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Pakistan History Timeline

1900s continued

  • (1965) Second war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir began
  • (1966) Tashkent Agreement ended war between Pakistan and India
  • (1966) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto founded Pakistan People's Party (PPP)
  • (1969) Martial law declared
  • (1969) Ayub Khan resigned, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan assumed presidency
  • (1970) East Pakistan struck by cyclone and tidal wave, killed over 200,000
  • (1970) First general elections were held, Awami League secured majority in New National Assembly causing rising tensions with West Pakistan
  • (1971) Sheik Mujibur Rahman, head of the Awami League, declared East Pakistan to be independent of Pakistan
  • (1971) Civil war began after East Pakistan attempted to secede
  • (1971) India intervened in supporting East Pakistan
  • (1971) East Pakistan broke away and changed name to Bangladesh
  • (1971) Pakistani military surrendered to Indian armed forces
  • (1971) Yahya Khan resigned, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became president
  • (1972) Bhutto and Indira Gandhi, India's prime minister, signed Simla agreement which adjusted cease-fire line and created new Line of Control between the two countries
  • (1973) New constitution went into effect giving Parliament the authority to elect the president and prime minister
  • (1973) Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became prime minister
  • (1975) Pakistan and Bangladesh established diplomatic ties
  • (1977) Riots erupted due to allegations of vote-rigging
  • (1977) General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq overthrew Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
  • (1977) General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq took control of government, proclaimed martial law and suspended part of 1973 Constitution
  • (1978) General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq became president of Pakistan
  • (1979) Islamic penal code (Hudood Ordinance) was introduced
  • (1979) Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto hanged after being convicted of conspiring to murder a political opponent
  • (1979) President Zia-ul-Haq delayed elections indefinitely, dissolved political parties, imposed censorship of the press
  • (1980) U.S. pledged military assistance to Pakistan, followed Soviet intervention in Afghanistan
  • (1983) Government lifted press censorship from periodicals
  • (1985) General elections were held, Mohammed Khan Junejo sworn in as prime minister, General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq as president
  • (1985) Pakistan was founding member of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
  • (1985) Martial law lifted
  • (1985) Amended 1973 Constitution was revived
  • (1985) Ban on political parties was lifted
  • (1986) Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, returned from exile to lead PPP party
  • (1988) Government of Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo dismissed on charges of incompetence by President Zia, Parliament was disbanded, and new elections ordered
  • (1988) President Zia decreed Sharia to be supreme law of the land
  • (1988) President Zia died in mysterious plane crash, Ghulam Ishaq Khan took over as acting president
  • (1988) Elections held, Benazir Bhutto became first woman prime minister of a Muslim nation
  • (1990) President Kham dismissed Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her government, dissolved National Assembly
  • (1990) In elections, Nawaz Sharif elected prime minister
  • (1991) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif began economic liberalization program
  • (1991) Islamic Shariah law added into legal code
  • (1993) President Ishaq Khan, Prime Minister Sharif resigned under pressure from military
  • (1993) Benazir Bhutto elected prime minister, Farooq Laghari elected president
  • (1995) Two U.S. diplomats were killed, one injured, when their car was ambushed while on the way to the U.S. Consulate in Karachi
  • (1995) Currency was devalued, tariff imposted on imports
  • (1996) Bhutto's government dismissed by President Farooq Leghari
  • (1997) Nawaz Sharif returned as prime minister following elections
  • (1997) Constitution amended by National Assembly, stripped president's power to dismiss government
  • (1997) President Leghari resigned, replaced by Rafiq Tarar
  • (1998) Pakistan tested its first nuclear device
  • (1999) Benazir Bhutto and her husband convicted of corruption, issued jail sentences
  • (1999) Lahore Declaration was signed between India and Pakistan regarding development of atomic arsenals
  • (1999) Pakistani forces battled with Indian military around Kargil in Kashmir, more than 1,000 killed
  • (1999) In military coup, Army deposed Prime Minister Sharif; General Pervez Musharraf became chief executive
  • (1999) General Musharraf declared state of emergency, suspended the constitution

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.