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The Chronicle of Pakistan
Compiled by Khurram Ali Shafique
with special thanks to Aqeel Abbas Jafferi
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January 1 Large format Shahkar books launched; amazingly low prices Large format Shahkar books launched; amazingly low prices

Feb 8 Senior Minister Hayat Muhammad Sherpao, killed in a bomb explosion at Peshawar University

Mar Qamar Zaman Khan becomes British Open Squash champion

Jun 16 Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Hamoodur Rehman begins hearing case 'Govt vs. NAP' case; Attorney General Yahya Bakhtiar represents government against defence led by Mahmood Ali Kasuri.

Jul 20 J.A.Rahim, major PPP ideologue, leaves for London after falling out with Bhutto

Aug 15 Sheikh Mujeebur Rehman, founder and president of Bangladesh, brutally killed by his own soldiers

Oct 25 President Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry inaugurates celebrations for 700th birthday of Ameer Khusro

Oct 30 Supreme Court vindicates PPP govt’s ban on NAP

Nov 6 National Democratic Party founded by leaders of disbanded NAP


Abdur Rehman Chughtai: classical painter

Shakir Ali: modernist painter

Feroz Nizami: music composer

Malik Khizr Hayat: politician

Z.A.Bukhari: broadcaster

N.M.Rashid: poet

Agha Shorish Kashmiri: journalist, politician


Frontier Clampdown

February 10 Apparently in retaliation to the murder of its prime supporter in the NWFP on January 8, the PPP government has banned the National Awami Party, accusing it of involvement in activities aimed at undermining the solidarity and sovereignty of the country. Top ranking party members, including Wali Khan, Arbab Sikander Khalil and Nawab Sikander Bakhsh Marri, are arrested.

Pakistan mourns Saudi king

March 25 Ten-day mourning announced for the unfortunate assassination of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia; the city Layallpur, the National Mosque of Islamabad and the Drigh Road in Karachi all to be renamed after the demised King

The lion roars

Ghulam Mustafa Khar, commonly called "The Lion of Punjab", is the most glamorous addition to the list of PPP dissidents. He has long been Bhutto's closest associate, and has twice been Punjab governor. It is believed that he was sacked because of his growing notoriety due to "irresponsible personal habits," which he claims he shares with Bhutto: "I know things about Bhutto that no on else does!"

Tax free

November 10 "With effect from the Rabi crop of 1975-76, small landowners owning up to 12 acres of irrigated land or 25 acres of unirrigated lands shall be exepmted from the payments of land revenue, local rates, development cess and all cesses related to land revenue," Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto has announced today

Earthquake kills 5,000

January 1 One of the worst earthquakes of present times rocks Swat and Hazara in the NWFP. The number of deaths is estimated at around 5,000 while some 20,000 have been injured. Pakistan has appealed to the international community for urgent help, and aid is expected from Arab states as well as the Western allies.

Mental hospital upgraded

Hyderabad. The country's most famous mental hospital at Giddu Bandar, established by the Bombaiite civil engineer Sir Cowasjee Jehangir (1812-1878) as Cowasjee Jehangir Mental Hospital in 1850 has been appropriately renamed Sir Cowasjee Jehangir Institute of Psychiatry. It is headed by imminent psychiatrist Dr Haider Ali Kazi since 1967.

Friends and masters

The year saw the death of two of the country's most important painters: Abdur Rehman Chughtai, the master classicist, and Shakir Ali, widely held as the father of modern painting in Pakistan. While Chughtai developed a unique style, crafting delicate and intricately detailed images derived from classical miniature painting, Shakir broke new grounds with his stark modernism inspired by Cubaism. Despite their radically divergent approaches to painting, it is said that Shakir was extremely fond of his senior colleague.

Shakir Ali was in Karachi when he heard of Chughtai's death, and boarded the first flight to Lahore. When he arrived, it was a bitterly cold day. A meeting had been arranged to mourn the great master's death. Painter Khalid Iqbal and poet Taufiq Raffat were waiting to meet up with Shakir, for they were to proceed together to the gathering. Finally, a skimpily dressed Shakir arrived. "Be careful you don't catch your death in those clothes," Taufiq Raffat said, examining Ssshakir's inappropriate attire. "Otherwise, Chughtai will say, yahan bhi mera peecha nahin chora." Ironically, Shakir Ali did in fact follow Chughtai even to the grave. (Contributed by Firuza Pastakia)

Songs remembered

Allah hi Allah kiya karo (Pehchan)
Yeh duniya rahe na rahe (Mera Naam Hai Mohabbat)
Yeh aaj mujhko kiya huva (Naukar)
Ishq mera diwana (Shireen Farhad)
Rafta rafta woh meri (Zeenat)
Dil ko jalana (Mohabbat Zindagi Hai)
Dekho yeh kaun aa gaya (Do Saathi)
Kiya pata zindagi ka (Jab Jab Phhool Khilay)

Naheed Akhtar, the voice that has captivated every listener

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