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Chronology of Pakistan's political crisis

world Updated: May 02, 2008 20:42 IST

AFP
Highlight Story

Pakistan's ruling coalition will on May 12 reinstate judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf under emergency rule, former premier Nawaz Sharif said on Friday.

The announcement comes nearly 14 months after Pakistan's political crisis began with Musharraf's initial suspension of the country's chief justice. Here is a chronology of key events.

-- 2007 --

March 9: Musharraf asks Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to resign over allegations of misconduct. Chaudhry refuses.

March 10-12: Lawyers hold nationwide protests, the first in a series of demonstrations that gather pace over the following three months.

May 12-13: Forty-three people are killed as government supporters prevent Chaudhry from attending a rally in the southern port city of Karachi.

July 20: Supreme Court reinstates Chaudhry.

Aug 23: Supreme Court rules Sharif can return from exile. Sharif arrives from London on September 10 but is sent back to exile in Saudi Arabia hours later.

Oct 5: Supreme Court says Musharraf can run for re-election while keeping his role as army chief, but rules that the final result cannot be announced until it has decided on legal challenges.

Oct 6: Musharraf wins presidential election with an overwhelming majority in parliament, after the poll was boycotted by the opposition.

Oct 18: Former premier Benazir Bhutto returns to Karachi from Dubai after eight years in self-exile. Two suicide bombers attack her homecoming parade, killing 139 people.

Nov 3: Musharraf imposes state of emergency, replaces Chaudhry and suspends the constitution. Chaudhry and other judges under house arrest.

Nov 19: The Supreme Court, now staffed with compliant judges, swats away five of six challenges against Musharraf's re-election, while the final challenge is dismissed on November 22. The court rules on November 23 that Musharraf was justified in imposing the emergency.

Nov 25: Sharif returns to Pakistan.

Nov 28: Musharraf hands command of the army to his successor General Ashfaq Kiyani. The next day, he swears a new oath for a second term as president.

Dec 15: Musharraf lifts emergency rule.

Dec 27: Bhutto is killed in a suicide attack.

-- 2008 --

February 18: The parties of Bhutto and Sharif trounce Musharraf's allies in general elections.

March 9: The two parties sign a coalition pact in the hill resort of Murree agreeing to reinstate the sacked judges within 30 days of the new government taking power.

March 24: New Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani orders the release of all detained judges immediately after being elected by parliament. Chaudhry appears on his balcony in his first public appearance since November 3.

May 1: Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari, Bhutto's widower, agree to reinstate judges after holding two days of talks in Dubai as the deadline for the restoration of the judges approaches.

May 2: Sharif says judges to be restored on May 12.