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Timeline: Pakistan's troubled history

(Reuters) - Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf said on Thursday he may delay his planned return home later this month, blaming the country’s current instability.

Here is a look at Pakistan’s troubles over the last 40 years:

December 1971 - Full-scale war breaks out between India and Pakistan over East Pakistan. It ends with surrender of 90,000 Pakistani troops and leads to creation of Bangladesh.

July 1977 - Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is deposed in a military coup and imprisoned; army chief General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq takes power, imposes martial law and promises elections.

April 1979 - Bhutto is hanged on a disputed conviction for conspiring to commit political murder. In October, Zia postpones elections indefinitely, and bans political parties.

February 1985 - Elections held. Zia sworn in as president for five-year term in March.

August 1988 - Zia dies in plane crash in Pakistan.

November 1988 - Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar, wins elections.

August 1990 - President Ghulam Ishaq Khan sacks Bhutto and cabinet for corruption and abuse of power. State of emergency declared. In November, Nawaz Sharif is elected prime minister.

1993 - Ishaq Khan dismisses Sharif’s government, accusing it of corruption. Bhutto becomes prime minister again.

November 1996 - President Farooq Leghari sacks Bhutto and calls elections, which Sharif wins.

October 1999 - Army chief Pervez Musharraf seizes power in bloodless coup. Sworn in as president in June 2001, he wins controversial referendum extending his rule for five more years in April 2002.

March 9, 2007 - Musharraf suspends Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry on charges of misconduct, setting off protests by lawyers and opposition politicians. Top court reinstates Chaudhry in July.

July - Musharraf orders troops to storm the Red Mosque in Islamabad to crush a Taliban-style movement. About 105 people are killed. A wave of militant attacks and suicide bombings follow.

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

October 19, 2007 - At least 139 people killed in suicide bomb attack on Benazir Bhutto’s motorcade as the former prime minister is driven through Karachi after arriving from eight years of exile. It is one of Pakistan’s deadliest bombings.

December 27 - Bhutto is killed in a gun and bomb attack on December 27 after a rally in Rawalpindi. At least 16 others are killed in the attack.

August 18, 2008 - President Musharraf resigns after the ruling coalition agrees to launch impeachment proceedings against him.

September - Parliament elect Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari - widower of Benazir Bhutto - as president.

November 26-29 - An attack on Mumbai in November kills 166 people and targeted foreigners as well as Indians. The Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group once nurtured by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency to fight India in Kashmir, was blamed for the attack.

July 17, 2009 - Pakistan’s Supreme Court quashes a nine-year-old hijacking conviction against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, clearing at least one hurdle to him eventually seeking power.

August 2010 - The worst floods in Pakistan kill more than 1,750 people, affect more than 18 million and inflict nearly $43 billion worth of damage to infrastructure and agriculture.

March 30, 2011 - India’s and Pakistan’s prime ministers meet during a World Cup cricket match in a symbolic gesture aimed at rebuilding ties shattered by the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

May 2 - A unilateral raid by U.S. special forces kills al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, humiliating Pakistan’s military.

November 26 - U.S.-Pakistan relations plunge into crisis when NATO helicopters and fighter jets kills 24 Pakistani troops in attacks on two military outposts in northwest Pakistan.

January 15, 2012 - Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani rejects a demand by the country’s powerful army chief that he clarify or retract his criticism of the army and spy agency, raising tensions further.

- Gilani criticizes Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani and the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha for filing court papers in a case involving a mysterious memo that has pitted the military against the civilian government.

January 19 - The Supreme Court adjourns a contempt hearing until February for Prime Minister Gilani. He was in court to explain why he should not be charged with contempt for failing to re-open old corruption cases against President Zardari. (Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit)

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