Pakistan was formed on 14 August 1947 with two Muslim-majority wings in the eastern and northwestern regions of South Asia, separated by Hindu-majority India, and comprising the provinces of Balochistan, East Bengal, the North-West Frontier Province, West Punjab and Sindh. The partition of British India resulted in communal riots across India and Pakistanâ€”millions of Muslims moved to Pakistan and millions of Hindus and Sikhs moved to India. Disputes arose over several princely states including Jammu and Kashmir whose King had acceeded to India and finally led to the First Kashmir War (1948) ending with Pakistan and India each occupying large parts of the state.
From 1947 to 1956, Pakistan was a Dominion in the Commonwealth of Nations.The republic declared in 1958 was stalled by a coup d''etat by Ayub Khan (1958â€“69), who was president during a period of internal instability and a second war with India in 1965. His successor, Yahya Khan (1969â€“71) had to deal with the cyclone which caused 500,000 deaths in East Pakistan. Economic and political dissent in East Pakistan led to violent political repression and tensions escalating into civil war (Bangladesh Liberation War) and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and ultimately the secession of East Pakistan as the independent state of Bangladesh.
Civilian rule resumed from 1972 to 1977 under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, until he was deposed and later sentenced to death in what accounts to a judicial murder in 1979 by General Zia-ul-Haq, who became the third military president. Pakistan''s secular policies were replaced by Zia''s introduction of the Islamic Shariat legal code, which increased religious influences on the civil service and the military. With the death of General Zia in a plane crash in 1988, Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. Over the next decade, she alternated power with Nawaz Sharif, as the country''s political and economic situation worsened.Pakistan sent 5,000 troops to the 1991 Gulf War as part of a US led coalition and specifically for the defence of Saudi Arabia. Military tension in the Kargil conflict with India in 1999 was followed by a military coup in which General Pervez Musharraf assumed executive powers. In 2001, Musharraf became President after the resignation of Rafiq Tarar. After the 2002 parliamentary elections, Musharraf transferred executive powers to newly elected Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who was succeeded in the 2004 Prime-Ministerial election by Shaukat Aziz.