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Chronology of Pakistan


 The first session of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was held on August 10 and the next day it unanimously elected Mohammad Ali Jinnah as its first President. Pakistan appears on the world map on August 14 and Mr. Jinnah was sworn in as the first Governor General. Liaquat Ali Khan becomes the first Prime Minister of Pakistan.


 Jinnah died on September 11. Khawaja Nazimuddin becomes the Governor General and Molvi Tamizuddin Khan elected as the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly.


 On March 7, the Constituent Assembly approves the Objectives Resolution and appoints a Basic Principles Committee (BPC) to evolve the fundamental principles of the country's future constitution.


 The BPC presents its interim report to the Constituent Assembly on September 28. But the report was hastily withdrawn amid scathing criticism from the religious groups as well as the protagonists of provincial autonomy.


 On January 24, a conference of 31 prominent Ulema from different school of thoughts formulated 22 fundamental principles of the Islamic state. Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated on October, 16, 1951. No one knows till now why he was assassinated, apparently, by a hired killer Said Akbar at a public meeting in Rawalpindi. Khawaja Nazimuddin steps down (or forced to step down) to become the Prime Minister on October 19. Malik Ghulam Mohammad, the Finance Minister, who had served as a civil servant in the Indian Audit Service, sworn in as Governor General.


 The first ethnic riots in East Pakistan against attempts to make Urdu as the national language and lack of representation for Bengalis in central administration. The BPC presents the second revised report to the Constituent Assembly on November 23. The report called for a parity of representation between East and West Pakistan in parliament elected on the basis of separate balloting for minorities. It also recommended that no law would be made in violation of the tenets of the Quran and Sunnah.


 Martial Law imposed in Lahore to control the sectarian riots against Qadianis. This was the first sectarian rioting in the country and the army was called for the first time to control a civil strife. Governor General, Malik Ghulam Mohammad, sacked Prime Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin (although he enjoyed confidence of the parliament) and appointed Mohammad Ali Bogra to form a government on April 17. Mr. Bogra was summoned by the G.G. from the Washington, where he was serving as Pakistan's ambassador.


 Governor General, Ghulam Mohammad, declared emergency in the country and dissolved the Constituent Assembly on October 24. The Assembly had passed a bill in September which made the Governor General subservient to the advice of the Prime Minister. Mohammad Ali Bogra was again called to form a new government in which Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army, General Mohammad Ayub Khan, became the Defense Minister. He was the first serving C-in-C to join the cabinet. Pakistan joins Baghdad Pact (later known as Central Treaty Organization after the withdrawal of Iraq) and South East Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO), a US-sponsored military alliance to contain communism.


 On May 10, the Federal Court, headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Munir, declared the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly as justified on the principle of state necessity. A new Constituent Assembly, elected on June 21, held its first meeting in Murree on July 7. The Muslim League, which had a majority in the first Constituent Assembly, had suffered a set-back and it had only 25 members in the second assembly. Mohammad Ali Bogra resigned and another bureaucrat, Chaudhry Mohammad Ali, was installed as Prime Minister in August. In October, Major General Iskandar Mirza becomes Governor General following the resignation of Ghulam Mohammad because of health reasons. On October 14, the four provinces of West Pakistan merged into One Unit, causing resentment among the smaller provinces.


 On February 29, the Constituent Assembly approves a constitutional draft which came into effect on March 23. The constitution, based on the principle of "parity" between the two wings of the country, empowered the Federal government to strangulate the provinces. Iskandar Mirza becomes the first President of Pakistan. Hussein Shaheed Suhrawardy, who had refused to sign the 1956 constitution as a member of the Constituent Assembly, becomes Prime Minister in September to preserve and defend the same constitution.


 In October, Ismael Ibrahim Chundrigar replaced Suharwardy as Prime Minister. He remained in office for only 59 days and was forced to resign in December. Malik Feroz Khan Noon succeeds Chundrigar as Prime Minister. He was the seventh Prime Minister in 10 years.


 As the general elections under the 1956 constitution drew closer, President Iskandar Mirza, on October 7, abrogated the constitution and imposed martial law. On Oct. 27, the Supreme Court -- in Dosso case -- upheld the imposition of martial law as constitutional. The Chief Justice, Mohammad Munir, held that "a victorious revolution and a successful coup d' etat is an internationally recognized legal method of changing a constitution. On the same day President Iskandar Mirza was forced at gun point to step aside and hand over all power to General (later Field Marshal) Ayub Khan.


 Oct. 27, on the first anniversary of his seizure of power, Ayub Khan announces the system of Basic Democracies, comprising 80,000 Basic Democrat Wards. Between December 1959 and January 1960 elections to the Basic Democrat units were held in both wings of the country. The elected members formed an Electoral College to elect the members of the provincial and national assemblies.


 February 14, a referendum is held to elect the president. Ayub Khan, being the only candidate, received 95.6 per cent of the votes cast. On Feb. 17, Ayub Khan was sworn in as the "elected" president.


 May 6, the Constitution Commission, appointed by President Ayub Khan, presents its report to the President. The Commission pinpoints the following as the cause of the failure of the parliamentary form of government in Pakistan: (a) lack of proper elections and defects in the constitution; (b) undue interference by the head of state in the ministries and political parties by the Central Government in the functioning of governments in the provinces; and (c) lack of leadership, resulting in the lack of well organized and disciplined parties, the general lack of character in politicians, and their undue interference in the administration.


 March 1, Ayub Khan promulgates a constitution which sought to reinforce his authority in the absence of martial law. In April, Elections for the National and provincial assembly were held on the basis of Basic Democracies. July, the National Assembly passes the Political Parties Act, legalizing the formation of political parties.


 To avert any possibility of political agitation, Ayub Khan, in January, amends the Political Parties Act, which provided that the politicians disqualified under the Elected Bodies Disqualification Ordinance (EBDO) would become liable to two years imprisonment if they indulged in any political activity. A list of fundamental rights which were incorporated in the constitution through the first Amendment. However, a rider clause excluded some subjects from the operation of the Act of Fundamental Rights. March 2, Pakistan and China sign a border agreement.


 August, the National Assembly approves the Presidential Election Bill that called for holding of elections, on the basis of Basic Democracies, for the President, national and provincial assemblies in early 1965. According to the 1962 constitution, the first term of President Ayub was to expire on August 8, 1965.


 January 2, Ayub Khan defeats his main opponent, Miss Fatima Jinnah in the presidential elections amid opposition accusations of mass rigging of the polls. September 6, the Indo-Pakistan war begins as India attacks Pakistan. The 17-day war, when the East Pakistan was left undefended, weakened the already fraying national ties between the two wings.


 January 10, Pakistan and India sign an agreement in Tashkent to formally end the hostilities between the two countries. In February, the leader of the East Pakistan Awami League, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman announced his six points "charter for survival" that called for limiting the federal government to national defense and foreign affairs. December 31, the government lifts ban on the political activities of 65 prominent politicians under EBDO


 April, a conference of opposition parties in Dhaka, forms the National Democratic Front and announces an eight-point political program that called for limiting the federal government powers to defense, foreign affairs, currency and federal finance and inter-provincial communications and trade. It also called for a parliamentary form of government elected on the basis of adult franchise.


 November, students launch a nation-wide protest campaign against an ordinance which empowered the government to withdraw the degree of any student.


 February 4, President Ayub Khan agrees to call a conference of politicians to discuss the political problems. On February 21, President Ayub Khan announces that he will not be a candidate in the next presidential elections. March 10-13, the government and opposition political leaders meet in Rawalpindi but failed to reach any significant decision. March 25, President Ayub Khan violates his own constitution, imposes martial law, and hands over power to the Commander-in-chief of the army, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan, amid mounting anti-government demonstrations demanding resignation of Ayub Khan. March 31, General Yahya assumes the office of President. November 28, General Yahya announces his plan to hold general elections on the basis of adult franchise.


 March 29, General Yahya issued the Legal Framework Order, containing the rules relating to the holding of general elections and framing of the future constitution. June 30, One Unit dissolved in West Pakistan and the four provinces -- Baluchistan, North West Frontier Province, Punjab and Sindh -- restored. Elections scheduled to be held in October were postponed till December because of hurricane and floods in East Pakistan. December 7, elections for the National Assembly. December 17, elections for the provincial assemblies. The National Assembly elections accorded an overwhelming majority in the eastern wing to the Awami League (151 out of 162 seats) and to the Pakistan People's Party (81 out of 138 seats) in the western wing.


 February 13, Yahya Khan announces that the first session of the National Assembly will be held in Dhaka on March 3. Feb. 17, the PPP leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto announces that unless his party receives a positive and clear assurance from the East Pakistan Awami League leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman about the accommodation of the PPP's reasonable demands in the future constitution, he and his party would not attend the National Assembly session to be held in Dhaka. March 1, Yahya Khan, finding an excuse that the PPP, the largest party from West Pakistan, is not attending the session, postpones the first session of the National Assembly. March 16, Yahya and Mujib begin their constitutional negotiations, but under the facade of political talks, the junta completes its preparations for a military crackdown on the Bengalis. March 26, the Awami League declares the independence of Bangladesh. March 27, Sheikh Mujibur Rehman is arrested for treason. Yahya Khan orders military operation to suppress anti-government civil and guerrilla movement. November 23, Indian forces attack East Pakistan to help Bengalis. December 3, Indian forces also attack West Pakistan. December 17, Pakistan army surrenders arms in Dkhaka and Bangladesh comes into existence. December 20, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto takes over as President and Chief Martial Administrator.


 January 2, all major industries nationalized. Jan. 30, Pakistan quits the Commonwealth. April 20, the Supreme Court declares Yahya Khan's martial to be illegal. April 21, the interim constitution, drafted by the federal government, is introduced which limits the powers of the courts. May 11, Bhutto devalues rupee by 131 per cent and begins nationalization campaign. July 2, Pakistan and India sign Simla agreement to normalize relations. October, a special task force, the Federal Security Force created. November 20, Pakistan's first nuclear atomic reactor commissioned.


 April 10, the National Assembly approves the constitution unanimously which comes into force on August 14. April, Baluchistan government dismissed and the NWFP government resigns in protest. Army sent into Baluchistan to deal with insurrection. August 28, Pakistan and India sign an agreement in New Delhi on the return of Pakistani POWs in India and Bangladeshis in Pakistan.


 February 22-24, Bhutto hosts the second Islamic summit in Lahore. May 4, the first Constitution Amendment Act redefined the territories of Pakistan and the eastern wing was excluded. May 18, Bhutto talks about an "Islamic atom bomb" after India explodes a nuclear device. May 29, attack on Nishter Medical College students at Rabwa railway station sparks anti-Qadiani demonstrations. September 17, the second Constitution Amendment Act declares the Qadiani sect as non-Moslems. November 11, a PPP dissident, Ahmad Raza Qasuri files an First Information Report in Lahore, implicating Bhutto in the murder of his father Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Khan.


 February 10, the National Awami Party banned. Feb. 17, the NWFP cabinet dissolved and the province placed under governor's rule. February 18, the third Constitution Amendment Act empowered the government to detain a person without trial upto three months. October 30, the Supreme Court declares the NAP as illegal and held that the party had never reconciled itself to the existence and ideology of Pakistan. November 21, the fourth Constitution Amendment Act amends 10 articles and two schedules. December 31, Baluchistan government suspended and governor's rule imposed.


 September 13, the fifth Constitution Amendment Act amends 16 articles. December 31, the sixth Constitution Amendment Act amends four articles related to the retirement of the Supreme and High Court judges. December, Pakistan and Bangladesh establish diplomatic relations.


 January 7, Bhutto announces mid-term polls and the nine opposition parties form the Pakistan National Alliance to contest the elections. March 10, the PNA, routed in the elections ( got only 36 out of 200 seats in the National Assembly while the opposition boycotted the provincial assembly elections in which the People's Party got 435 out of 460 seats ) accuses the Bhutto government of mass riggings in the elections and demands fresh polls and the immediate resignation of Bhutto. April 21, martial law imposed in Karachi, Hyderabad and Lahore amid violent anti-government demonstrations. May 16, the seventh Constitution Amendment Act, provided that the Prime Minister might seek a vote of confidence from the people through a referendum. The amendment also provided that a High Court could not exercise any jurisdiction under article 199 in relation to the areas where the army is called in aid of the civil administration. June 8, negotiations between the government and opposition leaders begin. July 5, General Ziaul Haq, the hand-picked C-in-C stages a coup d'état but promises to hold elections within 90 days. October 1, General Zia announces postponement of elections until the "process of accountability has been completed." September 3, Bhutto is arrested in the murder case of Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Khan Qasuri. November 10, the Supreme Court, in Begum Nusrat Bhutto case, unanimously validates imposition of martial law under the doctrine of necessity.


 March 18, Lahore High Court sentences Bhutto and four FSF officials to death in the murder case of Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Khan Qasuri. May 6, the Supreme Court begins hearing an appeal against the Lahore High Court verdict against Bhutto. September, President Chaudhry Fazal Ilahi retires as his term of office expires and General Zia becomes president.


 February 6, the Supreme Court, in a majority decision, rejects appeal of Bhutto and four others. March 25, the Supreme Court rejects a review petition of all the five convicts. April 1, President General Ziaul Haq rejects the mercy petition and Bhutto is executed on April 4. February, General Zia, to legitimize military rule, begins the process of Islamization with the promulgation of Hudood Ordinances and established Shariah Benches. November 21, the US Embassy in Islamabad ransacked during the anti-US demonstrations. December 27, Soviet troops enter into Afghanistan and Pakistan becomes a front-line state for the west.


 January, Pakistan hosts an emergency meeting of the Islamic Foreign Ministers to discuss the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. May, full-fledged Federal Shariah Court established. June 30, Zakat and Ushr Ordinance promulgated.


 February, Movement for Restoration of Democracy formed. March 24, General Zia promulgates a Provisional Constitutional Order, purported to validate everything done by him since its coup, virtually ending the independence of the judiciary -- 19 judges fired. July, Pakistan and US sign an agreement to provide Pakistan with $ 3.2 billion economic and military aid. August 30, Pakistan Steel Mill, built with the help of Soviet Union, inaugurated. October 20, the US Senate lifts ban on assistance to Pakistan imposed in 1979 over its nuclear program.


 July, reporting of all political news banned as Movement for Restoration of Democracy demands elections and restoration of 1973 constitution.


 Army sent into Sindh to suppress revolt against the military government.


 December, General Zia holds a referendum on Islam to legitimize his dictatorial rule.


 February, elections for the national and provincial assemblies are held on non-party basis. March 23, Mohammed Khan Junejo appointed as the civilian Prime Minister while martial law remains in force. November 9, the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) approved the controversial 8th amendment to the constitution under the threat of martial law. December 31, martial law lifted.


 Junejo forms Muslim League parliamentary party in the parliament elected on the basis of non-party basis and formally allows the political parties to function. April, Benazir Bhutto returns to Pakistan to a tumultuous welcome in Lahore. 1987: May, Junejo government curtails the defense budget and limits certain benefits to the civilian and military bureaucracy. November, Foreign Minister, General Sahibzada Yaqub Ali Khan, replaced by Zain Nourani.


 April 10, explosion at the Ojheri armament depot near Rawalpindi. April, 14, Pakistan signs on the agreement on the Soviet troops withdrawal from Afghanistan. May 29, Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo, soon after his return from a foreign tour, sacked. June 3, Nawaz Sharif appointed the Chief Minister of the Punjab. July 20, General Zia announces that elections for the national assembly will be held on November 16. August 17, General Ziaul Haq dies in a C-130 plane crash and the Senate Chairman Ghulam Ishaq Khan takes over as the acting president. November 16, Benazir Bhutto's PPP emerges as the largest party in the general elections. December, Benazir sworn in as the Prime Minister; Ghulam Ishaq Khan elected as the President; Nawaz Sharif forms government of the Punjab province; Baluchistan Assembly dissolved.


 January, law and order situation starts deteriorating amid bomb explosions in the Punjab and decoits activities in the Sindh province. March, Benazir's federal government, fails to topple the government of Nawaz Sharif in the Punjab province through vote of no-confidence despite horse trading. August, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan foils Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's attempt to remove the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Sirhoney. November 1, the combined opposition unsuccessfully moves a motion of no-confidence against Benazir's government but she found her support had dwindled from 148 to 119 in the National Assembly. December, Differences between Prime Minister Benazir and President Ghulam Ishaq Khan emerge over the of appointment of the Supreme Court Justice.


 January, the Baluchistan High Court restores the provincial assembly. May 27, security forces open fire at a crowd of Mohajirs emerging from Hyerabad's Pucca Qila fort, killing 28 women and children according to official accounts. July, Benazir government declines to give judicial powers to the army to restore law and order in the Sindh province. August 6, Benazir's government sacked and the national and provincial assemblies dissolved. October, the Islamic Jamhoori Ittehad captures majority seats in the National Assembly and Nawaz Sharif becomes Prime Minister.


 National Finance Commission constituted to make recommendation on arrangements for the distribution of domestically mobilized resources between the federal and provincial governments. Indus Water Apportionment Treaty divides the water resources among the four provinces. Cooperative societies scam in which the politicians robbed the national development financial institutions of over 29 billions rupees. June, the National Assembly approves the Shariah Act. July, the 12th amendment of the constitution takes away the writ jurisdiction of the High Courts and the Supreme Court in cases that are to be tried before the various Special Courts and provided for an increase in salaries and allowances for the judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court.


 January 2, the Federal Shariah Court declares riba (interest) as un-Islamic. May 19, the army called out to restore deteriorating law and order in the Sindh province. June 19, General Asif Nawaz Janjua launches a "cleanup operation" in the interior of Sindh as well as crackdown against the MQM. December 19, Benazir Bhutto leads the long march to Islamabad against the Nawaz government.


 January, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan appoints General Abdul Waheed Chief of Army Staff, against the wishes of Nawaz Sharif. March, the Muslim League President, Mohammad Khan Junejo, dies and Nawaz Sharif nominated as the next party leader which divided the PML into Nawaz and Junejo groups. April 18, the president sacks Nawaz Sharif government and appoints Balkh Sher Mazari as the interim Prime Minister. April , Nawaz Sharif challenges his dismissal in the Supreme Court. May 26, the Supreme Court declares President's order as illegal and restores the Nawaz government. July, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resign under army pressure. Dr. Moeen Qureshi, a former World Bank Vice President takes over as Prime Minister. Oct. 6, none of the political parties get an-over all majority in the general elections but the PPP gets majority seats in the National Assembly as well as in the Punjab and Sindh provinces. Oct. 19, Benazir Bhutto sworn-in as Prime Minister for the second time. Nov. 13, Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari elected as the President.


 February 27, the central government topples the Muslim League government of Pir Sabir Shah in the NWFP through horse trading and installs the PPP government. April, the arrest of the Mehran Bank Chief Executive Yunus Habib lifts the screen from one of the biggest financial scandals in Pakistan history that implicated politicians of the ruling and as well opposition parties and the army generals. November, army withdrawn from the Sindh province and replaced with Rangers, - under army officers' command - who launch a ruthless operation against the MQM (Altaf group).


 February 22, the two Christians -- Salamat Masih and Rehmat Masih sentenced to death by a Sessions Judge for blasphemy -- acquitted from the charges by the Lahore High Court. April, the Terrorist Affected Areas (Special Courts) Act amended to provide that a statement or confession before a police officer of the rank of DSP and above, will be considered admissible in court. June, 280 people killed as rangers continue operation against the MQM in Karachi. September, the central government topples the PML/J government of Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo but fails to install the PPP government and forced to accept Arif Nakai of the PML/J as a compromise Chief Minister. December, death toll reaches to 1800 in the anti-MQM operation, according to official count.


March 20:

 The Supreme Court, in a land mark judgment, held that the consultation with the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, in the appointment of judges to the Courts "should be effective, meaningful, purposive, consensus-oriented, leaving no room for complaint of arbitrariness or unfair play." The Supreme Court also directed the federal government to appoint permanent chief justices in higher courts where at present constitutional functions are being performed by acting chief justices appointed by the government. The SC judgment also upheld the rule of seniority in respect of the appointment of high court chief justices. The Court struck down Article 203-C of the constitution, (which provided for the transfer of judges to the Shariah Court) an amendment made by General Zia, on the ground of conflict with Article 209.

May 19:

 The Supreme Court returns a constitutional reference, filed by the president three days earlier, against the apex court decision, saying it had not been signed by the President as required by the constitution. On the same day the federal government files a review petition against the Supreme Court decision.

May 26:

 Supreme Court Judge Mir Hazar Khan Khoso announces his dissenting judgment which, inter alia, said that the President has the power under the constitution to appoint judges and that no time-limit can be fixed for filling in the permanent vacancies for judges in the superior courts.

June 13:

 The chief justices of the Supreme Court and the four provincial High Courts ordered the sacking 24 judges -- all of whom were appointed by the Benazir government which had refused to sack those judges.

June 26:

 The Supreme Court restored the PML (Nawaz Group) dominated, local municipal councils in Punjab, which were disbanded in 1993 before completion of their tenure. The next day, the Punjab Assembly passed in less than three hours, a bill to offset the Supreme Court order. The new legislation, which repealed the Punjab Local Government Ordinance, 1979, again dissolved the local bodies.

July 2:

 Pakistan's press stages a strike to protest against the imposition of a General Sales Tax on newspapers and enhance import duty on news print.

Sept 7:

 With external debt standing at $29.57 billion, Pakistan is the world's 18th most indebted country, according to World Debt Tables.

Sept 8:

 LHC asks government counsel to inquire from the MI and FIU whether an Islamabad family missing for months is in their custody.

Sept 11:

 Two sisters of Tando Bahawal village set themselves ablaze in front of the Suppression of Terrorist Activities Court in Hyderabad to protest against the delay in punishment to the army Major Arshad Jamil and others convicted of the murder of nine villagers.

Sept. 20:

 Mir Murtuza Bhutto, 42, brother of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and head of the Pakistan People's Party (Shaheed Bhutto group) was gunned down by the police near his 70 clifton residence in Karachi.

Sept 23

: Four gunmen opened indiscriminate fire at a Fajr congregation at Al Khair mosque in Multan, killing 23 worshippers and wounding 50 others.

Oct. 17:

 Baluchistan Assembly rejects resolution on giving Urdu national language status.

Oct. 22:

 President's counsel tells Supreme Court that Mr. Leghari has been found not guilty of involvement in the Mehran Bank scandal by an inquiry committee.

Oct. 23:

 Supreme Court stays LHC ruling that a Muslim woman cannot marry without the consent of her wali.

Oct. 24:

 Feroza Begum of the MQM resigns from the Sindh cabinet, saying she had joined government to save her son's life: appears before the supreme Court.

Oct. 27:

 Supreme Court rejects Capt Arshad Jamil's review petition He was sentenced to be hanged in the Tando Bahal massacre case.

Oct. 28:

 Capt. Arshad Jamil is executed in Hyderabad.

Nov. 3:

 The Lahore High Court restores the Watto government but asks him to seek a vote of confidence in 10 days while 85 PDF MPAs file a no-trust move against him.

-----------Supreme Court Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah says that in view of one of its rulings, it is proper for the president to repromulgate ordinances.

Nov. 4:

 President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari, exercising his powers under Article 58-2(b) of the constitution, dismissed the government of Benazir Bhutto and dissolved the National Assembly.

Nov. 18:

 Ordinance to try the corrupt is promulgated: chief accountability commissioner to be appointed.

Nov. 19:

 The Supreme Court returns former PM Benazir Bhutto's petition challenging the dissolution of the NA on the ground that it is objectionable and scandalous in parts.

----------The Supreme Court stays proceedings before the STA Court No. 2, Hyderabad, which had declared Mr. Mumtaz Ali Bhutto, caretaker CM Sindh, a proclaimed offender in a sedition case registered in 1986.

Nov. 20:

 Ghulam Mujadaid Mirza, former chief justice of Lahore High Court is appointed as the Chief Accountability Commissioner.

Nov. 21:

 Ms Bhutto submits amended petition against her dismissal to the Supreme Court.

Dec. 8:

 The Mehran Bank Commission exonerates President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari from any wrong doing in his land deal through the Mehran Bank chief Younis Habib. But the Commission did not mention to whom the land was sold by the President for Rs. 15 million and from which account the money was debited to make the payment.


Jan. 4:

 The Jamat-e-Islami men withdraw their candidatures for the February elections.

Jan. 5:

 Caretaker Prime Minister, Meraj Khalid, fears country's fragmentation in 20 years.

Jan. 6:

 President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari amended the rules of business to establish the Council for Defense and National Security (CDNS) providing a role of the army in the affairs of the government.

Jan. 12:

 The Supreme Court upholds the 8th Amendment; terms Article 58(2(b as a deterrent to martial law.

Jan. 18:

 Sipah-i-Sahaba Chief Maulana Ziaur Rehman Farooqi was killed along with 18 other people in a bomb blast in the Lahore Sessions Court. The next day the SSP activists protesting against the killing of their leader torched the Iranian Culture Center in Lahore

Jan. 26:

 The Punjab government issues lists of defaulters: it includes 81 NA and 131 PA candidates.

* The president's counsel tells the Supreme Court that the central government was a partner in the extra judicial killings in Karachi.

Jan. 29:

 The Supreme Court upholds the president's order dissolving the National Assembly and dismissing Ms Bhutto's government. PPP workers clash with the police outside the Supreme Court building. Ms Bhutto says the court verdict is timed to influence the election results.

Jan. 30:

 The JUP joins the Jamaat-e-Islami in its call for boycotting the elections.

* The PML pays Rs. 1.7 million and the PPP gives Rs. 1.25 million to PTV for air time.

Feb. 1:

 General Aslam Beg tells the Supreme Court that the ISI received Rs. 140 million during the 1990 elections.

Feb. 3:

 The PML sweeps the polls in the Punjab; emerges strong in the NWFP as the largest single party. ANP-PML alliance gets 65 seats in the province. Imran Khan loses in all eight constituencies. Mustafa Khan, Sardar Asif Ahmad Ali, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Yousef Raza Gilani, Nasrullah Khan, Ghinwa Bhutto were among prominent losers.

* PML, allies achieve two-thirds majority. In the Punjab, the PPP gets only two seats in the provincial elections. Election brings in 95 new faces in the Punjab Assembly.

* The tribal area go to the polls on the basis of adult franchise for the first time.

Feb. 4:

 The HRCP says there is discrepancy in the number of votes cast and the results announced.

Feb. 5:

 The PPP central executive committee rejects election results but said it will not launch any movement for the time being.

* The US State Department rejects allegations of electoral irregularities in the Pakistani elections.

Feb. 6:

 LHC upholds formation CDNS, says it is up to parliament to retain or disband it.

Feb. 14:

 PML and allied parties unanimously elect Mr. Nawaz Sharif as the parliamentary leader in the National Assembly with 146 MNAs attending.

* Maulana Fazlur Rahman, president of his own faction of the JUI alleges that the February elections were rigged.


 The Human Rights Council of Pakistan declares that the February 3 elections were fair and impartial.

Feb. 17:

 Nawaz Sharif sowrn-in as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Feb. 19:

 Nawaz Sharif won a vote of confidence in the National Assembly with 177 against 16 votes.

Feb. 20:

The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) formally assumed power in the Punjab with the swearing in of the prime minister's brother, Shahbaz Sharif, as chief minister. Unofficially, however, the party took control of the provincial administration the moment the Nakai government was dismissed.

Feb. 23:

In a nationwide speech the Prime Minister announces a "national debt retiring programme, urging the people donate and invest money in government's debt retiring schemes.

* He also shifts the weekly holiday from Friday to Sunday. The religious parties denounced the move as an attempt to erase this Islamic symbol.

* Benazir Bhutto appears before the judicial tribunal and claims that President Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari was behind his brother, Mir Murtuza Bhutto's assassination.

Feb. 24:

General Mirza Aslam Beg, tells the Supreme Court he was not answerable to it regarding the alleged funding of the IJI campaign in 1990.

March 2:

 After scrutiny of nomination papers for Senate election, all the 12 PML candidates returned unopposed. Among those elected unopposed were two retired judges, Rafiq Ahmad Tarar and Afzal Loan who were on the Supreme Court bench that reinstated Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister in May 1993.

March 3:

 In a train crash near Khanewal, 129 people were killed and several others injured.

* U.S. identifies Pakistan as a major money-laundering country.

March 6:

The LHC holds that an adult sane girl is fully empowered to marry without her wali's (guardian's) consent.

March 9:

PM instructs election commission to give voting right to overseas Pakistanis.

March 10:

 The Registration of Press & Publications Ordinance 1977 issued to curb freedom of press and expression.
In its judgment in the Saima case, the LHC rules that a woman can marry without the wali's consent.

March 12:

 In the Senate elections from Sindh Baluchistan and the NWFP, the PML wins 11 seats. Asif Ali Zardari of the PPP also gets in.

March 16:

 Punjab provinces faces acute shortage of flour.

March 22:

 Wasim Sajjad retains Senate chiarmanship.

April 1:

 Section 58(2)B of the Eighth Amendment is deleted through the 13th Amendment passed by both  Houses of parliament (79-0 and 190-0). It does away with the president's power to dissolve parliament. The PM also gets the power to appoint services chiefs and governors in that it will now be mandatory for the President to seek the former's advice in this regard.

April 4:

 Flour crisis worsens in the NWFP.

April 5:

 Violence erupts in the NWFP over flour shortage.

April 6:

 People loot flour bags in Lahore.

April 7:

 Flour crisis worsens in the NWFP.

April 15:

 A Pakistan Air Force officer confesses to smuggling heroin in New York.

April 24:

 The Naval Chief Admiral Mansoorul Haq resigns in the backdrop of corruption allegations. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had asked the Admiral to quit. This was the first time in Pakistan's history that a chief of army force had been asked to step down by the Prime Minister. The naval chief had been charged in the national press of accepting kickbacks on a submarine deal with France.

May 23:

 Chief Justices' committee opposes setting up of speedy trial courts.

May 24:

 The federal government announces that it will not withdraw rangers from Karachi.

May 25:

 Government agrees to pay compensation to victims of extra-judicial killings in Karachi.

May 29:

 The National Assembly amends the Ehtesab Law shifting the power of investigating charges of corruption from the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner to the Ehtesab Cell set up by Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif. The amendment also changed the starting date for accountability from the original 31st December 1985 to 31st December 1985 to 6 November 1990.

June 5:

 Nuclear reactor near Khushab becomes operational.

June 6:

 A Pakistan Air Force officer sacked, gets 10 years imprisonment for drugs smuggling.

June 8:

 The special tribunal terms Mir Mutruza Bhutto's murder as extra-judicial, saying that police acted on orders from high authority.

June 16:

 A writ filed in the Supreme Court for closure of Inter-Services Intelligence's political cell.

June 18:

 Mir Aimal Kansi, accused of killing CIA employees in U.S., taken into custody and flown to U.S.

June 27:

 Prime Minister forms a commission to probe extra-judicial killings in Karachi.

July 5:

 Charges framed against Asif Zardari in Murtuza's murder case.

July 26:

 MQM renames itself as Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

August 7:

 Two PAF men convicted of drugs smuggling.

August 8:

 Three former Air chiefs ask PM to eliminate kickbacks from defense purchases.

August 13:

 National Assembly passes Anti-Terrorism Bill.

August 15:

 Bar bodies condemn the anti-terrorism act.

August 20:

 Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, fails to convince Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah of the need of establishing special courts.

Sept 15:

 Swiss government freezes bank accounts of Benazir and members of her family.

Oct 14:

 DEA employee Ayaz Baloch sentenced to 10 years RI for seducing a PAF officer into drugs trafficking.

Oct. 15:

 Swiss banks freeze $13.7 million in bank accounts of Benazir, Asif and Nusrat Bhutto.

Oct. 25:

 The Murtaza Bhutto murder case was transferred to an anti-terrorism court, a bitter reminder that 'special' courts are merely a weapon in the hands of the ruling party.

Nov. 11:

 Aimal Kansi sentenced to life imprisonment for 1993 murder of a CIA employee.

Nov. 12:

 Four Americans, their driver gunned down in Karachi.

Nov. 13:

 The NWFP Provincial Assembly calls for renaming the province as Pakhtunkhwa.

Nov. 14:

 Aimal Kansi gets death sentence for murder of another CIA employee.

Dec. 2:

 President Leghari steps down: Sentate Chairman Wasim Sajjad, takes over as acting president.

Dec. 15:

 PML names Justice (retired) Rafiq arar as presidential candidate.

Dec. 16:

 Nominations for presidential polls filed by 29 candidates.

Dec. 18:

 Chief Election Commissioner rejects Tarar's nomination papers for his alleged remarks against the judiciary.

Dec. 19:

 Lahore High Court stays CEC's order against Tarar.

Dec. 29:

 Justice Abdul Qadeer Chaudhry, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, sworn-in as the Chief Election Commissioner, to replace Justice Junejo who had rejected Tarar's nomination papers.

Dec. 31:

 Senator Rafiq Tarar elected president by an over whelming majority.


Sept. 1:

 Government decision to reduce strength of judges challenged in the Supreme Court.

Sept. 5:

 Chief Justice suspends president's order reducing the number of judges from 17 to 12.

Sept. 16:

 The federal government withdraws notification curtailing SC strength.

Oct. 10:

 The Acting Chief Justice, Ajmal Mian, calls a full court session to discuss the issue of number of judges in the Supreme Court.

Oct. 12:

 The Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah returns from Saudi Arabia and orders cancellation of full court meeting and renewed his demand for the restoration of number of judges in the SC to 17.

Oct. 17:

 Seven SC judges requisition full court meeting to discuss government-judiciary tussle over appointment of judges.

Oct. 18:

 CJ Sajjad Ali Shah rejects request for convening full court.

Oct. 27:

 SC rejects government's appeal for in camera hearing in ISI case,

Oct. 29:

 SC suspends operation of 14th Amendment. NA adopts a resolution affirming supremacy of parliament.

Oct. 30:

 SC receives contempt of court petition against PM, five others over criticism of the Chief Justice in parliament.

* SC asks president to notify elevation of five High Court judges without seeking PM's approval. Premier asks president not to act on the order for 30 days.

Oct. 31:

 PM accepts CJ's demands about the appointment of judges.

Nov. 3:

 SC issues notices to PM on contempt petition.

Nov. 4:

 Five judges take oath after elevated to SC.

Nov. 14:

 PM decides to appear in SC to face contempt charges.

 Nov. 17:

 PM appears in SC, denies committing contempt of court.

 Nov. 18:

 SC issues contempt notice to NA secretary for not submitting compete record of proceedings.

Nov. 19:

 SC charge sheets PM, 11 others in contempt case.

Nov. 20:

 SC asks President not to assent Contempt of Court bill.

* SC receives petitions challenging validity of 13th Amendment.

Nov. 21:

 SC issues notice to govt. in 13th Amendment case.

Nov. 24:

 SC issues notices in land allotment case.

Nov. 26:

 SC Quetta bench holds CJ's appointment in abeyance.

* PM sends to president the name of the new Chief Justice for approval.

Nov. 27:

 Five-member SC bench annuls Quetta bench's verdict over CJ's suspension.

* SC Peshawar bench endorses Quetta bench's order.

* Rowdy scenes in SC obstruct hearing in the 13th Amendment case.

Nov. 28:

 Demonstrators demanding CJ's resignation storm SC building.

* CJ asks president to arrange army protection for judges.

* Justice Saiduzzaman assumes administrative control of SC and constitutes full court for hearing cases against CJ.

Nov. 29:

 President blames PML for SC siege; PM rejects president's request to deploy army for judges' protection.

* CJ writes to army chief over judges' security.

* SC issues two cause lists.

Nov. 30:

PM accuses President of causing political crisis.

* CJ cancels full court orders. Ten judges ask government to ignore cancellation order.

Dec. 1:

 Supreme Court Bar Association tries in vain to prevent two separate SC sittings.

Dec. 2:

Three-man bench headed by CJ suspends 13th Amendment; the other bench suspends CJ's order.

* President Leghari steps down; Senate Chairman Wasim Sajjad takes over as acting president.

* 10-member SC bench asks Justice Ajmal Mian to take over administrative control.

Dec. 3:

Justice Ajmal Mian sworn in as acting chief justice.

* SC bench issues notice to Justice Sajjad in petitions challenging his appointment.

 Dec 23: SC bench declares illegal the appointment of Sajjad Ali Shah as chief justice: Justice Ajmal Mian takes oath as CJ.


Jan. 1:

Rafiq Ahmad Tarar sworn-in as the President of Pakistan by the newly appointed Chief Justice, Ajmal Mian to succeed Farooq Ahmad Leghari.

Jan. 12: A five-member bench headed Chief Justice Ajmal Mian asks the government to ensure that no provision of the Contempt of Court Bill was violative of the independence of the judiciary. The bench observed: "It will be desirous that the concerned functionaries should examine the contents of the Bill in order to see whether the proposed Act contains any provision which may be violative of any provision of the Constitution or which may tend to interfere with the independence of judiciary."

Jan 27:

 National Assembly Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Syed Zafar Ali Shah supports the idea that the defence expenditure should be debated in parliament so that the nation could know how the defence budget was spent.

Feb. 2:

 Khalid Anwer, federal law minister, says the government might introduce some amendments to the Contempt Act at later stage with the aim to improve the law.

Feb 4:

 The federal government amends the Ehtesab Act, replacing the name, "Ehtesab Cell", with "Ehtesab Bureau", and provided powers of an SHO to the chief of Ehtesab Bureau or any other official designated by him for the purpose of investigation. The amended law provides indemnity to officials of the Ehtesab Bureau on acts deemed to have been done on "good faith". The amendments were introduced into the Ehtesab Act through a presidential ordinance, the first by President Rafiq Tarar, under clause 1 of Article 87 of the constitution.

Feb 6:

 A division bench of the Sindh High Court acquits Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain and 18 other top leaders in the Major Kaleem kidnapping case and overturned Altaf Hussain's 27-year jail sentence ordered by a special Suppression of Terrorist Activities (STA) court. The Major Kalim kidnapping case took a new turn, on Feb. 4, when a prosecution witness confessed that the name of MQM chief Altaf Hussain had been belatedly inserted in the FIR. The officer who had conducted the initial investigation into the case, told the court that Mr Hussain's name was included in the challan against him after the start of the army operation against the MQM.

 Feb 7:

 President Rafiq Tarar signs the Contempt of Court (Amendment) bill. The Bill was pending for assent since Nov 20, 1997, when a three-member bench headed by the then chief justice Sajjad Ali Shah had directed the president not to assent it. The contempt law provides right of appeal to a person convicted under the contempt law under the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction, and mere filing of an appeal against the conviction will mean automatic stay. The law was passed by parliament when the Supreme Court headed by Justice Sajjad Ali Shah had initiated contempt of court proceedings against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and seven other legislators.

Feb 9:

 The Lahore High Court accepts the constitutional petition filed by Rafiq Tarar against his disqualification by the (former) Acting CEC and declared him qualified to contest for and hold the office of President. The acting CEC, Justice Mukhtar Ahmed Junejo of the Supreme Court, had found Mr Tarar, a former Supreme Court Judge, guilty of propagating views prejudicial to the integrity and independence of the judiciary at the time of his nomination as a presidential candidate under Article 63(G) of the Constitution and debarred him from the December, 1997 contest.

Feb 11:

 A retired Pakistan Army major has been indicted for heroin smuggling in a Los Angeles court. Major Mohammed Shafiq, said to be under arrest in Pakistan, was part of an international gang which smuggled hundreds of kilograms of heroin from Pakistan to north America for ultimate street sale in Vancouver, Canada, prosecutors said. Prosecutors in Los Angeles said Major Shafiq was working alone and the Pakistan Army as such was not involved in the smuggling racket.

Feb 12:

 The Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory was reported under pressure from the government to issue 'positive results' about weapons used in cases being tried by the special courts set up under the Anti-terrorist Act, 1997. Press reports quoted the lab sources as saying that weapons used in more than 1,000 cases were sent to the Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory to ascertain whether or not they were used by the accused during the terrorist or sectarian act for which he was being tried. Interestingly, all the weapons tested positive with the experts, providing sufficient evidence for the prosecution to obtain maximum punishment for the accused. Sources alleged the officials of the Forensic Science Laboratory were being directed by the government to issue 'positive results' in all cases involving sectarian incidents.

Feb 17:

 A supreme court bench headed by Chief Justice Ajmal Mian agreed to treat as a mere "show cause notice" a "chargesheet" issued to Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif by a bench headed by the former chief justice, Justice (retd) Sajjad Ali Shah, for alleged contempt of court.


Pakistan explodes nuclear devices in response to India's nuclear tests and faces worldwide crticism and sanctions

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