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Pakistan History Timeline

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Pakistan's Information

Flag of Pakistan
Land Area 770,875 km2
Water Area 25,220 km2
Total Area 796,095 km2
Population 201,995,540
Population Density 253.73 / km2
Government Type Federal Parliamentary Republic
GDP (PPP) $988.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $5,100
Currency Rupee (PKR)
Largest Cities
  • Karachi (11,624,219)
  • Lahore (6,310,888)
  • Faisalabad (2,506,595)
  • Rawalpindi (1,743,101)
  • Multan (1,437,230)
  • Hyderabad (1,386,330)
  • Gujranwala (1,384,471)
  • Peshawar (1,218,773)
  • Quetta (733,675)
  • Muzaffarabad (725,000)


  • (3000-1600 BC) Indus Valley civilization of modern-day Pakistan
  • (3000-1500 BC) City of Harappa, part of the Indus Valley civilization, flourished
  • (2500 - 1500 BC) Mohenjo-daro in southern Pakistan evolved as early urban center
  • (1700s BC) Start of the Aryan civilization
  • (1500s BC) Aryans came into the Punjab region, followed a strict caste system
  • (600 BC) People became frustrated by caste system
  • (516 BC) Persians conquered north Pakistan and made it part of Achaemenid Empire of Persia
  • (327 - 325BC) Alexander the Great of Macedonia invaded, captured Taxila, Pakistan
  • (323 BC) Alexander the Great died, his generals divided the empire among themselves
  • (185 BC) Bactrian Greeks seized northwest Pakistan
  • (75 BC) Scythians from central Asia arrived
20 AD - 700 AD
  • (20) Parthians conquered northern (present day) Pakistan
  • (60) Parthians overthrown by central-Asian Kushans
  • (300) Kushans declined, Sassanian Empire of Persia prevailed
  • (400) Kidar Kushans came into power
  • (445) White Huns invaded Gandhara
  • (565) Sassanians and Turks overthrew Huns
  • (600 - 700) Turki Shahi controlled the west of Indus, included Gandhara
  • (711) Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Sindh, Pakistan and southern Punjab in India
1000s - 1800s
  • (1000) Turkish Muslims invaded northern Pakistan
  • (1058) Soomra Dynasty ended Arab domination, established rule over Sindh
  • (1206) Most of present-day Pakistan became part of the Delhi Sultanate
  • (1526) Babar, a Muslim ruler from Afghanistan, invaded India, established the Mogul Empire
  • (1526) Construction began of Lahore Fort
  • (1740) East India Company gained political control over most of India
  • (1849) Britain annexed Punjab territories (now eastern Pakistan and north-western India)
  • (1858) British took control of East India Company, the territory became known as British India
  • (1893) Durand Line Agreement established international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan
  • (1906) Muslim League founded as a forum for Indian Muslim separatism
  • (1935) Earthquake in Quetta killed over 50,000 people
  • (1940) Muslim League demanded partition of separate nation for India's Muslims
  • (1947) British and Indian leaders divided country into two sovereign states: India and Pakistan
  • (1947) Pakistan became independent
  • (1947) Muhammad Ali Jinnah became governor-general, Liaquat Ali Khan prime minister
  • (1947) Pakistan joined UN
  • (1948) War broke out with India over disputed territory of Kashmir
  • (1948) Muhammad Ali Jinnah died
  • (1948) Urdu declared national language
  • (1948) Khwaja Nazimuddin became governor-general upon death of Jinnah
  • (1949) War over Kashmir ended after UN brokered cease-fire
  • (1951) Prime Minister Liaquat assassinated; Khwaja Nazimuddin became prime minister, Malik Ghulam Muhammad became governor-general
  • (1953) Muhammad Ali Bogra sworn in as prime minister
  • (1954) Resolution passed by Constituent Assembly established Urdu and Bengali as national languages
  • (1955) Governor-General Ghulam Mohammad resigned, succeeded by Iskander Mirza
  • (1956) Constitution adopted proclaiming Pakistan as an Islamic Republic
  • (1956) Prime Minister Mirza became first president of Pakistan; Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy assumed office of prime minister
  • (1957) Prime Minister Suhrawardy resigned after losing party support; Malik Feroz Khan Noon became prime minister
  • (1958) Mirza suspended the constitution, declared martial law, canceled elections
  • (1958) Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan led military coup, ousted President Mirza
  • (1958) Mirza sent into exile
  • (1960) General Mohammad Ayub Khan became first elected president
  • (1960) Islamabad was declared the capital city
  • (1963) Trade agreement was signed between Pakistan and China
  • (1963) Pakistan and China signed border agreement
  • (1963) Cyclone along coast of Bay of Bengal killed over 22,000 in east Pakistan
  • (1965) President Ayub Khan re-elected

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


  • (2000) Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sentenced to life imprisonment for hijacking and terrorism charges, went into exile in Saudi Arabia
  • (2000) Worst drought in over 100 years ravaged two southern provinces, over 500 people killed
  • (2000) Protests and strikes were held after new government tax was introduced
  • (2000) Elections were held in three phases, new local government system was installed
  • (2001) Convictions of Benazir Bhutto and her husband were set aside by Supreme Court, retrial ordered
  • (2001) Musharraf named himself president and remained head of the army, dissolved National Assembly, provisional assemblies
  • (2001) Pakistan supported U.S. in fight against terrorism, supported attacks on Afghanistan
  • (2002) President Musharraf won five-year term in referendum vote
  • (2002) President Musharraf Pres. Musharraf announced major changes to the Constitution including: giving himself more power, security council that institutionalized the military's role in government, power to fire the prime minister and dissolve the legislature and requirement for all candidates to have university degrees
  • (2002) Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali sworn in as Prime Minister
  • (2002) UN ordered employees in Pakistan and India to evacuate based on concerns of a war
  • (2003) Ceasefire over Kashmir declared by Pakistan, India followed
  • (2003) President Musharraf survived an assassination attempt when a bomb exploded on a bridge just after his motorcade crossed in Rawalpindi
  • (2003) President Musharraf agreed to resign as head of armed forces by end of 2004
  • (2003) President Musharraf agreed to reduce some of the powers he had decreed to himself
  • (2003) A second assassination attempt against President Musharraf killed 15, wounded 46
  • (2004) President Musharraf won vote of confidence that would keep him as president until 2007
  • (2004) Pakistan began military offensive against suspected Al-Qaeda militants near Afghan border
  • (2004) Pakistan re-admitted to the Commonwealth
  • (2004) Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali resigned, dissolved the cabinet and nominated Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain from the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) as his interim successor
  • (2004) Shaukat Aziz elected prime minister by National Assembly
  • (2005) Bus service between Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and Indian-controlled Srinagar in Kashmir after a 60-year halt
  • (2005) Heatwave across country killed over 175 people
  • (2005) Three passenger trains collided near Ghotki, killed 136, injured 170
  • (2005) First nuclear-capable cruise missile tested
  • (2005) Earthquake killed 80,000 people in Kashmir, 2.5 million left homeless
  • (2005) India and Pakistan opened disputed Kashmir border - first time in 58 years
  • (2006) Peace accords signed to end fighting with pro-Al-Qaeda militants near Afghan border
  • (2006) Presidential Ordinance allowed process to release over 1600 women from 55 jails across the country
  • (2007) Bomb blasts and fire on a train traveling between New Delhi, India and Lahore, Pakistan killed 68 passengers
  • (2007) Pakistan and India signed an agreement to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war
  • (2007) Protests began after President Musharraf suspended Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry
  • (2007) Red Mosque complex in Islamabad stormed by security forces following week-long siege
  • (2007) Chief Justice Chaudhry reinstated by Supreme Court
  • (2007) Former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, returned from exile; during her homecoming parade in Karachi, dozens were killed by suicide bomb
  • (2007) Over 200 killed in fighting during offensive launched by the Army against militants in North Waziristan
  • (2007) Musharraf won presidential election, but was challenged by Supreme Court
  • (2007) President Musharraf declared emergency rule, dismissed Chief Justice Chaudhry, appointed new Supreme Court
  • (2007) New Supreme Court confirmed Musharraf's re-election
  • (2007) Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned from exile
  • (2007) Musharraf lifted emergency rule, restored suspended constitution
  • (2007) During political rally in Rawalpindi, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated
  • (2008) Yusuf Raza Gilani elected prime minister
  • (2008) President Musharraf resigned
  • (2008) Asif Ali Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto, elected president
  • (2008) Suicide bombing at Marriott Hotel in Islamabad killed 53


  • (2008) Over 1,000 militants killed during government-launched offensive in Bajaur tribal area
  • (2009) Government agreed to implement Sharia law in northwestern Swat Valley
  • (2009) Government yielded to demands to reinstate judges dismissed by former President Musharraf
  • (2009) Baitullah Mehsud, leader of Pakistan's Taliban, killed in U.S. drone attack in south Waziristan, Hakimullah Mehsud assumed leadership
  • (2009) Suicide bomb in Peshawar killed 120 people
  • (2010) Suicide attack during volleyball match killed over 100
  • (2010) Parliament approved constitutional reforms which included transferring key powers from president to prime minister
  • (2010) Flooding caused by monsoon rains killed at least 1,600
  • (2010) Militants destroyed 27 tankers which were carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan
  • (2010) Police seized several people believed to be involved in plot to kill Prime Minister Gilani
  • (2011) Liberal politician, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, was killed by bodyguard due to opposition to blasphemy laws; assassination drew condemnation from around the world
  • (2011) Osama bin Laden, founder of Al-Qaeda, assassinated in Abbottabad by U.S. Special Forces
  • (2011) Seven men, including two police officers were indicted for conspiracy to commit murder in killing of Benazir Bhutto
  • (2011) NATO supply routes shut down following attack on military outposts that killed 25 Pakistani soldiers
  • (2011) U.S. troops left Shamshi Air Base following November border attack, Pakistan blocked U.S. convoys entering Afghanistan
  • (2012) Prime Minister Gilani criticized army leaders, sacked top defense official amid growing tensions between government and military
  • (2012) Prime Minister Gilani refused to reopen corruption cases again President Zaradri and other politicians, Supreme Court threatened prosecution
  • (2012) 124 Pakistani soldiers, 11 civilians buried by avalanche Kashmir
  • (2012) Commercial airplane crashed in Islamabad just before landing, all 127 people on board were killed
  • (2012) Prime Minister Gilani found guilty in contempt case, Supreme Court disqualified him from holding office, Raja Pervez Ashraf appointed as new prime minister
  • (2012) Three widows and children of Osama Bin Laden were deported to Saudi Arabia
  • (2012) NATO supply routes to Afghanistan reopened
  • (2012) Nearly 300 people died in garment factory fire in Karachi
  • (2012) 14-year old Malala Yousufzai shot and seriously injured by Taliban for promoting secularism
  • (2012) Suicide bomber killed at least 23 people in Shia Muslim procession in Rawalpindi
  • (2013) Series of bomb blasts killed nearly 100, wounded 150 in Shiite neighborhood in Quetta
  • (2013) Supreme Court ordered arrest of Prime Minister Ashraf and other officials for corruption
  • (2013) Bomb attack in market place in Quetta killed 79, wounded 180; Sunni militant group claimed responsibility
  • (2013) Caretaker government appointed to oversee elections
  • (2013) Former President Musharraf returned after spending four years in self-imposed exile
  • (2013) Former President Musharraf was arrested on charges for unlawful detention of judges in 2007
  • (2013) Former Prime Minister Sharif named new prime minister after winning parliamentary elections
  • (2013) U.S. drone strike killed Taliban's second in command leader, Wali-Ur Rehman Mehsud
  • (2013) Parliament elected Mamnoon Hussain as new president
  • (2013) Taliban militants assaulted prison in Dera Ismail Khan, freed 248 prisoners, 13 people died, including six police
  • (2013) Former President Musharraf charged in connection with assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
  • (2013) In one of worst attacks on Christians, a twin-suicide bombing outside a church in Peshawar killed at least 80, wounded more than 120
  • (2013) Taliban issued new death threat against 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai if she returned to Pakistan
  • (2014) Special court rejected request by former President Musharraf to leave the country for medical treatment, issued arrest warrants for treason
  • (2014) Militants killed senior judge and 11 others at district court complex in Islamabad one day after government announced it would halt air strikes against Taliban militants who had called for ceasefire
  • (2014) Bomb explosion tore through fruit market in Islamabad, 22 killed over 100 injured
  • (2014) Cease-fire with Taliban ended when military jets launched air strikes against militants in Khyber region bordering Afghanistan
  • (2014) Pakistan, Syria, Cameroon had outbreak in polio, prompted World Health Organization to trigger global emergency health measures
  • (2014) Army convoy came under attack while carrying troops to checkpoint near Afghanistan border, nine soldiers killed, several critically wounded

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