Timeline: Pakistan votes after year of turmoil
Musharraf, who came to power as a general in 1999, became enmeshed by a political crisis last year as he maneuvered to extend his presidency to 2012.world Updated: Feb 18, 2008 21:47 IST
Musharraf, who came to power as a general in 1999, became enmeshed by a political crisis last year as he maneuvered to extend his presidency to 2012.
Here is a chronology of political events in the past year.
March 9, 2007: Musharraf suspends Supreme Court Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on allegations of misconduct. Lawyers rally around the top judge and Musharraf's popularity plummets.
July 10: Musharraf orders troops to storm the Red Mosque in Islamabad to crush a Taliban-style movement. About 105 people are killed. A wave of militant attacks and suicide bombings follow.
July 20: Supreme Court reinstates Chief Justice Chaudhry, dealing a blow to Musharraf's authority.
July 27: Musharraf meets former premier Benazir Bhutto in Abu Dhabi to discuss moving towards a civilian-led democracy. Bhutto sets conditions including that Musharraf step down as army chief. Sept 10: Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister Musharraf ousted in 1999, is arrested at Islamabad airport, despite having the Supreme Court's clearance to return from exile.
Oct 2: Musharraf designates a successor as army chief. Government says it is dropping corruption charges against Bhutto, clearing the way for her return.
Oct 6: Musharraf wins the most votes in a presidential election by the National and provincial assemblies, but must wait for Supreme Court to rule whether it violated the constitution.
Oct 19: Suicide bomber tries to assassinate Bhutto in Karachi as she returns from eight years of exile. Nearly 140 people are killed.
Nov 3: Musharraf imposes emergency rule.
Nov 11: Musharraf says national election will be held by January 9 but under a state of emergency.
Nov 13: Bhutto placed under house arrest for a week in Lahore, hours before planned march against emergency rule.
Nov 15: Musharraf appoints Senate chairman Mohammadmian Soomro to head a caretaker line-up to oversee elections.
Nov 22: Commonwealth suspends Pakistan after earlier issuing ultimatum for Musharraf to end emergency and quit as army chief.
Nov 25: Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returns from exile, touching down in his stronghold of Lahore.
Nov 28: A tearful Musharraf sees General Ashfaq Kayani sworn in as army chief at army headquarters in Rawalpindi.
Nov 29: Musharraf is sworn in as a civilian leader. He calls the event a milestone in Pakistan's transition to democracy.
Dec 9: Sharif says his party will contest election.
Dec 15: Musharaff ends state of emergency, restores constitution.
Dec 27: Bhutto assassinated in gun and bomb attack on election rally in Rawalpindi. At least 16 people killed in blast.
Dec 30: Bhutto's party appoints her son and husband to succeed her, and says it will contest election.
Jan 2: Election Commission postpones vote from Jan 8 to Feb 18 because of disturbances after Bhutto's assassination.
Feb 18: Polls open at 8 a.m. (10 p.m. Sunday EST). Results expected to start emerging by midnight, with trends clear by Tuesday morning.
(Writing by David Cutler and Gillian Murdoch, Singapore Editorial Reference Unit)