General Muhammad Zia Ul Haq.

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  • Topic: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistan
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  • Published : February 1, 2011
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General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was the sixth President of Pakistan from July 1977 to his death in August 1988. Distinguished by his role in the Black September in Jordan military operation in 1970, he was appointed as Chief of Army Staff in 1976. After widespread civil disorder, he overthrew ruling Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on 5 July 1977 and became the state's third ruler to impose martial law. He initially ruled as Chief Martial Law Administrator, but later installed himself as the President of Pakistan in September 1978.

Zia major domestic initiatives included the consolidation of the fledgling nuclear program, which was initiated by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, denationalization and deregulation and the state's Islamization. His tenure saw the disbanding of the Baloch insurgency. His endorsement of the Pakistan Muslim League the founding party of Pakistan initiated its mainstream revival. However, he is most remembered for his foreign policy; the subsidizing of the Mujahideen movement during the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan which led to the Soviet Russian withdrawel from Afghanistan. Martial Law . On 8 January 1977 a large number of opposition political parties grouped to form the PNA. Bhutto called fresh elections, and PNA participated in those elections in full force. They managed to contest the elections jointly even though there were grave splits on opinions and views within the party. The PNA faced defeat but did not accept the results alleging that the election was rigged. First they claimed rigging for 14 seats and finally for 40 seats in the National Assembly. They proceeded to boycott the provincial elections. Despite this there was high voter turn out in national elections however as provincial elections were held amidst low voter turn out and an opposition boycott the PNA declared the newly elected Bhutto government as illegitimate. Firebrand Islamic leaders such as Abul Ala Maududi called for the overthrow of Bhutto's regime.Political and civil disorder intensified which led to more unrest. Nevertheless a compromise agreement between Bhutto and opposition was ultimately reported. Yet on July 5, 1977, Bhutto and members of his cabinet were arrested by troops under the order of General Zia. After assuming power as Chief Martial Law Administrator General Zia promised to hold National and Provincial Assembly elections in the next 90 days and to hand over power to the representatives of the nation. He also stated that the constitution of Pakistan had not been abrogated but had been temporarily suspended. However in October 1977. He announced the postponement of the electoral plan and decided to start an accountability process for the politicians. Zia said that he changed his decision due to the strong public demand for the scrutiny of political leaders who had engaged in malpractice in the past . Thus the "retribution first, elections later" PNA policy was adopted. This severely tainted his credibility as many saw the broken promise as malicious. A Disqualification Tribunal was formed and several individuals who had been members of parliament were charged with malpractice and disqualified from participating in politics at any level for the next seven years. A white paper document was issued incriminating the deposed Bhutto government on several counts. The case of Zulifkar Ali Bhutto. On 4 April 1979 the former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged after the supreme court upheld the death sentence as passed by the Lahore high court. The Supreme court ruled four to three in favour of execution. The High Court had given him the death sentence on charges of the murder of the father of Ahmed Raza Kasuri a dissident PPP politician. Despite many clemency appeals from foreign leaders requesting Zia to commute...
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