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Musharraf Takes Power, Pakistan Allies with United States

nuclear devices, global terrorism, air strikes, Osama bin Laden, Taliban

In 2001 Pakistan established itself as a vital U.S. ally and key regional player after the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States. Pakistan became a frontline state of high strategic importance as the U.S.-led war on terrorism unfolded in neighboring Afghanistan. Pakistan had been an ally of the Taliban, which had established a fundamentalist Islamic regime in Afghanistan in 1996. The Taliban was accused of harboring the suspected mastermind of the terrorist attacks, Osama bin Laden. The Taliban and bin Ladenís international terrorist network, al-Qaeda, became the target of U.S.-led air strikes in Afghanistan that began on October 7. The Musharraf government agreed to provide logistical support and use of Pakistanís airspace for the offensive, and to share military intelligence to fight global terrorism. Formally breaking with the Taliban, Pakistan withdrew all of its diplomats from Afghanistan and officially closed its shared border. On September 22, meanwhile, the United States lifted most of the economic sanctions it had imposed after Pakistan exploded nuclear devices in 1998, brightening prospects for Pakistanís economy.

Article key phrases:

nuclear devices, global terrorism, air strikes, Osama bin Laden, Taliban, economic sanctions, diplomats, military intelligence, terrorist attacks, Qaeda, ally, logistical support, offensive, prospects, war, target of, United States


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