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The Chronicle of Pakistan
Compiled by Khurram Ali Shafique
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Jan 1 Emerald mines in Swat nationalized

Jan 8 Mujeeb released and allowed to return to Bangladesh via London (since no direct Pakistani flights fly over India)

Jan 23 Provincial assemblies to convene on Mar 23

Mar 3 Public holiday to celebrate Bhutto's land reforms

Mar 19 Life insurance business nationalised

Mar Bhutto visits Moscow to meet Premier Kosygin and sign five-year treaty to reopen trade

Apr 14 First session of new NA convened; martial law to be lifted on Apr 21

Apr 17 Mahmood Ali Kasuri heads 25 member NA committee to frame permanent constitution

Apr 21 Martial Law lifted; interim constitution enforced: Pakistan to be a federal republic based on Islamic teachings with fundamental rights, presidential form of government and uni-cameral legislature; Urdu to be the national language.

Apr 29 Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo appointed Governor Balochistan

May 1 Sardar Ataullah Mengal becomes chief minister of NAP-JUI coalition government in Balochistan

Jul Sindh Assembly passes 'Teaching, Promotion, and Use of Sindhi Language Bill'

Jul: Sun declaration cancelled

Oct 20 Leaders of major political parties reach understanding about future constitution

Nov 16: 617 Indian POWs held since 1971 War are unilaterally released by Bhutto

Nov 28 Karachi Atomic Nuclear Power Plant (KANNUP), built with 650 million rupees and Canadian assistance, inaugurated by President Bhutto

Nov 30-Dec 1 Fifth Annual Convention of PPP

Dec 19 Tridev Roy receives warm homecoming from President Bhutto

Dec 22 First satellite transmission: Pakistan television broadcasts cricket match live from Adelaide, Australia

Dec 24 Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan returns from eight-year exile in Kabul

Dec 31 Law minister Abdul Hafeez Pirzada introduces draft of future constitution in NA


Yousuf Zafar:

Nasir Kazmi:
poet, anthologist

Sirajuddin Zafar:

Dr. Afzal Husain Qadri:
educationist, scientist



Moving in for the kill

January 2 President Bhutto has announced the nationaliziation of 10 categories of major industries, including iron and steel, basic metals, heavy engineering, heavy electrical, motor vehicles, tractors, basic chemicals, petro-chemicals, cement, and public utilities.

Technically, the government has taken over the 'managemnt' rather than the 'ownership' of the industries, hence avoiding the necessity of paying any compensation. This ingenious idea originally came from Secretary Industry Qamarul Islam, and was approved by Bhutto in a matter of minutes. Foreign industries are not touched, fearing adverse publicity in the international media.

The draft of the law prepared by Law Minister Kasuri was signed by Bhutto in his bedroom at 3:00 am on January 1, in Peshawar, where he was playing host to an Arab prince.

Dr Mubashir Hasan will chair the new Board of Industrial Management to supervise some thirty major industries.

New labour policy

February 10 New labour policy introduced: factory owners cannot dismiss workers; required to arrange for proper education for laborer’s children; workers given representation in management; 6 per cent of profits to be spent on workers’ welfare; old age pension.

Commanders-in-Chief, 1947-72

Frank Messervy (Aug 1947-Jan 1949)

Douglas Gracey (Jan 1949-Jan 1951)

Muhammad Ayub Khan (Jan 1951-Oct 1958)

Muhammad Musa (Oct 1958-Sep 1965)

Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan (Sep 1966-Dec 1971)

Gul Hasan (Dec 1971-Mar 1972)

Army reshuffled

March 3 President Bhutto announces decision to replace Lt-Gen Gul Hasan with Lieutenant-General Tikka Khan and Air Marshal Rahim Khan with Air Marshal Zafar Chaudhry. Post of C-in-C is abolished; each wing of the Armed Forces to be headed by a Chief of Staff.

Unknown to the people, the decision was taken because Gul Hassan and Rahim Khan refused to carry out a secret directive by President Bhutto to "put down" the police strike that broke out in Lahore on February 28.

Promised Land

March 1 Land reforms have been announced. Maximum land-holding for a single person is 150 acres irrigated or 300 acres non-irrigated while maximum produce index units permitted are 12,000 with permission to additional units for tractor and tube well. One million acres have been resumed by the government to be distributed among landless peasants.

Anti- corruption

March Around 2000 government servants have been dismissed during the last three months as part of Bhutto’s campaign to "root out corruption."

Whirlwind tours

May In an effort to uplift diplomatic face before the world, the President Bhutto has been on whirlwind tours to several countries since January this year - China, USSR, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Ethiopia and Nigeria among many others.

Simla Agreement


July 2 Prime Minister Bhutto and his Indian counterpart Indira Gandhi have signed an agreement in Simla, India, declaring their resolve "to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations or by any other peaceful means mutually agreed upon."

The Indian army will withdraw from West Pakistani territory occupied since 1971 war. The agreement makes no mention of plebiscite in Kashmir.

Ethnic riots in Sindh

July 8 Following the passage of the Sindhi Language Bill yesterday, terrible ethnic riots errupt in Sindh, dividing the province along ethnic lines with Urdu-speakers and those who speak Sindhi pitted against each other.

Nationalisation of education receives mixed responses

The present regime’s decision to nationalise 3000 educational institutions has elicited a mixed public response. While the move is expected to bring free education to a larger number of people, it has also been pointed out that the standard of education at existing government schools and colleges is not particularly high, and that the nationalisation of private educational institutions is likely to bring down the standard of such institutions. Meanwhile, a number of schools and colleges have been exempted from this directive, most of which cater to the elite.

General versus judges

March 7. A Full Bench of the Lahore High Court today gave its ruling in the case of Major-General A. O. Mitha, convicting him for contempt of court.

Last year, two serving judges of the High Court called upon a Colonel to explain under what authority he was interfering a purely civil dispute, upon which Mitha issued a notice to both the judges for "contempt of Martial Law." The High Court observed that such action was "unimaginable in civilized society and... wholly unprecedented in the military history of the world, during or after Martial Law."

Since Mitha had already tendered an unconditional apology, he was sentenced to simple imprisonment till the rising of the court.

Middle of a revolution?

March 19 Addressing a rally at Lahore's Qaddafi Stadium, Bhutto makes an agitated speech, declaring: "We are in the middle of a revolution… People will get justice."

Culture shock

The makers of Tehzeeb, released on November 20 last year, have been asked to change the lyrics as a reference to "Misr" (Egypt) might prove detrimental to diplomatic relations with that country. While the line "Laga hai misr ka bazaar, dekho" changes to "Laga hai husn ka bazaar" in the movie soundtrack, the gramophone records, already sold in good numbers, are beyond redemption.

Munich Olypmics

Pakistan loses to West Germany in the controversial hockey final at the Munich Olympics. When the players receive their silver medals, they put the medals in their shoes, in protest against biased refereeing.

September. Raja Tridev Rai, Minister for Minority Affairs, who has been nominated leader of Pakistani delegation to United Nations.

Hippie on the Pakistani trip

"In a dingy room in a dingy hotel off Somerset Street, Saddar, a group of boys and girls sit around a table -- smoking. The room has two beds and a table; the girls and boys have long hair and bare feet. On the table are some stale items of food and over the whole place hangs the unmistakable smell of marijuana and hashish.

The boys and girls are hippies and the session is a practical demonstration of their novel slogan -- 'better living through chemistry.' Chemistry, of course, is another word for narcotics. And in their quest for "better living", an ever-increasing number of hippies are invading Pakistan. According to a conservative estimate, over 5,000 hippies cross the border into Pakistan every year..."

[Excerpt from cover story in Herald, May 1972 by Umardraz Sabry]

Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation

December 20. Radio Pakistan has been made a corporation under the name of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC). Apparently this is in pursuance of the recommendations submitted in 1969 by a committee appointed in 1965 to examine the state of broadcasting in Pakistan and to recommend measures for its growth.

Songs remembered
Mera dil najanay kabsay (Hiill Station)
Tun topay waroon (Naag Muni)
Ga mere dewanay dil (Daulat Aur Duniya)
Ranjish hi sahi (Mohabbat)
Khamosh hain nazaray (Bandagi)
Ik husn ki davey say (Meri Zindagi Hai Naghma)
Humein kho kar (Ehsaas)
Jo bacha thha (Umrao Jan Ada

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