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Pakistan's stormy political history

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  1. mujahideen

    mujahideen SENIOR MEMBER

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    Pakistan's stormy political history

    (Reuters) - Pakistanis will vote on Monday in a general election that is meant to be part of a transition to full civilian rule in a country that has been led by generals for half the 60 years since it was carved out of the partition of India.

    The Feb. 18 vote is the 9th parliamentary election. Here are some key events in the political history of Pakistan.


    1947:

    -- Pakistan born out of bloody partition of the British-ruled India on Aug. 14. It consists of two wings separated by northern India; West Pakistan and East Pakistan, present day Bangladesh.


    1948

    -- Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan and first governor general dies. Pakistan fights first war with India.


    1951:

    -- Assassin kills the first prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan at a rally in the city of Rawalpindi.


    1954:

    -- Governor General Ghulam Muhammad dissolves the first Constituent Assembly just before a constitution can be passed.


    1956:

    -- First constitution declares Pakistan an Islamic Republic.

    -- Former general Sikandar Mirza becomes the first president.


    1958

    -- Mirza abrogates constitution, imposes first martial law and puts army chief General Muhammad Ayub Khan in charge. Khan later becomes president.


    1965

    -- Pakistan fights second war with India.


    1969

    -- General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan imposes second martial law, after street protests in 1968 precipitate the downfall of his predecessor, Ayub Khan.


    1970

    -- Pakistan holds first general election. The vote is the only one regarded as having been fair but it ends in the country's division as a party in East Pakistan wins a majority, which is unacceptable to the establishment in West Pakistan. The army is sent to suppress an uprising in the East.


    1971

    -- After a third war with India, the East Pakistan declares independence and becomes Bangladesh. In the West, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto takes over as prime minister of Pakistan.


    1973

    -- National Assembly unanimously passes a constitution that many Pakistanis now yearn to go back to.


    1977

    -- Army chief General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq overthrows Bhutto in a coup and imposes third martial law.


    1979

    -- Bhutto hanged after a controversial murder case. The hanging was widely regarded as judicial murder by the military.

    -- Soviet invasion of Afghanistan transforms Haq into a U.S. ally, in a covert war arming Islamist fighters, including future al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, to liberate Afghanistan.


    1985

    -- General elections held on non-party basis.


    1988

    -- Haq dismisses government and dissolves assemblies, then dies in a mysterious plane crash. Pakistanis elect Bhutto's daughter, Benazir, prime minister.


    1990

    -- President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolves Bhutto's government on corruption charges. Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League and a pro-establishment candidate, wins election.


    1993

    -- Khan dismisses Sharif government but Supreme Court overturns the president's action. Deadlocked, Khan and Sharif both resign. Bhutto wins election.


    1996

    -- President Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari dismisses Bhutto's second government on corruption charges.


    1997

    -- Sharif wins election to become prime minister again.


    1998

    -- Pakistan becomes a nuclear-armed state, following a similar move by rival India.


    1999

    -- General Pervez Musharraf overthrows Sharif in coup.


    2001

    -- Musharraf, by then president, is transformed from international pariah into a valued U.S. ally following al Qaeda's Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.


    2002

    --- A general election and referendum, both regarded as rigged, consolidate Musharraf's position.


    2007

    -- Musharraf suspends constitution, imposes emergency rule and sacks judges who might have annulled his re-election. He quits as army chief before being sworn in as a civilian president.

    -- Bhutto, who had returned from exile, assassinated after rally in Rawalpindi. Election set for Jan. 8 postponed to Feb. 18.