an offensive against the Taliban fighters in a key valley in Lower Dir, 100 km northwest of the capital Islamabad. The aim of the offensive was to eliminate and expel militants from Buner.

14 May: At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen confirmed reports that Pakistan was increasing its nuclear weapons programme.

28 May: A US Congressional Report stated that Pakistan had about 60 nuclear warheads and was continuing production of fissile material for weapons.

4 June: The World Bank approved an aid package worth $900 million for Pakistan, of which $350 million was approved for Punjab province.

9 June:A massive explosion ravaged Pearl Continental, a five-star hotel in Peshawar city killing at least 11 people and wounding 50.

13 June: Pakistan unveiled a deficit national budget for fiscal 2009-2010. It proposed an increase in defence expenditure by 17 percent to Rs 343 billion from Rs 296 billion in 2008-09.

17 June: At the first EU-Pakistan summit held in Brussels, the European Union decided to give more aid to Pakistan and announced an overall aid package of over 100 million Euros.

18 June: Ministry of Foreign Affairs ofPakistan announced its accession to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. With this, Pakistan became a party to 11 international conventions against terrorism.

9 July: President Asif Ali Zardari admitted that militants and extremists were deliberately created and nurtured in Pakistan as state policy in the past ‘to achieve some short-term tactical objectives’.

30 July: The Pakistan Navy received first of four new naval frigates built by China in a deal intended to bolster naval capability. The frigate named PNS Zulfikar was a part of four Sword class ships that China had been building for Pakistan to be delivered by 2013 as part of $700 million F-22P frigate programme.

6 August: Acting on Pakistan’s request, Interpol issued a global alert for 13 suspects, including Laskhar-e-Tayyaba operatives, wanted for the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

22 August: Pakistan and China singed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for construction of a 7,000 mw hydro-power station at Bunji in Astore district of Northern Areas, PoK, at an estimated cost of $6-7 billion.

15 October: US President Barack Obama signed the Kerry Lugar Bill for a $7.5 billion aid package for Pakistan into law after Congress offered assurances that the plan did not violate Pakistani sovereignty.

21 October: Pakistan cabinet accepted the Kerry-Lugar aid package and decided to avail the $7.5 billion financial assistance offered by the United States.

28 November:Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari gave up control of Nuclear Command Authority shifting it to the Prime Minister in a bid to fend off mounting pressures threatening to weaken his rule further and complicate the war on the terrorism.

12 December: The Pakistani army ended its offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan.

Relation with India

4 January:India handed over a dossier to Pakistan in which it gave the evidence of involvement of the elements based in Pakistan in 26/11 Mumbai attack.

6 January: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called Pakistan as the main sponsor of terrorism against India and stated that the “sophistication and military precision” of the 26/11 attack pointed to the involvement of its official agencies.

10 January: Pakistan cut by 20 per cent the non-developmental expenditure of all ministries to meet defence needs amidst tensions with India after the 26/11 attack.

21 January: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan had given a “blank cheque” to China authorizing it to negotiate with India on its behalf to deal with the aftermath of the 26/11 attack.

12 February: Interior Minister of Pakistan Rehman Malik formally acknowledged that part of the 26/11 planning was done in Pakistan. The case was registered under sections of the 1997 Anti-Terrorism Act that enable the prosecution of Pakistanis for directing, abetting, conspiring or facilitating a terrorist act in another country.

26 February: At the SAARC summit, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon rejected his Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir’s suggestion for resumption of talks by stating that two countries had entered a ‘new phase of relations’ post 26/11.

2 June: The Lahore High Court ordered the release of JuD founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, citing lack of evidence regarding his involvement in the 26/11 terrorist strike.

14 July: In a first high-level meeting after 26/11, the foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan met and started a ‘limited dialogue process’.

16 July: The Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan, in a meeting at Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt, issued a joint statement that stated ‘[A]ction on terrorism should not be linked to the Composite Dialogue process and these should not be bracketed.’ The statement also noted that Pakistan had ‘some information on threats in Balochistan and other areas.’

25 August: The Interpol issued a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Hafiz Saeed and Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, making it obligatory for Pakistan to arrest them and hand over to India.

17 September: Under pressure from India and the US, Pakistan registered two cases against JuD chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the mastermind of Mumbai terror attack and one of his close aides Abu Jandal under the 1997 Anti-Terrorism Act.

12 October:The Lahore Court invalidated two cases against Hafiz Saeed registered under Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Act for delivering inflammatory speeches, accepting his plea that he could not be charged under the law as his group, JuD was not officially a proscribed organisation in Pakistan.

25 November: An anti-terror court in Pakistan indicted seven men, including Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, operations commander of the LeT, for their suspected involvement in the Mumbai terrorist attack.



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