July 5, 1977

Gen Zia removes Bhutto in a bloodless coup, suspending the constitution and declaring martial law. He announces elections will be held in 90 days. But simultaneously begins a censorship regime. Political activists and journalists are arrested and flogged in public

May 13, 1978

Eleven journalists are sentenced by military courts. Four journalists — Masudullah Khan, Iqbal Jafri, Khawar Naeem Hashmi and Nasir Zaidi — are also flogged

December 2, 1978

Shariat benches constituted at the high court levels while an appellate Shariat bench constituted at the Supreme Court level. Shariat benches could revisit any law deemed to be un-Islamic. Prayers to be offered in congregation at all government offices during working hours. All offices and shops to remain shut at the time of Friday prayers

April 4, 1979

ZAB is hanged in Rawalpindi jail despite a split verdict and international appeals

October 15, 1979

Gen Zia clamps down further on press freedoms. Two days later, the Daily Musawat and Daily Sadaqat are both banned

December 24, 1979

Soviet Union invades Afghanistan. Gen Zia drags Pakistan into the jihad sponsored by the Americans and Saudis

May 26, 1980

Establishment of Federal Shariat Court is announced

December 19, 1984

Zia holds referendum on ‘Islamisation’ which will give him five more years at the helm. His government claims that more than 95 percent of votes cast were in support of Zia

February 25, 1985

National polls are held on non-party-basis

March 2, 1985

Articles 62 & 63 of the Constitution amended to make parliamentarians’ qualifications subject to ‘Islamic’ morality

November 9, 1985

Eight Amendment to the Constitution comes into force, giving Zia the power to dissolve the parliament under Article 58-2(B)

September 17, 1977

ZAB is arrested for “conspiracy to murder”

October 1, 1977

Elections postponed indefinitely

January 1, 1978

Gen Zia declares 1978 as Year of ‘Islamisation’. Education committee constituted to review syllabi and revise them to include an ‘Islamic bias’

September 16, 1978

Gen Zia assumes office of president; retains the office of army chief

February 10, 1979

Islamic penal laws enforcing ‘Hadd’ are promulgated in pursuance of ‘Nizam-i-Islam’. These include the Prohibition Order and the Zina Ordinance as well as separate laws for amputation for theft and punishment by whipping

March 18, 1982

Changes introduced to the Pakistan Penal Code; Section 295-B now stipulates a life term for defiling, damaging or desecrating a copy of the Holy Quran

February 9, 1984

Government bans all students’ unions

April 27, 1984

Ban imposed on use of Islamic nomenclature by Ahmadis

March 23, 1985

Martial law is lifted and Muhammad Khan Junejo is sworn in as Prime Minister

October 5, 1986

The use of derogatory remarks for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is criminalised. The offence is made punishable by death or life imprisonment

May 29, 1988

Zia dissolves parliament and dismisses Junejo’s government. He promises elections in the next 90 days

June 15, 1988

Zia promulgates the Shariat Ordinance, making Sharia supreme law of the land

August 17, 1988

Gen Ziaul Haq is killed, along with 31 others, in a plane crash near Bahawalpur

Published in Dawn, EOS, July 2nd, 2017



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