Friday, December 28, 2007

The end of times...!!!

Islamabad:Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on Thursday, a little over two months after she returned home from exile and vowed to take on President Pervez Musharraf in the January 8 general elections.

Ominously, there was a horrific blast that killed 150 people as her convoy moved through Karachi in a homecoming procession on October 18 but Bhutto vowed to soldier on.

The following are some of the key events in her career:

June 21, 1953: Benazir Bhutto is born in Karachi into a wealthy landowning family. Her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founded the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and was president and later prime minister of Pakistan from 1971 to 1977.

1977: Benazir returns to Pakistan after gaining degrees in politics at Harvard and Oxford universities, just before the military seized power from her father.

April 1979: Benazir Bhutto is imprisoned just before her father, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, is executed by Gen Zia ul Huq. She is sentenced to five years in jail.

1984: Bhutto allowed to leave for London for health reasons after spending most of her years in prison in solitary confinement. She reorganises her father's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in London and takes over its leadership.

April 1986: Bhutto returns from exile in London and holds political rallies, attracting massive crowds.

Dec 6, 1988: Bhutto becomes the first woman prime minister of a Muslim nation after winning parliamentary elections.

Aug 6, 1990: Bhutto government dismissed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on grounds of corruption charges against her and husband Asif Zardari. Her political opponent Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) is made prime minister.

July 1993: President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismisses Sharif as prime minister, also on grounds of alleged corruption.

Oct 19, 1993: Bhutto takes oath for a second term as prime minister after elections in which no party is a clear winner. She takes the support of smaller parties.

Sep 1996: Murtaza Bhutto, Benazir's younger brother, is shot dead by policemen along with six of his political workers.

Nov 5, 1996: Bhutto government dismissed again - this time by President Farooq Leghari, not only on charges of corruption but also of carrying out staged killings.

Feb 1997: Sharif becomes prime minister again after his PML convincingly wins general elections.

April 14, 1999: Bhutto and Zardari found guilty of corruption charges involving a Swiss company, while she is out of the country. Zardari goes to jail, and Bhutto remains in self-exile.

May 1999: Pakistani troops and militants occupy positions in the Kargil area of Kashmir. Strains emerge between Sharif and Musharraf after international condemnation led by the US.

Oct 1999: Sharif sacks Musharraf, but the general hits back by leading an army coup against him and taking control of administration.

Aug 2000: Musharraf bars Bhutto and Sharif from active politics.

Dec 2000: Sharif goes into exile.

July 2002: Court sentences Bhutto (in absentia) to three years in prison on corruption charges.

July 2003: A Swiss court convicts Bhutto and Zardari for money laundering. Given jail sentences and fined.

Nov 2003: Sentence overturned by a higher court.

Nov 2004: Zardari released from prison in Pakistan.

Oct 5, 2007: Musharraf signs a corruption amnesty against Bhutto.

Oct 6, 2007: Musharraf wins presidential election.

Oct 18, 2007: Bhutto returns to Pakistan from eight years in self-exile.

Nov 15, 2007: Musharraf's five-year presidential term and the term of the sitting parliament expires.

Dec 27,2007:Terriorist shot bullets,one targetted on the neck followed by one on head shot.

Jan 8, 2008: The date for parliamentary elections - that are now in doubt after Bhutto's assassination.

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