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PAKISTAN
History

Cities in PAKISTAN

IslamabadKarachi

History

Early history until independence

Archaeological research has shown that along Pakistan's main river, the Indus, there was a highly developed urban civilisation 4,500 years ago.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Indian subcontinent was the cradle of the Mogul civilisation. British merchants arrived in South Asia in the year 1601, but it was not until the second half of the eighteenth century that the Indian subcontinent was controlled by the British colonial army.

At the beginning of the 20th century, religious sensitivities were expressed and growing antagonisms arose between Muslims and Hindus. Tensions and riots led to a political struggle, communalism. In 1940, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the all-India Muslim League, formally endorsed the "Lahore Resolution" calling for the establishment of an independent state in Muslim-majority areas.

Pakistan as an independent country

After Britain agreed to the decolonisation of British India after World War II, the Congress Party and the Muslim League could not agree on the terms of a constitution or an interim government. This made separation inevitable. Pakistan became a state in two parts, split by India. West Pakistan covered the Muslim-majority areas of present-day Pakistan; East Pakistan consisted of one province, present-day Bangladesh. The separation led to a huge migration of people and bloody riots. The semi-independent principality of Kashmir, with its majority Muslim population, came partly into Pakistan's hands some months after the partition, while the Indian army occupied the other part.

On 14 August 1947, Pakistan became part of the British Commonwealth. In 1948, Muhammad Ali Jinna, founder and first head of state of Pakistan, died. In 1956, Pakistan received its first constitution and officially became an Islamic republic. The constitution was suspended in 1958 when the army took power. The results of elections called in 1970 led to a war between West and East Pakistan in 1971. In 1971, East Pakistan became independent under the name of Bangladesh. Power in present-day Pakistan was transferred shortly thereafter to the leader of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

In 1977, the army led by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq seized power. Bhutto was accused of complicity in the murder of a political opponent and hanged two years later, despite strong international protest. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was killed in an army helicopter accident in 1988.

From 1988-1990, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's daughter, Benazir Bhutto (PPP), was Prime Minister. She was succeeded by Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML). Elections in 1993 brought Benazir Bhutto back to power. In November 1996, Prime Minister Bhutto's government was dissolved on charges of, inter alia, corruption, nepotism and subversion of the judiciary. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif then won the elections in February 1997.

In a non-violent military coup on 12 October 1999, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was deposed and power was taken by army chief Pervez Musharraf. Nawaz Sharif was tried and convicted.

21th century

In Pakistan, a state of emergency came into force, parliament was dissolved and ministers were dismissed. Musharraf proclaimed himself "Chief Executive". He appointed a National Security Council to run the country together with the military. He also appointed a number of ministers. Following a Supreme Court ruling, he was given until October 2002 to put his house in order and prepare for elections.

On 27 December 2007, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed in an attack. A bomb went off during a meeting held by Bhutto in the city of Rawalpindi. At least 20 people were killed. Bhutto was reportedly shot after the explosion and was hit in the head and neck. She succumbed to her injuries in hospital.

In October, 133 people were killed and 250 wounded in bomb attacks during one of Bhutto's tours of Karachi. She had just returned to Pakistan after eight years in exile. President Musharraf allowed her return in exchange for her political support. The 54-year-old politician wanted to run in the parliamentary elections on 8 January.

Parliamentary elections were held in February 2008, the two opposition parties won and decided to form a coalition government. The People's Party candidate Yusuf Raza Gillani became Prime Minister.

In August 2008, the ruling parties started a procedure to oust President Musharraf. In September 2008, Asif Ali Zardari was appointed as the new president. In 2009, tensions with India increased due to the Mumbai bombings. India suspected Pakistan's involvement. In July 2009, the prime ministers of India and Pakistan met at Egypt's instigation to jointly combat terrorism. In August 2009, Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was killed in an attack by the United States. New Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud vowed revenge in October 2009.

In April 2010, President Asif Ali Zardari announced measures to limit the president's power. In August 2010, a major humanitarian disaster struck Pakistan. According to the Red Cross, severe floods affected at least 2.5 million people. The UN had previously quoted a figure of one million. More than 1,500 people lost their lives. Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad in April 2011. In June 2012, the Supreme Court dismissed Prime Minister Gila; Raja Pervez Ashraf succeeded him. In October 2012, Taliban fighters shot schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai through the head. This champion of women's rights survived the attack and dominated world news for some time. The Supreme Court dismissed Raja Pervez Ahsraf in early 2013. Elections were called.

Parliament elected Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister in June 2013. In July, Mamnoon Hussain becomes president. In December 2013, Pakistan is still in turmoil and there are daily attacks. In February 2014, former President Pervez Musharraf faces trial for alleged treason. In April 2014, talks start with the Taliban with the aim of a peace treaty and a ceasefire. In October 2014, Malala becomes the youngest person ever to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2015 and 2016, there are many attacks by the Taliban in Pakistan. In September 2016, military leaders acknowledge for the first time that Islamic State militants are also active within the country, albeit to a limited extent. In August 2017, Nawaz Shafif resigned over corruption charges. He is succeeded by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Arif Alvi is elected by parliament in September 2018 to succeed Mamnoon Hussain, whose five-year term was coming to an end. Former international cricket star Imran Khan wins the 2018 general election and says he wants to end corruption. Opposition to Khan flares up in late 2020, fuelled by allegations of corruption and economic discontent. Khan calls for a vote of confidence in March 2021. He narrowly survives, but the opposition boycotts the vote.


Sources

Elmar Landeninformatie

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info