Pakistan: A chronology of key events:
1906 - Muslim League founded.
1940 - Muslim League endorses idea of separate nation for India's Muslims.
1947 - Muslim state of East and West Pakistan created out of partition of India at the end of British rule. Hundreds of thousands die in widespread communal violence and millions are made homeless.
1948 - Muhammed Ali Jinnah, the first governor general of Pakistan, dies.
1948 - First war with India over disputed territory of Kashmir.
1951 - Jinnah's successor Liaquat Ali Khan is assassinated.
1956 - Constitution proclaims Pakistan an Islamic republic.
1958 - Martial law declared and General Ayyub Khan takes over.
1960 - General Ayyub Khan becomes president.
1965 - Second war with India over Kashmir.
1969 - General Ayyub Khan resigns and General Yahya Khan takes over.
1970 - Victory in general elections in East Pakistan for breakaway Awami League, leading to rising tension with West Pakistan.
1971 - East Pakistan attempts to secede, leading to civil war. India intervenes in support of E Pakistan. Bangladesh is created.
1972 - Simla peace agreement with India sets new frontline in Kashmir.
1973 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto becomes prime minister.
1977 - Riots erupt over allegations of vote-rigging by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP). General Zia ul-Haq stages military coup.
1978 - General Zia becomes president.
1979 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto hanged.
1980 - US pledges military assistance to Pakistan following Soviet intervention in Afghanistan.
1985 - Martial law and political parties ban lifted.
1986 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's daughter Benazir returns from exile to lead PPP in campaign for fresh elections.
1988 - General Zia, the US ambassador and top Pakistan Army officials die in mysterious air crash.
1988 - Benazir's PPP wins general election.
1990 - Benazir dismissed as prime minister on charges of incompetence and corruption.
1991 - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif begins economic liberalisation programme. Islamic Shariah law formally incorporated into legal code.
1993 - President Khan and Prime Minister Sharif both resign under pressure from military. General election brings Benazir back to power.
1996 - President Leghari dismisses Bhutto government amid corruption allegations.
1997 - Nawaz Sharif returns as prime minister after his Pakistan Muslim League party wins elections.
1998 - Pakistan conducts its own nuclear tests after India explodes several devices.
April 1999 - Benazir Bhutto and her husband convicted of corruption and given jail sentences. Benazir stays out of the country.
May 1999 - Kargil conflict. More than 1,000 people are killed on both sides.
October 1999 - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif overthrown in military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf. Pakistan is suspended from Commonwealth.
April 2000 - Nawaz Sharif sentenced to life imprisonment on hijacking and terrorism charges.
December 2000 - Nawaz Sharif goes into exile in Saudi Arabia after being pardoned by military authorities.
June 2001 - Gen Pervez Musharraf names himself president while remaining head of the Army. He replaced the figurehead president, Rafiq Tarar, who vacated his position earlier in the day after the Parliament that elected him was dissolved.
July 2001 - "Agra summit" between Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee ends without a breakthrough or even a joint statement because of differences over Kashmir.
September 2001 - Musharraf supports US attacks on Afghanistan in its war on terror. US lifts some sanctions imposed after Pakistan's nuclear tests in 1998, but retains others put in place after Musharraf's coup.
December 2001 - India imposes sanctions against Pakistan, to force it to take action against two Kashmir militant groups blamed for a suicide attack on Parliament in New Dehli. Pakistan retaliates with similar sanctions.
December 2001 - India, Pakistan mass troops along common border amid mounting fears of a looming war.
January 2002 - President Musharraf bans two militant groups - Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad - and takes steps to curb religious extremism.
January 2002 - Musharraf announces that elections will be held in October 2002 to end three years of military rule.
April 2002 - Musharraf wins another five years in office in a referendum.
May 2002 - Pakistan test fires three medium-range surface-to-surface Ghauri missiles.
August 2002 - President Musharraf grants himself sweeping new powers, including the right to dismiss an elected Parliament. Opposition forces accuse Musharraf of perpetuating dictatorship.
October 2002 - First general election since the 1999 military coup results in a hung Parliament.
November 2002 - Mir Zafarullah Jamali selected as prime minister by the National Assembly. He is the first civilian premier since the 1999 military coup and a member of a party close to General Musharraf.
June 2003 - North-West Frontier Province votes to introduce Sharia law.
November 2003 - Pakistan declares a Kashmir ceasefire, which is swiftly matched by India.
December 2003 - Pakistan and India agree to resume direct air links and to allow overflights of each other's planes from beginning of 2004 after two-year ban. Musharraf survives an attempt on his life; bombs explode under a bridge seconds after his car passes over it.
February 2004 - Leading nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan admits to having leaked nuclear weapons secrets. Technology is said to have been transferred to Libya, North Korea and Iran.
April 2004 - Parliament approves creation of military-led National Security Council.
May 2004 - Pakistan readmitted to Commonwealth.
August 2004 - Shaukat Aziz is sworn in as Prime Minister. In July he escaped unhurt from an apparent assassination attempt.
December 2004 - President Musharraf announces that he will stay on as head of the army. He had previously promised to relinquish the role.
January 2005 - Tribal militants in Baluchistan attack facilities at Pakistan's largest natural gas field, forcing closure of main plant.
April 2005 - Bus services, the first in 60 years, operate between Muzaffarabad in Pakistani-administered Kashmir and Srinagar in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
July 2005 - More than 130 people are killed and hundreds are injured in a collision between three passenger trains in Sindh province.
August 2005 - Pakistan tests its first, nuclear-capable cruise missile.
October 2005 - An earthquake, with its epicentre in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, kills tens of thousands of people. The city of Muzaffarabad is among the worst-hit areas.
January 2006 - Up to 18 people are killed in a US missile strike in a border village in the north.
February 2006 - More than 30 people are killed in a suspected suicide bomb attack and ensuing violence at a Shia Muslim procession in the north-west.
April 2006 - Suicide bombing kills at least 57 people at a Sunni Muslim ceremony in Karachi.
May 2006 - Former Prime Ministers Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif sign a "charter for democracy" ahead of elections due in 2007.
August 2006 - Security forces kill prominent Balochistan tribal leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti.
October 2006 - Raid on an Islamic seminary in Bajaur kills up to 80 people, sparking anti-government protests. Army says the madrassa was a training camp for Al-Qaeda militants.