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The Chronicle of Pakistan
Compiled by Khurram Ali Shafique
with special thanks to Aqeel Abbas Jafferi
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Feb 6 Supreme Court upholds High Court verdict on Bhutto and co-accused; 3 out of 7 judges dissent; remaining four all from Punjab

Feb 13 Bhutto and co-accused appeal to SC to review verdict Feb 13 Bhutto and co-accused appeal to SC to review verdict Bhutto and co-accused appeal to SC to review verdict

Feb 24 - Mar 17 SC hears Bhutto's appeal

Feb 28 Zia inaugurates first Pakistani heavy re-build factory at Taxila to be completed with Chinese assistance over three-and-a-half years

Mar 24 Bhutto and co-accused appeal dsimissed by SC

Apr 1 Zia rejects calls from 54 heads of state to repeal Bhutto death sentence

Apr 3 Nusrat and Benazir meet Bhutto in his prison cell

Apr 3 Mian Tufail Mohammed, Amir Jamaat-e-Islami, assures General Zia that Bhutto's execution will not lead to law and order crisis

Apr 21 Cabinet resigns in preparation for election

Sep 25 Non-party municipal elections held on basis of adult franchise for first time

Oct 17 Newspaper declarations cancelled for offending Zia regime: Masawat, Sadaqat, Qasid, Etemad


Abul Ala Maududi: religious scholar (September 22; Buffalo, NY, USA)

Rana Akbarabadi:

Alam Lohar:
folk singer

Jahanara Shahnawaz:
politician, social worker




The Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance 1979


The Hudood Ordinance

February 10 The Offence of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance 1979, (or, simply, the Hudood Ordinance), has been promulgated and a system of "Islamic" punishments is introduced.

The punishment for adultery by a married person is stoning to death, while 100 lashes will be awarded to an unmarried person accused of the crime. Those making false allegations regarding adultery will be awarded 80 lashes and disqualified from giving testimony in future.

Minors may also be convicted for committing adultery or rape under this ordinance, and punished with imprisonment and lashes.

The punishment for drinking is 80 lashes; for the theft of imperishable property equal to 4,457 grams of gold or more, one hand is to be amputated. All these punishments are to be carried out in public.

Once more, with feeling...

March 23 Zia announces new date for elections: November 17, 1979

Bhutto's body being carried to his ancestral village. (Above right:) Funeral rites of Bhutto.

Bhutto hanged

April 4 Former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged today, at 2:04 a.m. His body was taken to his ancestral village, Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, Larkana, where he was buried under strict army supervision.


May 29 Benazir Bhutto is released for the first time since the execution of her father.

Pakistan joins Non-Aligned Movement

September 6. Zia represents Pakistan at 6th NAM summit in Havana (Cuba), hosted by Fidel Castro. Reportedly, Zia is pleased with the warm reception and media attention accorded to him in the Caribbean heaven. Even the PLO Chief Yasser Arafat extended a warm embrace and a buss on the cheek, despite the fact that on an earlier occasion Arafat's colleagues had denounced Zia as the man who "made the plans for King Hussein's massacre of the Palestinians" in Jordan in 1970.

Action replay

October 16 Zia has once again postponed elections, scheduled for November 17. Political parties have been banned, their offices sealed, and all political activities declared illegal. Full-fledged "Islamisation" is also on the anvil.

Muzzling the press

October 16 Martial Law regulation 49 imposes pre-censorship on the press and allows journalists violating the rules to be fined, imprisoned or flogged.

Martial Law's B-team?

Following the ban on all political parties, members of the Jamaat-e- Islami have assembled under the banner, Khidmat-e- Islami (Service of Islam). Detractors call them the 'Martial Law's B-team.'

The Russians are coming

December 27: Soviet Red Army soldiers in Afghanistan

Rape of reason

Incidents of rape have increased following the promulgation of the Hudood Ordinance, apparently because the law does not distinguish between rape and adultery. Moreover, proof of rape requires the evidence of "four adult, pious and religious male Muslims." It being quite unlikely for such people to always be present at the scene of the crime, several victims have already been charged with adultery, their complain of rape being taken as a "confession to have had sexual intercourse." The law does not even exempt minor girls from punishment, and some children convicted for adultery are reported to be as young as nine.

Painter found dead

Painter Ahmed Pervaiz is found in a comatose condition in a seedy hotel near Karachi;s Cantonement station by artistes Laila Shehzada and Ali Imam. No one noticed his absence at first because his friends had long grown accustomed to his disappearances. He would spend days in the company of malangs at Abdullah Shah Ghazi mazaar, or smoking joints with hippies at Hawkes Bay, but always returned to the world after these stints. But not this time (Contributed by Firuza Pastakia).

NAFDEC makes film

March 23 NAFDEC releases film about Partition, Khak Aur Khoon, based on bestselling novel by Nasim Hijazi

Maula Jut

Released on February 11, the bloody revenge saga of Maula Jut (Sultan Rahi) and Noori Nat (Mustafa Qureshi) capture the imagination of the rural Pakistan.

Our Nobel Physicist
Dr. Abdus Salam (left) in his study, circa 1970, and (right) receiving Nobel Prize from the King of Sweden 1979

October 15 Dr. Abdus Salam is the first Pakistani to be nominated for a Nobel Prize. He will share the award with two colleagues working at his Italy based centre for advanced research in physics. Despite this mammoth achievement, the physicist has received little official applause, perhaps as a consequence of his Ahmedi background.

Counter culture

The advent of the cassette player into rural Pakistan spawns a new revolution. Tired of the increasingly dull output from radio, rural Punjab and Sindh create their variant of pop folk, complete with references to trucks, tractors and migration to the Gulf and Karachi.

Ataullah Isakhelvi is at the vanguard of this movement, his songs travelling from the transporter belt of Mianwali to engulf the country. A do-it-yourself musical culture is born with the Punjab's Seraiki belt at its helm. But many others also get in on the act, from Sargodha, Rahim Yar Khan, Jhang and Chiniot to the Hazara division of the Frontier. Meanwhile, further South, Jala Chandio becomes the king of Sindhi folk pop (Contributed by Talat Aslam).

Mehboob Alam gets overnight fame from superhit PTV drama serial, Waris.

Laugh till you drop

The irreverent PTV comedy, Fifty Fifty provides a much needed space to laugh.


Intezar Husain's novel Basti is published

Songs remembered
Nishani teray pyar ki (Nishani)
Tina mera naam (Miss Hong Kong)
Idhar zinadgi ka janaza (cassette by Ataullah Isakhelvi)

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