Pakistan traces its history back to 2,500 years B.C., when a highly developed civilization flourished in the Indus Valley. Excavations at Harrappa, Moenjodaro, Kot Diji and Mehr Garh have brought to light, the evidence of an advanced civilization existing even in more ancient times. Around 1,500 B.C., the Aryans overwhelmed this region and influenced the Hindu civilization, whose centre moved to Ganges valley, further east. Later, the Persians occupied the northern region in the 5th century B.C. up to the 2nd century AD. The Greeks came in 327 B.C., under Alexander of Macedonia, and passed away like a meteor. In 712 AD, the Arabs, led by Muhammad Bin Qasim, landed somewhere near modern Karachi and ruled the lower half of Pakistan for 200 years. During this time, Islam took roots in the soil and influenced the life, culture and traditions of the people.
In the 10th century AD, began the systematic conquest of South Asia by the Muslims from Central Asia, who ruled here up to the 18th century. Then the British came and ruled for nearly 100 years over what is Pakistan now.


The Muslim revival began towards the end of the last century when Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, a renowned Muslim leader and educationist, launched a movement for intellectual renaissance of the Muslims of South Asia. In 1930, the well-known poet-philosopher, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, conceived the idea of a separate state for the Muslims of South Asia. In 1940, a resolution was adopted by the All-India Muslim League, demanding a separate independent home land for the Muslims. After 07 years of un-tiring struggle under the brilliant leadership of Quaid-e-Azam (the great leader) Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan emerged on the world map as a sovereign state, on 14th August, 1947.


This is the summary of important historical events of the subcontinent.


3000-1500 B.C.

Harappan culture in the Indus Valley and elsewhere

500-500 B.C

Migrations of Aryan-speaking tribes; the Vedic Age

550-486 B.C

Life of Gautama Buddha, founding of Buddhism

320-180 B.C

Mauryan Empire; Asoka most famous emperor; spread of Buddhism

180 B.C - 150 A.D.

Saka dynasties in Indus Valley and northwest

78-200 A.D.

Kushan Empire; Gandharan art flourishes

300-700 A.D

Gupta Empire; Classical Age in northern India



Arab Muslims in Sindh


Mahmud of Ghazni raids into the subcontinent from Afghanistan


Muhammad of Ghor defeats Rajputs


Establishment of Delhi Sultanate


Destruction of Delhi by Timur



Babur victorious in first Battle of Paniput


Wars of succession


Akbar victorious in second Battle of Paniput


Reign of Akbar the Great


Reign of Jahangir in 1612 East India Company opens first trading center


Reign of Shah Jahan


Reign of Aurangzeb


Third Battle of Panipat; an Afghan victory over a Maratha army


Decline of the Mughal Empire



Battle of Plassey - British victory over Mughal forces in Bengal; conventional date for beginning of British rule in India


William Pitt's India Act


Sikh kingdom in the Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh


Institution of British education and other reform measures


First Afghan war


British annex Sindh, Hyderabad and Khairpur


Sikh Wars; British annex the Punjab and sell Kashmir, Gilgit, and Ladakh "Package," known as Kashmir


Uprising, variously known as the first war of independence, the Mutiny, and the Sepoy Rebellion


British Raj begins


Second Afghan War


Indian National Congress formed


Durand Line established as boundary between Afghanistan and British India


Partition of Bengal


All-India Muslim League founded


Partition of Bengal annulled


Montague-Chelmsford Reforms; Third Afghan War


Government of India Act of 1935

March 23, 1940

Muslim League adopts Pakistan Resolution


August 14, 1947

Partition and independence; Mohammad Ali Jinnah becomes Governor General; Liaqat Ali Khan becomes Prime Minister

September 11,1948

Jinnah dies; Khwaja Nazimuddin becomes Governor General

October 1951

Liaquat Ali Khan assassinated; Ghulam Mohammad becomes Governor General

August 1955

Ghulam Mohammad dies; succeeded by Iskander Mirza

October 1955

One Unit established, incorporating the four provinces of West Pakistan

March 23, 1956

Constitution adopted; Mirza becomes President

October 7, 1958

President Mirza abrogates constitution, declares martial law

October 27, 1958

Mirza sent into exile; General Mohammad Ayub Khan begins rule

September 1965

War with India over KASHMIR ISSUE.

March 25, 1969

Ayub resigns as result of public pressure; General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan assumes power.

July 1, 1970

One unit abolished, four provinces established in West Pakistan

December 1970

First general elections; Awami League secures majority in East Pakistan & People’s Party in West Pakistan.

March 25, 1971

East Pakistan attempts to secede; civil war begins

December 1971

Indo-Pakistani War; East Pakistan becomes the independent state of Bangladesh; Yahya resigns; President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto takes charge as the Civilian Martial Law Administrator.

July 2, 1972

Bhutto and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi conclude Simla Agreement

August 14, 1973

New Constitution goes into effect with Bhutto as Prime Minister

February 22-25, 1974

Islam Summit Conference held in Lahore

March 1977

General elections; massive victory by Bhutto's party evokes widespread rioting and protest

July 5, 1977

Martial law proclaimed

September 1978

Mohammad Zia ul Haq becomes President

April 4, 1979

Bhutto hanged

March 4, 1981

Provisional Constitutional Order, which in effect suspended 1973 Constitution

August 12, 1983

President Zia announces that martial law will be lifted in 1985.

1985 Jan

Non-Islamic banking abolished

1985 Feb

General elections held for National Assembly

1985 Mar

Mohammed Khan Junejo invited by General Zia to form civilian cabinet

1985 Jul

Economy declared to be in conformity with Islam

1986 Dec

New federal cabinet sworn into office; Mohammed Khan Junejo becomes PM

1987 May

President Zia dismisses Junejo government, dissolves national and provincial assemblies, and orders new election in 90 days

1987 Aug

Zia, US ambassador to Pakistan, and top army officials killed in an airplane crash near Bhawalpur in Punjab; Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Chairman of Senate, sworn as acting President

1987 Nov

Elections held for National Assembly

1987 Dec

Benazir Bhutto, leader of Pakistan Peoples Party, emerge as the leader of the house and sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Muslim nation

1988 Aug

Gen. Zia dies in a plane accident. Benazir Bhutto 37, is elected as prime minister in December.

1990 Aug

Benazir Bhutto is dismissed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan for alleged corruption. Nawaz Sharif succeeds as the new prime minister

1993 July

Sharif resigns along with President Ishaq Khan under an army-brokerage agreement to end the bitter power tussle between the 2 top functionaries. After election Benazir Bhutto becomes the Prime Minister again.

1996 Nov

Benazir Bhutto is dismissed by President Farooq Ahmed Laghari on misrule and corruption charges.

1997 Feb

The Pakistan Muslim League wins a sweeping election victory. Nawaz Sharif is appointed as prime minister and sets up an anti-corruption unit.

1998 May

Relations with India deteriorate as the crisis in Kashmir deepens and Pakistan responds to India's first nuclear test by carrying out its own explosion in May

1999 April

Bhutto and her husband are sentenced to 5 years in prison and fined $8.6 Million for alleged laundering.

1999 October

Nawaz Sharif is ousted from power and placed under house arrest after attempting to sack his army General Pervez Musharraf.


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