The democratic government has completed its constitutional tenure, a first in Pakistan's history. Despite many hurdles and an unstable path, it is a landmark achievement for a civilian government. The following timeline is a recap of major political events that took place in the country during the National Assembly's five-year term.
March 11, 2013: President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad officially inaugurated construction work of a delayed $7.5 billion gas pipeline from Iran to Pakistan. The inauguration took place despite strong opposition from the US and warnings of economic sanctions.
February 18, 2013: The government formally awarded a multi-billion dollars contract for construction and operation of Gwadar Port to China. The port’s development is expected to open up new vistas of progress in Pakistan, particularly Balochistan.
January 15, 2013: The Supreme Court directed the authorities to arrest all those accused in the rental power projects case. Raja Pervez Ashraf is among the accused. He was accused of receiving kickbacks and commission in the case as minister for water and power. January 14, 2013: The Balochistan government was dismissed and governor’s rule was imposed in the province. The measure was taken days after the bombings in Quetta that killed over 100 people, most of them Hazaras.
June 19, 2012: The Supreme Court declared Yousuf Raza Gilani disqualified from holding a seat in the parliament from the date of his conviction on April 26, 2012 by a seven-member bench for contempt of court.
Gilani was convicted for contempt over not implementing the Supreme Court’s ruling on the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).
January 11, 2012: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani sacked Secretary Defence Khalid Naeem Lodhi for "gross misconduct and illegal action which created misunderstanding" between state institutions. The sacking came after a crisis began to develop in the wake of Gilani’s statement which said the affidavits submitted to the Supreme Court by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha on ‘memogate’ were ‘unconstitutional and illegal’. The statement was retracted later.
November 26, 2011: Nato fighters killed 25 Pakistani military personnel in air strikes on two Pakistani positions in the northwestern tribal region of Mohmand. The strikes were followed by tensions between the US and Pakistan with the latter blocking supply routes to Nato in Afghanistan. In July 2012, Pakistan decided to reopen the route after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was sorry for the loss of life in a botched air raid.
November 17, 2011: Mansoor Ijaz, a Pakistani-American businessman, named Husain Haqqani, the then Pakistani ambassador to the US, as the source to the memo sent to the then American military chief days after the May 2 US raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, seeking his help to avert a possible military coup in Pakistan.
Haqqani denied the allegation and resigned from his position on Novermber 22ndsaying he was ”happy to face an inquiry” into the affair.
May 2, 2011: Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight with US forces in Abbottabad, ending a nearly 10-year worldwide hunt for the mastermind of the September 11 attacks.
January 4, 2011: Salman Taseer was gunned down in Islamabad by one of his security guards. The guard, Mumtaz Qadri of the Punjab Elite Force, yelled out ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ and emptied two magazines of an SMG on Taseer, who was the governor of Punjab, before surrendering himself. Qadri later said he had killed Taseer because of his criticism of the blasphemy law.
April 8, 2010: The National Assembly passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, abolishing the president’s power to unilaterally dissolve the Parliament. The amendment also renamed North West Frontier Province to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It went through the Senate on April 15, 2010 and became an act of parliament after being signed by President Asif Ali Zardari the same month.
March 9, 2010: President Zardari signed the Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Bill, 2010, aimed at providing a safe working environment to women. He reiterated the government's commitment to ensuring equal rights for men and women in accordance with the Constitution.