2008 in Pakistan

Events from the year 2008 in Pakistan.

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Federal government




  • 9 February – 15 People are killed in an election rally in Charsada.[1]
  • 11 February – Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan is believed to have been kidnapped by suspected pro-Taliban militants.[2]
  • 12 February – The Government of Pakistan steps up security for "fair, transparent and peaceful" elections scheduled for 18 February.[3]
  • 13 February – Pakistan test fires a nuclear capable short range ballistic missile.[4]
  • Two suspects confessed to a judge that they helped to arm the suicide bomber who killed Bhutto.[5]
  • 14 February – Three soldiers are killed by a bomb explosion near Khair, Surabaja.
  • 15 February – Pakistan announces the arrest of a fifth man in connection with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.[6]
  • Pakistan and India agree to double the number of flights between the two nations.[7]
  • 16 February – 37 people are killed in a bombing in the town of Parachinar at an election rally.[8]
  • 18 February – Elections take place in Pakistan.
  • 19 February – Election results show that President Musharraf's party Pakistan Muslim League (Q) have received a heavy defeat.[9]
  • 21 February – Pakistan's two main opposition parties agree to form a coalition following the elections.[10]
  • 29 February – At least 45 people died and 82 were wounded in a suicide attack on the funeral February 29, 2008 of a district superintendent of police – killed earlier in the day in a separate attack – in Swat province.[11]


  • 22 March – The PPP nominate Yousaf Raza Gillani to become the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
  • 25 March – Yousaf Raza Gillani is sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan.[12]
  • 24 March – Prime minister Gillani vows to free judges who were detained during emergency rule.[13]
  • 29 March – PM Gillani announces to the National Assembly that the fight against terrorism will be the top priority of the new government.[14]


  • 1 April – The new government of Pakistan announces that it will rethink the policy on militants.[15]
  • 15 April – President Musharraf announces he is lobbying the Chinese government to build gas and oil pipelines.[16]
  • 16 April – The Olympic torch arrives in Pakistan.[17]
  • 19 April – Taliban rebels release a video of Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan who they are holding as a hostage.[18]


  • 12 May – PML (N) quits the cabinet, following the failure to restore judges.[19]
  • 16 May – Pakistan's Ambassador to Afghanistan, Tariq Azizuddin was set free by kidnappers.[20]
  • 17 May – Lawyers announced their plan for Long March to be held on 10 June, for the Restoration of Judges.[21]



  • 6 July – A suicide bomber attacked a police station in Islamabad killing 12 policemen and seven civilians in a rally marking the first anniversary of Lal Masjid siege.[23]
  • 12 July – Militants ambushed a military convoy killing 17 soldiers.


  • 18 August – President Pervez Musharraf, faced with the prospect of being impeached, resigns from the office of president.
  • 19 August – 32 people were killed while 55 injured in an attack in Dera Ismail Khan carried by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.
  • 23 August – At least 15 people were killed in a suicide attack at a police check post in Char Bagh area of Swat. Also, three persons including two kids were killed in a bomb blast in Abuha.[24]


See also


  1. ^ Pakistan election rally bomb kills 15 - CNN
  2. ^ Pakistani diplomat still missing
  3. ^ Pakistan boosts security for election - CNN
  4. ^ Pakistan tests ballistic missile
  5. ^ Two admit arming Bhutto suicide bomber
  6. ^ Fifth man arrested in Bhutto case - BBC News
  7. ^ India-Pakistan flights to double
  8. ^ Call for calm after Pakistan bomb - BBC News
  9. ^ Are Musharraf's days numbered? - BBC
  10. ^ Pakistan parties agree coalition
  11. ^ "45 killed in Pakistan funeral blast – CNN.com". Edition.cnn.com. 2008-03-01. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
  12. ^ New Pakistan PM Gillani sworn in
  13. ^ Pakistan PM vows to free judges - BBC News
  14. ^ Pakistani PM vows to fight terror
  15. ^ Pakistan rethinks US policy on militants - BBC News
  16. ^ Musharraf makes Chinese oil plea - BBC News
  17. ^ Olympic torch relay in Pakistan
  18. ^ Pakistan envoy: I am Taliban hostage - CNN
  19. ^ PML (N) Quits Government - DAWN News
  20. ^ Pakistani Ambassador set free - DAWN News
  21. ^ Lawyer Announced to go for Long March
  22. ^ Blast near Denmark Embassy - DAWN News
  23. ^ "Suicide blast targeting police kills 16 at Pakistan rally – CNN.com". Cnn.com. 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2008-10-19.
  24. ^ "15 feared dead in Swat suicide bombings". Archived from the original on 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2010-05-28.
2008 Indo-Pakistani standoff

After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, India accused Pakistan for coordinating the attacks through its Internal Intellegence Service the ISI. The accusations lead to strained relations between the two countries for a period of time. The accusations were taken seriously by the International Community, resulting in the United States to call for probes into it.

The standoff was significant because both these countries are nuclear nations, having first successfully tested nuclear weapons in 1974 and 1998 respectively. The countries had already participated in 4 wars since their partition and independence in 1947, and relations between the two nations have been strained throughout their histories. The lone surviving terrorist of the Mumbai attacks confirmed that the terrorists came from Pakistan, and that they were trained by Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives. In 2011, he also confessed that the ISI had been supporting them throughout the attacks.

2008 K2 disaster

The 2008 K2 disaster occurred on 1 August 2008, when 11 mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth. Three others were seriously injured. The series of deaths, over the course of the Friday ascent and Saturday descent, was the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering. Some of the specific details remain uncertain, with different plausible scenarios having been given about different climbers' timing and actions, when reported later via survivors' eyewitness accounts or via radio communications of climbers who died (sometimes minutes) later in the course of events on K2 that day.

The main problem was reported as an ice avalanche occurring at an area known as "The Bottleneck", which destroyed many of the climbers' rope lines. However, two climbers died on the way up to the top prior to the avalanche. Among the dead were people from France, Ireland, Korea, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, and Serbia.

2008 Lahore suicide bombings

The 2008 Lahore bombings were twin suicide car bombings which killed at least 28 people and wounded more 350 people in Lahore, Pakistan on March 11 2008. The first bomb targeted the FIA building, and the second one targeted an advertising agency. The injured also included around 40 schoolchildren after windows were smashed due to the force of the explosion.

2008 Pakistani presidential election

An indirect presidential election was held on 6 September 2008 in Pakistan. The Electoral College of Pakistan – a joint sitting of the Senate, National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies – elected a new President after the resignation of President Pervez Musharraf. As required by the constitution, Muhammad Mian Soomro (in his position as Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan) automatically became acting President on 18 August 2008, upon the resignation of Musharraf. The constitution required that a new President be elected by Parliament within 30 days; Soomro was considered loyal to Musharraf, and it was considered certain that he would be replaced in that election.

2008 Ziarat earthquake

The 2008 Ziarat earthquake hit the Pakistani province of Balochistan on October 29 with a moment magnitude of 6.4. The US Geological Survey reported that the quake occurred 60 km (37 mi) north of Quetta and 185 km (115 mi) southeast of the Afghanistan city of Kandahar at 04:09 local time (28 October, 23:09 UTC) at a depth of 15 km (9.3 mi), at 30.653°N, 67.323°E. It was followed by another shallower magnitude 6.4 earthquake at a depth of 10 km (6.2 mi) approximately 12 hours after the initial shock, at 30.546°N, 67.447°E. 215 people were confirmed dead. More than 200 were injured (according to Mohammed Zaman, assistant to the Balochistan chief secretary, Nasir Khosa), and 120,000 were homeless (according to Dilawar Khan Kakar, Ziarat, Balochistan mayor and chief administrator). The New York Times reported that Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, director general of Pakistan Meteorological Department, stated the quake epicenter was 70 miles (110 km) north of Quetta, and about 600 km (370 mi) southwest of Islamabad.

2009 in Pakistan

Events from the year 2009 in Pakistan.

Angur Ada raid

The Angur Ada raid (Pashto: د انګور اډې بريد‎) was a covert raid conducted by U.S. Navy SEALs against Taliban fighters on September 3, 2008, within the border town of Angur Ada in South Waziristan. It was the first time American Troops fought a ground-based battle against the Taliban within Pakistani borders. The raid took place at the same time as Pakistani military forces ended a four-week offensive in Bajaur, the northernmost Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of which South Waziristan is the southernmost, an offensive that has displaced approximately half a million people.

Baghar China airstrike

The Baghar China UAV strike (Pashto: د بغر چينې هوايي بريد‎) happened in the evening on Tuesday 17 September 2008, when four missiles fired from a United States Air Force drone aircraft hit the village of Baghar China in the mountains of South Waziristan, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, about 4 kilometres from the Afghan border and 55 kilometres west of Wana, the main town in the region and close to Angur Ada, the village that was raided by US commandos on 3 September. The missiles hit a militant training camp, killing five and injuring at least six people.This was the sixth confirmed U.S. missile attack inside Pakistan since the end of August 2008, and comes two days after a Pakistan–U.S. standoff on 15 September 2008, in which Pakistani forces fired shots into the air, in order to deter U.S. forces from entering Pakistani territory. The incident came as the top US military commander, Admiral Michael Mullen met Pakistan's most senior army officer, General Ashfaq Kayani and prime-minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Islamabad to discuss growing tension over US attacks along the border.

Battle of Bajaur

The Battle of Bajaur or Operation Sherdil was a military offensive in the Bajaur region of Pakistan launched by the Frontier Corps and supported by a Combat Brigade of the Pakistan Army. The Bajaur area had been under Taliban control since early 2007, and was said to be Al-Qaeda's main command and control hub for operations in Northeast Afghanistan, including Kunar province. Bajaur is now cleared of Taliban.

Dande Darpakhel airstrike

The Dande Darpakhel airstrike took place on the morning of 8 September 2008 when a United States Air Force drone aircraft fired a number of missiles at a former madrassa (religious school) complex located in the village of Dande Darpakhel, near the main town Miranshah, North Waziristan, Pakistan. It was part of a series of drone attacks targeting presumed militants, which took advantage of the power vacuum in Pakistan, following the fall of Pervez Musharraf on 18 August 2008.

The airstrike killed 23 people, including eight children, and wounded at least eighteen. The targets of the strike were Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin, neither of whom was present at the time. Among the 23 people killed were one of Jalaluddin's two wives, his sister, sister-in-law and eight of his grandchildren.However, their family had arrived just half an hour before, suggesting that the US acted on fresh intelligence, possibly video from the drones transmitted in real time.

Gora Prai airstrike

The Gora Prai airstrike was an airstrike by the United States that resulted in the deaths of 11 paramilitary troops of the Pakistan Army Frontier Corps and 8 Taliban fighters in Pakistan's tribal areas. The attack took place late on June 10, 2008, during clashes between US coalition forces and militants from the Pakistani Taliban.The airstrike was in retaliation for an attack on troops about 200 yards (180 m) inside Afghan territory, originating from a wooded area near the Pakistani border checkpoint at Gorparai in Pakistan's Mohmand Agency.

Miramshah airstrike

The Miramshah airstrike took place on Friday 12 September 2008 in Miramshah in North Waziristan in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan. It was part of a series of attacks targeting presumed militants, and was carried out by a United States Air Force drone aircraft. It took advantage of the power vacuum in Pakistan, following the fall of Pervez Musharraf on 18 August 2008. The missiles hit two buildings – in one three women and two children were killed, and in the other seven Taliban militants died.President George W. Bush had two months prior to this attack issued a classified order authorizing US raids against militants in Pakistan without prior approval from Islamabad.

Missile strikes have traditionally provoked an outpouring of public resentment that Musharraf's political opponents used to help drive him from power. Many of those opponents are now seated in the new government – giving it broader political support and fewer high-profile critics.

I think the government really is not concerned much about the domestic fallout because there is no leader who would challenge its position or who would rally people around him and launch a country-wide protest. So the coalition forces, the Americans, are taking full advantage of the situation where there is a sort of vacuum as far as leadership is concerned.

The attack came at the same time as American and international troops was fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda militants close by in neighboring Afghanistan. The upsurge in strikes alarmed Pakistani military and government officials, who said it seriously undermined their counter-insurgency operations. Pakistan had repeatedly stated, that it would not allow foreign forces onto its territory and that it would vigorously protect its sovereignty. It said that cross border raids were not the best way of fighting the "war against terror".

Movement to impeach Pervez Musharraf

The movement to impeach Pervez Musharraf was an August 2008 attempt by opposition parties comprising the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N), Awami National Party (ANP), and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam to force Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf out of office. On August 18, Musharraf announced his resignation.

Operation Sirat-e-Mustaqeem

The Operation Sirat-e-Mustaqeem (English: Operation Righteous Path), was a Pakistan Army operation in Bara Tehsil of Khyber Agency, Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The operation was commenced on June 28, 2008, and was halted by the Army on July 9, 2008, after liberating Bara Tehsil from the terrorist. On July 9, 2008 another operation, codenamed Zarbe-Kaleem, was launched in Hangu district.

Operation Zalzala

The Operation Zalzala (English: Operation Earthquake), was a Pakistan Army military offensive manhunt and a counter-insurgent operation that was commenced on January 18 of 2008. The operation concluded withmixed results as the army had successfully captured the area, but the army was failed to capture or killed the Qari Hussain, the main objective of the operation.

Pakistan–United States skirmishes

The border skirmishes between the United States and Pakistan were the military engagements and confrontations between Pakistan and the United States that took place along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border from late 2008 to late 2012 resulting in the deaths of 42 Pakistani personnel with no U.S. casualties. These incidents involved the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Command and ISAF forces, who had been present in Afghanistan fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgency, and the unified Western military command of the Pakistan Armed Forces against one another in a series of skirmishes that ceased shortly after the 2011 NATO attack in Pakistan. The two sides ultimately made peace and continued collaboration operations against insurgent groups in Pakistan following an official, however brief, apology from then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 3 July 2012 over the loss of life suffered by the Pakistani military.

Terrorist incidents in Pakistan in 2008

In 2008, the country saw 40 terrorist attacks, which caused 154 fatalities and 256 injuries.

Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then, the medal has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individual recipients. Only 15 medals, 11 to members of the British Army, and four to the Australian Army, have been awarded since the Second World War. The traditional explanation of the source of the metal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the Siege of Sevastopol. However, research has suggested another origin for the material. Historian John Glanfield has established that the metal for most of the medals made since December 1914 came from two Chinese cannon, and that there is no evidence of Russian origin.Owing to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and the medal has fetched over £400,000 at auction. A number of public and private collections are devoted to the Victoria Cross. The private collection of Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains over one-tenth of all VCs awarded. Following a 2008 donation to the Imperial War Museum, the Ashcroft collection went on public display alongside the museum's Victoria and George Cross collection in November 2010.Beginning with the Centennial of Confederation in 1967, Canada, followed in 1975 by Australia and New Zealand, developed their own national honours systems, separate from and independent of the British or Imperial honours system. As each country's system evolved, operational gallantry awards were developed with the premier award of each system—the Victoria Cross for Australia, the Canadian Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross for New Zealand—being created and named in honour of the Victoria Cross. These are unique awards of each honours system, recommended, assessed, gazetted and presented by each country.

Years in Pakistan (1947–present)
2008 in Asia
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