World News

Pakistan Fast Facts

Posted July 6, 2013

— Here's a look at Pakistan. It borders Iran, Afghanistan and India in Southeast Asia. In 1947, Pakistan gained its independence from Great Britain.

About Pakistan: (from the CIA World Factbook) Area: 796,095 sq km (slightly less than twice the size of California)

Population: 204,924,861 (July 2017 est.)

Median age: 23.4 years

Capital: Islamabad

Ethnic Groups: Punjabi 44.7%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.4%, Sindhi 14.1%, Sariaki 8.4%, Muhajirs 7.6%, Balochi 3.6%, other 6.3%

Religion: Muslim 96.4%, other (includes Christian and Hindu) 3.6% (2010 est.)

GDP (purchasing power parity): $988.2 billion (2016 est.)

GDP per capita: $5,100 (2016 est.)

Unemployment: 6.1% (2016 est.)

Timeline: August 16, 1947 - Great Britain gives independence to the Indian subcontinent, splitting it into India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

1947-1948 - Pakistan fights its first war against India over control of the Kashmir area.

1965 - Pakistan and India fight their second war over Kashmir.

1971 - Pakistan and India go to war over independence for East Pakistan, later renamed Bangladesh.

1973 - A constitution providing for a parliamentary system of government is adopted.

July 5, 1977 - Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is deposed in a coup led by the army. He is executed in April 1979.

December 1, 1988 - Benazir Bhutto, the daughter of Bhutto, is elected as the first female prime minister of Pakistan and the first woman to lead a modern Muslim nation.

1990 - Nawaz Sharif is elected as prime minister.

1991 - Legislation is passed making Islamic law the law of the land.

May 28, 1998 - Pakistan announces it successfully conducted five nuclear tests.

October 12, 1999 - Army chief Pervez Musharraf takes power, overthrowing Sharif. Sharif had fired Musharraf after the army's failed invasion in Kashmir. Bhutto, who is facing possible arrest on corruption charges, goes into self-imposed exile.

June 20, 2001 - Musharraf appoints himself president while remaining the head of the army.

August 2002 - Musharraf adds 29 amendments to the constitution, granting himself the power to dissolve parliament.

October 5, 2007 - Musharraf signs a reconciliation ordinance that drops corruption charges against Bhutto. It could pave the way for a power-sharing deal with Bhutto, who is planning a return to Pakistan after years in exile.

October 18, 2007 - Hours after Bhutto arrives in Karachi, her motorcade is attacked by a suicide bomber. More than 120 people die in the blast but Bhutto is uninjured. Two days after the bombing, Bhutto vows to continue campaigning to promote her party, the People's Political Party (PPP).

November 3, 2007 - Musharraf declares a state of emergency. He suspends the country's constitution, postpones the upcoming elections and imposes restrictions on the media. Government authorities arrest 1,500 people who protest the state of emergency.

November 9, 2007 - Bhutto is placed under house arrest, preventing her from attending a protest rally. By day's end, the arrest order is lifted.

December 27, 2007 - Bhutto is assassinated during a rally.

March 9, 2008 - Sharif and Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zardari jointly call on Musharraf to immediately convene parliament.

March 23, 2008 - Mursharraf declares that Pakistan has entered an "era of real democracy" after newly-elected lawmakers name Yousuf Raza Gilani as their candidate for prime minister.

March 25, 2008 - After winning the election, Gilani is sworn in as prime minister. Gilani, a member of the PPP, served in various capacities as a cabinet member during Bhutto's terms as prime minister.

August 18, 2008 - Musharraf resigns.

September 9, 2008 - Zardari is sworn in as the new president.

July-August 2010 - Catastrophic flooding leads to deaths of at least 1,600 people. Four million more are displaced.

May 2, 2011 - Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is killed by US Special Forces during a raid in Abbottabad.

May 14, 2011 - Parliament adopts a resolution condemning the US raid on bin Laden's compound. Lawmakers also threaten to cut off access to a facility used by NATO forces to ferry troops into Afghanistan.

May 25, 2011 - A Pentagon spokesman announces that the United States is reducing its troops in Pakistan at the request of the Pakistani government.

February 13, 2012 - Gilani is indicted by the Supreme Court for contempt after he refuses to re-open old corruption cases against Zardari.

April 26, 2012 - Gilani is convicted of contempt.

June 19, 2012 - The Supreme Court rules that Gilani is ineligible to hold office. Days later, Parliament elects Raja Pervez Ashraf to take Ginalni's place as prime minister.

May 19, 2013 - Sharif gains a majority in Parliament, allowing him to form a government and become prime minister.

September 24, 2013 - A magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes Balochistan province. More than 300 people are killed.

December 16, 2014 - Taliban gunmen attack the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar. One hundred forty-five people are killed, most of them children.

December 25, 2015 - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes a surprise visit and meets with Sharif.

March 27, 2016 - A suicide blast in a park in Lahore kills 69 people and injures more than 340 others.

August 8, 2016 - More than 72 people are killed and 112 others injured in a bombing at the hospital in Quetta.

October 6, 2016 - An anti-honor killing bill passes unanimously in both houses of Parliament.

October 24, 2016 - At least 61 people are killed and 117 injured when militants attack a police training academy in Quetta.

November 1, 2016 - The Supreme Court announces that a commission will investigate Sharif's finances after leaked documents showed that his children owned shell companies in the British Virgin Islands. The documents were released as part of the Panama Papers, a trove of secret financial forms associated with a Panamanian law firm that was published online on April 3, 2016.

December 7, 2016 - A Pakistan International Airlines plane crashes near Abbottabad, killing all 47 on board, including pop star-turned-religious artist Junaid Jamshed.

April 20, 2017 - A panel of judges orders a new probe of Sharif's finances, calling on the prime minister and his family to testify.

July 28, 2017 - Sharif resigns as prime minister after the Supreme Court rules that he is ineligible to remain in office amid corruption allegations.

August 1, 2017 - Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is sworn in as prime minister after winning a special election to take Sharif's place.

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