Author(s)Kronstadt, K. A.
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AbstractPakistan is a strategically important country and home to one of the world's largest Muslim populations. In October 1999, Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff Gen. Pervez Musharraf replaced Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup. Following the military overthrow of an elected government, Islamabad faced considerable international opprobrium and was subjected to automatic coup-related U.S. sanctions. The September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and Musharraf's ensuing withdrawal of support for the Afghan Taliban regime, however, had the effect of greatly reducing Pakistan's international isolation. Congress temporarily removed restrictions, and large-scale U.S. aid to the country resumed, in late 2001. The United States views Pakistan as a vital ally in the international antiterrorism coalition. The Bush Administration refrains from expressing any significant public criticisms of Pakistan's internal political practices, while still asserting that the strengthening of civilian political institutions in Islamabad is a requirement for the development of a stable, moderate Islamic state.
CRS Report for Congress.