The fertile Indus Valley has been an important prerequisite for cultural education in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. Through the mountain pass of Pakistan, the most important country roads to India have gone, and its coast has been essential for trade with both east and west. In the river valleys in the north, finds belonging to the paleolithic soan culture have been made; some of them may be about half a million years old. Agriculture began to develop in the Indus Valley about 10,000 BC. From the end of the 3000s BC There were significant settlements, including Amri Nal, Kot Diji and Quetta. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Pakistan. The largest known localities in Indus culture (c. 2500 – c. 1700 BC) are also located within the borders of Pakistan. After the downfall of Indus culture, Pakistan was reached by Indo-Iranian people.
The time before the British Empire
From the 6th century BC the Gandhara and Kamboja regions are mentioned in historical sources. Parts of present-day Pakistan were also part of the easternmost satrapies (provinces) of the Persian Empire. After Alexander the Great’s conquests during the 300s BC the northern parts were hellenized (compare Indo-Greek states), but with Candragupta and Ashoka, all of Pakistan for a short time came under Indian supremacy. Northern Pakistan constituted during the 100-400 AD. the core of the Kushan Empire (compare Kushana), while the southern provinces belonged to the rupee kingdom and later Indian state formations. Heftaliterna, the so-called white females, ruled in the north from the 500s. In the second half of the 600s, however, the area was reached by the Muslim conquest, and in the following century Sind and Baluchistan were also Islamized.
- Countryaah: Check to see the location of Pakistan on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Pakistan.
Following invasions of Turkish troops in the 11th century, Afghan conquest trains followed, which in the early 1200s resulted in the founding of the Delhi Sultanate. The Lodi sultans, who ruled over Punjab, expanded their kingdom eastwards in the 15th century but were defeated by Babur, who founded the mogul kingdom in 1526. This became one of the world’s richest and most powerful world, consolidated by Akbar in the early 1600s. It included 1707, when Emperor Aurangzeb died, both Afghanistan and almost the entire Indian peninsula. See also India (History).
The British Empire
Punjab and Sind were conquered in the 1840s by the British, who made India a crown colony in 1858. Many Muslims felt overruled in Hindu-dominated British India, while others, such as the leaders of the Muslim League in the early 1900s, advocated cooperation with the colonial power for that the Muslims as a minority would be guaranteed special rights.
The idea of a Muslim state was voiced in 1930 by the bald Muhammad Iqbal. A Muslim student in Britain suggested the name “Pakistan” (“the purified/Faithfuls country ‘), which also indicated which areas the dreamed-Muslim state could conceivably include: P unjab, A fghania (NWFP), K ashmir, S ind and Baluchi town. Under Mohammad Ali Jinnahsleadership began plans for a Muslim state to be formed within the Muslim League party, which in 1940 demanded an independent Pakistan. The Muslims totaled about 90 million (1941), but were spread across almost all of India, although concentrated to the westernmost and easternmost parts of the subcontinent. Also, Bengali areas with Muslim majority were thought to be incorporated with Pakistan, but support for the formation of a Muslim state was strongest among Muslim minorities scattered in central North India, where Hindus were in clear majority.
According to Jinnah, there were two ※nations§ in India, Muslims and Hindus. The Muslims, who made up a quarter of the Indian subcontinent’s population, feared a Hindu rule in a united and free India. The Muslim League rejected British plans for an Indian federation, and in 1947, when the British Empire ceased, Pakistan – like India – was proclaimed sovereign state. The division took place on the basis of religious affiliation, which is why the major provinces of Punjab and Bengal were divided between the two new states.
Independent Pakistan (from 1947)
Hatred, massacres, and millions of Muslims fleeing Indian territory created human tragedies but also a strong national consciousness in the new state. Pakistan was united through Islam, confidence in Quaid-i-Azam (“the great leader”) Jinnah, who was the country’s general governor, and the first war against India over Kashmir in 1947-48 (see Kashmir issue).
The border crossing was financially unfortunate for Pakistan. Raw materials were available, but factories were missing – they had ended up in India. Industry, as well as capital, bureaucracy and armed forces must be built from the ground up. The new state’s difficulties increased as it consisted of two parts at a distance of 160 miles from each other, separated by Indian territory. The relationship with India came to dictate Pakistan’s foreign policy. The Soviet Union supported India, and Pakistan approached the United States and later also China, which India has been in conflict with.
Pakistan, the sixth most populous country in the world, is riddled with contradictions between West and East Pakistan, which had different languages and traditions. West Pakistani Karachi became the capital, and West Pakistan developed into the politically, administratively and economically dominant part of the country, although East Pakistan, with 1/7 of the country’s area, had 4/7 of the population. Discontent grew in East Pakistan.
Pakistan was proclaimed an Islamic republic, and Orthodox Muslims wanted to establish a theocratic, strictly Muslim state with the Qur’an as a guideline. There were ideological and personal contradictions between them and many European politicians. The name of the new capital was Islamabad, and the Constitution of 1956 stipulated that the laws would be in harmony with Islam.
The regional, ideological and political contradictions caused the ministries to change rapidly. Abuse of power and misconduct as well as black stock trading and corruption increased. Refugees from India (muhajirs) came to play an important political and soon enough economic role. No party had any real popular support, and since Jinnah died in 1948 and Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in 1951, the country lacked a united leader, paving the way for bureaucracy and military power. In 1958, the army seized power through General Mohammad Ayub Khan’s coup d’谷tat. He introduced a system, called basic democracy, which meant that “base democrats” were elected in general elections at the village level and that they in turn appointed political leaders. Power was centralized, the industry developed under military protection and economic growth increased, but it was mainly attributed to a few leading West Pakistanis (“the 22 families”).
Following unrest, strikes and chaos, especially in East Pakistan, Ayub resigned in 1969, handing over power to Commander Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, who called for general elections and again allowed political parties. In the 1970 elections, the Awami League won just over 98 percent of the East Pakistani mandate, while Zulfikar Ali Bhutto ‘s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), got 60 percent of the West Pakistani. Supported by Bhutto, Yahya Khan postponed the convening of parliament, in which the Awami League gained absolute majority. They both wanted a strong central power. The measure created intense dissatisfaction in East Pakistan, which tightened the demands for self-government. West Pakistani troops were deployed to defeat the opposition, and civil war ensued. The leader of the Awami LeagueMujibur Rahman was jailed, and millions of East Pakistanis fled to India. Indian troops intervened, and the Pakistani forces surrendered in December 1971, after which the new state of Bangladesh was formed. Pakistan thus lost 54 percent of its population.
After the 1971 split
Yahya Khan resigned in December 1971 and succeeded President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the first civilian head of state in 13 years. After a parliamentary constitution was introduced in 1973, Bhutto became prime minister. The PPP, whose motto was “bread, clothes and roof over their heads”, considered themselves to represent the poor majority and advocated a modernization of the country, including through land reform and nationalization. However, the reforms became half-hearted and the large landowners, to whom the Bhutto family themselves belonged, retained a political and economic position of a feudal nature. In 1977, Bhutto was overthrown by a military coup led by General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, who ensured that Bhutto was sentenced to death and executed in 1979.
Zia ul-Haq’s military rule lasted until 1988, when he was killed in a plane crash in unclear circumstances. During the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan during the 1980s, the Pakistani army had been strengthened by choosing both Saudi Arabia and the United States to channel its support to the Afghan liberation movements through Pakistan, which favored the Islamist-oriented groups. However, following the 1989 withdrawal from the Soviet Union, the Western world lost interest in the region and the United States began to impose sanctions on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program (mainly in response to India’s start to develop such a program). In Pakistan and Afghanistan, bitterness against the West grew. They were believed to have won the last battle of the Cold War for the United States, but had subsequently been abandoned with a plethora of war-caused problems in the form of, among other things, flows of weapons and refugees. These sentiments were incorporated into the growing religious fundamentalism that Zia ul-Haq elicited through his Islamization of Pakistani society.
The 1990s were marked by an exchange of power between the political blocs constituted by the PPP, now with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s daughter Benazir Bhutto at the helm, and the Pakistan Muslim League respectively led by businessman Nawaz Sharif, PML-N. In the background, the army was always a dominant force, prepared to intervene when it was deemed necessary. At the same time, political violence grew, periodically crippling the country’s economic center, Karachi. In 1999, Sharif made an attempt to place the army under political power by dismissing the army chief, General Pervez Musharraf. He had, by all accounts, on his own initiative, carried out a failed attack on India in Kargil, which is a district in the area that has been disputed since independence. The conflict came to be called the Kargil War / Kargil conflict.
Musharraf responded by dismissing Sharif under dramatic circumstances and appointing himself president. At the request of the Supreme Court, a parliamentary election was held in October 2002, which resulted in the support of the PML-PML-Q branch backed by Musharraf, with the help of, among other things, a coalition of religiously oriented parties.
Musharraf’s time in power came to be greatly influenced by the armed conflict in Afghanistan. Musharraf joined the US ” war on terror ” and thereby broke the diplomatic isolation he had endured as a coup maker. However, US support was not obvious either among the Pakistani public, strongly influenced by anti-American sentiment, or within the army, whose soldiers were trained to fight Indian Hindus, not other Muslims. The ambivalence was reflected, among other things, in continued support for the Afghan Taliban, who received a sanctuary in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan.
Initially, Musharraf’s coup had been largely welcomed by a Pakistani public, tired of the power struggle and corruption that characterized the democratically elected regime of the 1990s. His regime, however, failed to cope with the domestic violence in the country, which on the contrary has increased since groups of Islamic fundamentalists systematically began to fight the Pakistani state. At the same time, the rebellion against the nation-state increased ever since independence in Baluchistan and which has become an increasingly separatist character. Since Musharraf in March 2007 tried to dismiss the Supreme Court chairman, protests erupted in large parts of the country. In August, he was forced to retire as army commander and thus lost his true power base.
Democracy is reintroduced
In the fall of 2007, opposition leaders Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were allowed to return from exile to take part in the elections which, following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December, were postponed to February 2008. PPP won the election and Bhutto’s widow, Asif Ali Zardari, was appointed president. While extremist, sectarian and separatist violence continued to characterize the country, the PPP managed to implement only part of its reform agenda. As successes were noted constitutional reforms that restored parliamentary democracy and delegated much of the power to the provincial level. On the other hand, the economy, which showed some progress in the early and mid-00s, was deteriorating and dissatisfaction with the government grew in pace with recurrent electricity cuts and rising inflation. The major natural disasters affecting parts of the country – the 2005 earthquake and the unusually large floods in 2010 – also contributed to the spread of hopelessness, which in turn tended to strengthen extremist groups.
Against this background, the elections in May 2013 led to a further exchange of power between PPP and PML. Nawaz Sharif became the country’s prime minister for the third time. The election was a success to such an extent that a change from one democratically elected government to another could for the first time be carried out without serious objections. As one of his first office actions, Sharif welcomed a renewed dialogue with India, a rapprochement that had already begun under his previous rule 1997-99 and passed on by Musharraf but was interrupted after a series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008. Attempts were also made to initiate talks with the Pakistani Taliban movement, which, however, continued to carry out attacks aimed at the Pakistani army and other symbols of the state.
The Pakistani Taliban movement consists of a large number of groups, which in some cases quickly change names and leaders. A few of the larger groups have been active for a long time and for a long time acted as instruments for the security service as a way of balancing the numerical superiority of the Indian army. These groups have infiltrated the Indian part of Kashmir and carried out several spectacular terrorist attacks in India, including those in Mumbai in 2008. Other groups have their roots in the war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan 1979-89. The resistance movements, the so-called mujahedin, then had their bases in northwestern Pakistan, and international support, especially from the United States, was channeled through the Pakistani security service.
Following the US-led intervention in Afghanistan in 2001, with Pakistan in a leading role as an ally in the “war on terror”, the Islamist, anti-Western movements were reinforced. Since the army in the summer of 2007 intervened against the extremist youths who occupied the Red Mosque in Islamabad, several of these groups turned their weapons on the Pakistani state. In December 2007, the extremist movements formed an umbrella organization, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and in the following decade, thousands of Pakistani civilians were affected by an increasing number of terrorist acts.
The most internationally recognized of these acts was the attack on an army school in Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in December 2014, when about 150 people were killed, the vast majority of school pupils. Following the act, a state of emergency was introduced which, among other things, lifted the existing moratorium on the execution of the death penalty. Since then, Pakistan has joined the countries that carry the most death penalty in the world, a particularly worrying development given the major shortcomings that characterize the justice system.
In foreign policy, Pakistan’s position as one of the United States’ foremost allies in the region has in recent years been eroded as China’s influence gradually increased. The development is driven by Pakistan’s acute economic problems and high unemployment. In this situation, the large investments in Pakistan’s infrastructure, which form part of China’s policy of linking the world’s trade links through the so-called New Silk Road, are welcomed. Partly as a result of the more isolationist policies of President Donald Trumpintroduced in the US, China is also increasingly becoming a military ally and arms supplier to Pakistan. Attempts to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table have been made since 2017 by a brand new constellation of neighboring countries consisting of Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran.
The 2018 parliamentary elections meant that Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf (PTI, ‘Pakistani justice movement’), led by former cricket star Imran Khan, took power and radically redrawed the country’s political map.