Ethnic Groups: Punjabi 44.68%, Pashtun (Pathan) 15.42%, Sindhi 14.1%, Sariaki 8.38%, Muhajirs 7.57%, Balochi 3.57%, other 6.28%
96.4%, other (includes Christian
) 3.6% (2010 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $988.2 billion (2016 est.)
GDP per capita: $5,100 (2016 est.)
Unemployment: 6.7% (2016 est.)
August 16, 1947 - Great Britain gives independence to the Indian subcontinent, splitting it into India, West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
Pakistan fights its first war against India over control of the Kashmir
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 bloodless coup led by the army. He is executed in April 1979.
1985 - Martial law ends, and the parliamentary government is reestablished.
December 1, 1988 - Benazir Bhutto is elected as the first female prime minister of Pakistan and of any Muslim nation.
1991 - Legislation is passed making Islamic law the law of the land.
April 6, 1998 -
Pakistan successfully tests a medium-range missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. On May 28, Pakistan announces it successfully conducted five nuclear tests
after detonating a boosted uranium device and four low yield sub-kiloton devices.
May-July 1999 - Pakistan and India engage in a brief war over Kashmir.
October 12, 1999 -
General Pervez Musharraf takes power in a bloodless coup. He declares himself president in June 2001.
August 31, 2007 - Musharraf amends Pakistan's constitution to allow himself a third term as president.
September 10, 2007 -
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returns to Pakistan and is deported within hours of landing at the Islamabad airport. He returns to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
October 5, 2007 - Musharraf signs a "reconciliation ordinance" that drops outstanding corruption charges against former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, opening the way for Bhutto's return to Pakistan and a possible power-sharing agreement between them.
October 6, 2007 - An unofficial vote count indicates Musharraf wins by a landslide in a presidential election almost entirely boycotted by the opposition.
November 3, 2007 - Musharraf declares a state of emergency in Pakistan. 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 hours before the start of a protest rally in Rawalpindi, though the arrest warrant is later lifted.
November 11, 2007 - The Pakistani Supreme Court, packed with judges appointed by Musharraf, dismisses five petitions contesting his eligibility as a presidential candidate in the recent elections.
November 28, 2007 - Musharraf steps down as leader of the Pakistani army, the day before he is scheduled to be sworn in as president. General Ashfaq Kayani, appointed vice chief of army staff on October 8, takes over army leadership.
November 29, 2007 - Musharraf takes the presidential oath of office for the third time.
December 27, 2007 - Benazir Bhutto is assassinated during a rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
February 19, 2008 - Musharraf's party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, admits defeat in Pakistan's parliamentary elections.
March 9, 2008 -
Asif Ali Zardari, head of the Pakistan People's Party, and Nawaz Sharif, head of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, sign an agreement making their coalition official. The two leaders call on Musharraf to immediately convene parliament and state they will announce their nominee for prime minister when parliament is called into session.
March 25, 2008 - Yousuf Raza Gilani is sworn in as Pakistan's new prime minister. Gilani is a member of the Pakistan People's Party and served in various capacities as a cabinet member during Benazir Bhutto's terms as prime minister.
April 30, 2008 - After seven hours of talks, leaders from Pakistan's ruling coalition fail to meet their promise to restore to office the judges dismissed by President Musharraf in November, when he declared a state of emergency and dismissed them.
May 12, 2008 - For the second time, Pakistani leaders fail to reach an agreement and meet their self-imposed deadline to introduce a parliamentary resolution restoring the judges. Former Prime Minister Sharif announces that ministers from his party in the federal Cabinet will hand in their resignations the following day.
August 18, 2008 - Pervez Musharraf resigns as president.
September 9, 2008 - Asif Ali Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto, is sworn in as the new president.
July-August 2010 - Catastrophic flooding in Pakistan leads to deaths of at least 1,600 people and leaves four million more homeless.
May 2, 2011 -
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is killed by US Special Forces
during a US raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
May 14, 2011 -
Pakistan's parliament adopts a resolution condemning the US raid on bin Laden's compound. The parliament also threatens to cut off access to a facility used by NATO
forces to ferry troops into Afghanistan.
May 24, 2011 - Former President Pervez Musharraf condemns the raid on the bin Laden compound, "No country has a right to intrude into any other country... Actually, technically, if you see it legally, it's an act of war."
May 25, 2011 - Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan announces that the United States is reducing its troops in Pakistan at the request of the Pakistani government.
October 2011 -
Pakistani businessman Mansoor Ijaz claims in an op-ed piece for the UK-based Financial Times that a Pakistani diplomat had him deliver a secret memo to US Admiral Mike Mullen. The memo, allegedly from Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, reportedly asked the United States to back Zardari in the event of a military coup related to the US killing of Osama bin Laden
in May 2011.
November 28, 2011 - Tensions among Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States jump a notch, with Pakistan's prime minister warning there will be "no more business as usual" with Washington after NATO aircraft killed two dozen Pakistan troops.
December 30, 2011 - Pakistan's Supreme Court appoints a panel to investigate the memo allegedly sent by President Asif Ali Zardari to US Admiral Mike Mullen.
February 13, 2012 - The Pakistani Supreme Court indicts Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for contempt after his refusal to re-open old corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. Gilani is the first Pakistani prime minister to be charged while in office.
April 26, 2012 - Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is convicted and receives a symbolic sentence of custody for the duration of the hearing. He refuses to resign and says that he will appeal the conviction.
June 19, 2012 - Pakistan's Supreme Court rules that Prime Minister Gilani is ineligible to hold office. The court declares the prime minister disqualified retroactive to April 26.
June 22, 2012 - Raja Pervez Ashraf becomes the new prime minister of Pakistan after lawmakers approved his nomination in a majority vote in parliament.
May 11, 2013 - According to unofficial election results, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's party, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), has won most of the seats in the National Assembly.
May 19, 2013 - Sharif successfully gains a majority in parliament, allowing him to form a government and become prime minister.
July 30, 2013
- Mamnoon Hussain
, a well-known businessman, is elected president.
September 24, 2013 -
A magnitude 7.7 earthquake strikes Balochistan province
. More than 300 people are killed.
December 16, 2014 -
Pakistani Taliban gunmen attack the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar. One hundred forty-five people are killed, most of them children.
December 17, 2014 - The death penalty moratorium instated in 2008 is lifted.
August 5, 2015 - Pakistan's Supreme Court upholds the legality of special military courts, established in January 2015, and rules the military courts can prosecute, judge and pass death sentences on civilians.
December 25, 2015 - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
makes a surprise visit to Pakistan, meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
-- a significant sign the icy relationship between the two neighbors is thawing.
March 27, 2016 -
On Easter Sunday, a suicide blast in a park in the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore
kills 69 people and injures more than 340 others. A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, claims responsibility for the deadly attack.
August 8, 2016 -
Hours after activist lawyer Bilal Kasia is gunned down in Pakistan, more than 72 people are killed and 112 others injured in a bombing at the hospital in Quetta
where Kasia's body was taken. Jamat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of Pakistan's Tehreek-i Taliban (TTP) -- also known as the Pakistan Taliban -- later claims responsibility for both the hospital blast and Kasi's death.
October 6, 2016 -
An anti-honor killing bill passes unanimously in both houses of parliament, ensuring perpetrators of so-called "honor killings" can no longer walk free in Pakistan if pardoned by the victim's family.
October 24, 2016 -
At least 61 people are killed and 117 injured when militants attack a police training academy in Quetta, Pakistan.
December 7, 2016 - A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crashes near Abbottabad,
killing all 47 on board, including pop star-turned-religious artist Junaid Jamshed.