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The Chronicle of Pakistan
Compiled by Khurram Ali Shafique
with special thanks to Aqeel Abbas Jafferi
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Jan 2 Karachi municipality granted Metropolitan status

Apr 8 Sirdari system in Baluchistan abolished

Mar Managing Director Mr. Aslam Azhar leaves PTV after fallout with Bhutto

May 12-14 Pak, Indian foreign ministers agree to re-open land route

May 18 Sadequain exhibition at the Punjab Arts Council, Lahore, opens amidts furore from religious right; 5,000 people visit show

May 26-30 PM Bhutto visits China to gain support for constructing 8 military munitions and 5 civilian factories

Jun 12 Punjab Arts Council, showing Sadequain's work, bombed; exhibit closed

Jun 23 Train service between Pakistan, India announced: Samjhota Express; land route to reopen after nearly five years

Jul 22 Samjhota Express between Pakistan, India commences

Jul 31 Engineering Research Laboratories in Rawalpindi inaugurated; to be run by Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan

Aug 5 Port Qasim foundation stone laid by PM Bhutto, 35 miles from Karachi

Oct 10 Javed Miandad scores 166 in test debut against New Zealand at Lahore

Oct 30 Majid Khan completes his century in pre-lunch session on 1st day of test against New Zealand at Karachi; in same test, Javed Miandad becomes youngest double centurion in test cricket

Dec 27. Deena Laila (Singer)

General Zia

March General Ziaul Haq (seen here behind President Fazal Ilahi and Prime Minister Bhutto) has been appointed Chief of the Army Staff to replace outgoing Tikka Khan.

The appointment is seen as unusual, since Zia superceded 8 seniors (who must now retire). This through special intervention of Prime Minister Bhutto, who has apparently beginning to find the ever smiling and humble Ziaul Haq useful.

Atomic reprocessing plant

March 18 Pakistan, France sign deal to start construction of Atomic Reprocessing Plant in accordance with earlier understanding of 18 Oct 1974

The state of economy

While the public sector enterprises have created a strong base for future large-scale industrialisation, mass nationalisation of big business seems to have broken down the confidence of the private sector and crippled its performance. The overall economic policy of the Bhutto years seems to be characterised by regulation, subsidies and mismanagement.

People's property

July 15 The Prime Minister has announced nationalisation of all privately owned cotton-ginning, paddy-husking and flour-milling units. Referring to his earlier promise that there would be no more nationalisation, the PM claimed that "the units which have come under the state control do not belong to the industrial sector… they are an integral part of our agricultural economy."

Leader of the Third World?

Bhutto has launched invitations to a number of the Third World countries for a Third World Summit he proposes to hold soon at the beginning of his anticipated second tenure as the Prime Minister.


January 1. Prime Minister Bhutto inaugurates the Quaid Centenary celebrations today, as the year marks the 100th Birth Centenary of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of the nation.

Quaid-i-Azam Academy, headed by Professor Sharif al Mujahid, is taking a lead in producing memorabilia and publications about Jinnah.

Environmental commitments

Pakistan has signed the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (1971), popularly known as Ramsar Convention, and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (1973), popularly known as CITES.

Keeping the commitments implied by these conventions is another story, however. It seems that in the absence of a general environmental conscience the country will require a strong pressure group from volunteer organizations to act as watchdogs over the government. With the exception of the World Wildlife Fund Pakistan, such pressure groups do not exist in the country yet.

On a note of optimism, there is the recently formed division of Environment and Urban Affairs (EUAD) in the Ministry of Housing and Works. How effective a role it plays in the conservation of natural resources of the country is something only time can tell.

Burning Issue

First Balochi film, Hamalo Mah Gunj, could not be released as an angry mob in Quetta burns down cinema hall

Falling off the mountain

Javed Jabbar's Beyond the Last Mountain, released December 2, is Pakistan’s first venture into English film making and seems destined to be its last.

The film as well as its Urdu version, Musafir, have flopped at the box office. Produced and directed by Javed Jabbar; music by Sohail Rana; starring Usman Peerzada, Zahoor Ahmad, Subhani Bayounus, Raja Jameel.

Home movies

The video cassette player, or VCR, is making its mark all over the country. There are no laws regulating its import, making the VCR illegal. The films most popular on the video circuit are Indian blockbuster such as Sholay, and also classics such as Mughal-e-Azam. It is not uncommon for an entire neighbourhood to contribute towards the video and player rental, and then watch it together crammed in one drawing room, hoping against all hopes that the local police do not get wind of the proceedings. Among the elite, open air showings of Indian movies are not uncommon.

PTV Serial Parchhaian, adapted from Portrait Of A Lady, is making waves with charismatic actors Sahira Kazmi, Rahat Kazmi (both seen here) and Talat Husain

Songs remembered
Sathi meray, bin teray (Zubeda)
Jab doli charhaygi meri behna (Rajah Jani)
Bijli bhari hai meray ung (Koshish)
Savan kay din aye (Naag Aur Nagin)
Piyar ka wadah aisay (Aaj Aur Kal)
Andaz wohi apnaya hai (Society Girl)
Dil tore kay met jayyo (Waqt)
Baher hai barsat (Sachai)
Piyar kabhi kerna na kum (Dekha Jaye Ga)
Jis taraf aankh uthhaun teri tasveeran (Surraya Bhopali)
Teray siva duniya mein (Shabana)
Hum rahi aisy rahon kay (Musafir)

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