1997 Pakistan’s embattled chief justice sought army protection for the Supreme Court after an unruly mob of several thousand stormed the courthouse, forcing him to adjourn a contempt of court case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. If found guilty, Sharif could be removed from power. Protesters shouting slogans against Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, who is locked in a bitter power struggle with Sharif, surged past riot policemen in full gear and pushed their way into the courthouse. In a letter delivered to President Farooq Leghari, Shah asked that the army be deployed outside the Supreme Court building. Shah accused Sharif of orchestrating the attack on the courthouse, busing demonstrators from around the country to Islamabad and guaranteeing that the police did not intercede. The National Assembly passed a resolution condemning the assault. Nawaz had also ordered an inquiry, Information Minister Mushahid Hussain said.
Other important events
1821 Panama declares itself independent of Spain and joins the Republic of Colombia.
1905 Sinn Fein Party, part of the Irish republican movement, is founded in Dublin, Ireland.
1912 Albanian patriot Esmail Quemali proclaims independence from Ottoman rule and creates first-ever Albanian government.
1919 Lady Astor is elected first woman member of Britain’s parliament.
1922 Six former ministers of Greece are executed.
1942 Almost 500 people perish in a fire that destroys the Coconut Grove nightclub in Boston, Massachusetts.
1944 Albania is liberated from German occupation.
1958 Chad becomes an autonomous republic within the French community.
1960 Mauritania becomes an independent republic, separating from France.
1967 Communist China is turned down for admission to the United Nations for the 18th time.
1971 Jordan’s Prime Minister Wasfi Tell is assassinated while attending an Arab conference in Cairo, Egypt.
1975 East Timor declares its independence from Portugal.
1987 South African Airways jet plane with 159 people aboard crashes in Indian Ocean near Mauritius.
1989 Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi resigns after election defeat.
1990 Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew steps down after 31 years in power.
1990 British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher formally resigns, and John Major takes over.
1994 Norwegians reject European Union membership.
1995 Nato and Russia reach a historic deal to pave the way for full Russian participation in peace mission to Bosnia.
1996 UAE signs a Defence Cooperation Agreement with Britain.
1997 Fighting breaks out among President Laurent Kabila’s soldiers in Kinshasa, Congo.
2000 Norway’s King Harald opens the world’s longest road tunnel in Laerdal, Norway
2004 Jordan’s King Abdullah stripped his half-brother and heir apparent of his title as crown prince.
2001 Enron Corp collapses after its credit is downgraded to junk-bond status.
2007 President Pervez Musharraf steps down as Pakistan’s military commander.
2009 An overloaded vessel sinks in southern Bangladesh, killing 37 people.
2012 A Saudi diplomat, Khalid Al Enizi, a military attache at the Saudi embassy is killed in Sana’a, Yemen.
2013 Italian former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is evicted from parliament.
2014 Lebanese nationalist poet Saeed Aql dies at the age of 102.
2015 Dubai unveils a Dh100-billion fund to support projects as part of the Clean Energy Strategy 2050.