Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and is the second most populous country with a Muslim majority. Its territory was a part of the pre-partitioned British India and has a long history of settlement and civilization including the Indus Valley Civilization.
A party by the name of Muslim League rose to popularity in the late 1930s amid fears of under-representation and neglect of Muslims in politics. On 29 December 1930, Allama Iqbal's presidential address called for an autonomous "state in northwestern India for Indian Muslims, within the body politic of India." Muhammad Ali Jinnah espoused the Two Nation Theory and led the Muslim League to adopt the Lahore Resolution of 1940 (popularly known as the Pakistan Resolution), which ultimately led to the formation of an independent Pakistan.
Pakistan was formed on 14 August 1947 with two Muslim-majority wings in the eastern and northwestern regions of the British Indian Empire, separated from the rest of the country with a Hindu majority, and comprising the provinces of Baluchistan, East Bengal, the North-West Frontier Province, West Punjab and Sindh. The partition of the British Indian Empire resulted in communal riots across India and Pakistan—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 ruler had acceded to India following an invasion by Pashtun warriors, leading to the First Kashmir War (1948) ending with Pakistan occupying roughly one-third of the state. From 1947 to 1956, Pakistan was a Dominion in the Commonwealth of Nations. The republic declared in 1956 was stalled by a coup d'etat by Ayub Khan (1958–69), who was president during a period of internal instability and a second war with India in 1965. His successor, Yahya Khan (1969–71) 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 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 1979 by General Zia-ul-Haq, who became the country's third military president. Pakistan's secular policies were replaced by Zia's introduction of the Islamic Shariah legal code, which increased religious influences in the civil service and the military. With the death of General Zia in a plane crash in 1988, Benazir Bhutto, daughter of the late 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 tensions in the Kargil conflict with India were followed by a Pakistani military coup d'état in 1999 in which General Pervez Musharraf assumed executive powers. In 2001, Musharraf named himself President after the forced resignation of Rafiq Tarar. After the 2002 parliamentary elections, Musharraf transferred executive powers to newly elected Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, followed by a temporary period in office by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain who inturn was succeeded in the 2004 Prime-Ministerial election by Shaukat Aziz.