Timeline of Pakistani history
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This is a timeline of Pakistani history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Pakistan and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Pakistan. See also the list of Presidents of Pakistan and list of Prime Ministers of Pakistan and the list of years in Pakistan.
Although the modern day Pakistan, the land of Indus, emerged on the world map as a new nation-state in 1947 this area has a very long history that goes back over thousands of years and it is one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited regions. The Indus Valley was known as Meluhha 1 in Mesopotamia when the Harappan civilization was thriving here. When the Aryan tribes came and settled down in the upper Indus valley in the middle of the second millennium BC they called it Sapta-Sindhu 2 (the land of seven rivers). Now this Indus land is called Pakistan which is an acronym composed from the initial letters of the name of its provinces namely, Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, Sindh and the last three letters of Balochistan.
- 2,000,000 BC: In Riwat, dating at this period, stones implementations (tools) have been found at the site, proposing a possibility of earlier homo erectus existence3
- 1,600,000 BC: A stone artefact is discovered in Riwat, dated to this period4
- 500,000 BC: Some of the earliest relics of Stone Age man have been found in the Soan Valley of the Potohar region near Rawalpindi, dating back to 500,000 BCE
- 9000 BC - 5500 BC: Mehrgarh Period I
- 5500 BC - 4800 BC: Mehrgarh Period II
- 4800 BC - 3500 BC: Mehrgarh Period III
- 3500 BC - 2800 BC: Mehrgarh Periods IV to VI
- 2800 BC - 2000 BC: Mehrgarh Period VII
- 2800 BC - 2500 BC: Early Harappan / Kot Diji Phase
- 2500 BC - 1900 BC: Harappan Phase; Flourishment of Indus Valley Civilization at urban centres, Mohenjo-Daro & Harappa
- 1900 BC - 1300 BC: Late Harappan Phase (Cemetery H Culture)
- 1700 BC - 0600 BC: Start of the Aryan civilization in Sapta Sindhu, Punjab and of Indus culture, Rigvedic civilization
- 1500 BC: Earliest verses of Rig-Veda were written in the Indus Valley (Pakistan)
- 516 BC: Pakistan becomes easternmost part of Achaemenid Empire of Persia. Gandharais semi-independent kingdom
- 500 BC: Gandhara civilization (500 BC to 500 AD) 5
- 327 BC - 325 BC: Alexander of Macedonia invades Pakistan and captures Taxila
- 326 BC: Porus, the king of Punjab, fought the battle of the Hydaspes River against the Macedonian king Alexander.
- 325 BC: During the siege of the capital of the Mallians (modern Multan), Alexander was seriously wounded by an arrow in the chest.
- 300 BC: Mauryan empire, Ashoka promotes Buddhism
- 185 BC: Bactrian Greeks conquer North-West Pakistan
- 75 BC: Arrival of Scythians (Sakas) from central Asia
- 20: Parthians conquer present Northern Pakistan area
- 60: Kushans from central Asia overthrow Parthians
- 3rd Century: Kushans decline and are dominated by Sassanian empire of Persia
- 4th Century: Kidar (little) Kushans come to power
- 450: White Huns (Hephthalites) attacked Gandhara, sacked its cities and burnt down its many monasteries and centres of learning
- 565: Sassanians and Turks overthrow Huns
- Late 6th –7th Century: Turki Shahi control area West of Indus, including Gandhara
- 711 - 712: Muhammad bin Qasim conquers Sindh and Southern Punjab
- 870 - 1026: Hindu Shahi ruled from Multan to Kabul
- 1001: Mahmud Ghazni defeats the Hindu Shahi king Jayapala (A Janjua Rajput) near Peshawar
- 1021: Mahmud Ghazni defeats Tarnochalpal and annexes Punjab
- 1058: Soomra Dynasty, Soomro period from 1058 to 1351 ends the Arab domination and establishes its own rule over Sindh.
- 1148 - 1206: Ghaurids Period
- 1206: A body of Gakhars assassinated Muhammad Ghori during a raid on his camp on the Jhelum River
- 1221: Mongol Genghis Khan invades Punjab
- 1351: Samma Dynasty assumed rule over Sindh
- 1398: Tamerlane plunders Lahore
- 1472: Sher Shah Suri (original name Farid Khan born in Multan)
- 1526 - 1857: Mughal ascendancy (1526–1707), nominal rule by Mughals (1707–1857)
- 1541 - 1543: Sher Shah Suri built the Rohtas Fort
- 1586: Yusufzais defeat Akbar in the Karakar pass 6
- 1701: Kalhoro Dynasty establishes its rule over Sindh
- 1739: Nadir Shah of Persia invades subcontinent
- 1751-52: Ahmed Shah Abdali annexes Punjab to his kingdom
- 1782: The Baloch tribe of Talpur defeats the last Kalhora ruler Mian Abdul Nabi in the battle of Halani
- 1801 - 1849: Sikhs become dominant force in Punjab, Ranjit Singh rules (1799–1839),
- 1843: British defeat Talpurs in the battle of Miani and annex Sindh7
- 1849: British defeat Sikhs and annex Punjab
- November 1, 1857 The British control most present-day Pakistan region and incorporate it as part of the British Indian Empire.
- 1906: A new political party All-India Muslim League formed to protect rights of Muslims in British Indian Empire.
- 1913: Prominent Muslim leader, Muhammad Ali Jinnah left Indian National Congress aknowlleging that Hindu dominant Indian Congress failing to protect Indian Muslim rights, later became leader of the All-India Muslim League and instrumental in the creation of Pakistan.
- 1930: Dr. Muhammad Allama Iqbal, a great Muslim philosopher and poet suggested creation of separate Muslim state in Indian sub-continent to protect Muslim population dominated by Hindu majority.
- 1935: A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.7 jolted Quetta killing over 50,000 people
- 1947: Pakistan is created.
- 1948: Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the first governor general of Pakistan, passes away
- 1951: Prime minister Khan Liaqat Ali Khan assassinated
- 1954: Government of Pakistan approves the National Anthem, written by Abul Asar Hafeez Jullundhri and composed by Ahmed G. Chagla.
- 1954: Constituent Assembly unanimously passes the resolution in favour of Urdu and Bengali as national languages.
- 1956: The Constituent Assembly promulgates first indigenous constitution
- 1956: Constituent Assembly decides the country shall be a Federal Republic known as Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
- 1958: After a military coup dictorial Ayub Khan takes over
- 1960: Ayub Khan becomes first elected president
- August 1, 1960: Islamabad is declared as the principal seat of the Government of Pakistan.
- January 2, 1964: Fatima Jinnah lost the presidential elections, Ayub completes the second term
- 1965: Second war between Pakistan and India over Kashmir
- 1969: Ayub Khan resigns; Yahya Khan declares martial law and assumes presidency
- 1971: East Pakistan attempts to secede, leading to civil war; India intervenes in support of East Pakistanis; Pakistan fights another war with India; East Pakistan breaks away to become Bangladesh; Yahya Khan resigns.
- 1972: Karachi labour unrest of 1972 and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto becomes president
- 1973: Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto becomes prime minister
- 1977: General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq overthrows prime minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and declares martial law
- 1978: General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq becomes Pakistan's sixth president
- 1979: Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto hanged
- 1979: The military ruler Zia Ul-Haq enacts the controversial Hudood Ordinances
- 1985: General elections held; Muhammad Khan Junejo becomes prime minister
- 1988: Army ammunition blown up in Ojheri camp, Rawalpindi; more than 100 people die.
- 1988: Zia dismisses Junejo's government; Zia dies in a plane crash; New elections held; Benazir Bhutto becomes prime minister
- 1988: Prominent Pashtun leadar Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan dies in Peshawar
- 1990: President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismisses Benazir Bhutto government; Mian Nawaz Sharif becomes the next prime minister
- 1991: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif begins economic liberalisation programme. Islamic Shariah law formally incorporated into legal code.
- 1993: President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif both resign under pressure from military. Benazir Bhutto becomes prime minister for the second time
- 1996: President Farooq Leghari dismisses Bhutto government
- 1997: General elections held; Nawaz Sharif becomes prime minister for the second time
- May 28, 1998: Pakistan conducts nuclear tests
- 1999: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif overthrown in military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf
|2001||20 June||General Pervez Musharraf dismissed the president and named himself to the post.|
|15 July||Agra Summit starts. President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee holds talks over long-standing issues.|
|14 August||New Local Government system installed, after holding of elections in three phases.|
|16 September||US Secretary of State Powell told that Pakistan's President Musharraf had agreed to support the U.S. anti-terrorist campaign.|
|10 November||US President Bush meets President Musharraf in New York and assures additional aid of one billion dollar.|
|2002||5 January||Musharraf stunned Vajpayee by a hand-shake at the last 11th SAARC summit in Kathmandu.|
|1 February||Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl killed in Karachi.|
|30 April||General Pervez Musharraf wins a referendum thus ensures 5 more years in office|
|24 August||President General Musharraf issues the Legal Framework Order 2002.|
|10 October||First general elections since the 1999 military coup held|
|23 November||Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali sworn in as Prime Minister.|
|2003||24 February||Senate elections: Ruling party wins most seats in voting to the upper house.|
|23 March||AAJ TV, Pakistan's premier channel inaugurated.|
|24 June||President Pervez Musharraf meets G.W. Bush in Camp David. US announces $3-billion five-year economic assistance package for Pakistan.|
|11 July||Lahore-Delhi bus service resumed after suspension of 18 months.|
|14 December||General Musharraf survived an assassination attempt in Rawalpindi.|
|2004||1 January||General Musharraf won a vote of confidence in the Senate, National Assembly, and provincial assemblies.|
|5 January||Musharraf meets Vajpayee in Islamabad, discusses Kashmir dispute.|
|22 May||Pakistan readmitted to Commonwealth.|
|26 June||Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali steps down and nominates Ch. Shujaat Hussain as his interim successor.|
|28 August||Shaukat Aziz becomes Prime Minister.|
|17 October||Pakistani physician Dr.Muhammad Saeed Fazal Karim Beebani sets new world record for having the smallest Holy Qur'an of the world. His claim was accepted by Guinness world record administration.|
|2005||13 July||136 people killed and about 170 injured in a collision of three passenger trains near Ghotki.|
|14 July||NWFP Assembly passes the Hasba bill with a majority vote.|
|19 July||Government of Pakistan launches country-wide crackdown against extremist elements.|
|8 October||A 7.5 magnitude earthquake kills an estimated 80,000 people in northern Pakistan. (see:2005 Pakistan earthquake)|
|11 October||Renowned littérateur, linguist and poet, Shanul Haq Haqqee, passes away in Toronto. He was 88.|
|2006||2 January||Dr. Shamshad Akhtar assumes office of State Bank Governor having the first woman Governor of SBP.|
|14 May||Charter of democracy (CoD) is signed by two former prime ministers of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto in London.|
|26 April||Pervez Musharraf lays foundation-stone of Diamir-Bhasha dam.|
|8 July||Process to release over 1600 women prisoners from 55 jails across starts after Presidential Ordinance.|
|10 July||Noted poet, writer and columnist, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, passes away in Lahore. He was 89.|
|26 August||Prominent Baloch leader and politician Sirdar Akbar Bugti killed by military|
|2007||9 March||President Musharraf dismissed Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar.|
|3 July||Pakistani security forces started operation Sunrise to liberate Lal Masjid from the fundamentalist Islamic militants|
|20 July||Iftikhar restored as Chief Justice of Pakistan.|
|18 October||Bhutto, Benazir returned to Pakistan, after exile of about 8 years.|
|3 November||Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency, most of the senior judges of Supreme Court ousted.|
|16 November||After completion of 5 years, National Assembly dissolved, Catetaker government of Muhammad Mian Soomro took oath.|
|25 November||Nawaz Sharif returned Pakistan after 7 years of forced exile.|
|16 December||Emergency lifted, banned civil rights and suspended constitution restored|
|27 December||Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto assassinated in Rawalpindi|
|2008||2 January||The Election Commission announces elections will now be held on February 18.|
|18 February||Elections are held amidst tight security. PPP, PML-N, PML-N and ANP win 124, 91, 54 and 13 seats respectively.|
|24 March||Yusuf Raza Gilani is elected as the new Prime Minister.|
|18 August||Pervaiz Musharraf steps down as President of Pakistan. Mohammadmian Soomro takes over as President.|
|6 September||Asif Zardari wins presidential election with 481 votes.|
|9 September||Asif Zardari takes oath as President of Pakistan.|
|2009||16 February||Pakistan government announces a truce with Taliban, acceptting a system of Islamic law in the Swat valley, conceding the area as a Taliban sanctuary.|
|9 March||Militants attack bus with the touring Sri Lankan cricket team. All international cricket matches in Pakistan are suspended. Pakistan also loses its status as hosts for the cricket World Cup 2011.|
|16 Marach||As the result of long march Lawyers' Movement succeeded. Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry was restored as Chief Justice of Pakistan and other judges dismissed by Musharraf.|
|23 May||Pakistan Army launched Operation Rah-e-Rast and cleared Swat Valley of all Taliban elements. It is regarded as one of the most successful counter-insurgency operations in modern age (to 15 July)|
- Gregory Possehl: The Indus Civilization. A Contemporary Perspective. Lanham 2002, S. 217ff.
- "History Through The Centuries". Heritage.gov.pk. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- The African Emergence and Early Asian Dispersals of the Genus Homo - American Scientist
- "Pakistan - Research - Archaeology - The University of Sheffield". Shef.ac.uk. 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
- Gandhara Civilization
- The Pathans, Olaf Caroe
- Battle of Miani, Enyclopedia Britannica
- Gregory Possehl: The Indus Civilization. A Contemporary Perspective. Lanham 2002