Jan 2 Constituencies announced for coming elections
Jan 3 Reforms announced limiting land ownership to no more than 100 irrigated or 200 non-irrigated acres; compensation specified for all land resumed by government
Jan 8 Opposition grouping, Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) launched, including Pakistan Muslim League, Tehrik-e-Istaqlal, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam, National Democratic Party, Pakistan Democratic Party, Khaksar Tehrik, Azad Kashmir Muslim Conference; ganging up of major opposition parties takes Bhutto by surprise
Jan 10 President Fazal Ilahi dissolves assemblies on Prime Minister's recommendation, in anticipation of forthcoming elections; first assembly in 30 years to complete term (not counting Ayub Khan's indirectly elected assembly of 1962)
Mar 7 NA elections held; PTV begins four-day transmission to broadcast results
Mar 10 PA elections elicit low turnout
Mar 12 Bhutto invites PNA leaders to hold talks
Mar 28 Bhutto assumes power for second term; only 168 PPP members attend NA session
Apr 9 Police open fire on demonstrators; official sources report 8 killed, PNA claims 37 dead
Apr 11 PNA calls on citizens to stop paying taxes to 'unconstitutional' government
Apr 13 Bhutto tells BBC he will call in army if necessary
Apr 21 Army called in to restore order; curfew in major cities
Apr 22 Five shot dead in Karachi for violating curfew
May 5 PNA issues 32 demands, including dismissal of Bhutto; refuses to hold further talks
May 13 PM announces decision to hold referendum on question of remaining in office
Jun 3 The PNA agrees to begin talks with the PPP, following intervention by emissaries of the UAE's Sheikh Zayed and Prince Khalid of Saudi Arabia.
Jun 5 Lahore High Court decrees martial law illegal; Bhutto to appeal in Supreme Court
Jun 7 Martial Law lifted
Jun 15 PNA, PPP agree on power-sharing formula; sub-committees formed to prepare detailed draft for approval by both sides; PNA movement suspended; political prisoners released
Jun 17-24 Bhutto tours Arab countries
Jul 4 Agreement between PPP, PNA reached; some minor points unresolved; Bhutto informs cabinet and General Zia of decision to break deadlock
Jul 13 Maulvi Mushtaq Ali, on good terms with Zia, appointed Chief Justice Lahore High Court
Aug 21 Division Bench of Lahore High Court hears evidence against Bhutto in Kasuri murder case
Sep 13 Justice Samdani of Lahore High Court grants bail to Bhutto
Sep Urdu Digest publishes Zia's interview: "Bhutto cheat, cold-blooded murderer," says Zia
Sep 17 Bhutto arrested again by martial law authorities, this time from Larkana residence, Al Murtaza
Sep US discontinues military and economic aid to Pakistan for pursuing nuclear reprocessing plant programme
Dec 5 Zia orders Hyderabad conspiracy case to be dropped; Wali Khan and other NAP leaders released
January 7. General Elections will be held for National Assembly on March 7, and for provincial assemblies on March 10.
You say you want a revolution...
January Director General Inter-Services Intelligence Jilani has sent a secret message to General Zia, with a copy to the PM, warning of a hand-written poster which has appeared in the Multan barracks calling for a "fauji inquilab," or army revolution.
God on their side?
The Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) has taken up "Nizam-e-Mustafa" as its election slogan. Their manifesto promises to enforce Islamic law, the Shariah, and to put an end to absentee landlordism, among other things. The movement is an eclectic combination of nine political and religious parties and is committed to a number of contradictory causes, such as Asghar Khan's secularism versus Maulana Maududi's hardline Islamism.
It cannot be stated how long this partnership will last, but one thing is becoming increasingly clear; even though religion has been a political commodity for some time, this is the first occasion in the country's history that Islam has become the launching pad for a mass political movement. The PNA seems to have successfully roused a considerable section of society in the name of bringing back the social justice of the early days of Islam. However, the ulterior motives of its leaders raise doubts.
Where's the opposition?
January 19 Today was the last day for filing nomination papers for the forthcoming elections. No candidates have filed papers against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and several other PPP members from Sindh, including Jatoi, Mimtaz Bhutto and Hafeez Pirzada. The PNA insists that potential rivals in these constituencies have been forced to withdraw, claiming that some were detained by the police until the deadline for filing papers had passed, while the whereabouts of others are unknown. The PNA suspects these men may have been kidnapped by the dreaded Federal Security Force (FSF).
March 8 The PPP has won 155 of the 200 seats in the National Assembly. The PNA alleges rigging and has called for fresh elections. It has also demanded the removal of both the chief election commissioner and Bhutto, urging people to boycott provincial assembly elections scheduled for March 10.
March 11 The countrywide strike today marks the beginning of what seems to be a violent mass movement aimed at nothing less than toppling the PPP regime. Throughout the country, public life grinds to a halt, while some cities see charged political rallies which end in skirmishes between the supporters of the PPP and the PNA.
March 25 PNA President Mufti Mahmood and General Secretary Ghafoor Ahmad arrested; over 10,000 PNA supporters and workers have been detained so far.
Bhutto meets Maududi
April 15 Bhutto meets Maulana Maududi to propose fresh elections for the provincial assemblies, and for the National Assembly if the PNA wins majority in provincial polls.
May In a letter addressed to the chiefs of staff and officers of the defense services, Asghar Khan has asked them to withdraw support for the Bhutto regime.
July 4 Around midnight, Chief of Army Staff General Ziaul Haq and other army officers took Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and other major political leaders into custody. The operative, which was kept a well-guarded secret until the last moment, was given the codename "Operation Fairplay."
The hammer falls
July 5 In an address to the nation, General Ziaul Haq announces that the Consitution of 1973 has been suspended; the national and provincial assemblies stand dissolved. The Prime Minister, members of his cabinet and prominent leaders of the PNA have been arrested. Elections are to be held within 90 days.
July 27 Zia reassures the nation about the October elections but urges people to vote only for "true Pakistani and devout Muslim"
July 29 Bhutto is released from "protective custody" by the martial law authorities. He is hailed by jubiliant crowd in his home town, Larkana.
Back to the masses
August Bhutto is on a tour through Punjab. The crowds gathering to hear him speak are reminiscent of the huge public rallies of the late '60s when Bhutto first emerged as a populist leader.
August 24 Zia once again reassures the nation about the October elections but says that certain irregularities committed by Bhutto will be made public before elections are held
September 3 Former Prime Minister Bhutto was arrested from his 70 Clifton residence, Karachi, by commandos "for murder and other high crimes". Trial will begin in Punjab High Court on September 13.
September 13 Following Bhuttos release on bail this morning, General Zia meets with the leaders of major political parties, except the PPP, and announces his decision to hold elections on October 17. Sensing trouble ahead, Bhutto nominates his wife, Nusrat, acting chairman of the party, in case he is re-arrested.
September 17 Bhutto, who was released on bail four days ago, was arrested again by martial law authorities, this time from his Larkana residence Al Murtaza in the early hours of the morning.
Into the limelight
With her husband incarcerated, Nusrat Bhutto, the elegant former first lady, becomes the unlikely symbol of political resistance to the martial law regime
October 1. General Zia has postponed the October elections. PNA is likely to join the Martial Law Government.
A council of senior army officials and bureaucrats is set up to rule the country. Special military courts are established.
Members of the National and provincial assemblies have been asked to submit lists of property acquired since December 1970. Disqualification tribunals have been set up, comprising high court judges and military officers not lower than the rank of brigadier.
180 PPP politicians DISQUALIFIED for 7 years
Pakistan celebrates the Iqbal Centenary this year. India celebrated the event four years ago according to Iqbal's widely accepted date of birth, February 23, 1873. However, a research committee set up in Pakistan decided in 1975 that Iqbal was born on November 9, 1877.
Gul calls Bhutto traitor
April 14. Retired Lt. Gen. Gul Hassan has resigned as the ambassador of Pakistan to Greece. In his resignation telegram he has accused the Prime Minister Bhutto of breaking up the country in 1971, and of having similar intentions again. Gul Hassan has called the form of government in Pakistan "of Bhutto, by Bhutto and for Bhutto."
April 17 In a desperate move to appease the mullahs and mullah incited crowds on the streets, Bhutto has announced an immediate ban on alcohol, gambling, nightclubs, bars and other un-Islamic activities. He has also promised to bring all laws in conformity with the Shariah.
FRIDAY TO BE WEEKLY HOLIDAY FROM JULY 1
Box office hit
Aina, released on March 18 this year, marks a distinct symbolic break between the liberal Bhutto years and the increasingly conservative Zia regime. Starring Nadeem, Shabnam, Rehan, Qavi. Music by Robin Ghosh, produced by A.R.Shamsi for Kashif Films Ltd; directed by Nazrul Islam. released on March 18 this year, marks a distinct symbolic break between the liberal Bhutto years and the increasingly conservative Zia regime. Starring Nadeem, Shabnam, Rehan, Qavi. Music by Robin Ghosh, produced by A.R.Shamsi for Kashif Films Ltd; directed by Nazrul Islam.
The Secrets of the Blind Dolphin is a groundbreaking work by Giorgio Pilleri, who visited the habitat of this rare creature in Pakistan three years ago. The study has raised international alarm over the diminishing numbers of bhulan, as the blind dolphin is called in the Indus region: Pilleri could count only 150 over a stretch of 170 km.
The Indus dolphin has been declared endangered, and the Government of Sindh has demarcated the Indus river between the Sukkur (Lloyd) and Guddu barrages as a dolphin reserve. An Indus Dolphin Project (IDP) has also been launched to study the little-known mammal and identify its conservation needs.
September 6 While addressing the nation on the Defence Day, General Zia has said: "The armed forces are the only stable institution to defend national frontiers not only geographical frontiers [but the country's] ideological frontiers also have to be fully protected."
The young poet Parveen Shakir's anthology Khushboo is well-received.