2007 proved tumultuous for India's nuclear neighbour Pakistan.
In March, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, the first flagrant signs of serious disagreements between the judiciary and Musharraf.
On July 3, Pakistan once again grabbed headlines when militants from the Lal Masjid and Pakistani police battled in Islamabad after students from the mosque attacked a government ministry building. The Pakistani security forces engaged in siege warfare, surrounding the mosque complex for eight days. The clash resulted in at least 108 deaths. This event helped to cause the breakdown of the truce that existed between Pakistan and Taliban forces in the Northwest region of Pakistan, starting a new phase in the ongoing Waziristan war.
Then, former prime ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif returned from exile. Sharif was sent back from the airport and Bhutto was greeted with a suicide bomb attack on her return in October in which 36 people were killed and at least 450 were injured.
Musharraf declared emergency rule on November 3 in what was dubbed a coup against his own government. Months of squabbling between him and the judiciary culminated as troops entered the Supreme Court and surrounded the justices' homes.
Musharraf's maverick behaviour drew a firestorm of international criticism, and raised serious doubts about Pakistan's commitment to fair, democratic elections in January, 2008.
Under mounting international pressure, Musharraf shed his military uniform on November 30, and restored normal rule of law.
But the biggest blow to the Islamic nation came in December when Bhutto was assassinated after she addressed a public gathering in Rawalpindi. An already agitated nation went berserk. Clashes erupted... fingers were pointed at Musharraf... there were many who claimed the government's hand behind the assassination.
Regardless of what happens, Pakistan would continue to be run by three As -- Allah, Army and America.
Image : Supporters of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) hold a candle vigil for slain former premier Benazir Bhutto at the PPP secretariat in Islamabad.
Text: Matthew Schneeberger | Photograph: Farooq Naeem/Getty Images
Also read: Daughter of Pakistan
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