Pakistan's history of coups and assassinations

Pakistan's former PM Imran Khan speaks while taking part in an anti-government march in Gujranwala, on Nov 1, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was shot in the shin on Thursday when his anti-government protest convoy came under attack in the east of the country.

His aides said it was a clear assassination attempt.

Pakistan has a history of political coups and unrest. Here are some details.

2007

Two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated in a gun and bomb attack after holding an election rally in Rawalpindi. A few months before her death, she survives a suicide bomb assassination attempt in Karachi, where at least 139 people are killed in one of the country’s deadliest attacks.

1999

Former army chief Pervez Musharraf seizes power in a bloodless coup. He is sworn in as president and head of state in June 2001. He resigns in 2008 and Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto’s husband, takes over as president.

1988

Military ruler President Mohammad Zia ul-Haq is killed when the Hercules C-130 aircraft carrying him crashes in mysterious circumstances. Conspiracy theorists have suggested a case of mangoes put aboard the plane shortly before takeoff contained a timer device that released gas that knocked out the cockpit crew.

1979

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the father of Benazir who was elected as prime minister in 1970, is hanged by Zia ul-Haq on a disputed conviction for conspiring to commit a political murder.

1977

Zia ul-Haq seizes power after a coup against the Bhutto government. He puts Bhutto under house arrest, imposes martial law, suspends the constitution and bans political parties

1973

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto elected as prime minister, taking over from General Yahya Khan.

1958

In Pakistan’s first military coup, Governor-General Iskander Mirza enforces martial law with General Ayub Khan as chief martial law administrator. Ayub Khan later assumes the presidency and sacks Mirza, who is exiled.

1951

Pakistan’s first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, after the 1947 partition of India, is shot dead at a political rally in Rawalpindi. REUTERS

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