Pakistan Fast Facts – KION546


CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at Pakistan. It borders Iran, Afghanistan and India in Southeast Asia. In 1947 Pakistan gained its independence from Great Britain.

About Pakistan

(from the CIA World Factbook)
Area: 796,095 km² (slightly less than twice the size of California)

Population: 242,923,845 (2022 est.)

Middle Ages: 22 years

Capital city: Islamabad

Ethnic groups: Punjabi 44.7%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.4%, Sindhi 14.1%, Saraiki 8.4%, Muhajirs 7.6%, Balochi 3.6%, other 6.3%

Religion: Muslim 96.5% (Sunni 85-90%, Shia 10-15%); other 3.5% (including Christians and Hindus) (2020 est.)

Unemployment: 6% (2017 est.)


08/14/1947 – Pakistan becomes independent from the United Kingdom.

1947-1948 – Pakistan wages its first war against India for control of Kashmir.

1965 – Pakistan and India are waging their second war over Kashmir.

1971 – Pakistan and India are at war over the independence of East Pakistan, later renamed Bangladesh.

1973 – A constitution providing for a parliamentary system of government is adopted.

July 5, 1977 – Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is deposed in an army-led coup d’état. He is executed in April 1979.

December 1, 1988 – Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Bhutto, is elected Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister and the first woman to lead a modern Muslim nation.

1990 – Nawaz Sharif is elected Prime Minister.

1991 – Laws are passed that make Islamic law the law of the country.

May 28, 1998 – Pakistan announces that it has successfully conducted five nuclear tests.

October 12, 1999 – Army chief Pervez Musharraf takes power and overthrows Sharif. Sharif had sacked Musharraf after the army’s failed invasion of Kashmir. Bhutto, who faces possible arrest for corruption, goes into self-imposed exile.

June 20, 2001 – Musharraf appoints himself president but remains chief of the army.

Aug 2002 – Musharraf adds 29 amendments to the constitution, giving himself the power to dissolve parliament.

October 5, 2007 – Musharraf signs a reconciliation decree dropping corruption charges against Bhutto. It could pave the way for a power-sharing deal with Bhutto, who plans to return to Pakistan after years in exile.

October 18, 2007 – Hours after Bhutto arrives in Karachi, her motorcade is attacked by a suicide bomber. More than 120 people die in the blast, but Bhutto is unharmed. Two days after the bombing, Bhutto vowed to continue campaigning for her party, the People’s Political Party (PPP).

November 3, 2007 – Musharraf declares a state of emergency. He suspended the country’s constitution, postponed the upcoming elections and imposed restrictions on the media. Government authorities arrest 1,500 people protesting the state of emergency.

November 9, 2007 – Bhutto is placed under house arrest, preventing her from taking part in a protest. At the end of the day, the arrest warrant is lifted.

December 27, 2007 – Bhutto is assassinated during a rally.

March 9, 2008 – Sharif and Bhutto’s widower, Asif Ali Zardari, have joined forces to call on Musharraf to convene parliament immediately.

March 23, 2008 – Mursharraf says Pakistan has entered an “era of real democracy” after newly elected lawmakers named Yousuf Raza Gilani as their nominee for prime minister.

March 25, 2008 – after the election victory Gilani is sworn in as Prime Minister. Gilani, a member of the PPP, served in various capacities as a cabinet minister during Bhutto’s tenure as prime minister.

08/18/2008 – Musharraf resigns.

September 9, 2008 – Zardari is sworn in as the new president.

July-August 2010 – Disastrous flooding kills at least 1,600 people. Another four million will be displaced.

May 2, 2011 – Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is killed by US special forces in a raid in Abbottabad.

May 14, 2011 – Parliament adopts a resolution condemning the US raid on Bin Laden’s compound. Lawmakers are also threatening to bar access to a facility used by NATO forces to ferry troops into Afghanistan.

May 25, 2011 – A Pentagon spokesman announces that the United States is reducing troops in Pakistan at the request of the Pakistani government.

February 13, 2012 – Gilani faces contempt charges by the Supreme Court after refusing to resume old corruption cases against Zardari.

April 26, 2012 – Gilani is convicted of contempt.

June 19, 2012 – The Supreme Court rules that Gilani is ineligible to hold office. Days later, Parliament elects Raja Pervez Ashraf to take Gilani’s place as Prime Minister.

May 19, 2013 – Sharif wins a majority in parliament, allowing him to form a government and become prime minister.

09/24/2013 – A 7.7 magnitude earthquake shakes Balochistan province. More than 300 people are killed.

December 16, 2014 – Armed Taliban attack Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar. 145 people are killed, most of them children.

December 25, 2015 – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes a surprise visit and meets with Sharif.

March 27, 2016 – A suicide bombing in a park in Lahore has killed 69 and injured more than 340 others.

August 8, 2016 – A bomb attack on the hospital in Quetta kills more than 72 people and injures 112 others.

October 6, 2016 – An anti-honor killing law is passed unanimously in both chambers of Parliament.

October 24, 2016 – At least 61 people are killed and 117 injured when militants attack a police training academy in Quetta.

December 7, 2016 – A Pakistan International Airlines plane crashes near Abbottabad, killing all 47 on board including pop star and religious artist Junaid Jamshed.

July 28, 2017 – Sharif resigns as prime minister after the Supreme Court ruled he was unable to remain in office amid corruption allegations.

August 1, 2017 – Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is sworn in as prime minister after winning a special election to take Sharif’s place.

July 6, 2018 – Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law have been sentenced to prison in connection with corruption charges surrounding the family’s property purchase in London.

July 25, 2018 – Former cricket star Imran Khan claims victory in a contentious election after his Pakistani party Tehreek-e-Insaf won the most seats in the country’s general election. The election is marred by violence, including a deadly suicide attack, and allegations of vote-rigging by other parties.

August 18, 2018 – Khan is sworn in as Prime Minister.

September 5, 2018 – During a visit to Islamabad, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped to ease the tense relationship between Pakistan and the US.

December 28, 2018 – Sharif is sentenced to seven years in prison over new corruption allegations.

February 14, 2019 – At least 40 people have been killed in a car bomb blast in Indian-controlled Kashmir. A Pakistan-based terrorist group, Jaish-e-Muhammad, claims responsibility.

February 26, 2019 – India announces it has carried out airstrikes on a suspected terrorist training camp in Pakistan. In response, Pakistani officials said two Indian jets attempted to cross Pakistani territory but were pushed back.

February 27, 2019 – Pakistan claims the country’s air force shot down two Indian warplanes. India confirms loss of plane and says it shot down a Pakistani jet while responding to the incident. In the course of the confrontation, Pakistan closes its airspace.

February 28, 2019 – Pakistan announces it will release a captured Indian pilot to calm tensions between the two countries.

June 10, 2019 – Zardari is arrested on corruption charges.

July 17, 2019 – Pakistani authorities arrest Hafiz Saeed, the suspected mastermind behind the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks. Saeed was previously arrested in 2017 but was later released.

July 22, 2019 – Khan visits US President Donald Trump at the White House. At a joint press conference, the men talk about Afghanistan, the Taliban, Kashmir and Iran.

August 5, 2019 – Tensions between India and Pakistan are rising after Modi announced that India will repeal a constitutional provision giving the state of Jammu and Kashmir autonomy to enact its own laws. Widespread communications outages are being reported in the Muslim-majority region following the announcement.

August 6, 2019 – Indian Parliament approves status change for Jammu and Kashmir state. The Reorganization Act increases New Delhi’s authority over the region, transforming it from an autonomous state into a union territory. Pakistan replies that the change is illegal. “If the world doesn’t act now, if the so-called developed world doesn’t obey its own laws, then things will go in a direction that will hurt the whole world,” Khan says.

August 7, 2019 – Pakistan announces that diplomatic ties and bilateral trade with India will be suspended.

August 8, 2019 – Modi gives a televised address in which he claims that removing Kashmir’s autonomy status will promote stability, reduce corruption and boost the economy. Pakistan’s foreign minister says the country will remain vigilant but no military options are being considered. The United Nations issued a statement calling on both countries to resolve the issue peacefully while respecting human rights in the region.

December 17, 2019 – A three-person special court in Islamabad has convicted Musharraf of breaking the constitution by illegally declaring a state of emergency during his tenure in a case that has been pending since 2013. Musharraf is sentenced to death in absentia for treason.

January 13, 2020 – A court in Pakistan overturns Musharraf’s death sentence and dismisses it as “unconstitutional”.

January 4, 2021 – In a landmark ruling, the first of its kind in the country, the Lahore High Court in Punjab province has ruled that virginity testing on sexual assault survivors is illegal.

June-September 2022 – At least 1,396 people have died as a result of catastrophic flooding, according to the country’s national disaster management agency.

The CNN Wire
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