Photographers take pictures of Pakistan's first modern motorway in Islamabad which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. - Gulf News Archives

1997 - Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated the first section of the country’s most ambitious motorway project in a grand ceremony attended by thousands of people near Islamabad. “This motorway is not only a road network, but a living symbol of our passion and the project will prove to be a milestone for Pakistan’s development and prosperity,” said Nawaz while addressing the gathering at the opening ceremony. He said that the country that wants to achieve rapid progress was concentrating on education and infrastructure development. Sharif said the motorway was a new experience in the South Asia region and it would provide the shortest, safe and fastest link to the Central Asian countries to get access to Pakistani seaports.

Other important events

1842 - The University of Notre Dame is established in Indiana, US.

1865 - Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is published.

1922 - King Tutankhamen’s tomb is opened in Egypt.

1939 - Soviet Union attacks Finland, leading to the 105-day Winter War.

1942 - The film Casablanca has its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York.

1943 - The HMT Rohna, a British transport ship carrying US soldiers, is hit by a German torpedo off Algeria, 1,138 men are killed.

1966 - The world’s first tidal power station is inaugurated on the Rance estuary in Brittany, France.

1979 - A Pakistan International Airlines plane catches fire and crashes shortly after takeoff from Jeddah, killing all 156 people on board.

1986 - Iranian missile slams into crowded residential district of Baghdad, Iraq, killing 48 civilians.

1987 - Powerful typhoon whips across Philippines, killing 270 people and damaging or destroy-ing 14,000 homes.

1994 - The Early Intervention Centre in Sharjah is officially inaugurated.

1996 - Supporters of President Alexander Lukashenko break away from Belarus’ parliament, setting up their own assembly.

1999 - A Norwegian high-speed passenger ferry carrying 85 people sinks in the North Sea off western Norway, killing 16 people.

2000 - Florida certifies George W. Bush as the winner of the state’s electoral votes for the US presidential election.

2005 - Daredevil 67-year-old Indian tycoon Vijaypat Singhania claims a new world altitude record by flying a hot air balloon to the boundary of space, climbing nearly 70,000 feet.

2007 - Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem marks the debut of DP World at the Dubai Financial Market.

2008 - Mumbai terrorist attacks kill more than 195 people over four days.

2011 - John Key wins his second term as New Zealand’s Prime Minister.

2014 - Lebanese superstar Sabah dies at her Beirut residence.

2016 - Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro dies at the age of 90.