Basic Facts
    Land and People


Facts about flags

Pakistan traces its history back to 2,500 years B.C., when a highly developed civilization flourished in the Indus Valley. Excavations at Harrappa, Moenjodaro, Kot Diji and Mehr Garh have brought to light, the evidence of an advanced civilization existing even in more ancient times. Around 1,500 B.C., the Aryans overwhelmed this region and influenced the Hindu civilization, whose centre moved to Ganges valley, further east. Later, the Persians occupied the northern region in the 5th century B.C. up to the 2nd century AD. The Greeks came in 327 B.C., under Alexander of Macedonia, and passed away like a meteor. In 712 AD, the Arabs, led by Muhammad Bin Qasim, landed somewhere near modern Karachi and ruled the lower half of Pakistan for 200 years. During this time, Islam took roots in the soil and influenced the life, culture and traditions of the people.

In the 10th century AD, began the systematic conquest of South Asia by the Muslims from Central Asia, who ruled here up to the 18th century. Then the British came and ruled for nearly 100 years over what is Pakistan now.

Independence Movement

The Muslim revival began towards the end of the last century when Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, a renowned Muslim leader and educationist, launched a movement for intellectual renaissance of the Muslims of South Asia. In 1930, the well-known poet-philosopher, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, conceived the idea of a separate state for the Muslims of South Asia. In 1940, a resolution was adopted by the All-India Muslim League, demanding a separate independent home land for the Muslims. After 07 years of un-tiring struggle under the brilliant leadership of Quaid-e-Azam (the great leader) Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan emerged on the world map as a sovereign state, on 14th August, 1947.

This is the summary of important historical events of the subcontinent

3000-15000 B.C.

Harappan culture in the Indus Valley and elsewhere

500-500 B.C.

Migrations of Aryan-speaking tribes; the Vedic Age

550-486 B.C.

Life of Gautama Buddha, founding of Buddhism

320-180 B.C.

Mauryan Empire; Asoka most famous emperor; spread of Buddhism

180 B.C - 150 A.D. Saka dynasties in Indus Valley and northwest
78-200 A.D. Kushan Empire; Gandharan art flourishes
300-700 A.D Gupta Empire; Classical Age in northern India

Coming of Islam

711 Arab Muslims in Sindh

Mahmud of Ghazni raids into the subcontinent from Afghanistan

1192 Muhammad of Ghor defeats Rajputs
1206 Establishment of Delhi Sultanate
1398 Destruction of Delhi by Timur

Mughal Period

1526 Babur victorious in first Battle of Paniput
1530-1556 Wars of succession
1556 Akbar victorious in second Battle of Paniput
1556-1605 Reign of Akbar the Great
1605-1627 Reign of Jahangir; in 1612 East India Company opens first trading center
1628-1658 Reign of Shah Jahan
1658-1707 Reign of Aurangzeb
1761 Third Battle of Panipat; an Afghan victory over a Maratha army
1707-1858 Decline of the Mughal Empire

British India
1757 Battle of Plassey - British victory over Mughal forces in Bengal; conventional date for beginning of
British rule in India

1784 William Pitt's India Act

Sikh kingdom in the Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh


Institution of British education and other reform measures 45

1838-1842 First Afghan war
1843 British annex Sindh, Hyderabad and Khairpur

Sikh Wars; British annex the Punjab and sell Kashmir, Gilgit, and Ladakh "Package," known as Kashmir


Uprising, variously known as the first war of independence, the Mutiny,and the Sepoy Rebellion

1858 British Raj begins
1878-1880 Second Afghan War
1885 Indian National Congress formed

Durand Line established as boundary between Afghanistan and British India

1905 Partition of Bengal
1906 All-India Muslim League founded
1911 Partition of Bengal annulled
1919 Montague-Chelmsford Reforms; Third Afghan War
1935 Government of India Act of 1935
March 23, 1940

Muslim League adopts Pakistan Resolution


August 14, 1947

Partition and independence; Mohammad Ali Jinnah becomes Governor General; Liaqath Ali Khan becomes Prime Minister

September 11, 1948

Jinnah dies; Khwaja Nazimuddin becomes Governor General

October 1951

Liaqath Ali Khan assassinated; Ghulam Mohammad becomes Governor General

August 1955 Ghulam Mohammad dies; succeeded by Iskander Mirza
October 1955

One Unit established, incorporating the four provinces of West Pakistan

March 23, 1956 Constitution adopted; Mirza becomes President
October 7, 1958

President Mirza abrogates constitution, declares martial law

October 27, 1958

Mirza sent into exile; General Mohammad Ayub Khan begins rule

September 1965 War with India over KASHMIR ISSUE.
March 25, 1969

Ayub resigns as result of public pressure; General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan assumes power.

July 1, 1970

One unit abolished, four provinces reestablished in West Pakistan

December 1970 First general elections; Awami League secures majority in East Pakistam & People’s Party in West Pakistan.
March 25, 1971 East Pakistan attempts to secede; civil war begins
December 1971 Indo-Pakistani War; East Pakistan becomes the independent state of Bangladesh; Yahya resigns; President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto takes charge as the Civilian Martial Law Administrator.
July 2, 1972 Bhutto and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi conclude Simla Agreement
August 14, 1973 New Constitution goes into effect with Bhutto as Prime Minister
February 22-25, 1974 Islam Summit Conference held in Lahore
March 1977 General elections; massive victory by Bhutto's party evokes widespread rioting and protest
July 5, 1977 Marial law proclaimed
September 1978 Mohammad Zia ul Haq becomes President
April 4, 1979 Bhutto hanged
March 4, 1981 Provisional Constitutional Order, which in effect suspended 1973 Constitution
August 12, 1983 President Zia announces that martial law will be lifted in 1985,