TIMELINE: Pakistan in crisis

(Reuters) - Detained Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto called on Tuesday for military leader Pervez Musharraf to step down as president, isolating him in the run-up to a general election.

Here is a chronology of major political events over recent months.

March 9, 2007 - Musharraf suspends Supreme Court Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on allegations of misconduct. Lawyers rally to the top judge and Musharraf’s popularity plummets as their pro-democracy campaign grows.

July 10 - After a week-long siege, Musharraf orders troops to storm the Red Mosque in Islamabad to crush a Taliban-style movement based there. At least 105 people are killed. A wave of deadly militant attacks and suicide bombings follow.

July 20 - Supreme Court reinstates Chief Justice Chaudhry, dealing a blow to Musharraf’s authority.

July 27 - Musharraf meets Bhutto in Abu Dhabi to thrash out how to move the country towards a civilian-led democracy. Bhutto sets conditions including that Musharraf step down as army chief, talks are inconclusive.

Sept 10 - Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister Musharraf deposed eight years ago and subsequently exiled, is arrested at Islamabad airport. The Supreme Court had cleared his return, and is hearing petitions that the government was in contempt of court for putting Sharif on a flight to Saudia Arabia.

Oct 2 - Musharraf designates a successor as army chief. Government announces it is dropping corruption charges against Bhutto, clearing way for her return.

Oct 6 - Musharraf wins most votes in a presidential election but he must wait for the Supreme Court to confirm the legality of his bid before being declared the winner.

Oct 19 - Suicide bomber tries to assassinate Bhutto in Karachi as she returns from eight years of self-imposed exile, kills 139 people.

Nov 2 - Supreme Court reconvenes to decide if Musharraf was eligible to stand for re-election by parliament while still army chief.

-- Sources say about 800 people have died, more than half of them in suicide bombings, since the storming of the Red Mosque.

Nov 3 - Musharraf imposes emergency rule.

Nov 6 - Bhutto says she will not meet or negotiate with Musharraf, after the military ruler invoked emergency rule.

Nov 9 - Bhutto is freed from house arrest, hours after she was stopped from leaving her Islamabad home to lead a rally against emergency rule.

Nov 11 - Musharraf says a general election will be held by January 9 but under a state of emergency.

-- Musharraf also says he will quit the military and be sworn in as a civilian president as soon as the Supreme Court struck down challenges to his October 6 re-election.

Nov 12 - Britain backs a 10-day Commonwealth ultimatum for Musharraf to end the emergency and quit as army chief.

Nov 13 - Bhutto is placed under house arrest for a week in Lahore, before a planned protest procession against emergency rule. Bhutto says that Musharraf must quit as president.

Writing by David Cutler and Gill Murdoch, London Editorial Reference Unit