Pakistan History

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History[edit | edit source]

Pakistan came into being on August 14, 1947 as a result of the partition of British India. On its east and southeast lies India, on the north and northwest is Afghanistan, to the west is Iran, and toward the south is the Arabian Sea. Pakistan shares a common border with China. According to the 1998 Census, its population included 135 million citizens and estimates suggest that number increased to 145 million by 2003. Two-thirds of the population live in rural areas, and engage in agriculture as the main source of livelihood.

The majority of the population is composed of Muslims; the remaining are Hindus, Christians, and Parsees. About twenty languages are spoken in Pakistan. Urdu is the national language of the country, but English continues to be used for education, commercial, and other official purposes. Pakistan’s literacy rate was 47 percent in 1998. Politically, Pakistan is a federation of four provinces (Punjab, Sindh, Northwest Frontier Province, and Balochistan). Administratively, the provinces are comprised of districts, which are divided into small subdivisions (Tehsils). These are further divided into union councils.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

3000 - 1500 BC
Indus Civilization
1700 BC
Aryans invade from Central Asia
516 BC
Northern Pakistan becomes the easternmost province of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia
327 - 325 BC
Alexander the Great invades Pakistan
272 - 236 BC
Mauryan Emperor Ashoka promotes Buddhism
185 BC
Bactrian Greeks conquer northwest Pakistan
75 BC
Arrival of Scythians (Sakas) from Central Asia
20 AD
Parthians conquer northern Pakistan
60 AD
Kushans from Central Asia overthrow the Parthians
3rd Century
Kushans decline and are dominated by the Sassanian Empire of Persia
4th Century
Kidar (Little) Kushans come to power
White Huns invade Gandhara and are converted to Hinduism, possibly as the Rajput warrior caste
Sassanians and Turks overthrow Huns
Late 6th - 7th Century
Turki Shahis control area west of Indus, including Gandhara
Mohammad Bin Qasim conquers Sindh and southern Punjab
Hindu Shahis arrive from Central Asia
1001 - 1026
Mahmud of Ghaznavi invades - Mass conversions to Islam
1034 -1337
Sindh ruled by Sumrahs, a Sindhi tribe
Mohammad Ghuri destroys the Kingdome of Mahmud Ghaznavi
Mohammad Ghuri makes Delhi the capital of the empire
1206 - 1526
Delhi Sultanate established by Ilbari Dynasty - At the time of Muhammd Ghuri's death in 1206 (had no sons), Qutbuddin Aibak was in Lahore, where he assumed the sovereign powers as he was elected Sultan by the Amirs. The assumption of sovereign powers by Qutbuddin Aibak in 1206 is regarded as the foundation of the Sultanate Delhi
The Mongol, Genghiz Khan invades Punjab
Khalji Dynasty marks the end of the Turks rule - Among the Khaljis, Alauddin Khalji (1296-1316) reign is known for revenue reforms, market regulations and conquests
Tuqhluq Dynasty: Tuqhluq were from 'Qarauna Turk' tribe. Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughluq Shah (Ghazi Malik) founder of third dynasty of the Sultanate. Among the Tughluq dynastry, Mohammad Tughluq and Firuz Tughluq are most popular
Sammah Rajputs overthrow the Sumrahs in Sindh
1398 - 1399
Tamerlane invades from Central Asia
1414 - 1451
The Saiyids: Khizr Khan was the founder of the Saiyid dynasty.
Alauddin Alam Shah was the last ruler
1451 - 1526
The Lodhis were Afghans; Bahlol Lodhi was the founder of this dynasty. The last Lodhi Sultan, Ibrahim Ladhi (1517-26) was killed by Babur in the first battle of Panipat
The Sultanate of Delhi ended - Babur defeats the Lodis, the last of the Delhi sultans, and establishes the Mughal Empire. Tarkhans capture power in Sindh
Babur, first Mughal emperor, rais Punjab. Sindh conquered by Shah Beg Arghun from Kandahar.
Amir Chakar Rind unites Balochi tribes and defeats Sammahs
1527 - 1857
The Mughal Empire: Zahiruddin Mohammad Babur son of Umar Shaikh Mirza -- The first Mughal Emeror (1526-30) and founder of  the Mughal empire in India. March 16 - A decisive battle took place with Rana Songa of Mewar, a powerful Rajput prince. Babur's autobiography Tuzuk-i-Bauri (Babur Namah) written in Turki
December 26 - Babur died in Agra. Humyun become the Mughal emperor.
Humayun reign 1530, 1540, 1555 - 1556
Suri Dynasty (1540 - 1555): Sher Shah Suri defeated Humayun in the battles of Chausa and Kanauj and became the emperor. Humayun is forced into exile in Persia by Sher Shah Suri
Death of Sher Shah Suri
Humayun regains empire
Akbar, son of Humayun, is emperor (1556-1605). Humayun died after falling from his library (Sher Mandil) stairs.
Thirteen years old Humayun's son Akbar becomes the emperor. Akbar is famous for his liberal policies especially toward non-Muslims. Akbar contributed greatly in Indian music. Tansen was the most accomplished musician of that days
Queen Elizabeth I dispatched the ship Tyger to the sub-continent to exploit opportunities for trade
1605 - 1627
Jahangir is emperor: After Akbar, his son Salim becomes emperor. Salim took the title of Jehagir (Conqueror of the world). Jehangir's reign consider be the peak of Mughal rule (and his son's reign)
The British East India Company opens its first office in Bombay
1627 - 1659
Sha Jahan is emperor: After Jehangir, his son Khurram becomes the empror of Mughal emperor. Khurram took the title of Shah Jehan (Emperor of the World). The Mughal Empire was at its zenith during Shah Jehan's rule
Aurangzeb Alamgir is emperor (1658-1707). Sikhs organize as a warrior sect
Aurangzeb Alamgir died. His death regards as the beginning of the end of Mughal empires.
Aurangzeb Alamgir's son bahadur Shah Zafar becomes the last emperor of Mughal dynastry
Founding of Kalhora Dynasty in Sindh
Nadir Shah of Persia invades the subcontinent
1747 - 1773
Ahmad Shah Durrani founds the Kingdom of Afghanistan and acquires Indus territories, Punjab and Kashmir
The battle of Plassey is considered a major breakthrough for the Britishers in the Subcontinent
1707 - 1762
Shah wali Ullah's Reform Movement
1760 - 1830
Sikhs become dominate force in Pubjab
Talpur Balochis overthrow Kalhora Dynazty in Sindh
Ranjit Singh rules Punjab from Lahore
Faraizi Movement (1830-57)
British annex Sindh. First British-Afghan War
1845 - 1846
First British-Sikh War
1848 - 1849
The British defeat the Sikhs in Second Sikh War, annex Punjab and NWFP 
First War of Independence (Mutiny)
1858 - 1898
British government assumes direct rule of British East India Company lands, establishes British Raj
Aligarh Movement  
1866 - 1947
Deoband Movement
1884 - 1947
Anjuman Himayat-i-Islam, Lahore
Establishment of Indian National Congress
All districts of Balochistan in British hands
British establish Gilgit Agency
British conquer Hunza and Nagar
1894 - 1947
Nadva-tul-'Ulama of Lucknow 
December 30 -- The annual meeting of Mohammadan Educational Conference held at Dacca under the chairmanship of Nawab Viqar ul Mulk. In the meeting Nawab Salim ullah Khan presented a proposal to establish a political party, All India Muslim League, to safeguard the interests of the Muslims. All India Muslim League founded as forum for Indian Muslim separatism
The Lucknow Pact
1919 - 1924
The Khilafat Movement 
Mohammad Iqbal proposes creation of separate Muslim state 
Lahore Resolution, which endorses idea of separate nation for India's Muslims, to be called Pakistan
June 3 - the British Government accepted the idea of partition of India.
July 18 - The British Parliament passes the Indian Independence Act.
July 19 - Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan (1895-1951) of Muslim League becomes the first Prime Minister.
August 14 - Birth of Pakistan, consisting of East Bengal, a part of Assam (Sylhet), West Punjab, Sind, NWFP and Baluchistan. Some 15 million people flee religious persecution, Muslim fleeing to East and West Pakistan, while Hindus flee to India. An estimated one million people are killed in widespread communal violence and millions are made homeless. Under Section 8 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, the Government of India Act, 1935 (with certain adaptations) becomes constitution of Pakistan.
August 15 - Quid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah (1876-1948) of Muslim League becomes first governor-general  and Liaquat Ali Khan (1895-1951) of Muslim League becomes the first Prime Minister of the new nation
September 11 - Quid-e-Azam  Dies and Kashmir Crisis Starts.
September 14 - Cheif Minister of Bengal Khwaja Nazimuddin (1894-1964) of Muslim League becomes second governor-general. The first war with India over Kashmir
March 12 -- Objectives Resolution passes moved by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan
October 16 - Liaquat Ali Khan assassinated in Rawalpindi.
October 17 - Finance Minister Ghulam Mohammad (1895-1956) of Muslim League becomes the third Governor General. Governor General Khawaja Nazimuddin of Muslim League becomes second Prime Minister 
December 22 - The second draft of the Basic Principle Committee presents to the Constituent Assembly
April 17 - Malik Ghulam Mohammad dismisses the Khawaja Nazimuddin.
(Important note: This is this act of Ghulam Mohammad that sets an unhealthy tradition and precedent in Pakistan of Presidents removing ELECTED governments. This tradition is later carried on by various Presidents creating a continuous instability in the Pakistan.)
April 17 - A not well-known leader of East Pakistan Mohammad Ali Bogra (1909-1963 ) of Muslim League, who was then Pakistani Ambassador to United State, becomes third Prime Minister
May - Governor General Ghulam Mohammad appointed Iskander Mirza (1899-1969) as Governor of East Pakistan. In order to established the peace in East Pakistan, the first step he took as Governor was to order the arrest of 319 persons, including Mujib al Rahman and Yusuf Ali Choudhury. By mid June, the number of persons arrested had reached 1051, including 33 assembly members and two Dhaka University Professors. So, in a way Iskander Mirza had sown a permanent seed of hatred for the Central government in the heats of East Pakistani people.
October 24 - Malik Ghulam Mohammad dissolved the Constituent Assembly of Mohammad Ali Bogra and declares a state of emergency. Pakistan signed an agreement with the U.S. saying that US will come to Pakistan's aid in a time of war
August 11 - Bogra resigns and  Chaudhary Mohammad Ali (1905-1963) of Muslim League becomes appointed forth Prime Minister.
October 6 - Governor-General Ghulam Mohammad resigns.
October 6 - Iskander Mirza (1899-1969) of Military becomes the fourth and last Governor General
March 23 - Constitution take on and proclaims Pakistan an Islamic republic. The Constitution consisted of 234 articles, which divided into 13 parts and 6 schedules. The National Assembly (the only house of the parliament) was consists of 300 members. The 300 hundred National Assembly seats were equally divided between West Pakistan and East Pakistan (note that the concept of one unit was there in constitution.).
March 23 - Iskander Mirza of Republican Party becomes first president.
September 12 - Chaudhry Mohammad Ali resigns and after the adoption of the constitution, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (1893-1963)  of Awami League becomes the fifth Prime Minister
October 17 - Suhrawardy resigns, due to President's refusal to convene a meeting of the parliament to seek a vote of confidence.
October 17 - The Law Minister in the Federal Cabinet Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar (1897-1960) of Muslim League becomes sixth Prime Minister.
December 11 - I. I. Chundrigar was Forced to resign since he failed to maintain the support of his coalition partners and thus becomes the only Prime Minister of Pakistan for less than two months.
December 16 - Malik Feroze Khan Noon (1893-1970) of Republican Party takes over the office of Prime Minister and becomes the seventh prime minister
October 7 - President Iskander Mirza abrogates Constitution and with the help of Gen. Ayub Khan, the Chief Martial Law Administrator, enforces the first martial law as a response to rebellions in East Pakistan.
Military coup - Chief of the army staff takes over and declares martial law.
October 24 - Gen. Mohammad Ayub Khan (1907-1974) of Military becomes eighth Prime Minister and resign from the office of chief martial law administrator.
October 27 - Iskander Mirza's Presidency ends and sent into exile.
October 27 -  Gen. (Mohammad Ayub Khan)  of Military assumes presidency and becomes second president.
October 28 - Ayub Khan resigns from prime ministership
Constitution Adopted (second time). Gen. Mohammad Ayub Khan of Military becomes president
August - Second war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir 
January 10 - Gen Ayub Khan and Indian prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri signed the cease-fire agreement in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, USSR. The cease-fire agreement led to the resigning of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Ayub Khan's talented Minister of Foreign Affairs
March 25 - Ayub Khan handed his place over to Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan (1907-1980), who promised return to civilian rule. He is the first chief martial law administrator (March 25, 1969 through March 31, 1969).
Martial law declared by military chief Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan.
March 25 - Gen. Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan of Military takes over and becomes the third president.
March 27 - Gen Ayub Khan resigns from office of Prime Minister
First general elections. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Awami League acquires absolute majority in new National Assembly.
West Pakistan-dominated government headed by military chief Yahya Khan Declines to assemble assembly
East Pakistan attempts to break away. Civil war begins in East Pakistan.
East Pakistan declares itself independent nation and becomes Bangladesh.
India intervenes on behalf of Bengali separatists. Pakistani military surrenders to Indian armed forces.
December 7 - Nurul Amin (1893-1974) of Pakistan People's Party becomes ninth prime minister.
December 20 - Nurul Amin resigns. President (military chief) Yahya Khan resigns. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (1928-1979) of Pakistan Peoples Party becomes fourth president of Pakistan
President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto  and India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sign Simla agreement that adjusts cease-fire line between Pakistan and India and creates new Line of Control
New constitution goes into effect (Third time).
August 13 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto   resigns from presidency.
August 14 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan People's Party becomes tenth prime minister.
August 14 - Fazal Elahi Chaudhry (1904-1982) of Pakistan People's Party becomes fifth President
May - India tests its first nuclear device at nation's nuclear testing grounds near Pokhran in southeastern India. 
Prime Minister Z. A. Bhutto's government begins nuclear program
Diplomatic ties established between Pakistan and Bangladesh
Riots erupt over allegations of rigging of general election by Pakistan Peoples Party. Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq  (1924-1988) of Military declares martial law.
July 5 - Gen. Zia ul-Haq of Military becomes eleventh prime minister
September 16 - President Fazal Elahi Chaudhry resigns
September 16 - Gen.  Zia ul-Haq of Military becomes sixth president
Islamic penal code introduced. Gen. and president Zia ul-Haq of Military hangs First elected Prime Minister of Pakistan Z. A. Bhutto
United State pledges military assistance following Soviet Union intervention in Afghanistan
Gen. and president Zia announces that he will lift the martial law but military will retain the key role in future governments
Martial law and ban on political parties lifted. General elections held under military rule.
Controversial eighth Amendment is passes.
March 24 - Military chief Zia-ul Haq resigns from prime ministership and Mohammad Khan Junejo (1932-1993) of Pakistan Muslim League become twelfth prime minister. Gen. Zia ul-Haq of Military President
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's daughter Benazir Bhotto (born: 1953) returns from exile to lead PPP in campaign for elections
May 29 - Military chief (president) Zia dismisses Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo's government.
June 9 - Gen. and president Zia becomes thirteenth prime minister.
Military chief , president and prime minister  Zia orders new elections.
August 17 - Military chief, president, and prime minister Zia, the US ambassador and top Pakistan army officials die in mysterious plane crash
August 17 - Ghulam Ishaq Khan (born: 1915) becomes seventh President. (Acting president to Dec. 12, 1988.)
Benazir Bhotto's Pakistan People's Party wins November general election.
Benazir Bhutto, the eldest child of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto  sworn in as first woman Prime Minister of a Muslim nation. She becomes fourteenth prime minister.
December 14 - Ghulam Ishaq Khan Khan becomes seventh President
May - India test fires its Agni missile, ballistic missile that can be able to deliver a nuclear warhead to any target in Pakistan or southern China
August 6 - Benazir Bhutto's government dismissed on charges of incompetence and corruption.
August 6 - Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi (born: 1931) of National People's Party becomes fifteenth Prime Minister (caretaker).
In National election, Benazir Bhutto's PPP lost to coalition of rightist parties.
November 6 - Jotoi resigns and Mian Nawaz Sharif (born: 1949) of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz group) becomes sixteenth prime minister
Islamic Shariah law formally incorporated into legal code
Nawaz Sharif's government launches campaign to stamp out violence by supporter of Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM)
April 19 - President Ishaq Khan dissolves the National and Provincial Assemblies.
April 18 - Ishaq Khan selects Mir Balakh Sher Mazari of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz group) as the seventeenth Prime Minister (caretaker).
May 26 - Mazari’s tenure as a caretaker Prime Minister ended in May, when the Supreme Court of Pakistan invalidates the presidential order on May 26 and reinstated Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister. Nawaz Sharif becomes eighteenth prime minister.
 July 18 - the President, Ghulam Ishaq and the Prime Minister, Mian Nawaz Sharif both resign under pressure from military, thus dissolving all the Central and provincial Assemblies.
July 18 - Wasim Sajjad (born: 1941) of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Group) selected as eight President (interim).
July 18 - Moin Qureshi (born: 1930)selected as nineteenth Prime Minister (caretaker).
On October 6th and 9th General Elections were held.
Octorber 19 - Benazir Bhutto (born: 1953) wins slim margin and took oath as Prime Minister. She becomes twenth prime minister.
On November 13, Presidential election was held.
Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari (born: 1940) of Pakistan People's Party candidate won by 274 to 168 votes against, the then acting President Wasim Sajjad.
November 14 - Wasim Sajjad resign and Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari of Pakistan Peoples Party elected as eighth President
November 5 - President Farooq Leghari dismisses Benazir Bhutto accuses her government of corruption and nepotism under the Article 58(2) b of the Eighth Amendment.
November 5 - Miraj Khalid (born: 1916) becomes twenty first prime minister (caretaker)
Queen Elizabeth II visits Pakistan on 50th Anniversary of its Independence. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, right, meets Britain's Queen Elizabeth II at the presidential palace in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Malik Meraj Khalid selected as Caretaker Prime Minister.
In February, National elections held.
February 17 - Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif becomes twenty second Prime Minister.
February 18 - Nawaz Sharif  obtained a vote of confidence from the National Assembly on February 18.
Controversial Eighth Amendment is repealed, which empowered the president to dismiss the prime ministers.
Passing Thirteenth Am Amendment and the Ehtesab Act, 1997.
December 2 - Because of constitutional crisis, President Farooq Leghari  resigned on December 2.
December 2 - Wasim Sajjad of PML-N becomes tenth President (interim) (second time)
January 1 - Wasim Sajjad resigns and  Mohammad Rafiq Tarar (born: 1929) of PML-N becomes eleventh  President.  
May 28 - 29 - Pakistan carried out its nuclear tests in response to Indian detonation of its three nuclear devices and becomes a Nuclear Power. Nawaz Sharif's government proclaims an emergency on May 28, because of this, all fundamental rights of Pakistani people were suspended and all the foreign currency accounts in Pakistani banks were frozen. A Ghauri missile (a modified SCVD ballistic missile similar to India's Agni ballistic missile).
Nawaz Sharif introduces the Fifteen Amendment on October 9.
The Fifteen Amendment, which is an effort by Sharif  to acquire more powers, soon brought him into serious confrontation with military. This confrontation led to the resignation of General Jehangir Karamat on October 7.
Mohammad Rafiq Tarar (born: 1929) becomes an eleventh President
Feburary 20 - Indian prime Minister Vajayeee visits Pakistan.
In April, Benazir Bhutto and her husband convicted of corruption and given jail sentences.
April 11 - India test an upgraded version of Agni missile on Wheeler Island in the Bay of Bengal.
The Kargil Offensive: The Kargil crisis in its aftermath led to tense relationship between Nawaz Sharif and the military. It was this tense relationship, which culminated in the removal of the Nawaz government by successor of General Karamat (Musharraf ).
October 12 -  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif overthrown in military coup led by military chief Pervez Musharraf (born: 1943), thus Military Comes to Power Again. Pakistan is suspended from Commonweath due to widely condemned military coup.
October 12 - Military chief Musharraf becomes the Chief Executive of Pakistan.
October 14 - Military chief and chief executive becomes twenty third prime minister
In April, Nawaz Sharif sentenced to life imprisonment on hijacking and terrorism charges. In December, Nawaz Sharif goes into exile in Saudi Arabia after being pardoned by military authorities
Agra Summit.
June 20 - Gen.  Pervez Musharraf (born: 1943) of Military dissolved the parliament as a result the figurehead president, Rafiq Tarar vacated his position. Later in the day Gen Pervez Musharraf names himself president while remaining head of the military. He becomes twelfth the President.
July, Gen Musharraf meets Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Agra summit. Talks fails (not even a joint statement).
September - Pakistan cut its diplomatic relation with the Taliban and becomes a major ally to U.S. campaign against the Taliban and al-Qaida. US lifts some sanctions imposed after Pakistan's nuclear tests, but retains those imposed after Musharraf's coup

January - Gen. Musharraf announces that elections will be held on October 2002.
April - Gen. Musharraf of Military wins another five years in office in a referendum criticized as unconstitutional and fraught with irregularities.
May - Pakistani military fires three medium-range surface-to-surface missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.
August - President Musharraf of Military grants himself sweeping new powers, including the right to dismiss an elected parliament. Opposition parties accuse Musharraf of perpetuating dictatorship.
October - General election results in a hung parliament.
November 23 - National Assembly "selects" Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali (born: 1944) of Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam Group), a member of a party close to Gen Musharraf of Military, as a twenty fourth prime minister and Musharraf resigns from prime ministership

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