Saturday, March 14, 2009

Recent History

Selected items from the URL given below should enlighten you about the background of what is happening today in Pakistan.

February 28, 1987 Indian journalist Kuldip Nayyar's interview with Dr. Qadeer Khan is published in London Observer, in which the latter is quoted as saying that Pakistan has developed a nuclear bomb. An international controversy erupts over what is labeled as the "Islamic Bomb."

June 4, 1987 Finance Minister Yasin Wattoo announces in budget speech that 20 billion rupees will be generated through a defence tax and across the board increases in the prices of all essential commodities. June 4 -12 Mass agitation against budget; two dead, several injured. June 12 PM Junejo withdraws all controversial taxes; part of the fiscal gap to be filled by small car ("generals in Suzukis") austerity drive.

December 18, 1987 Benazir Bhutto, "Daughter of the East," ties knot with the relatively unknown Asif Ali Zardari at Karachi's Kakri Ground. One of the most colourful weddings in national history, it is attended by thousands of well-wishers from all walks of life.

Oct 15, 1988 Shariah Ordinance fizzles out as there is no NA to approve it and its creator, General Zia, is dead

Dec 1, 1988 President Ghulam Ishaq Khan nominates Benazir Bhutto PM.

August 6, 1990 President Ghulam Ishaq Khan (right) dismissed Benazir Bhutto (left)'s government today on corruption charges. He has promised fresh elections on October 24 (NA) and 27 (PA).

Oct 10, 1990 - Aif Zardari arrested in Unnar case. Care taker prime minister Jatoi.

Nov 6, 1990, Nawaz Sharif elected Prime Minister.

Jul 18, 1991 NA passes 12th Amendment Bill for setting up Speedy Courts to decide criminal cases within 30 days.

February 7, 1991 The Nawaz Sharif administration announces a ground breaking 25-point economic package which, among other measures, eases the country's stringent foreign exchange control rules. At the same time, foreigners are allowed to repatriate profits as well as principal and to invest in the local stock market.

Jan 7, 1992 Government signs agreement with South Korean firm Daewoo for construction of 339 km motorway, to be completed in 3 years
Jan 11, 1992 PM inaugurates construction of Lahore-Islamabad Motorway
Mar 23, 1992 State Bank launches "no questions asked" Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates in US dollars; international uproar ensues.

June 19, 1992 Daybreak As the army and Rangers stand by like indifferent spectators, Haqiqi dissidents set upon Altaf Hussain's MQM, first in Landhi and then elsewhere in the city.The unthinkable has happened. Within the space of ten tumultuous days, Sindh's political landscape has changed beyond recognition as the army's operation in the province turns its guns on the MQM. Overnight, establishment eulogies to Altaf Hussain have been replaced by army supervised tours of captured torture camps, as a party that once held Karachi in vice-like grip suddenly finds itself on the authorities' most wanted list. (Contributed by Irfan Malik)

Sep 5, 1992 Yellow cab scheme is extended; locally assembled vehicles included, loans raised to 90 per cent of total price and foreign banks allowed to issue loans.

November 26, 1992 PM inaugurates PTV-2, a satellite educational channel
Jan 8, 1993 COAS General Asif Nawaz Janjua dies suddenly.

Apr, 1993 Hamid Nasir Chatta and 3 other ministers resign from federal cabinet in protest against Nawaz Sharif's nomination as PML president.

Apr 17, 1993 PM Nawaz Sharif addresses the nation, accusing President Ghulam Ishaq Khan of conspiring against the govt; "I will not take dictation," he says defiantly.

Apr 18, 1993 Sharif dismissed by President; caretaker PM Balkh Sher Mazari and his cabinet including Hamid Nasir Chattha, Asif Zardari and Farooq Leghari to supervise new elections.

May 26, 1993 Supreme Court bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Nasim Hasan Shah (right) has declared the President's action unconstitutional, restoring the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the National Assembly. This is the first time in the history of the nation that a court has placed a deposed prime minister and parliament back into the saddles.

July 18, 1993 COAS Kakar intervenes, forcing both PM and President to resign; fresh elections to be held on Oct 6 (NA) and Oct 9 (PA).

Jul 18 Moeen Qureshi takes oath as caretaker PM and Senate Chairman Wasim Sajjad becomes acting president. Caretaker Prime Minister Moeen Qureshi seems intent upon thrusting his World Bank expertise and ethics on the country. Economic transparency is the cry of the day: Yellow cab scheme is scrapped and Sharif's grand motorway is also shelved. Qureshi government issues a list of loan defaulters, who may be barred from contesting the new elections, as well as a sensational roster of the amounts paid in income tax by some of the richest people in the country, including the Sharif family.

October 19, 1993 Benazir Bhutto takes oath as PM after NA elects her with 121 votes against Nawaz's 72; Wattoo of the PML (J) becomes Punjab CM despite only a handful of seats, in effect keeping a PPP nominee out of Punjab once again; Abdullah Shah Sindh CM, Aftab Sherpao in Frontier and Zulfikar Magsi in Balochistan.

Nov 4, 1993 Murtaza Bhutto arrested at Karachi airport on his return from Syria on pending charges of terrorism and 1981 hijacking.

Nov 13 PPP nominee Farooq Leghari, ex-foreign minister, elected president in run-off against Wasim Sajjad.

Jun 24,1996 Jamaat-e-Islami stages dharna (sit-in) in Islamabad: three party workers killed in clashes with police.

September 20, 1996 Mir Murtaza Bhutto, along with Ashiq Jatoi, is killed near his Clifton residence in what authorities claim was a police shootout with his body guards, but the feeling persists that this was a well-planned murder. The public, depending on who one talked to, is pointing accusingly at Murtaza's sister and Prime Minister Benazir, her husband Asif Zardari and even the President. (Contributed by Irfan Malik).

November 4-5, 1996 Something serious was certainly afoot. On the night of November 4, troops were on the move in Islamabad as well as in all the provincial capitals, and it seemed the nation was witnessing yet another military coup. But this time the midnight knock came at the behest of President Farooq Leghari, who then told the nation that he had dismissed the Bhutto government on charges of extra-judicial killings, corruption, mismanagement of the economy and complete breakdown of law and order. (Contributed by Irfan Malik).

Dec 12, 1996 President announces adult franchise for Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) in February elections, discarding the system of one malik (tribal chief), one vote.

February 3, 1997 In the wake of a landslide victory in Election '97, Nawaz Sharif's PML and its allies sweep to power. The PML (N) wins an astounding 134 seats and the PPP crashes to an all-time low with just 18. The MQM gets 13, while Imran Khan and Mussarat Shaheen fail to make an impression, as does Ghinwa Bhutto.

Apr 9, 1997 PAF Squadron Leader Farooq Ahmad arrested in New York while trying to sell 2 kg of heroine

Apr 24, 1997 Admiral Mansurul Haq dismissed on charges of corruption and misappropriation of funds.

TOTALLY BIZARRE-16th May, 1997In one of the most bizarre cases filed in pakistans history the leader of the opposition in the Sindh province and other leaders of the previous govt have been charged with murdering G.H. Unnar a onetime ally of theirs. According to available information G.H Unnar died of cardiac problems. Unnar was previously indicted in a case with Asif Zardari in looting an expatriate (US citizen of Pakistani origin) under bizarre circumstances in which the expatriate was led to a bank supposedly with a bomb tied to his legs to withdraw millions which were to be used for a charity hospital. Both Zardari and Unnar were not convicted in the case.

Dec 2, 1997 President Farooq Leghari resigns in the wake of a complicated battle between the judiciary and the Prime Minister.

Dec 23, 1997 A Supreme Court bench of 10 judges holds invalid the appointment of Justice Sajjad Ali Shah as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1994. On the directive of the same bench, the federal government has appointed Mr Justice Ajmal Mian as the Chief Justice. This blunt move has brought to an end the complicated tussle between the judiciary and the Prime Minister that had been going on since the last month.

Dec 31, 1997 PML nominee Rafiq Ahmed Tarar is voted President amid sarcasm from liberal newspapers, who have openly accused that his major qualification for the office seems to be his personal friendship with Nawaz Sharif’s autocratic father.

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