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Ayub Khan (President of Pakistan)

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Ayub Khan (President of Pakistan)

Field Marshal
Ayub Khan
ایوب خان
Muhammed Ayub Khan 1972
2nd President of Pakistan
In office
27 October 1958 – 25 March 1969
Preceded by Iskander Mirza
Succeeded by Yahya Khan
Minister of the Interior
In office
23 March 1965 – 17 August 1965
Preceded by Khan Habibullah Khan
Succeeded by Chaudhry Ali Akbar Khan
Minister of Defence
In office
28 October 1958 – 21 October 1966
Preceded by Muhammad Ayub Khuhro
Succeeded by Afzal Rahman Khan
In office
24 October 1954 – 11 August 1955
Preceded by Muhammad Ali Bogra
Succeeded by Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army
In office
16 January 1951 – 26 October 1958
Preceded by Douglas Gracey
Succeeded by Muhammad Musa
8th Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office
24 October 1958 – 27 October 1958
Preceded by Feroz Khan Noon
Succeeded by Nurul Amin
Personal details
Born Muhammad Ayub Khan
(1907-05-14)14 May 1907
Rehana, Haripur District of North-West Frontier Province, British India
(now in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan)
Died 19 April 1974(1974-04-19) (aged 66)
Islamabad, Pakistan
Political party Pakistan Muslim League
Children Gohar Ayub
Begum Nasim Aurangzeb
Alma mater Aligarh Muslim University
Royal Military College, Sandhurst
Religion Islam
Awards Hilal-i-Jur'at
Military service
Allegiance  India
Service/branch  Indian Army
 Pakistan Army
Years of service 1928–1958
Rank Field Marshal
Unit Infantry (1st Battalion, 14th Punjab Regiment)
Commands Commander-in-Chief,Pakistan Army
Deputy Commander-in-Chief,Pakistan Army
GOC of Pakistan Armed Forces Eastern Command
Waziristan Brigade, British Indian Army
14th Army Division, Pakistan Army
Adjutant General, General Headquarters,Pakistan Army
Battles/wars World War II
Waziristan campaign (1936–1939)
Burma Campaign
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

Muhammad Ayub Khan (Urdu: محمد ایوب خان‎; 14 May 1907 –19 April 1974), widely known as Ayub Khan, was the first military dictator and second President of Pakistan. He assumed power in the 1958 Pakistani coup d'état, serving in office until his forced resignation amid a popular uprising in 1969.[1]

Trained at Sandhurst, Ayub Khan fought in World War II as an officer in the British Indian Army. He joined the armed forces of the newly formed state of Pakistan upon independence in 1947, and became its chief military commander in East Bengal. He was appointed as the first native Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army in 1951 by the then-Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan,[2] in a controversial promotion over several senior officers. President Iskander Mirza's decision to declare martial law in 1958 was supported by Ayub, whom Mirza declared chief martial law administrator.[3] Two weeks later, Ayub deposed Mirza in a bloodless coup and assumed the presidency.[3][4][5] He relinquished the post of army chief to General Musa Khan the same year.[6]

Ayub Khan continued his predecessors' policy of an alliance with the United States during the Cold War, joining CENTO, and allowing the U.S. and Britain access to facilities inside Pakistan, most notably the airbase outside of Peshawar, from which U-2 intelligence flights over the Soviet Union were launched. He also strengthened military ties with neighboring China, while relations deteriorated with the Soviet Union and India. There was the five-week war in 1965 with India, ending in a United Nations-mandated ceasefire. Domestically, Ayub embraced private-sector industrialization and free-market principles, making the country one of Asia's fastest-growing economies. He built several infrastructure projects, including canals, dams and power stations, began Pakistan's space programme, and gave less priority to nuclear deterrence.

After defeating Fatima Jinnah in the controversial presidential elections of 1965, Ayub's standing began to slide amid allegations of widespread vote rigging. Proceeding with a peace agreement with India to end the war, many Pakistanis considered an embarrassing compromise and demonstrations across the country over rising prices, including those led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, increased dramatically from 1967 onwards. In 1969, Ayub resigned and handed over power to General Yahya Khan, who declared martial law for the second time. Following ill health, Ayub died in 1974. His legacy remains mixed; he is credited with economic prosperity and what supporters dub the decade of development, but is criticized for beginning the first of the army's incursions into civilian politics, and policies that later led to the creation of Bangladesh.[7]


  • Early years and personal life 1
  • Military career 2
    • Commander-in-chief 2.1
    • Defence Minister 2.2
  • President of Pakistan (1958–1969) 3
    • Move to Presidential republic 3.1
    • Legal reforms 3.2
    • Economic policy 3.3
    • Presidential election of 1965 3.4
    • Overview of Ayub's rule 3.5
    • Military and domestic affairs 3.6
    • Space programme 3.7
    • Foreign policies 3.8
      • Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 3.8.1
    • Joint defence union with India 3.9
    • Final years in office 3.10
  • Death 4
  • Ayub's Legacy 5
    • Criticism in later years of Ayub's rule 5.1
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

Early years and personal life

Ayub Khan was born on 14 May 1907 in Rehana, a village in Hazara District.[8][9] of the North-West Frontier Province of British India (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan). He belonged to the Tareen[10] tribe of Pashtuns.[11] He was the first child of the second wife of Mir Dad Khan, who was a Risaldar-Major (senior regimental junior commissioned officer, then known as viceroy's commissioned officer) in 9th Hodson's Horse, a cavalry regiment of the pre-independence British Indian Army. For his basic education, he was enrolled in a school in Sarai Saleh, which was about 4 miles from his village. He used to go to school on a mule's back. Later he was shifted to a school in Haripur, where he started living with his grandmother. He was educated at Aligarh Muslim University, but did not complete his studies there, as he was accepted into the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.[12] Khan was fluent in Urdu, English and the Punjabi Hindko dialect, his native tongue.[13]

Military career

Muhammad Ali Jinnah with Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan did well at Sandhurst and was commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant on 2 February 1928 in the 1/14th Punjab Regiment (1st Battalion of 14th Punjab Regiment). Amongst those who passed out with him was the future Indian Army general Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri.[14] After the standard probationary period of service in a British Army regiment, he was appointed to the British Indian Army on 10 April 1929, joining the 1/14th Punjab Regiment Sherdils, later known as 5th Punjab Regiment.[15] He was promoted to Lieutenant on 2 May 1930 and to Captain on 2 February 1937.[16][17] On 19 May 1941, he was promoted to Major.[18]

During the Second World War, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1942 and was significantly drafted into the British Army to participate on 1942 Burma front. He commanded the 1st Battalion, 14th Punjab Regiment as its commanding officer. In 1945, he was promoted to colonel and assumed the command of his regiment to direct operations on 1945 Burma campaign.

He returned to British-controlled North-West Frontier Province and in 1947, he was promoted to one-star rank, a brigadier and commanded a combatant brigade in Waziristan. After the establishment of State of Pakistan, he joined the fledgling Pakistan Army as the 10th ranking senior officer (his Pakistan Army number was PA-010). He was immediately promoted to two-star rank, major-general in 1948. Khan was appointed as GOC of 14th Division, stationed in Dacca, East-Pakistan. In 1949, he was appointed as commander-in-chief of East Pakistan Armed Forces Command (Pakistan Armed Forces Eastern Command) and held responsibility for the ground defence of the entire state. The same year, he was awarded Hilal-i-Jurat (HJ) by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan for non-combatant service. In November 1949, he returned to West Pakistan and posted as adjutant-general at the Army combatant Headquarters (GHQ). In 1951, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan made Ayub deputy commander-in-chief of Pakistan Army.


General Ayub Khan arriving to take command of the Pakistan Army in 1951

Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan approved the relief papers of Lieutenant General Sir Douglas Gracey (later retired as an honorary general) on 16 January 1951 after his term was completed. There were three senior general officers in-line- of- promotion for becoming commander-in-chief; first general officer being Major-General Iftikhar Khan while others were Major-Generals Akbar Khan and N. A. M. Raza.[19] Initially, it was General Iftikhar Khan who was selected to be appointed as first native commander-in-chief but later died in an airplane crash en route to his senior officers training in the United Kingdom. The senior most Bengali officer of the Pakistan Army was Major-General Ishfakul Majid and he was senior to Ayub Khan as well. Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Iskandar Mirza played an instrumental role in Ayub's appointment, he convinced Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan to promote Ayub Khan to Lt. Gen. and appoint him as Commander-in-Chief. Ayub's papers of promotion were approved and Ayub Khan landed as a lieutenant general on 17 January 1951. With Ayub becoming the commander-in-chief, it marked the change in the military thinking of preferring native Pakistanis and ending the transitional role of British Army officers.[20]

The events surrounding his appointment set the precedent for a native general being promoted out of turn, ostensibly because he was the least ambitious of the generals in the line of promotion and the most loyal to civil government at that time.[21] Three months before the end of his tenure as commander-in-chief, Ayub Khan deposed his mentor, Iskandar Mirza, Pakistan's president, in a military coup – after Mirza had declared martial law and made Ayub Khan the chief martial law administrator.[22]

Defence Minister

In 1954, Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra appointed Ayub Khan as the Defence Minister of Pakistan. During this time, his role in national politics began to grow. He served in the governments of Suhrawardy, Feroz Noon, and Chundrigar. As Defence Minister, he maintained close ties to President Iskandar Mirza, and was endorsed as the chief martial law administrator on 7 October 1958. This was the first of many instances in the history of Pakistan that the military became directly involved in politics.

President of Pakistan (1958–1969)

Khan in 1958 with H. S. Suhrawardyt and Mr. and Mrs. S. N. Bakar.
A formal group of Elizabeth in tiara and evening dress with eleven prime ministers in evening dress or national costume.
Khan (back row, second from the right) with Elizabeth II, former Queen of Pakistan at the 1960 Commonwealth Prime Minister's Conference, Windsor Castle

After losing confidence in running the government, Prime Minister I.I. Chundiragar resigned, which led to collapse of the national cabinet. With the support gained from the Republican Party, Awami League, and Krishak Sramik, Feroz Noon took over the government by appointing a new cabinet. This alliance nearly threatened President Iskander Mirza because Suhrawardy and Feroz were initially campaigning to become Prime Minister and President in the next general elections to be held. The Pakistan Muslim League, led under Abdul Qayyum Khan, was also gaining momentum. These events were against President Mirza hence he was willing to dissolve even Pakistan's one unit for his advantage. On the midnight of 7 and 8 October 1958, President Mirza ordered a mass mobilization of Pakistan Armed Forces and abrogated the 1956 Constitution. The Feroz administration and parliament were dissolved, and approved the appointment of Ayub Khan as chief martial law administrator. In mere two weeks, Ayub deposed Mirza on 27 October in a bloodless coup, after Mirza tried to undercut Ayub's authority by coopting military officers. The Army sent Mirza into exile in England.[23] Subsequently, Admiral A. R. Khan and four army generals, Azam Khan, Amir Khan, and Wajid Khan were instrumental in Ayub Khan's rise to power.

In 1960, he held an indirect referendum of his term in power. Functioning as a kind of electoral college, close to 80,000 recently elected village councilmen and local union councilmen in urban areas, were allowed to vote yes or no to the question: "Do you have confidence in the President, Field Marshal Mohammed Ayub Khan?" Winning 95.6% of the vote, he used the confirmation as impetus to formalise his new system. This was the first of many instances in the history of Pakistan that the military became directly involved in national politics.

In July 1961, Ayub paid a visit to the United States, accompanied by his daughter Begum Naseem Aurangzeb. Highlights of his visit included a state dinner at Mount Vernon, a visit to the Islamic Center of Washington, and a ticker tape parade in New York City.[24]

Move to Presidential republic

Ayub moved to have a constitution created, and this was completed in 1961. A fairly secular person by nature, Ayub Khan's constitution reflected his personal views of politicians and the use of religion in politics.

In 1962, he pushed through a new constitution that while it did give due respect to Islam, it did not declare Islam the state religion of the country. It also provided for election of the President by 80,000 (later raised to 120,000) Basic Democrats—men who could theoretically make their own choice but who were essentially under his control. He justified this as analogous to the Electoral College in the United States and cited Thomas Jefferson as his inspiration. The government "guided" the press though his take- over of key opposition papers and, while Ayub Khan permitted a National Assembly, it had only limited powers.

Legal reforms

Field Marshal Ayub Khan with Hans Ehard in West Germany on 22 January 1961.

Ayub Khan introduced the Muslim Family Laws through an Ordinance on 2 March 1961 under which unmitigated polygamy was abolished, consent of the current wife was made mandatory for a second marriage, brakes were also placed on the practice of instant divorce where men could divorce women by saying "I divorce you" three times under Islamic tradition. The Arbitration Councils were set up under the law in the urban and rural areas to deal with cases of (a) grant of sanction to a person to contract a second marriage during the subsistence of a marriage; (b) reconciliation of a dispute between a husband and a wife; (c) grant of a maintenance allowance to the wife and children.[25]

Economic policy

His economic policies were based on the model of capitalism and followed free-market economics principles. The industrialization that took place in his term is often regarded as "Great Decade" in the history of the country (both economical and political history).[26] The "Great Decade" was celebrated, which highlighted the development plans executed during the years of Ayub's rule, the private consortium companies, industries and credited with creating an environment where the private sector was encouraged to establish medium and small-scale industries in Pakistan.[26] This opened up avenues for new job opportunities and thus the economic graph of the country started rising.[26] He also introduced a new curricula and books for schools. Many schools and colleges were constructed during his time. He also introduced agricultural reforms according to which no one could occupy land less than 12.5 acres (500 irrigated land and 1000 unirrigated.) An oil refinery in Karachi was set up, and these reforms led to 15% GNP growth of the country that was three times greater than that of India. Despite the increase in the GNP growth, the profit and revenue was gained by the famous 22 families of the time that controlled 66% of the industries and land of the country and 80% of the banking and insurance of Pakistan.

The education reforms were steadily improved, and scientific development efforts were rising during his years, leading to the world-acclaim of Pakistan where his image was regarded more positive.[26] This policy could not be followed for a long time after 1965, the economy collapsed and led to the economic declines which he was unable to control.[27] In 1964, the Planning Commission, Economic minister Muhammad Shoaib, and Foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Ayub Khan chaired a meeting to discuss the economical assessment of the Operation Gibraltar against India.[28] According to Sartaj Aziz, Bhutto had gone on a populist Anti-Indian and Anti-American binge during the meeting. Bhutto succeeded in the meeting on spellbinding the ruling general and the President into thinking he was becoming a world statesman fawned upon by the enemies of the United States.[28] When authorizing the Operation Gibraltar, Deputy Chairman had famously told the President in the meeting, "Sir, I hope you realize that our foreign [p]olicy and our economic requirements are not fully consistent, in fact they are rapidly falling out of line".[28] Aziz vetoed the Operation Gibraltar against India, fearing the economical turmoil that would jolt the country's economy, but was rebuffed by his senior bureaucrats. In that meeting Bhutto convinced the President and the Economic Minister that India would not attack Pakistan due to Kashmir being a disputed territory, and per Bhutto's remarks: "Pakistan’s incursion into Indian-occupied Kashmir, at [A]khnoor, would not provide [India] with the justification for attacking Pakistan across the international boundary because Kashmir was a disputed territory".[28] This theory proved wrong when India launched a full-scale war against West-Pakistan in 1965.[28]

The war caused Pakistan to lose the 500 million dollars it had been receiving by the Consortium for Pakistan through the United States.[28] Ayub Khan could not politically survive in the aftermath of 1965 war with India and fell from the presidency after surrendering the presidential power of Army Commander to General Yahya Khan in 1969.

Presidential election of 1965

In 1964, Ayub Khan, confident in his apparent popularity and seeing deep divisions within the political opposition, called for Presidential elections in Pakistan.

He was however taken by surprise when despite a brief disagreement between the five main opposition parties ( a preference for a former close associate of Ayub Khan, General Azam Khan as a presidential candidate was dropped), the joint opposition agreed on supporting the respected and popular Fatima Jinnah, the sister of the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah as a candidate for next presidential elections.

Despite Fatima Jinnah's considerable popularity and public disaffection with Ayub's government,[29] Ayub won with 64% of the vote in a bitterly contested election on 2 January 1965. The election did not conform to international standards per many journalists of the time. It is widely believed that the elections were rigged in favour of Ayub Khan using state patronage and intimidation to influence the indirectly elected electoral college known as Basic Democracies System. In the aftermath of the elections, his son Gohar Ayub was found involved in a major clash with opposition activists in their stronghold of Karachi.

Overview of Ayub's rule

As President, Ayub Khan allied Pakistan with the global U.S. military alliance against the Soviet Union. Pakistan developed strong economic, political and strategic ties with the United States. This in turn led to major economic aid from the U.S. and European nations, and the industrial sector of Pakistan grew very rapidly, improving the economy, but the consequences of cartelization included increased inequality in the distribution of wealth. Khan also became concerned about arrogance and bossiness of the US, who strongly criticized Pakistan for building ties with China. Ayub Khan then wrote the book Friends not masters . It was under Ayub Khan that the capital was moved from Karachi to Rawalpindi, in anticipation of the construction of a new capital: Islamabad. In 1960, Khan's government signed the Indus Waters Treaty with archrival India to resolve disputes regarding the sharing of the waters of the six rivers in the Punjab Doab that flow between the two countries. Khan's administration also built a major network of irrigation canals, high-water dams and thermal and hydroelectric power stations.[30]

Despite the Indus Waters Treaty, Ayub maintained icy relations with India. He, on the advice of his foreign minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto ,established close political and military ties with socialist China, exploiting India's differences with Soviet Russia and its 1962 war with India. To this day, China remains a strong economic, political and military ally of Pakistan.

Ayub Khan adopted an energetic approach toward economic development that soon bore fruit in a rising rate of economic growth. Land reform, consolidation of personal and family land-holdings, and stern measures against commodities- hoarding such as wheat and sugar, were combined with rural credit programs and works programs for the welfare of the people in Pakistan.

Military and domestic affairs

Khan's domestic policies had heavy impact on Pakistan Armed Forces, and initially reduced the funding of military forces. His Chief of Army Staff had little interest in the military advancement and was seen lenient towards friendly India. His policies forced a halt to the nuclear deterrence and the nuclear energy projects established under the Government of Prime Minister Suhrawardy. The Prime minister established the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and launched the effective nuclear deterrence under the auspices of Dr. Nazir Ahmad, an experimental physicist. In 1958, when General Ayub Khan seized the office and imposed martial law in Pakistan, he had limited the research facilities of PAEC based on economic grounds. Overall, the nuclear deterrence remained a low priority to Khan and his government repeatedly vetoed the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's proposal to lead the establishment of national laboratories and the growth of nuclear power plants. Because of Abdus Salam's influence on Ayub Khan, Salam had succeeded into convincing him to personally approve a nuclear power plant— against the wishes of his own military government. However, despite Abdus Salam's efforts, Ayub Khan rejected further proposals made by the Abdus Salam, and the PAEC to set up a nuclear reprocessing plant in 1968.[31]

In 1965, after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Pakistan's scientists working at International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) became aware of Indian nuclear programme as they had visited Indian nuclear facilities as part of IAEA inspection teams. Pakistani IAEA scientists quickly notified of Indian development to Foreign Office of Pakistan. On 11 December 1965, Munir Ahmad Khan personally met with Foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto at the Dorchester Hotel in London where Munir Ahmad Khan had Bhutto to came to acknowledged about Indian nuclear programme. Bhutto then quickly managed a meeting with President the same night. At Dorchester Hotel, Ayub Khan had a brief meeting with Munir Ahmad Khan. The two had met in private and alone sensing the sensitivity of this discussion, the doors were remained lock. In this meeting, Munir Ahmad Khan clearly told Ayub Khan that Pakistan must acquire the necessary facilities that would give the country a nuclear deterrent capability, which were available free of safeguards and at an affordable cost. Munir Ahmad Khan also told President Ayub Khan that there were no restrictions on nuclear technology, that it was freely available, and that India and Israel were moving forward in deploying it.

When asked about the economics of such programme, Munir Ahmad Khan estimated the cost of nuclear technology at that time as not more than 150 million dollars. Ayub Khan listened to him very patiently, but at the end of the meeting remained unconvinced. Ayub Khan refused Munir Ahmad Khan's offer and said that Pakistan was too poor to spend that much money. Moreover, if we ever need the bomb, we will buy it off the shelf.

Space programme

In 1961 Abdus Salam succeeded in convincing Ayub Khan to lead the establishment of Pakistan's National Space Agency, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) on 16 September 1961. Ayub Khan appointed Abdus Salam as its director, and due to Salam's efforts the National Aeronautics and Space Administration began training Pakistani scientists and engineers in NASA headquarters. Abdus Salam had appointed a noted aeronautical engineer and military scientist, General W. J. M. Turowicz, as Pakistan's Rocket Programme head. General Turowicz's work led Pakistan to develop its own ballistic missile series in the future. General Turowicz had led a series of Rehbar Sounding Rockets fired from Pakistani soil. The military government of Ayub Khan had restricted the space activities in the country, and further denied the proposals of establishing space centers all over the country. Even the Flight Test Center was financed and built by the United States' NASA when Ayub Khan had declined to set up the funding programme for SUPARCO.

Foreign policies

Khan in the United States with U.S. President John F. Kennedy
Khan with U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in Karachi, Pakistan

Ayub Khan closely allied with the

Military offices
Preceded by
Douglas Gracey
Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by
Muhammad Musa
Political offices
Preceded by
Muhammad Ali Bogra
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Preceded by
Iskander Mirza
President of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Yahya Khan
Chief Martial Law Administrator
Preceded by
Muhammad Ayub Khuhro
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Afzal Rahman Khan
Preceded by
Khan Habibullah Khan
Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Chaudhry Ali Akbar Khan
  • Ayub Khan Bio
  • Official profile at Pakistan Army website
  • Video clip of Ayub Khan in Paris----use QuickTime Player.
  • Video clip of Ayub Khan with General De Gaulle
  • Video clip in Rawalpindi
  • Order of St Michael and St George on 26 April 1960

External links

  • Diaries of Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, 1966–1972 Mohammad Ayub Khan, Oxford University Press.
  • Khan, Muhammad Ayub, "Friends Not Masters", Oxford University Press, 1967.
  • Cloughley, Brian, "A History of the Pakistan Army" Oxford University Press, third edition 2006, Chapter 2, "Ayub Khan, Adjutant General to President".
  • Aqil Shah, "Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan" Harvard University Press, 2014, pp. 72–94.

Further reading

  1. ^ "Muhammad Ayub Khan the Second President of Pakistan". Pakistan Retrieved 16 November 2011. , Retrieved 25 August 2015
  2. ^ a b c "Ayub Khan in US Country Studies". US State Department. Retrieved 16 November 2011. ,Retrieved 25 August 2015
  3. ^ a b "Ouster of President Iskander Mirza". Story of Pakistan, part-II. , Retrieved 27 August 2015
  4. ^ "Field Marshal Ayub Khan Becomes President [1962–1969]". Story of Pakistan, Part-1. , Retrieved 25 August 2015
  5. ^ "Kal Tak – 25 May 2011 | Pakistan Politics". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  6. ^ "Story of Pakistan, Part-1"/, Retrieved 25 August 2015
  7. ^ "Martial Law Under Field Marshal Ayub Khan [1958–62]". Story of Pakistan, Part-3. , Retrieved 25 August 2015
  8. ^ "Muhammad Ayub Khan". Story of Pakistan. Archived from the original on 17 March 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  9. ^ Lyon, Peter (2008). Conflict between India and Pakistan: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 23.  
  10. ^ Hussain, Rizwan (2005). Pakistan and the emergence of Islamic militancy in Afghanistan. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 74.  
  11. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2004). A history of Pakistan and its origins. Anthem Press. p. 69.  
  12. ^ Karl J. Newman: Pakistan under Ayub Khan, Bhutto und Zia-ul-Haq. S. 31, ISBN 3-8039-0327-0.
  13. ^ The Political Dilemmas of Military Regimes (1985), by Christopher S. Clapham, George D. E. Philip, p. 203.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33353. p. 766. 3 February 1928. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33510. p. 4274. 28 June 1929. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33613. p. 3572. 6 June 1930. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34381. p. 1827. 19 March 1937. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35279. p. 5448. 19 September 1941. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  19. ^ Siddiqui, A. R. (25 April 2004). "Army's top slot: the seniority factor". Dawn. 
  20. ^ Haqqani, Hussain (2010-03-10). Pakistan Between Mosque and Military.  
  21. ^ The rule of seniority by Kamal Zafar Sunday 5 March 2006 The Nation
  22. ^ The Pakistan Coup d'etat 1958 by Waynes Ayres Wilcox
  23. ^ Aqil Shah (2014). Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan. Harvard University Press.  
  24. ^ "America Welcomes President Ayub". Gordon Wilkison Collection. Texas Archive of the Moving Image. July 1961. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  25. ^ "ISLAMIC PAKISTAN: ILLUSIONS & REALITY by Abdul Sattar Ghazali". Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  26. ^ a b c d "Muhammad Ayub Khan (Part III)". Story of Pakistan. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  27. ^ a b "Muhammad Ayub Khan (Part IV)". Story of Pakistan. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  28. ^ a b c d e f Ahmed, Khaled (9 August 2009). "Book Review: Sartaj Aziz on 'excessive' leaders". Pakistan Times. 
  29. ^ "Trouble with Mother". 25 December 1964. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  30. ^ Khan, Muhammad Ayub, "Friends Not Masters", Oxford University Press, 1967.
  31. ^ Shahid-ur-Rehman, "Z.A. Bhutto, A Man in Hurry for the Bomb," Long Road To Chagai, p. 21.
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hussain, Hamid. "Tale of a love affair that never was: United States-Pakistan Defence Relations". MIlitary Consortium of Pakistan. Military Consortium of Pakistan. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  33. ^ Kashmir in Conflict: India, Pakistan and the Unending War By Victoria Schofield Published 2003, by I.B.Tauris ISBN 1-86064-898-3 p. 112.
  34. ^ Iqbal Ahmad Khan (5 April 2009). "Bhutto's foreign policy legacy". Dawn News Papers, 5 April 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  35. ^ (Tariq Ali, The Duel, Simon & Schuster).
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Fatima Jinnah | Mother Of Nation (Mader-e Millat) @ Pakistan Herald". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  38. ^ (Mazari 1999).
  39. ^ (Pick April 1969).
  40. ^ Hassan Abbas (2004). Pakistan's Drift Into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America's War on Terror. M. E. Sharpe.  , p. 53.
  41. ^ "Growth, poverty & politics". 2004-08-31. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  42. ^ "Pakistan-THE AYUB KHAN ERA". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  43. ^ "Mirza says PTI’s rally an indicator of change". 2011-11-04. Retrieved 2012-12-09. ,Zulfiqar Mirza's speech- 4 November 2011, Retrieved 25 August 2015
  44. ^ "Photo Archive: Ayub Khan visits the US (1961)". The Friday Times. 16 September 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2011. 


See also

Ayub Khan’s eldest son Gohar Ayub Khan was Pakistan's Foreign Minister in the Nawaz Sharif government and his grandson Omar Ayub Khan was briefly Pakistan’s Minister of State for Finance. His daughter Begum Nasim Aurangzeb was married to Miangul Aurangzeb, the Wali of Swat.[44]

Ayub Khan is critiqued for the growth in income inequality 5 million people fell below the poverty line.[41] He is also blamed for not doing enough to tackle the significant economic disparity between East and West Pakistan. Whilst he was aware of the acute grievances of East Pakistan he did try to address the situation. However, the Ayub Khan regime was so highly centralized that, in the absence of democratic institutions, densely populated and politicized East Pakistan province continued to feel it was being slighted.[42] Sadaf Farooq from School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading argued that workers wages fell by 60% during the 60s. Furthermore, the policy of promoting entrepreneur elite and Industrial cartels to get economic growth generated increasing regional and social tensions among the nation and the emergence of business and industrial cartels.[43]

Aggravating an already bad situation, with increasing economic disparity in the country under his rule, hoarding and manipulation by major sugar manufacturers resulted in the controlled price of 1 kg sugar to be increased by 1 rupee and the whole population took to the streets. As Ayub's popularity plummeted, he decided in 1969 to give up rule.

Ayub was persuaded by underlings to award himself the Nishan-e-Pakistan, Pakistan's highest civil award, on the grounds that to award it to other heads of state, he should have it himself first and also promoted himself to the rank of field marshal of the Pakistan Army. He was to be Pakistan's first field marshal (and the only 5 star general till date).

Ayub began to lose both power and popularity. On one occasion, while visiting East Pakistan, there was a failed attempt to assassinate him, though this was not reported in the press of the day.[40]

Government corruption and nepotism, in addition to an environment of repression of free speech and political freedoms increased unrest in later years of Ayub's rule. Criticisms of his son's and family's personal wealth increased, especially his son's actions after his father's election in the allegedly rigged 1965 Presidential elections against Fatima Jinnah is a subject of criticism by many writers. In 2003, the nephew of the Quaid-i-Azam, Akbar Pirbhai, re-ignited the controversy by suggesting that she was assassinated by the Ayub Khan establishment .[36][37] His son, Gohar Ayub Khan, it is said led a victory parade right into the heartland of opposition territory in Karachi in a blatantly provocative move and the civil administration's failure to stop the rally led to fierce clashes between opposing groups with many locals being killed.[38] Gohar Ayub Khan also faced criticisms during that time on questions of family corruption and cronyism through his business links with his father-in-law retired Lt. General Habibullah Khan Khattak. One Western commentator in 1969 estimated Gohar Ayub's personal wealth at the time at $4 million, while his family's wealth was put in the range of $10–20 million.[39]

Criticism in later years of Ayub's rule

His rule was characterised by an increasing dependency on East Pakistan for export revenues, coupled with an exclusion of East Pakistan from political influence. This laid the foundation for break up of the country in 1972.[35]

He shunned prestige projects and stressed birth control in a country that had the seventh largest population in the world: 115 million. He dismissed criticism with the comment that if there was no family planning, the time would surely come when "Pakistanis will eat Pakistanis." In foreign affairs, he retained his ties to the West and to the United States in particular, allowing the United States to use the Badaber and Peshawar airbase for U-2 flights over the then Soviet Union.

He subsidized fertilizers and modernized agriculture through irrigation development, spurred industrial growth with liberal tax benefits. In the decade of his rule, gross national product (GNP) rose by 45% and manufactured goods began to overtake such traditional exports as jute and cotton. It is alleged that his policies were tailored to reward the elite families and the feudal lords. During the fall of his dictatorship, just when the government was celebrating the so-called Decade of Development, mass protests erupted due to an increasingly greater divide between the rich and the poor.

He was opposed to a democratic set-up of government, believing like any other dictator that parliamentary democracy was not suited for the people of his country. Like many subsequent military dictators, he was contemptuous of politicians and political parties.[2] However, during his early years in office, he sided with the Americans against the Soviets, and in return received financial aid, which resulted in enormous economic growth in Pakistan.

Ayub's Legacy

In 1971 when war broke out, Ayub Khan was in West Pakistan. He presented himself for fighting in war but government turned him down on account of his age and ill-health. He did not comment on the events of the 1971 war. He died on 19 April 1974.


In 1969 Ayub Khan opened up negotiations with the opposition alliance - except for Maulana Bhashani and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. However, under increasing pressure from Bhutto and Bhashani (who allegedly had support for their agitation from elements within the Army) and in violation of his own constitution (which required him to transfer power to the speaker of the National Assembly), on 25 March 1969, Ayub Khan handed over control of Pakistan to Army Commander-in-Chief General Yahya Khan.[2] Yahya Khan had acted as the President's most loyal lieutenant, and had received promotion over seven more-senior generals in 1966 to the army's top post.

Final years in office

In 1959, Ayub Khan's interest in building defence forces diminished when he made an offer of joint defence with India during the Sino-Indo clashes in October 1959 in Ladakh, in a move seen as a result of American pressure and a lack of understanding of Foreign affairs[34]

Joint defence union with India

The turning point in his rule was the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, and it ended in a settlement reached by Ayub Khan at Tashkent, called the Tashkent Declaration. The settlement was perceived negatively by many Pakistanis and led Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to resign his post and take up opposition to Ayub Khan.[27] According to Morrice James, "For them [Pakistanis] Ayub had betrayed the nation and had inexcusably lost face before the Indians."[33] The war also increased opposition in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) where the Awami League headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman sought more autonomy for the province.

Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

In 1959, then-Commerce and Energy minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto wished to visit the station, but was refrained from entering the spy operation's command room.[32] Ayub Khan appointed left-wing intellectual Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the Foreign Minister, but soon forced him to resign when he excessively criticized the United States.[32]

During his presidency, the Central Intelligence Agency's activities grew with a secret intelligence base, Peshawar Air Station, was leased to United States.[32] The government officials, ministers including the military officials of Pakistan Armed Forces were not allowed near the base, and could not dare to enter the base. The station and its activities were exposed in 1960, when Soviet Air Defence Forces's S-75 Dvina missile shot down the U-2 Dragon Lady, capturing its pilot near the vicinity.[32] This incident seriously and severely compromised the security of Pakistan, brought the Soviet ire on Pakistan.[32] In all,Ayub Khan had known of the operation,was fully aware of what happened in the Soviet Union. Ayub Khan was in London when the U-2 incident took place, notified by the CIA station chief, Khan shrugged his shoulders and said that he had expected this would happen at some point.[32]

In April 1958, Ayub Khan stressed that armed forces were the strongest element, convincing the United States that the left-wing would gain influence if elections were held in the prevailing circumstances, and that this would not only destabilize Pakistan but would affect U.S. strategic interests.[32]


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