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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 8 COAS General Asif Nawaz Janjua dies suddenly

Jan 12 General Abdul Waheed Kakar appointed COAS by President, reportedly against the wishes of the Prime Minister

Mar 20 Nawaz Sharif becomes PML president after Junejo's death

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

Apr 17 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 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

Apr 25 Sharif files petition against his dismissal directly before SC

May 14 Judicial tribunal declares General Asif Nawaz's death natural

May 25 Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed launches Pakistan Islamic Front

May 26 NA Speaker calls session to restore Sharif as PM

May 27 Sharif gets a vote of confidence

Jul 18 Moeen Qureshi takes oath as caretaker PM and Senate Chairman Wasim Sajjad becomes acting president

Sep 26 Former Punjab CM Ghulam Haider Wyne is killed, allegedly in tribal vendetta

Oct 1 General Asif Nawaz's corpse exhumed for new autopsy

Oct 6 NA elections

Oct 8 Sindh Governor grants Hakim Saeed charter to 4 private universities

Oct 9 PA elections

Oct 15 MNAs take oath

Oct 17 NA elects PPP nominees Yousuf Raza Gilani and Zafar Ali Shah as speaker and deputy speaker

Nov 4 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

Dec 5 Benazir is nominated PPP chairperson, replacing her mother Nusrat Bhutto after differences over Murtaza's arrest

Dec 13 Post mortem report claims General Asif Nawaz's death was natural


Tufail Hosiarpuri: poet (Jan 4)

Mazhar Ali Khan: journalist (Jan 26)

Habib Jalib: poet (Mar 12)

Master Inayat Hussain: composer (Mar 26)

Mohammad Khan Junejo: former PM (Mar 18)

Sher Mohammad Marri: politician (May 11)

Rani: film actress (May 26)

Kamal Ahmed: music composer (Jun 6)

Ameneh Azam Ali: journalist (Nov 7)


Unlikely rebel

April To survive in politics after taking on the establishment, Nawaz Sharif will have to become a man he never was. For the last ten years, he has only been in power, not in politics. But suddenly, he is riding a wave of public support and has already taken the Punjab by storm. Is this the birth of Nawaz the populist?

Martyr for all factions

May 1 The assassination of MQM Chairman Azim Ahmed Tariq by unidentified gunmen who broke into his Karachi residence has created a furore within the already divided ranks of the MQM, each laying claim to the deceased leader and pointing accusingly at the other. Tariq had recently announced his stand against the politics of violence, and rumours abounded that the dissidents were approaching him. Given his seniority, some were even expecting the emergence of a third faction.

Fight to the finish

The PM and the President's hate-hate relationship worsens as 62 PML MPAs table a no-confidence motion against Punjab CM Ghulam Haider Wyne and install Mian Manzoor Wattoo in his place. Nawaz accuses Ishaq of forging a presidential letter authorizing the Governor Punjab to take over the province and invite the Rangers to take action against the provincial government.

Supreme Court restores Sharif

May 26. 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.

Nawaz Out

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

Smarter than thou

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.

Back to the ballot box

The third general elections in six years produced a turnout of just over 40 per cent, an indication perhaps that Pakistanis are getting fed up of voting -- the people they elect have been sent packing almost every alternate year since 1988. On the face of it, Benazir Bhutto seems to have won the game with 86 seats for her PPP against 72 for Nawaz Sharif's PML, but the narrow margin means that the task ahead is bound to be an uphill one. Making matters worse, loyalties within her party seem to be divided after the return of Murtaza Bhutto, who won a Sindh seat while still in exile. Meanwhile the PIF, touted as a potential 3rd force, miserably fails to capture the public imagination despite its populist campaign.

Benazir Prime Minister for a second time

October 19 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

October 20 Benazir addresses nation; nuclear programme to be protected, international opinion to be mobilised against Indian aggression in Kashmir, unemployment to be eradicated, loans to be recovered, transparent privatization and egalitarian Islamic society to be strived for.

"Asif Nawaz was slow-poisoned," claims widow

Taking notice of the suspicions raised by the late General Asif Nawaz's widow, the PM has set up a judicial tribunal headed by Justice Shafiur Rehman to probe into the circumstances of the general's death.

Toxic Waste

Karachi. A large quantity of toxic and explosive chemical retrieved from the Liyari River by the Sindh EPA, IUCN and various public departments, was burnt at an open site away from the city under controlled conditions. This is perhaps the first hazardous material handling exercise in Pakistan.

The case to the public notice when a junk dealer discovered 2.5 tons of meta-dinitrobenzene cakes lying unattended near the Baldia Railway Station - apparently discarded by some metal factory in the Shershah Industrial Area. The driver of the vehicle that transported the cakes to the dealer's warehouse died the same day while the dealer died a few days later. The local administration dumped the chemical in the Lyari River on receiving complaint from people in the neighbourhood, who had started falling ill by inhaling the fumes. IUCN Pakistan got the cakes analysed in the laboratories and alerted the Sindh EPA regarding its threat to marine life.


National Environment Quality Standards come into force an entire decade after their initial approval under the Environment Protection Ordinance 1983. The NEQs, hardly affordable for many industrial units in Pakistan, seem very difficult to apply in the absence of adequate legal mechanism.

Great expectations

The Eighth 5-year Plan for 1993-8, which has a total allocation of 1,692 billion rupees, sets some very ambitious targets. By 1998, GDP is expected to grow by 7 per cent, and agriculture and industry by 4.9 and 9.4 per cent respectively.

Ghazi-Barotha Hydropower Project marks the willingness by the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) to carry out Environmental Impact Assessment and build environmental considerations into the project design.

Troubled valley

August Once again, clashes between Shias and Sunnis have plunged the once peaceful Gilgit valley into bloody violence, as it did in 1989. Curfew has been clamped on a vast region in the Northern Areas including the city of Gilgit.

End of an era

November 23 Jehangir Khan, undisputedly the greatest squash player ever, announces his retirement after losing to Jansher Khan in the World Open at Karachi.

Songs remembered

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