Here is the timeline of Pakistan’s political progress from its independence in 1947 to 2023:
1947-1958: Early Years and the Dominance of Military
- August 14, 1947: Pakistan is created as a separate nation following the partition of British India.
- Liaquat Ali Khan becomes Pakistan’s first Prime Minister.
- 1951: Liaquat Ali Khan is assassinated, leading to political instability.
- 1958: President Iskander Mirza declares martial law and appoints General Ayub Khan as the Chief Martial Law Administrator, marking the beginning of military rule.
1958-1971: Ayub Khan’s Regime and the 1965 War with India
- General Ayub Khan becomes the President and consolidates his power.
- 1965: Pakistan and India go to war over the Kashmir issue.
- 1969: Widespread protests and discontent force Ayub Khan to resign, leading to the end of his regime.
1971-1977: Civilian Governments and the Bangladesh Liberation War
- 1971: East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) separates from West Pakistan following a brutal war.
- Zulfikar Ali Bhutto becomes Pakistan’s first civilian President.
- 1977: Bhutto’s government faces allegations of election rigging, leading to widespread protests and eventually a military coup.
1977-1988: Zia-ul-Haq’s Military Rule
- General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq takes power in a coup and imposes martial law.
- Bhutto is executed in 1979.
- Zia implements Islamization policies and remains in power until his death in a plane crash in 1988.
1988-1999: Return to Civilian Rule and Political Instability
- 1988: Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, becomes Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister.
- 1990: Benazir Bhutto is dismissed, and Nawaz Sharif becomes Prime Minister.
- 1993: Bhutto returns to power after Sharif’s dismissal.
- 1999: General Pervez Musharraf takes power in a coup, suspending the constitution and declaring himself Chief Executive.
1999-2008: Musharraf’s Rule and Return of Democracy
- Musharraf’s rule continues, marked by tensions with India, the War on Terror, and a return to civilian rule in 2002.
- Benazir Bhutto returns to Pakistan in 2007 and is assassinated later that year.
2008-2013: Return of Civilian Democracy
- Elections in 2008 bring the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to power, with Yousaf Raza Gillani as Prime Minister.
- 2013: Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) wins the general elections, and he becomes Prime Minister.
2013-2018: Nawaz Sharif’s Second Term and Panama Papers Scandal
- Nawaz Sharif serves a second term as Prime Minister but faces corruption allegations stemming from the Panama Papers leak.
- In 2017, Sharif is disqualified from office by the Supreme Court.
2018-2023: Imran Khan’s Government and Political Challenges
- Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) wins the 2018 elections, and he becomes Prime Minister.
- Khan’s government faces economic challenges, political opposition, and tensions with the military.
- As of 2023, Pakistan continues to grapple with political and economic issues.
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