Pakistan Political timeline
Aug 14, 1947: Pakistan gains independence.
Sept 11, 1948: Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, known as Qaid-e-Azam (great leader), dies.
Oct 17, 1951: Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan is shot dead at a rally in Rawalpindi.
March 23, 1956: Constituent assembly adopts name of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and first constitution.
Oct 7, 1958: Governor-general Iskander Mirza abrogates constitution, enforces martial law with General Ayub Khan as Chief Martial Law Administrator and bans political parties.
Oct 24, 1958: Ayub Khan becomes prime minister.
Feb 17, 1960: Ayub Khan becomes first elected president.
April 28, 1962: Elections for new national assembly are held under so-called "basic democracy" system.
March 26, 1969: General Yayha Khan imposes martial law, dissolving national and provincial assemblies.
Dec 20, 1971: Yahya hands power to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who becomes chief martial law administrator of West Pakistan.
April 20, 1972: Martial law is lifted and an interim constitution enforced.
April 10, 1973: Parliament approves new constitution.
July 4, 1977: Army chief General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq seizes power, arrests Bhutto and declares martial law.
April 4, 1979: Bhutto is hanged on disputed conviction for conspiring to commit a political murder.
Feb 25, 1985: Zia holds non-party elections and names Mohammad Khan Junejo as prime minister.
Dec 30, 1985: Martial law is lifted.
Aug 17, 1988: Zia and many senior military officers die in plane crash near Bahawalpur.
Nov 16, 1988: Benazir Bhutto and her Pakistan People's Party win 39 per cent of vote in general elections.
Dec 13, 1988: Ghulam Ishaq Khan becomes president.
Aug 6, 1990: President Ghulam Ishaq Khan sacks Bhutto's government. Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi is named caretaker prime minister until general elections in October 1990.
Nov 6, 1990: Nawaz Sharif is elected prime minister.
April 18, 1993: President Ishaq Khan dismisses Sharif's government.
Oct 19, 1993: Benazir Bhutto becomes prime minister for the second time after winning general elections.
Nov 5, 1996: President Farooq Leghari sacks Bhutto, dissolves parliament and calls elections for February 3.
Feb 3, 1997: Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League party wins general elections by landslide margin.
Feb 17, 1997: Sharif becomes prime minister for second time.
Dec 2, 1997: President Farooq Leghari resigns after a six- month legal battle to have Sharif investigated for misuse of power during his first premiership.
May 28, 1998: Pakistan conducts five nuclear tests in response to India's tests earlier in the month.
Aug 4, 1998: Guerrillas in India's Kashmir region kill 19 people as cross-border firing by the Indian and Pakistani armies runs into its sixth day.
Oct 18, 1998: Pakistan and India end their first peace talks in a year with agreement to meet again next February in New Delhi.
April 15, 1999: Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband are sentenced in absentia to a five-year jail terms on charges of corruption.
October 12, 1999: Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Gen Pervez Musharraf staged coup, suspended Constitution and assumed the additional title of Chief Executive of Pakistan. Prime Minister Sharif imprisoned on hijack charges.
June 20, 2001: Gen Pervez Musharraf names himself president.
April 30, 2002: Musharraf wins another five years in office in a referendum criticised as unconstitutional and fraught with irregularities.
August 24, 2002: President Musharraf grants himself sweeping new powers, including the right to dismiss an elected parliament.
November 23, 2002: Mir Zafarullah Jamali sworn in as prime minister.
August 23, 2004: Shaukat Aziz is sworn in as prime minister.
December 30, 2004: President Musharraf says he will stay on as head of the army having previously promised to relinquish the role.
March 9, 2007: President Musharraf suspends the Chief Justice Ifthikar Mohammed Chaudhry, triggering a wave of anger across the country.
July 20, 2007: Supreme Court reinstates Chief Justice Chaudhry.
September 10, 2007: Sharif returns from exile following a Supreme Court order and is deported hours later.
Source: Reuters / HTC