CRS Report on May 12

  • CRS (Congressional Research Service)Report for Congress

    Pakistan-U.S. Relations

    Updated July 23, 2007

    K. Alan Kronstadt

    Specialist in Asian Affairs

    Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

    On May 12, Chaudhry flew to Karachi, but was blocked from leaving the city’s airport, reportedly by activists of the governmentallied MQM party. Ensuing street battles between pro- and anti-government activists left at least 40 people dead, most of them PPP members. Reports had local police and security forces standing by without intervening while the MQM attacked anti-Musharraf protesters, leading many observers to charge the government with complicity in the bloody rioting. The May 12 incidents did significant further damage to President Musharraf’s standing. In a June letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee asserted that U.S. and Pakistani national interests “are both served by a speedy restoration of full democracy to Pakistan and an end to state-sponsored intimidation ... of Pakistani citizens protesting government actions in a legal and peaceful manner.”