Dramaturg's Notes

Compiled by Art Borreca

The Job takes place at the center of the clash between the Afghani and Pakistani Taliban, the Pakistani government, and the U.S. in the 2000s. The following timeline is designed to create a broad historical context for the events of the play. Events referenced by the play are in bold.

1947 - Partition of India:  Muslim state of East and West Pakistan is created at end of British rule.  Hundreds of thousands die in widespread communal violence, and millions are made homeless.

1956 – The Pakistani Constitution proclaims Pakistan an Islamic republic.

1971 - Following attempted secession and civil war, East Pakistan breaks away to become Bangladesh.

1972 - Peace agreement between Pakistan and India sets new frontline in Kashmir.

1973 - Populist Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto becomes Prime Minister of Pakistan.

1979 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto hanged amid international protests.

Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: Soviet Army invades and props up communist government.

1980 - US pledges military assistance to Pakistan following Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

With support of US, Pakistan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, Mujahideen groups intensify opposition to Soviet Union.

1985 - Half of Afghan population displaced by war, many fleeing to Iran or Pakistan. 

1986 - Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's daughter Benazir returns from exile to lead campaign for fresh elections in Pakistan.

US supplies Mujahideen with Stinger missiles, enabling the shooting down of Soviet helicopter gunships.

1988 - Benazir Bhutto's PPP wins Pakistan general election.

Afghanistan, USSR, US, and Pakistan sign peace accords and Soviet Union begins withdrawing troops. 

1990 - Benazir Bhutto dismissed as Prime Minister of Pakistan on charges of incompetence and corruption.

1996 - Taliban seize control of Kabul and introduce hardline version of Islam

1997 - Taliban control two-thirds of Afghanistan and are recognized as legitimate rulers by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

1998 - US launches missile strikes on suspected bases of Osama bin Laden, accused of bombing US embassies in Africa. 

2001 - September 11: Al-Qaeda attacks the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

October - US-led bombing of Afghanistan begins. 

President Musharraf of Pakistan backs US in attacks on the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Anti-Taliban Northern Alliance forces enter Kabul.

2004 June - Pakistan mounts military offensive against al-Qaeda militants in tribal areas near Afghan border. 

US begins drone strikes on al-Qaeda leaders.

2007 October - Ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto returns from exile.

2007 December - Benazir Bhutto assassinated at election campaign rally in Rawalpindi.

2008 September - Suicide bombing on Marriott Hotel in Islamabad kills 53 people.

2008  September - President George Bush sends an extra 4,500 US troops to Afghanistan in a move he describes as a "quiet surge.”

November – 26/11 Attacks: Members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organization, carry out 12 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks over four days across Mumbai, India.

India blames Pakistani-based militants and demands Pakistan take action.

2009 August – US drone attack kills leader of Pakistan's Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, in South Waziristan.

2011 May - Abbottabad, Pakistan: American special forces kill founder of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden.

2012 October - Taliban gunmen shoot 14-year-old campaigner for girls' rights Malala Yousafzai in the head. Malala becomes a campaigner for girls' education.

2014 October - Malala becomes youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

2014 December - Peshawar school attack: Taliban kills nearly 150 people - mostly children - in attack on a school in Peshawar.

2015 June - Pakistan acknowledges that eight out of ten Taliban members jailed for gun attack on Malala were secretly acquitted at a trial in April.

Source: bbc.com.

The Job is set in Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan. This map of the administrative divisions of Pakistan shows the border, the region, and cities referenced in the play. Source: CIA World Facebook.

Pakistan Map