327 BC: Alexander II (‘the Great’) of Macedon invaded the Punjab as far as the Beas River but, threatened with mutiny by his army, he returned to Persia.
1st century AD: The Mauryan Empire, which ruled the northern provinces of the Indian subcontinent, was invaded by the Central Asian chief Kujula Kadphises of the Yüeh-chih tribe, who established the Kushan Empire, with its capital Purushapura, near Peshawar.
3rd-7th centuries: The province of Sindh was ruled by the Persian Sassanid shahs.
330-380: Samudra Gupta, a regional ruler in what is now north-east India, conquered large areas of the Indian subcontinent including the north-west, laying foundations for the Gupta Empire.
500: The Hephthalites (‘White Huns’) invaded the northern provinces of the Gupta Empire, although the invasion was eventually repelled and their rule limited to Kashmir and the Punjab, with a capital at Sialkot.
724: Direct Muslim rule, with a governor appointed by the Caliph, was established in Sindh by Arab invaders.
1001: The Turkish-Afghan Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni (in Afghanistan) raided Peshawar and Waihand. He established a base in the Punjab and raided rich Hindu temples in the province to fund his Central Asian empire.
1005-1006: Mahmud of Ghazni captured the northern town of Multan.
1040: The Battle of Dandanqan between the Seljuks and the Ghaznavids resulted in the loss of Ghaznavid possessions in Persia and Afghanistan. The Ghaznavid state was henceforward centred on Lahore, in modern-day Pakistan.
1186: The Ghaznavids were displaced by the Ghurids, whose kingdom was based in central Afghanistan.
1206: The Delhi Sultanate, a Muslim dynasty of former military slaves, was established. It ruled much of the north of the subcontinent, including all of modern-day Pakistan. Many of the Sultans were of Central Asian Turkic ethnic origin, brought into the Sultanate as slaves and trained as soldiers for the army, but in later years they were Afghan.
1398: Timur (‘the Lame’—Tamerlane), the founder of the second Mongol Empire, invaded the Delhi Sultanate. Lahore, Multan and parts of Sindh were incorporated into his empire.