Country Listing

Pakistan Table of Contents


Table A. Chronology of Important Events

Period                             Description


ca. 2500-1600 B.C.                 Indus Valley culture

ca. 1500-500 B.C.                  Migrations of Indo-Aryan-
                                   speaking tribes; the Vedic

ca. 563-483 B.C.                   Life of Siddartha Gautama--the
                                   Buddha; founding of Buddhism.

ca. 321-180 B.C.                   Mauryan Empire; reign of
                                   Ashoka (r. ca. 274-236 B.C.);
                                   spread of Buddhism.

ca. 180 B.C.-A.D. 150              Saka dynasties in Indus

ca. A.D. 78-ca. 200                Kushan Empire; Gandharan art

ca. A.D. 319-ca. 600               Gupta Empire; classical age in
                                   northern India.


711                                Muhammad bin Qasim, an Arab
                                   general, conquers Sindh and
                                   incorporates it into Umayyad

1001-1030                          Mahmud of Ghazni raids Indian
                                   subcontinent from Afghanistan.

1192                               Muhammad of Ghor defeats

1206-1526                          Delhi Sultanate.

1398                               Timur destroys Delhi.


1526                               Babur defeats last Lodhi
                                   sultan in first Battle of
                                   Panipat, thus laying
                                   foundation of Mughal Empire.

1556                               Akbar victorious in second
                                   Battle of Panipat.

1556-1605                          Reign of Akbar.

1605-27                            Reign of Jahangir; in 1612
                                   East India Company opens first
                                   trading post (factory).

1628-58                            Reign of Shah Jahan, builder
                                   of Taj Mahal.

1658-1707                          Reign of Aurangzeb, last great
                                   Mughal ruler.

1707-1858                          Lesser emperors; decline of
                                   Mughal Empire.


1757                               Battle of Plassey and British
                                   victory over Mughal forces in
                                   Bengal; conventional date for
                                   beginning of British rule in 

1799-1839                          Sikh kingdom established in
                                   Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit

1830s                              Institution of British
                                   education and other reform

1838-42                            First Anglo-Afghan War.

1843                               British annex Sindh,
                                   Hyderabad, and Khairpur.

1845-49                            Sikh Wars; British annex
                                   Punjab; Kashmir sold to Dogra
                                   Dynasty, to be ruled under
                                   British paramountcy.

1857-58                            Uprising, variously known as
                                   Indian Mutiny, Sepoy
                                   Rebellion, and by Indian
                                   nationalists as First War of

1858                               East India Company dissolved;
                                   rule of India under British
                                   crown (the British Raj)
                                   begins; marks formal end of
                                   Mughal Empire.

1878-80                            Second Anglo-Afghan War.

1885                               Indian National Congress

1893                               Durand Line established as
                                   boundary between Afghanistan
                                   and British India.

1905                               Partition of Bengal.

1906                               All-India Muslim League

1909                               Morley-Minto Reforms establish
                                   separate electorates for

1911                               Partition of Bengal annulled.

1916                               Congress-Muslim League Pact
                                   (often referred to as Lucknow
                                   Pact) signed.

1919                               Montague-Chelmsford Reforms;
                                   Third Anglo-Afghan War.

1935                               Government of India Act of

1940                               Muslim League adopts "Pakistan
                                   Resolution" demanding separate
                                   nation for Muslims of India.
                                   "Two Nations Theory"
                                   articulated by Muslim League
                                   leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah and

1946 August                        Muslim League observes "Direct
                                   Action Day." Widespread
                                   communal rioting spreads to
                                   many parts of India.

1947 June                          Legislation introduced in
                                   British Parliament calling for
                                   independence and partition of
                                   India; communal rioting and
                                   mass movements of population
                                   begin, resulting in next
                                   months in 250,000 deaths and
                                   up to 24 million refugees.


1947 August                        Partition of British India;
                                   India achieves independence
                                   and incorporates West Bengal
                                   and Assam; Pakistan is created
                                   and incorporates East Bengal
                                   (East Wing, or East Pakistan)
                                   and territory in the northwest
                                   (West Wing, or West Pakistan);
                                   Jinnah becomes governor
                                   general of Pakistan; Liaquat
                                   Ali Khan becomes prime

     October                       Start of first Indo-Pakistani
                                   War over sovereignty of

1948 September                     Jinnah dies; Khwaja Nazimuddin
                                   becomes governor general.

1949 January                       United Nations-arranged cease-
                                   fire between Pakistan and
                                   India takes effect.

1951 October                       Liaquat assassinated;
                                   Nazimuddin becomes prime
                                   minister; Ghulam Mohammad
                                   becomes governor general.

1955 August                        Ghulam Mohammad resigns;
                                   succeeded by Iskander Mirza.

     October                       One Unit Plan establishes the
                                   four provinces of West
                                   Pakistan as one administrative

1956 March                         Constitution adopted; Mirza
                                   becomes president.

1958 October                       Mirza abrogates constitution
                                   and declares martial law;
                                   Mirza sent into exile; Chief
                                   Martial Law Administrator
                                   (CMLA) General Mohammad Ayub
                                   Khan assumes presidency.

1965 August                        Start of second Indo-Pakistani
                                   War over Kashmir.

1969 March                         Martial law declared; Ayub
                                   Khan resigns; CMLA General
                                   Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan
                                   assumes presidency.

1970 July                          One Unit Plan abolished; four
                                   provinces reestablished in
                                   West Pakistan.

     December                      First general elections; Awami
                                   League under Mujib secures
                                   absolute majority in new
                                   National Assembly; West
                                   Pakistan-dominated government
                                   declines to convene assembly.

1971 March                         East Pakistan attempts to
                                   secede, beginning civil war;
                                   Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Mujib),
                                   imprisoned in West Pakistan,
                                   declared provisional

     April                         Formal declaration of
                                   independence of Bangladesh
                                   issued; Mujib named president.

     December                      Pakistan launches preemptive
                                   air strikes against India;
                                   India invades East Pakistan;
                                   India recognizes Bangladesh;
                                   Pakistani military forces in
                                   East Pakistan surrender to
                                   Indian armed forces, marking
                                   Bangladeshi independence;
                                   Yahya Khan resigns; Zulfiqar
                                   Ali Bhutto becomes CMLA and

1972 July                          Bhutto and India's prime
                                   minister, Indira Gandhi,
                                   conclude Simla Agreement,
                                   adjusting 1949 cease-fire line
                                   between Pakistan and India and
                                   creating new line of control.

1973 August                        New constitution goes into
                                   effect; Bhutto becomes prime

1976 February                      Pakistan and Bangladesh
                                   establish diplomatic

1977 March                         General elections; massive
                                   victory by Bhutto's party
                                   evokes widespread rioting and

     July                          Army chief of staff, General
                                   Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, appoints
                                   himself CMLA and proclaims
                                   martial law.

1978 September                     Mohammad Zia ul-Haq becomes
                                   nation's sixth president,
                                   replacing Fazal Elahi

1979 February                      Islamic penal code introduced.

     April                         Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto hanged.

     November                      Mob storms and burns down
                                   United States Embassy in
                                   Islamabad, killing two
                                   Americans and two Pakistani
                                   employees; United States
                                   cultural centers in Rawalpindi
                                   and Lahore also torched;
                                   attacks in response to
                                   Iranian-inspired rumors that
                                   United States citizens
                                   responsible for November 20
                                   attack on Grand Mosque in

     December                      Large-scale movements of
                                   Soviet troops and military
                                   equipment into Afghanistan.

1980 January                       United States president Jimmy
                                   Carter pledges military
                                   assistance to help Pakistan
                                   defend itself against Soviet
                                   threat; Carter offers US$400
                                   million, rejected by Zia as

1983 August                        President Zia ul-Haq announces
                                   that martial law will be
                                   lifted in 1985 but warns that
                                   army will retain key role in
                                   future governments.

1985 January                       Non-Islamic banking abolished.

     February                      General elections held for
                                   National Assembly.

     March                         Mohammad Khan Junejo invited
                                   by Zia to form civilian

     July                          Economy declared to be in
                                   conformity with Islam.

1986 August                        Movement for the Restoration
                                   of Democracy (MRD) launches
                                   campaign against government,
                                   demanding new general
                                   elections; Benazir Bhutto
                                   arrested in Karachi.

     December                      New federal cabinet sworn into
                                   office by President Zia with
                                   Mohammad Khan Junejo
                                   continuing as prime minister. 

     May                           Prime Minister Junejo expands
                                   federal government to include
                                   five new ministers and three
                                   new ministers of state;
                                   President Zia dismisses Junejo
                                   government, dissolves national
                                   and provincial assemblies, and
                                   orders new elections to be
                                   held within ninety days.

     August                        Zia, the United States
                                   ambassador to Pakistan, and
                                   top army officials killed in
                                   mysterious airplane crash near
                                   Bahawalpur in Punjab; Ghulam
                                   Ishaq Khan, chairman of
                                   Senate, sworn in as acting
                                   president; General Mirza Aslam
                                   Beg becomes chief of the army

     October                       Salman Rushdie's novel,
                                   The Satanic
                                   Verses, banned in
                                   Pakistan; joint United States-
                                   Pakistani investigatory
                                   committee concludes that Zia's
                                   death was caused by "criminal
                                   act of sabotage."

     November                      Elections held for National
                                   Assembly; Pakistan People's
                                   Party (PPP) wins ninety-three
                                   out of 207 seats contested.

     December                      Benazir Bhutto sworn in as
                                   first female prime minister of
                                   a Muslim nation; PPP and MQM
                                   parties sign "Karachi
                                   Declaration," an accord to
                                   restore peace in Sindh;
                                   Pakistan and India sign
                                   accords at South Asian
                                   Association for Regional
                                   Cooperation (SAARC) summit in
                                   Islamabad, including agreement
                                   not to attack each other's
                                   nuclear facilities.

     June                          Combined Opposition Parties
                                   (COP), consisting of most
                                   opposition groups, formed in
                                   National Assembly, with Ghulam
                                   Mustafa Jatoi as leader.

February                           Soviet Union completes
                                   withdrawal of troops from

September                          Pakistan's largest ever
                                   military exercise, Zarb- e -
                                   Momin (Sword of the Faithful),

October                            Pakistan rejoins Commonwealth
                                   of Nations.

December                           Ethnic riots in Sindh claim
                                   scores of lives.

1990 May-June                      Ethnic troubles mount in
                                   Sindh; rift develops between
                                   PPP and coalition partners.

     August                        President Ghulam Ishaq Khan di
                                   smisses Prime Minister Benazir
                                   Bhutto, her cabinet, and
                                   National Assembly; orders new
                                   elections for October 24,
                                   1990; Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi
                                   becomes caretaker prime

     October                       United States president George
                                   Bush is unable to deliver
                                   annual certification that
                                   Pakistan does not possess
                                   nuclear weapons as condition
                                   of continued assistance and
                                   arms and technology transfers,
                                   leading to cutoff of most aid.
                                   National elections held;
                                   Bhutto's PPP loses to
                                   coalition of rightist parties.

     November                      Mian Nawaz Sharif elected
                                   prime minister. 

1991 February                      Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
                                   liberalizes economy, lifts
                                   controls on foreign currency
                                   entering country, and
                                   announces policies to
                                   encourage new investment;
                                   numerous pro-Iraq
                                   demonstrations and widespread
                                   public opposition to Prime
                                   Minister Nawaz Sharif's
                                   support of Desert Storm but
                                   pro-United Nations stance

     May                           Shariat Bill is adopted by
                                   National Assembly.

     July                          Opposition members call upon
                                   president to dismiss
                                   government because of
                                   deteriorating law and order
                                   situation, particularly in

1992 December                      Babri Mosque in Ayodya, India,
                                   destroyed by Hindu
                                   fundamentalists seeking to
                                   build Hindu temple on
                                   contested site; communal
                                   violence mounts over incident;
                                   Pakistan asks Indian
                                   government to protect Muslims
                                   in India.

1993 April                         President Ishaq Khan dismisses
                                   government of Prime Minister
                                   Nawaz Sharif, citing

     July                          President Ishaq Khan and Prime
                                   Minister Nawaz Sharif resign
                                   under pressure from military;
                                   World Bank officer, Moeen
                                   Qureshi, named caretaker prime
                                   minister pending elections in

     October                       Benazir Bhutto's PPP wins slim
                                   margin in national elections
                                   and builds coalition
                                   government; Benazir appointed
                                   prime minister. 

     November                      PPP stalwart, Farooq Leghari,
                                   defeats acting President
                                   Wassim Sajjad and becomes

Data as of April 1994

Country Listing

Pakistan Table of Contents