Year in Review, 2008
2008 news of the world from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe
Conditions Deteriorate in Afghanistan | India Rocked By a Wave of Terrorist Attacks | Iraq on the Path Toward Effective Leadership | Hopes Are Dashed for Peace Between Israelis and Palestinians Under the Bush Administration | Kosovo Declares Independence | North Korea Continues Roller Coaster Diplomacy | Putin Retains Power | Russian-Georgian Conflict | Turmoil Within South Africa's Ruling Party | Elections Fail to Bring Change or Hope to Zimbabwe
Changing of the Guard in Pakistan
By the end of 2008, former president Pervez Musharraf had all but disappeared from the political scene. Facing impeachment charges, he resigned as president in August and was succeeded by Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. In earlier parliamentary elections, the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, led by Zardari, won 80 of the 242 contested seats. The Pakistan Muslim League-N, led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, took 66 seats. The two parties formed a coalition government, but animosity and distrust between Zardari and Sharif created an untenable partnership and Sharif withdrew his party from the government. Yousaf Raza Gillani was named prime minister. The new government signaled a change of course when the announcement that it would negotiate with militants who live and train in Pakistan's largely lawless, remote tribal areas. The policy met resistance from the United States.
Aside from political turmoil, Pakistan faced difficulties on other fronts. Indeed, the government had to borrow $7.6 billion from the International Monetary Fund as its debt spun out of control during the worldwide financial crisis, skirmishing along Kashmir's Line of Control broke out during the summer of 2008, Islamabad's Marriott Hotel was destroyed in a suicide bombing, and Pakistani militants were accused of launching the attack in Mumbai that killed more than 170 people in November.
For more information about Pakistan, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban:
- More from 2008 News of the World