Chronology of Events in Pakistan from Historical Perspective

Pakistan-Table A – Chronology of Important Events Pakistan Index Period Description ANCIENT EMPIRES ca. 2500-1600 B. C. Indus Valley culture ca. 1500-500 B. C. Migrations of Indo-Aryan- speaking tribes; the Vedic Age. 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 Valley. ca. A. D. 78-ca. 200 Kushan Empire; Gandharan art flourishes. ca. A. D. 319-ca. 600 Gupta Empire; classical age in northern India.
COMING OF ISLAM 711 Muhammad bin Qasim, an Arab general, conquers Sindh and incorporates it into Umayyad Caliphate. 1001-1030 Mahmud of Ghazni raids Indian subcontinent from Afghanistan. 1192 Muhammad of Ghor defeats Rajputs. 1206-1526 Delhi Sultanate. 1398 Timur destroys Delhi. THE MUGHAL PERIOD 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. BRITISH PERIOD 1757 Battle of Plassey and British victory over Mughal forces in Bengal; conventional date for beginning of British rule in India. 799-1839 Sikh kingdom established in Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh. 1830s Institution of British education and other reform measures. 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 Independence. 858 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 formed. 1893 Durand Line established as boundary between Afghanistan and British India. 1905 Partition of Bengal. 1906 All-India Muslim League founded. 1909 Morley-Minto Reforms establish separate electorates for Muslims. 911 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 1935. 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 others. 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. INDEPENDENT PAKISTAN 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 minister. October Start of first Indo-Pakistani War over sovereignty of Kashmir. 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 unit. 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 ssumes 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 president. 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 president. 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 inister. 1976 February Pakistan and Bangladesh establish diplomatic relations. 1977 March General elections; massive victory by Bhutto’s party evokes widespread rioting and protest. 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 Chaudhry. 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 Mecca. 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 hreat; Carter offers US$400 million, rejected by Zia as “peanuts. ” 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 cabinet. July Economy declared to be in conformity with Islam. 1986 August Movement for the Restoration f 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 mbassador 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 staff. 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 Afghanistan.
September Pakistan’s largest ever military exercise, Zarb- e – Momin (Sword of the Faithful), commences. 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 inister. 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 emonstrations and widespread public opposition to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s support of Desert Storm but pro-United Nations stance reiterated. 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 Sindh. 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. 993 April President Ishaq Khan dismisses government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, citing corruption. 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. 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 president. Data as of April 1994

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