ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — – Following is a chronology of key events in Pakistan since its independence in 1947.
Aug. 14, 1947: Pakistan gains independence.
Oct. 27, 1947: War breaks out with India in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Sept. 11, 1948: Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah, known as Qaid-e-Azam (great leader), dies.
Jan. 1, 1949: Cease-fire ordered by the U.N. Security Council takes effect in Himalayan territory of Kashmir.
April 8, 1948: Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru sign pact to protect minorities in both countries.
Oct. 17, 1951: Liaqat Ali Khan is shot dead at a rally in Rawalpindi.
Jan. 3, 1954: Constituent Assembly declares Urdu and Bengali as official languages of Pakistan.
May 1954: Pakistan signs mutual defense agreement with the United States.
Sept. 23, 1955: Pakistan signs Baghdad pact for mutual defense with Turkey, Iraq and Britain.
March 23, 1956: Constituent assembly adopts name of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and first constitution.
Oct. 7, 1958: Governor-general Iskander Mirza abrogates constitution, enforces martial law with General Ayub Khan as Chief Martial Law Administrator and bans political parties.
Oct. 24, 1958: Ayub Khan becomes prime minister.
Feb. 17, 1960: Ayub Khan becomes first elected president.
April 28, 1962: Elections for new national assembly are held under so-called "basic democracy" system.
Sept. 6-22, 1965: Full-scale India-Pakistan war over Kashmir, which ends after a U.N. call for cease-fire .
Dec. 22, 1965: Pakistan inaugurates first atomic reactor.
Jan. 3, 1966: President Ayub Khan and Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri sign Soviet-mediated peace pact in Tashkent.
March 26, 1969: General Yayha Khan imposes martial law, dissolving national and provincial assemblies.
Dec. 3-17, 1971: India and Pakistan fight war over East Pakistan, which ends in surrender of 90,000 Pakistani troops and leads to creation of Bangladesh.
Dec. 20, 1971: Yahya hands power to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who becomes chief martial law administrator of West Pakistan.
April 20, 1972: Martial law is lifted and an interim constitution enforced.
July 2, 1972: Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sign peace accord in Simla, India.
April 10, 1973: Parliament approves new constitution.
Aug. 28, 1973: India agrees to release Pakistani prisoners of war held since December 1971.
July 4, 1977: Army chief General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq seizes power, arrests Bhutto and declares martial law.
April 4, 1979: Bhutto is hanged on disputed conviction for conspiring to commit a political murder.
Feb. 25, 1985: Zia holds non-party elections and names Mohammad Khan Junejo as prime minister.
Dec. 30, 1985: Martial law is lifted.
Aug. 17, 1988: Zia and many senior military officers die in plane crash near Bahawalpur.
Nov. 16, 1988: Benazir Bhutto and her Pakistan People's Party win 39 percent of vote in general elections.
Dec. 13, 1988: Ghulam Ishaq Khan becomes president.
Dec. 31, 1988: India and Pakistan sign agreement not to attack each other's nuclear facilities.
Jan. 1990: An uprising against Indian rule in the Kashmir Valley breaks out, inflaming tensions with India.
Aug. 6, 1990: President Ghulam Ishaq Khan sacks Bhutto's government. Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi is named caretaker prime minister until general elections in October 1990.
Nov. 6, 1990: Nawaz Sharif is elected prime minister.
April 18, 1993: President Ishaq Khan dismisses Sharif's government.
Oct. 19, 1993: Benazir Bhutto becomes prime minister for the second time after winning general elections.
Nov. 13, 1993: Farooq Leghari, a Bhutto nominee, is elected president.
January 1994: Peace talks with India break down over Kashmir.
Nov. 5, 1996: President Farooq Leghari sacks Bhutto, dissolves parliament and calls elections for February 3.
Feb 3, 1997: Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League party wins general elections by landslide margin.
Feb. 17, 1997: Sharif becomes prime minister for second time.
March 28, 1997: Pakistan and India resume peace talks at foreign secretary level for first time since 1994.
Dec. 2, 1997: President Farooq Leghari resigns after a six- month legal battle to have Sharif investigated for misuse of power during his first premiership.
May 28, 1998: Pakistan conducts five nuclear tests in response to India's tests earlier in the month.
Aug. 4, 1998: Guerrillas in India's Kashmir region kill 19 people as cross-border firing by the Indian and Pakistani armies runs into its sixth day.
Oct. 18, 1998: Pakistan and India end their first peace talks in a year with agreement to meet again next February in New Delhi.
April 15, 1999: Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband are sentenced in absentia to a five-year jail terms on charges of corruption.
June-July, 1999: Weeks of border skirmishes erupt between Pakistan and India over Muslim militant infiltrators who seized hilltop positions on the Indian side of the line of control.
July 12, 1999: Pakistan orders the Muslim militant infiltrators to withdraw from Kashmir, ending the standoff with India.
October 12, 1999: Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Gen. Pervez Musharraf suspended Pakistan's constitution during a military coup and assumed the additional title of Chief Executive of Pakistan. Sharif was imprisoned on hijack charges.