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Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq

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Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
محمد ضیاءالحق
6th President of Pakistan
In office
16 September 1978 – 17 August 1988
Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo
Preceded by Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry
Succeeded by Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Personal details
Born (1924-08-12)12 August 1924
Jalandhar, Punjab, British India
(now in Punjab, India)
Died 17 August 1988(1988-08-17) (aged 64)
Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan
Spouse(s) Begum Shafiq Zia (1950-1988 his death)[1]
Children Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq
Zain Zia
Rubina Saleem
Quratulain Zia
Alma mater St. Stephen's College, Delhi
United States Army Command and General Staff College
Religion Islam
Military service
Nickname(s) Mard-i-Momin
Allegiance  British India
Service/branch  British Indian Army
 Pakistan Army
Years of service 1943–1988
Rank General
Unit Guides Cavalry, Army Armoured Corps (PA – 1810)
Commands 2nd Independent Armoured Brigade
1st Armoured Division
II Strike Corps
Chief of Army Staff
Battles/wars World War II
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Black September in Jordan
Soviet war in Afghanistan

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (Urdu: محمد ضياء الحق‎; 12 August 1924 – 17 August 1988), was a Pakistani general who served as the 6th President of Pakistan from 1978 until his death in 1988, after declaring martial law in 1977. He was Pakistan's longest-serving head of state.

Educated at Delhi University, Zia saw action in World War II as a British Indian Army officer, before opting for Pakistan in 1947 and fighting in the war against India in 1965. In 1970, he led the Pakistani training mission in Jordan, proving instrumental to putting down the Black September insurgency against King Hussein.[2] In recognition, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto appointed Zia Chief of Army Staff in 1976.[3] Following civil disorder, Zia deposed Bhutto in a military coup and declared martial law on 5 July, 1977.[4] Bhutto was controversially tried and executed by the Supreme Court less than two years later, for authorising the murder of a political opponent.[5]

Assuming the presidency in 1978, Zia played a major role in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Aided by the United States and Saudi Arabia, Zia systematically coordinated the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet occupation throughout the 1980s.[6][7] This culminated in the Soviet Union's withdrawal in 1989, but also led to the proliferation of millions of refugees, with heroin and weaponry into Pakistan's frontier province. On the foreign front, Zia also bolstered ties with China, the European Union, the United States, and emphasised Pakistan's role in the Islamic world, while relations with India worsened amid the Siachen conflict and accusations that Pakistan was aiding the Khalistan movement. Domestically, Zia passed broad-ranging legislation as part of Pakistan's Islamization, acts criticised for fomenting religious intolerance.[8] He also escalated Pakistan's atomic bomb project, and instituted industrialisation and deregulation, helping Pakistan's economy become among the fastest-growing in South Asia.[9] Averaged over Zia's rule, GDP growth was the highest in history.[10]

After lifting martial law and holding non-partisan elections in 1985, Zia appointed Muhammad Khan Junejo as the Prime Minister but accumulated more presidential powers via the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution.[11] After Junejo signed the Geneva Accords in 1988 against Zia's wishes, and called for an inquiry into the Ojhri Camp disaster, Zia dismissed Junejo's government and announced fresh elections in November 1988. But he was killed along with several of his top military officials and two American diplomats in a mysterious plane crash near Bahawalpur on 17 August, 1988. To this day, Zia remains a polarizing figure in Pakistan's history, credited for preventing wider Soviet incursions into the region as well as economic prosperity, but decried for weakening democratic institutions and passing laws encouraging religious intolerance.[12]


  • Early life 1
  • Military service 2
  • Planning of coup 3
    • Civil disorders against Bhutto 3.1
    • 1977 Parliamentary elections 3.2
    • Coup d'état 3.3
    • United States sponsorship 3.4
    • Postponement of elections and call for accountability 3.5
  • Reign as Chief Martial Law Administrator 4
    • The Doctrine of Necessity 4.1
    • Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Trial 4.2
    • Appointment of Martial Law Administrators 4.3
      • Martial law judges 4.3.1
      • Martial law governors 4.3.2
  • Reign as President of Pakistan 5
    • Assumption of the post of President of Pakistan 5.1
    • Political structural changes 5.2
      • Formation of Majlis-e-Shoora 5.2.1
      • Referendum of 1984 5.2.2
      • 1985 elections and constitutional amendments 5.2.3
      • Economic policy 5.2.4
    • Soviet-Afghan War and Strategic initiatives 5.3
      • Soviet invasion and Soviet-Afghan War 5.3.1
      • Consolidation of atomic bomb programme 5.3.2
      • Nuclear diplomacy 5.3.3
      • Nuclear proliferation 5.3.4
      • Expansion 5.3.5
      • International standing enhancement and resumption of aid 5.3.6
      • Fighting the war by proxy 5.3.7
      • The war legacy 5.3.8
    • 'Sharization' of Pakistan 5.4
      • Hudood Ordinance 5.4.1
      • Other sharia laws 5.4.2
      • Blasphemy ordinances 5.4.3
      • Madrassa Expansions 5.4.4
      • Cultural policies 5.4.5
    • Dismissal of the Junejo government and call for new elections 5.5
    • Political Purge 5.6
  • Death 6
  • Legacy 7
    • Funeral and aftermath 7.1
    • Public image 7.2
    • Removal of name from the Constitution of Pakistan 7.3
  • Honours 8
  • Books about Haq's time period 9
  • Portrayals in popular culture 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13

Early life

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was born in a Punjabi Muslim Arain[13][14] family in Jalandhar, Punjab state of the British India,[15] on 12 August 1924 as the second child of Muhammad Akbar, who worked as a staff clerk in the Army GHQ of India Command of British Armed Forces in Delhi and Simla, prior to the independence of Pakistan from British colonial rule in 1947.[16]

He completed his initial education in Simla and then attended St. Stephen's College of the University of Delhi for his B.A. degree in History, which he graduated with highest marks in the college in 1943.[16] Prior to his graduation, Zia joined the British Indian Army in 1943.[17] During his collegiate years, he was noted as an extraordinary talent.[16]

He married Shafiq Jahan in 1950.[18]

Begum Shafiq Zia died on 6 January 1996.[19] Zia is survived by his sons, Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq,[20] (born 1953), who went into politics and became a cabinet minister in the government of Nawaz Sharif, and Anwar-ul-Haq (born 1950)[21][22][23] and his daughters, Zain[24][25][26] (born 1972),[27] a special needs child, Rubina Saleem, who is married to a Pakistani banker and has been living in the United States since 1980,[28] and Quratulain Zia who currently lives in London, and is married to Pakistani doctor, Adnan Majid.[29]

Military service

General Zia-ul-Haq (center-left, second row) marching with Chairman Joint Chiefs General Muhammad Shariff at PMA, 1977.

Zia was commissioned in the British Indian Army in a cavalry regiment on 12 May 1943 and fought against Japanese forces in Burma in World War II. After Pakistan gained its independence in 1947, Zia joined the newly formed Pakistan Army as a Major. His regiment was now the Guides Cavalry Frontier Force Regiment. He was trained in the United States in 1962–1964 at the US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After that, he returned to take over as Directing Staff (DS) at Command and Staff College, Quetta.[30] During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Zia was a tank commander.[31] However, Zia is also said to have been the Assistant Quarter Master of the 101st Infantry Division.[32]

Zia was stationed in Jordan from 1967 to 1970 as a Brigadier, helping in the training of Jordanian soldiers, as well as leading the training mission into battle during the Black September operations as commander of Jordanian 2nd Division, a strategy that proved crucial to King Hussein's remaining in power. By 1973, then Major General Zia was commanding the 1st Armoured Division at Multan.[30]

He was then promoted as Lieutenant General and was appointed commander of the II Strike Corps at Multan in 1975. It was during this time that Zia invited Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Armoured Corps at Multan, using his tailor to stitch the Blue Patrols of his size. The next day, Bhutto was requested to climb a tank and engage a target, where the target was quite obviously hit. After the function, Zia met Bhutto and expressed his loyalty to him .[3]

On 1 March 1976, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto approved then-3 star general Lieutenant-General Zia as Chief of Army Staff and to be elevated to 4 star rank.[33] This promotion was ahead of a number of more senior officers.[34] This promotion was highly controversial but had political motives for Bhutto, who saw Zia as firmly religious and an apolitical military figure who had distaste of politics.[2] This was the same motives and move made by future Prime minister Nawaz Sharif who promoted Pervez Musharraf based on his political ambitious, as Chief of Army Staff, but met the same fate as Bhutto in 1999 (although he was not executed).[2]

At the time of his nominating the successor to the outgoing Chief of Army Staff General Tikka Khan, the Lieutenant Generals in order of seniority were, Muhammad Shariff, Muhammed Akbar Khan, Aftab Ahmed Khan, Azmat Baksh Awan, Agha Ibrahim Akram, Abdul Majeed Malik, Ghulam Jilani Khan, and Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. But, Bhutto chose the most junior, superseding seven more senior lieutenant-generals.[35] However, the senior most at that time, Lieutenant-General Mohammad Shariff, though promoted to General, was made the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, a constitutional post akin to President Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry.[36] Zia never called Bhutto as "Mr. Prime Minister", but relied on the term Sir while referring to Bhutto.[34]

Planning of coup

Prime Minister Bhutto began facing considerable criticism and increasing unpopularity as his term progressed, the democratic socialists alliance who had previously allied with Bhutto began to diminish as time progresses.[5] Initially targeting leader of the opposition Vali Khan and his opposition National Awami Party (NAP), also a socialist party. Despite the ideological similarity of the two parties, the clash of egos both inside and outside the National Assembly became increasingly fierce, starting with the Federal governments decision to oust the NAP provincial government in Balochistan Province for alleged secessionist activities[37] and culminating in the banning of the party and arrest of much of its leadership after the death of a close lieutenant of Bhutto's, Hayat Sherpao, in a bomb blast in the frontier town of Peshawar.

Civil disorders against Bhutto

Dissidence also increased within the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and the murder of leading dissident Ahmed Raza Kasuri's father led to public outrage and intra-party hostility as Bhutto was accused of masterminding the crime. PPP leaders such as Ghulam Mustafa Khar openly condemned Bhutto and called for protests against his regime. The political crisis in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) and Balochistan intensified as civil liberties remained suspended, and an estimated 100,000 troops deployed there were accused of abusing human rights and killing large numbers of civilians.[38]

1977 Parliamentary elections

On 8 January 1977 a large number of opposition political parties grouped to form the Pakistan National Alliance[38] (PNA). Bhutto called fresh elections, and PNA participated fully in those elections. 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. They proceeded to boycott the provincial elections. Despite this, there was a high voter turnout in the national elections; however, as provincial elections were held amidst low voter turnout and an opposition boycott, the PNA declared the newly elected Bhutto government as illegitimate.

Coup d'état

Zia had been planning since 1976 to impose martial law and end Bhutto's government when he became chief of army staff.[39] On multiple occasions, Zia deliberately concealed intelligence information and misguided Bhutto on various political matters.[39] Soon, all the opposition leaders called for the overthrow of Bhutto's regime.[5] Political and civil disorder intensified, which led to more unrest.[40] Bhutto imposed martial law in major cities including Karachi, Lahore and Hyderabad. However, a compromise agreement between Bhutto and opposition was ultimately reported.[34] This compromise theory was however probably a later day addition as a major PPP armed rally was in the offing. Zia planned the Coup d'état carefully, as he knew Bhutto had integral intelligence in the Pakistan Armed Forces, and many officers, including Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Zulfiqar Ali Khan and Major-General Tajammul Hussain Malik, GOC of 23rd Mountain Division, Major-General Naseerullah Babar, DG of Directorate-General for the Military Intelligence (DGMO) and Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan, were loyal to Bhutto.[34] Meanwhile, intelligence unit and army formations were placed in Prime minister secretariat who kept an eye on Bhutto's movement, tapping phone calls and keeping a record of invitees to the Prime Minister's secretariat. Zia's closest ally, General K.M. Arif, had tried to meet with Bhutto in various attempts, but such actions were thwarted by Zia.[34] Finally, on 5 April 1977, Arif succeeded in secretly meeting with Bhutto, revealing the plot against him. Bhutto remained unconvinced and disbelieving, reportedly asking how his protege General Zia could do such things to him. Bhutto dismissed Arif later.[39]

To remove this intelligence, Zia secretly contracted with active duty British SAS army officers to maintain a staff course for the Army personnel, while Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Shariff quietly removed naval personnel loyal to Bhutto and his government from the Navy's active duty. Zia ordered Bhutto's loyal officers to attend a staff and command course and none of the officers were allowed to leave the course until midnight. Meanwhile, Zia with his close officers, including Admiral Mohammad Shariff, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, arranged the coup in the evening.[34]

The coup, (called "Operation Fair Play") transpired on 5 July 1977. Before the announcement of any agreement, Bhutto and members of his cabinet were arrested by troops of Military Police under the order of Zia in the evening.[38] Bhutto tried to call Zia but all telephone lines were disconnected. An army officer appeared in the Prime minister secretariat to arrest Bhutto.[39] After realizing Arif's warnings were no hoax and the coup had indeed taken place, the weeping officer reportedly told Bhutto that he was sorry but has been forced to perform such "an unpleasant task".[39]

Zia and his military government portrayed the coup as a "spontaneous response to a difficult situation", but his response was a complete contradiction. Soon after the coup, Zia told the British journalist Edward Behr of Newsweek:

I (Zia) am the only man who took this decision [Fair Play].... And I did so on 1700 Hrs on 4[th] July after hearing the press statements that talks and negotiation between Mr. Bhutto and the opposition had broken down. Had an agreement been reached between them, I certainly would never had done it....
— General Zia-ul-Haq, statement given to Newsweek, [2]

However, Zia's Chief of Army Staff General Khalid Mahmud Arif contradicted Zia's statement when Arif noted that the coup had already been planned, and the senior leadership of Pakistan Armed Forces had solid information. Therefore, Arif met with Bhutto on an emergency basis, stressing and urging Bhutto to "rush negotiations with the opposition".[2] By Arif's and independent expert's accounts, the talks had not broken down even though the coup was very much in the offing. Zia further argued that Fair Play against Bhutto had been necessitated by the prospect of a civil war that Bhutto had been planning, by distributing weapons to his supporters. However, Arif strongly rejected Zia's remarks on Bhutto, and citing no evidence that weapons were found or recovered at any of the party's election offices, the military junta did not prosecute Bhutto on the charge of planning civil war.[2]

Immediately, the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Shariff announced his and the navy's strong support for Zia and his military government. But, the Chief of Air Staff General Zulfikar Ali Khan remains unsupported while the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Muhammad Shariff remains neutral, while he silently expressed his support to Prime minister Zulfikar Bhutto.[2] In 1978, Zia pressured President Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry to appoint General Anwar Shamim as Chief of Air Staff; and Admiral Karamat Rahman Niazi as Chief of Naval Staff in 1979.[41] On Zia's recommendation, President Illahi appointed Admiral Mohammad Shariff as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hence making the Admiral the highest ranking officer and principal military adviser overlooking all of the inter-services, including the Chiefs of Staff of the respected forces.[41] In 1979, the Chiefs of Army, Navy, and the Air Force, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff validated the coup as constitutional and legal under the war-torn circumstances, pledging their support to Zia as well.[2]

United States sponsorship

President Ronald Reagan and Bill Clark meeting with President Zia-ul-Haq, 1982.

The United States, notably the Reagans Administration, was an ardent supporter of Zia's military regime and a close ally of Pakistan's conservative-leaning ruling military establishment.[42] The Reagan administration declared Zia's regime as the "front line" ally of the United States in the fight against the Communism.[42][43] American legislators and senior officials most notable were Zbigniew Brzezinski, Henry Kissinger, Charlie Wilson, Joanne Herring, and the civilian intelligence officers Michael Pillsbury and Gust Avrakotos, and senior U.S. military officials General John William Vessey, and General Herbert M. Wassom, had been long associated with the Zia military regime where they had made frequent trips to Pakistan advising on expanding the idea of establishment in the political circle of Pakistan.[42] Nominally, the American conservatism of Ronald Reagan's Republican Party influenced Zia to adopt his idea of Islamic Islamic conservatism as the primary line of his military government, forcefully enforcing the Islamic and other religious practices in the country.[42]

The socialist orientation had greatly alarmed the capitalist forces in Pakistan and as well as brought a clinging bell tolls alarm to the United States who feared the loss of Pakistan as an ally in the cold war.[2] Many of Pakistan's political scientists and historians widely suspected that the riots and coup against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was orchestrated with help of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the United States Government because United States growing fear of Bhutto's socialist policies which were seen as sympathetic towards the Soviet Union and had built a bridge that allowed Soviet Union to involved in Pakistan, and had access through Pakistan's warm water port; something that the United States was unable to gain access since the establishment of Pakistan in 1947.[42][44] Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark widely suspected the United States' involvement in bringing down the Bhutto's government, and publicly accused the United States' Government after attending the trial.[44] On the other hand, the United States refused any involvement in Bhutto's fall, and argued that it was Bhutto who had alienated himself over the five years.[2] While witnessing the dramatic fall of Bhutto, one U.S. diplomat in American Embassy in Islamabad wrote that:

During Bhutto's five years in Pakistan's helm, Bhutto had retained an emotional hold on the poor masses who had voted him overwhelmingly in 1970s general elections. At the same time, however, Bhutto had many enemies. The socialist economics and nationalization of major private industries during his first two years on office had badly upsets the Business circles... An ill-considered decision to take over the wheat-milling, rice-husking, sugar mills, and cotton-gaining, industries in July of 1976 had angered the small business owners and traders. Both leftists — socialists and communists, intellectuals, students, and trade unionists— felt betrayed by Bhutto's shift to centre-right wing conservative economics policies and by his growing collaboration with powerful feudal lords, Pakistan's traditional power brokers. After 1976, Bhutto's aggressive authoritarian personal style and often high-handed way of dealing with political rivals, dissidents, and opponents had also alienated many....
— U.S. Embassy, Pakistan, U.S. commenting of Bhutto's fate, [2]

Postponement of elections and call for accountability

After assuming power as Chief Martial Law Administrator, Zia shortly appeared on national television, PTV promising to hold new and neutral parliamentary elections within the next 90 days[2]

My sole aim is to organise free and fair elections which would be held in October this year. Soon after the polls, power will be transferred to the elected representatives of the people. I give a solemn assurance that I will not deviate from this schedule.[45]

He also stated that the Constitution of Pakistan had not been abrogated, but temporarily suspended. Zia did not trust the civilian institutions and legislators to ensure the country's integrity and sovereignty[2] therefore, in October 1977, he announced the postponement of the electoral plan and decided to start an accountability process for the politicians.[46] On television, Zia strongly defended his decision for postponing the elections and demanded that "scrutiny of political leaders who had engaged in malpractice in the past".[46] Thus, the PNA adopted its policy of "retribution first, elections later".[46] Zia's policy severely tainted his credibility as many, both domestically and internationally, saw the broken promise as malicious.[34] Another motive was that Zia widely suspected that once out of power the size of the Pakistan Peoples Party rallies would swell and better performance in elections was possible.[2] This led to request for postponement of elections by the right-wing Islamists as well as left-wing socialists, formerly allied with Bhutto, which displaced Bhutto in the first place. Zia dispatched an intelligence unit, known as ISI's Political Wing, sending Brigadier-General Taffazul Hussain Siddiqiui, to Bhutto's native Province, Sindh, to assess whether people would accept martial law. The Political Wing also contacted the several right-wing Islamists and conservatives, promising an election, with PNA power-sharing the government with Zia. Zia successfully divided and separated the secular forces from right-wing Islamists and conservatives, and later purged each member of the secular front.[2]

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.[46] A white paper document was issued, incriminating the deposed Bhutto government on several counts.[46]

It is reported by senior officers that when Zia met federal secretaries for the first time as leader of the country after martial law, he said that "He does not possess the charisma of Bhutto, personality of Ayub Khan or the legitimacy of Liaquat Ali Khan" thereby implying how can he be marketed.[2]

Reign as Chief Martial Law Administrator

After deposing Prime Minister Bhutto on 5 July 1977, Zia-ul-Haq declared martial law, and appointed himself Chief Martial Law Administrator, which he remained until becoming president on 16 September 1978.

The Doctrine of Necessity

Nusrat Bhutto, the wife of the deposed Prime Minister, filed a suit against Zia's military regime, challenging the validity of the July 1977 military coup. The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled, in what would later be known as the Doctrine of Necessity (not to be confused with the 1954 Doctrine of necessity) that, given the dangerously unstable political situation of the time, Zia's overthrowing of the Bhutto government was legal on the grounds of necessity. The judgement tightened the general's hold on the government. When Bhutto appeared personally to argue his appeal in the supreme court, he almost affirmed his concurrence with the judges present for not letting off a judgement without imposing some conditions on ruling military government.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Trial

Former elected Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was arrested during the coup but released shortly afterwards. Upon his release, Bhutto travelled the country amid adulatory crowds of PPP supporters. On 3 September 1977, he was arrested again by the Army on charges of authorising the murder of a political opponent in March 1974. The trial proceedings began 24 October 1977 and lasted five months. On 18 March 1978, Bhutto was declared guilty of murder and was sentenced to death.

In the words of Aftab Kazie and Roedad Khan, Zia hated Bhutto and had used inappropriate language and insults to describe Bhutto and his colleagues.[47][48][49] 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.[50] Despite many clemency appeals from foreign leaders requesting Zia to commute Bhutto's death sentence, Zia dismissed the appeals and upheld the death sentence.[50] On 4 April 1979, Bhutto was hanged, after the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence as passed by the Lahore High Court.[50]

The hanging of an elected prime minister by a military was condemned by the international community and by lawyers and jurists across Pakistan.[50] Bhutto's trial was highly controversial.[50][50]

Bhutto's last personal appearance and utterances in the supreme court were not merely a long defence of his conduct; he also made some matters clear.[34] He mentioned the words of "heir" for his son "Mir Murtaza Bhutto".[34] He made some remark which indicated that he has views similar to a Sunni, though he was Shia albeit a non-practicing one. He also effectively cast doubt on the reliability of star witnesses against him i.e. Masood Mahmood who was a UK-trained lawyer and not merely a police officer and FSF chief. He mentioned repeatedly Lahori Ahmedi connection of Masood Mahmood in his testimony.[34] He repeatedly brought the subject of his maltreatment in the death cell.[34] Bhutto made it abundantly clear, even though indirectly that he wanted either freedom or death, not some thing in between, and appreciated Khar and his lawyer Yahya Bakhtiar.[34]

Bhutto's other lawyer Abdul Hafiz Pirzada filed a petition for the release of Bhutto's colleague Mubashir Hassan and Bhutto itself.[34] The Supreme Court concluded that Bhutto's execution can be reversed by the President, and Hassan's case is being dealt with by Military Justice Court led by Zia; therefore, the civilian courts have no jurisdiction over that hearing.[34] Pirzada submitted the request to Chief of Army Staff Directorate, but Zia claimed that the request application had been gone missing.[34] Therefore, Zia upheld the sentence and Bhutto was executed. Shattered and disturbed Pirzada left to United Kingdom and did not return to Pakistan until democracy was restored in 1988.[34] It was not until 2000, when the Pakistan media published its report that the application was found in the record section (Directorate-General for the Military History) at the Generals Combatant Headquarter (GHQ).[34] The application was made public domain when General Pervez Musharraf declassified much of the 1970s records.

Appointment of Martial Law Administrators

Martial law judges

The Shahnawaz Bhutto, Bhutto's youngest son, is widely suspected to done under Zia's orders, though there are no evidences for this claim. Zia's persecution of Bhutto's family, forced Benazir, Sanam and Murtaza Bhutto to hide in Arab world, notably Syria who provided the government-sanctioned houses to the Bhutto family.


Zia died in a plane crash on 17 August 1988. After witnessing a U.S. M1 Abrams tank demonstration in Bahawalpur, Zia had left the small town in the Punjab province by C-130B Hercules aircraft. The aircraft departed from Bahawalpur Airport and was expected to reach Islamabad International Airport.[106] Shortly after a smooth takeoff, the control tower lost contact with the aircraft. Witnesses who saw the plane in the air afterward claim it was flying erratically, then nosedived and exploded on impact. In addition to Zia, 31 others died in the plane crash, including Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Akhtar Abdur Rahman, close associate of Zia, Brigadier Siddique Salik, the American Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Lewis Raphel and General Herbert M. Wassom, the head of the U.S. Military aid mission to Pakistan.[107][108] Ghulam Ishaq Khan, the Senate Chairman announced Zia's death on radio and TV. Conditions surrounding his death have given rise to many conspiracy theories.[109] There is speculation that the United States, India, the Soviet Union (in retaliation for Pakistani support of the mujahideen in Afghanistan) or an alliance of them and internal groups within Zia's military were behind the incident.[110][111]

A board of inquiry was set up to investigate the crash. It concluded 'the most probable cause of the crash was a criminal act of sabotage perpetrated in the aircraft'. It also suggested that poisonous gases were released which incapacitated the passengers and crew, which would explain why no Mayday signal was given.[112] There were also speculation into other facts involving the details of the investigation. A flight recorder (black box) was not located after the crash and previous C-130 airplanes did have them installed.[113]

Maj. Gen. (retd) Mahmud Ali Durrani claimed later that reports of Israeli and Indian involvement in Zia’s plane-crash were only speculations and he rejected the statement that was given by former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan that the presidential plane was blown up in the air. Durrani stated that Zia's plane was destroyed while landing.[114]


Zia's Tomb

Funeral and aftermath

Grave stone of Zia's grave

His funeral was held on 19 August 1988 in

Military offices
Preceded by
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Colonel Commandant of Army Armoured Corps
Succeeded by
Ali Jan Mehsud
Preceded by
Tikka Khan
Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by
Mirza Aslam Beg
Political offices
Preceded by
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Ali Ahmed Khan Talpur
Preceded by
Ali Ahmed Khan Talpur
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Muhammad Khan Junejo
Preceded by
Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry
President of Pakistan
Succeeded by
Ghulam Ishaq Khan
  • Biography video 'Shaheed e Islam
  • The State Funeral of Zia Ul Haq on Pakistan Television
  • Annotated Bibliography for Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues
  • "Who Killed Zia?" by Edward Jay Epstein for Vanity Fair, September 1989
  • Official profile at Pakistan Army website
  • The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  • General Zia-ul-Haq’s plane crash due to mechanical problem (Times of London)
  • Obituary by Pakistan Television 'Soldier of Islam'

External links

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  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t
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  4. ^ Rafiq Dossani (2005). Prospects for Peace in South Asia. Stanford University Press. pp. 46–50. ISBN 978-0-8047-5085-1.
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  20. ^
  21. ^ Over 80 killed in Lahore attacks F.P. Lahore Office
  22. ^ Book: President of Pakistan, General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq: January–December 1985
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^ a b A.H. Amin. "Interview with Brig (retd) Shamim Yasin Manto" Defence Journal, February 2002
  31. ^ The Consequences of Nuclear Proliferation: Lessons from South Asia By Devin T. Hagerty Published by MIT Press, 1998, ISBN 0-262-58161-2, pp 114
  32. ^
  33. ^ In the summer of 1976, General Zia, who had superseded seven senior senior lieutenant-generals, told Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: "Sir, I am so grateful to you for appointing me Chief of Army Staff. Not only myself, but may future generations will be eternally grateful to you for singling me out for such a great honor, and this is a favour which I can never forget." The Herald, July 1992
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y
  35. ^ Ardeshir Cowasjee, "The general's generals" Daily Dawn, 29 June 1995
  36. ^ A.H. Amin "Remembering Our Warriors: Maj Gen (Retd) Tajammal Hussain Malik" Defence Journal, September 2001
  37. ^ Militarism and the State Pakistan: Military Intervention by Eqbal Ahmed (Le Monde Diplomatique, October 1977) Archived 23 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ a b c
  39. ^ a b c d e f
  40. ^ Mazari, Sherbaz(2000) A Journey into disillusionment
  41. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  42. ^ a b c d e
  43. ^
  44. ^ a b
  45. ^
  46. ^ a b c d e
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^ a b c d e f
  51. ^ a b c d e f g h i j
  52. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k
  53. ^ Nawaz Sharif Profile on WikiMir source of original citation
  54. ^
  55. ^ Shahid Javed Burki. "Pakistan: Fifty Years of Nationhood (Westview Publishers, 1999)"
  56. ^
  57. ^ a b c d
  58. ^ Many Islamists have pointed out that while the Quran makes no mention of elections, parliaments, etc., the Quran did urge Muhammad -- the first ruler of Muslims, and the one who Muslim should emulate -- to consult his companions. (see The Need for Consultation (mushāwara)|by Muhammad Haq | January 3, 2013)
  59. ^ Al-Mushir 24, n.2 (1982), p.85
  60. ^
  61. ^ a b
  62. ^
  63. ^
  64. ^ a b c d e f g
  65. ^ a b c
  66. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q
  67. ^ a b c
  68. ^
  69. ^ a b c d e f
  70. ^ a b c d e
  71. ^
  72. ^ Proliferation Unbound: Nuclear Tales from Pakistan, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan by Gaurav Kampani, 23 February 2004
  73. ^ The Man Who Sold the Bomb, Sunday, 6 February 2005
  74. ^ a b
  75. ^ Lodi, Lieutenant General Safdar F.S. (May 1998). "Pakistan's Missile Technology". Head of Integrated Missile Research and Development Programme (IMRDP). Defence Journal of Pakistan.
  76. ^ The Bear Trap, Brig. Muhammad Yousuf
  77. ^ Pakistan's Kalashnikov Culture and the CIA-ISI-Saudi Axis, by Alex Constantine,
  78. ^ Guns in Pakistan
  79. ^ Richard McGill Murphy (16 October 1997) The Afghanistan Drug Trade,
  80. ^ a b
  81. ^ a b c d e f g h
  82. ^ a b c
  83. ^
  84. ^ speech given On 2 December 1978, on the occasion of the first day of the Hijra
  85. ^ a b c d
  86. ^ a b
  87. ^ a b c d e
  88. ^
  89. ^ a b c
  90. ^
  91. ^
  92. ^ [ Zia-ul-Haq military&f=false Pakistan: A Country Study] edited by Peter R. Blood
  93. ^
  94. ^ a b
  95. ^
  96. ^
  97. ^ a b c
  98. ^
  99. ^
  100. ^ a b Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant Islam, edited by Zahid Hussain, Columbia University Press, 2006, p.81
  101. ^ a b Apocalyptic Realm: Jihadists in South Asia, By Dilip Hiro, Yale University Press, 2012, p.162
  102. ^ a b Frontline Pakistan: The Struggle with Militant Islam, edited by Zahid Hussain, Columbia University Press, 2006, p.78
  103. ^
  104. ^ a b
  105. ^ a b c
  106. ^
  107. ^ Foreign affairs Pakistan by Pakistan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (MOFA, 1988)
  108. ^ "Plea in court to revive C-130 crash case" Business Recorder, 22 April 1996
  109. ^
  110. ^ (subscription required)
  111. ^
  112. ^ The History and Culture of Pakistan by Nigel Kelly. ISBN 1-901458-67-9
  113. ^,3574622&dq=c-130+black+box&hl=en
  114. ^
  115. ^ a b
  116. ^ There is also still a lot of controversy on who or what actually lies buried in Zia's supposed grave. Some people claim only his jawbone was found and identified, and is buried there; whilst others claim that bits and pieces of a number of the aircrash victims were put in together. See SAH Rizvi in his article in 'The Pakistan Observer' Islamabad, 27th August 1988
  117. ^ The Faisal Mosque is named after the late Saudi Arabian king Faisal, and was partially constructed with Saudi funds
  118. ^ a b
  119. ^
  120. ^ a b
  121. ^
  122. ^
  123. ^
  124. ^
  125. ^


See also

  • The oppressive regime of Zia-ul-Haq and the execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was referenced in the book "Songs of Blood and Sword", a non-fiction memoir by Murtaza Bhutto's daughter Fatima Bhutto with chilling intensity.
  • Zia is the basis for the character General Hyder in Salman Rushdie's novel Shame (1983), which describes Zia's long-lasting relationship with Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (here known as Iskander Harrapa), the president whom he would later overthrow and "put to death".

Zia has been portrayed in English language popular culture a number of times including:

Portrayals in popular culture

  • The Leopard and the Fox by Tariq Ali (2007)
  • Breaking the Curfew by Emma Duncan (1989) ISBN 0-7181-2989-X
  • Working with Zia by General Khalid Mahmud Arif
  • Khaki Shadows by General Khalid Mahmud Arif
  • Desperately Seeking Paradise by Ziauddin Sardar
  • Waiting for Allah by Christina Lamb
  • Ayub, Bhutto, and Zia by Hassan Iftikhar
  • Journey to Disillusionment by Sherbaz Khan Mazari
  • Ghost Wars by Steven Coll
  • General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq Shaheed: A Compilation by various authors
  • Charlie Wilson's War by George Crile III
  • The Bear Trap: Afghanistan's Untold Story by Mohammed Yousaf, Mark Adkin (1992) ISBN 0-85052-267-6
  • A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif
  • Pakistan's Politics The Zia Years by Mushahid Hussain Syed
  • Pakistan Under Martial Law 1977-1985 by Muhammad Waseem
  • Songs of Blood and Sword by Fatima Bhutto
  • Ayub, Muhammad (2005). An army, Its Role and Rule: A History of the Pakistan Army from Independence to Kargil, 1947–1999. RoseDog Books. ISBN 9780805995947.

Books about Haq's time period


With the passing of Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan, General Zia's name was permanently deleted from the Constitution of Pakistan.[122][123]

Removal of name from the Constitution of Pakistan

Even after his death, Zia-ul-Haq remained a highly polarizing and widely discussed figure in the country's intellectual and political circles.[118] Out of the country's short history, Zia-ul-Haq's legacy remains a most toxic, enduring, and tamper-proof legacy, according to the editorial written in Dawn.[118] Historians and political scientists widely discussed and studied his policy making skills, some authors noting him as "The Ringmaster"[39] and "Master Tactician".[119] However, his most remembered and enduring legacy was his indirect involvement and military strategies, by proxy supporting the Mujahideen, against the USSR's war in Afghanistan.[120] His reign also helped the conservatives to rise at the national politics against Benazir Bhutto.[120] He is also noted being one of the successful general in making the armed forces as central planner in country's affairs.[121] During his regime, western styles in hair, clothing, and music flooded the country.[105] The 1980s gave birth to Pakistani rock music, which expressed Pakistani nationalism in the country.[105]

Public image

[115] Soon after this incident, Zia also began to hunt down the

Many senior military officers such as Air Chief Marshal Zulfiqar Ali Khan and Major-General Tajammul Hussain Malik were convicted for treason, followed a small-scale purging of Pakistan Army officers sympathetic to Bhutto. Zia curbed the Communist Party by illegally abducting Jam Saqi and Nazeer Abbasi for a secret trial. Both Abbasi and Saqi were tortured and killed while interrogating process into the hands of Brigadier-General Imtiaz Ahmad. The public lynching and flagellation became common for senior journalists and politicians who suffered at the hands of General Zia. This absolute act further radicalised the society where intolerance for other people was reached to maximum. Zia's torture and purge forced minorities to fled the country such as Major-General Eric Hall, director of Pakistan's space weapons program. The senior leadership of People's National Party took the refuge in neighbouring Afghanistan and India, while many political workers went missing and either killed. One of the notable case was the hijacking of Pakistan International Airlines's Boeing 720 in 1981. ISI quickly founded that the Al-Zulfikar was behind this plot which resulted in killing of one military pilot. The leaders of this ring Salamullah Tipu was murdered in Kabul Prison; others were abducted by the ISI. The head of the KHAD, Mohammad Najibullah was also involved in this plot, but soon paid the price at the hands of the Taliban in 1996 when he was brutally beaten and publicly hanged in the roads of Kabul.

General Zia as Chief Martial Law Administrator and later President, consolidated near-absolute power in the 1970s and 1980s. The Purge that occurred in 1977 to 1979 and re-started in 1983, as a reaction to Zia's policies, the populist Movement for the Restoration of Democracy was born and soon gained popularity in Pakistan's smaller, poorer provinces, especially in Bhutto's home province, Sindh. General Zia responded by violently dealing with his political opponents and journalists as well as minorities. Indira Gandhi, Indian PM raised concerns over this brutality and violation of human rights at the hands of Pakistan's military dictatorship (Dawn 14 August 1983).[22]

Political Purge

Zia promised to hold elections in 1988 after the dismissal of Junejo government. He said that he would hold elections within the next 90 days. The late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's daughter Benazir Bhutto had returned from exile earlier in 1986, and had announced that she would be contesting the elections. With Bhutto's popularity somewhat growing, and a decrease in international aid following the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Zia was in an increasingly difficult political situation.

On 29 May 1988, Zia dissolved the National Assembly and removed the Prime Minister under article 58(2)b of the amended Constitution. Apart from many other reasons, Prime Minister Junejo's decision to sign the Geneva Accord against the wishes of Zia, and his open declarations of removing any military personnel found responsible for an explosion at a munitions dump at Ojhri Camp, on the outskirts of army headquarters in Rawalpindi, earlier in the year, proved to be some of the major factors responsible for his removal.

Ojhri Camp blast had irreversibly weakened Zia versus Junejo. Junejo with western support could not strike Zia. Zia struck first.

It is said by some that Zia-Junejo rift was encouraged by late Mahboob-ul-Haq and Junejo's insistence on signing Geneva pact without deciding the composition of next government of Afghanistan before Soviet withdrawal. Junejo also gave Benazir a seat next to him in parleys before that. Junejo did not strengthen the Islamization drive and rather weakened it. His era led to serious disturbances in Karachi and ultimately Karachi went into the secular control of MQM from the clutches of Sunnis Jamaat-e-Islami.

As time passed, the legislature wanted to have more freedom and power and by the beginning of 1988, rumours about the differences between Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo and Zia were rife.

Dismissal of the Junejo government and call for new elections

This was despite strong support from the largest Western country, the United States, and warm meetings between Zia and President Ronald Reagan.[52] It was under Zia and the economic prosperity of his era that the country's urban middle and lower-middle-classes expanded and Western 1980s fashion wear and hairstyle spread in popularity, and rock music bands gained momentum, according to leftist cultural critic Nadeem F. Paracha.[105]

In a 1979 address to the nation, Zia decried the Western culture and music in the country. Soon afterwards, PTV, the national television network ceased playing music videos and only patriotic songs were broadcast.[103] New taxes were levied on the film industry and most of the cinemas in Lahore were shut down.[104] New tax rates were introduced, further decreasing cinema attendances.[104]

Cultural policies

Traditional religious madrassass in Pakistan received state sponsorship for the first time, under the General Zia-ul-Haq's administration,[100] Their number grew from 893 to 2,801. Most were Deobandi in doctrinal orientation, while one quarter of them were Barelvi.[101] They received funding from Zakat councils and provided free religious training, room and board to impoverished Pakistanis.[102] The schools, which banned televisions and radios, have been criticized by authors for stoking sectarian hatred both between Muslim sects and against non-Muslims.[100][101][102]

Madrassa Expansions

To outlaw blasphemy, the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) were amended through ordinances in 1980, 1982 and 1986. The 1980 law prohibited derogatory remarks against Islamic personages, and carried a three year prison sentence.[98] In 1982 the small Ahmadiyya religious minority were prohibited from saying or implying they were Muslims. In 1986 declaring anything implying disrespect to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, Ahl al-Bayt (family members of Muhammad), Sahabah (companions of Muhammad) or Sha'ar-i-Islam (Islamic symbols) was made a cognisable offence, punishable with imprisonment or fine, or both.[99]

Blasphemy ordinances

In 1981 interest payments were replaced by "profit and loss" accounts (though profit was thought to be simply interest by another name).[97] Textbooks were overhauled to remove un-Islamic material, and un-Islamic books were removed from libraries.[97] Eating and drinking during Ramadan was outlawed, attempts were made to enforce praying of salat five times a day.[87]

In 1980 the "Zakat and Ushr Ordinance, 1980" was implemented.[96] The measure called for a 2.5% annual deduction from personal bank accounts on the first day of Ramadan, with Zia stating that the revenues would be used for poverty relief.[97] Zakat committees were established to oversee distribution of the funds.[87]

Under Zia, the order for women to cover their heads while in public was implemented in public schools, colleges and state television. Women's participation in sports and the performing arts was severely restricted. Following Sharia law, women's legal testimony was given half the weight of a man's, according to critics. Unlike men, women entering into legal contracts were required to have their signature witness by another person.[94]

Other sharia laws

The hybridisation of Pakistan penal code with Islamic laws was difficult because of the difference in the underlying logic of the two legal systems.[81] PPC was kingly law, Haddood is a religious and community-based law.

Although the Sharia punishments were imposed, the due process, witnesses, law of evidence, and prosecution system remained Anglo-Saxon.[81]

More worrisome for human rights and women's rights advocates, lawyers and politicians was the incarceration of thousands of rape victims on charges of zina.[81] The onus of providing proof in a rape case rests with the woman herself.[81] Uncorroborated testimony by women was inadmissible in hudood crimes.[94] If the victim/accuser was unable to prove her allegation, bringing the case to court was considered equivalent to a confession of sexual intercourse outside of lawful marriage.[81] Despite this the ordinance remained in force until the Women's Protection Bill was passed in 2006.[95]

All these punishments were dependent on proof required for hadd being met. In practice the Hudd requirement—four Muslim men of good repute testifying as witness to the crime—was seldom met. As of 2014, no one offenders have been stoned or had limbs amputated by the Pakistani judicial system. To be found guilty of theft, zina, or drinking alcohol by less strict tazir standards—where the punishment was flogging and/or imprisonment—was common, and there have been many floggings.

For theft or robbery, the PPC punishments of imprisonment or fine, or both, were replaced by amputation of the right hand of the offender for theft, and amputation of the right hand and left foot for robbery.[81] For Zina (extramarital sex) the provisions relating to adultery were replaced by the Ordinance with punishments of flogged 100 lashes for those unmarried offenders, and stoning to death for married offenders.[81]

In one of his first and most controversial measures to Islamize Pakistani society was the replacement of parts of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) with the 1979 "Hudood Ordinance."[92] (Hudood meaning limits or restrictions, as in limits of acceptable behavior in Islamic law.) The Ordinance added new criminal offenses of adultery and fornication to Pakistani law, and new punishments of whipping, amputation, and stoning to death.[93]

Hudood Ordinance

Among Sunni Muslims, Deobandis and Barelvis also had disputes.[89] Zia favored Deobandi doctrine and the Sufi pirs of Sindh (who were Barelvi) joined the anti-Zia Movement for the Restoration of Democracy.[89]

How much success Zia had using state-sponsored Islamisation to strengthen national cohesion is also disputed. Religious riots broke out in 1983 and 1984.[89] Sectarian divisions between Sunnis and Shia worsened over the issue of the 1979 Zakat ordinance, but differences in fiqh jurisprudence also arose in marriage and divorce, inheritance and wills and imposition of hadd punishments.[90][91]

The ... horrors of 1971 war ... are (still) alive and vivid in the hearts and the minds of people of [Pakistan]...Therefore, General Zia insanely ... used Islam ... to ensure the survival of his own regime....
— Nusrat Bhutto, [85]

How much of Zia's motivation came from piety and how much from political calculation is disputed. One author points out that Zia was conspicuously silent on the dispute between the heterodox Zikri and the 'Ulama in Balochistan where he needed stability.[88] Secular and leftist forces accused Zia of manipulating Islam for political ends.[85] According to Nusrat Bhutto, former First Lady of Pakistan:

The basis of Pakistan was Islam. ... Muslims of the subcontinent are a separate culture. It was on the Two-Nation Theory that this part was carved out of the Subcontinent as Pakistan.... Mr. Bhutto's way of flourishing in this Society was by eroding its moral fiber. ... by pitching students against teachers, children against their parents, landlord against tenants, workers against mill owners. [Pakistan has economic difficulties] because Pakistanis have been made to believe that one can earn without working. ... We are going back to Islam not by choice but by the force of circumstances. It is not I or my government that is imposing Islam. It was what 99 percent of people wanted; the street violence against Bhutto reflected the people's desire ...
— General Zia-ul-Haq, [2]

Islamisation was a sharp change from Bhutto's original philosophical rationale captured in the slogan, "Food, clothing, and shelter".[2] In Zia's view, socialist economics and a secular-socialist orientation served only to upset Pakistan's natural order and weaken its moral fiber.[2] General Zia defended his policies in an interview in 1979 given to British journalist Ian Stephens:

Zia established "Sharia Benches" in each High Court (later the Federal Sharia Court)[85][86] to judge legal cases using the teachings of the Quran and the Sunna, and to bring Pakistan's legal statutes into alignment with Islamic doctrine.[87] Zia bolstered the influence of the ulama (Islamic clergy) and the Islamic parties.[87] 10,000s of activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami party were appointed to government posts to ensure the continuation of his agenda after his passing.[80][82][87] Conservative ulama (Islamic scholars) were added to the Council of Islamic Ideology.[86]

In the past he complained, "Many a ruler did what they pleased in the name of Islam."[84][85]

Pakistan which was created in the name of Islam will continue to survive only if it sticks to Islam. That is why I consider the introduction of [an] Islamic system as an essential prerequisite for the country.[83]

In his first televised speech to the country as head of state Zia declared that

In 1977, prior to the coup, the drinking and selling of wine by Muslims, along with nightclubs, and horse racing was banned by Prime Minister Bhutto in an effort to stem the tide of street Islamization.[81][82] Zia went much further, committing himself to enforce Nizam-e-Mustafa ("Rule of the prophet" or Islamic System, i.e. establishing an Islamic state and sharia law[82]), a significant turn from Pakistan's predominantly secular law, inherited from the British.

The "primary" policy,[2] or "centerpiece" of Zia's government was "Sharization" or "Islamization".[80]

'Sharization' of Pakistan

Two Afghan mujahideen groups later morphed into Jihadist outfits in the shape of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the early 1990s. For its turn in Pakistan, the war in West Pakistan, hampered Pakistan's economy, dismantled civil society, and also resulted in 3,000 deaths for Pakistan's Armed Forces. Zia's morphed Jihadist further shocked the country's pillars, and Pakistan faced a wave of suicide bombings in the period 2007 to 2011, resulting in more than 30,000 civilian deaths.

The war left deep scars on Pakistan's society with the menace of Kalashnikov (AK-47 assault rifle) culture spreading all over the country.[77] It is estimated that there are currently 20 million firearms in Pakistan, which has a population of about 175 million (as of July 2010) i.e., almost every ninth person has a firearm, most likely an automatic one.[78] The rise of the illicit drug trade and its spread through Pakistan to the rest of the world increased tremendously during the Soviet-Afghan war. Afghanistan's drug industry began to take off after the Soviet invasion in 1979. Desperate for cash with which to buy weapons, various elements in the anti-Communist resistance turned to the drug trade. This was tolerated if not condoned by their American sponsors such as the CIA.[79]

The war legacy

The Soviets declared a policy of national reconciliation. In January they announced that a Soviet withdrawal was no longer linked to the makeup of the Afghan government remaining behind. Pakistan, with the massive extra-governmental and covert backing from the largest operation ever mounted by the CIA and financial support of Saudi Arabia, therefore, played a large part in the eventual withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1988.

In 1981, Ronald Reagan succeeded Jimmy Carter as President of the United States. Reagan was completely against the Soviet Union and its communist satellites, dubbing it "the evil empire". Reagan now increased financial aid heading for Pakistan. In 1981, the Reagan Administration sent the first of 40 F-16 jet fighters to the Pakistanis. But the Soviets kept control of the Afghan skies until the mujahideen received Stinger missiles in 1986. From that moment on, the mujahideen's strategic position steadily improved.

Zia now found himself in a position to demand billions of dollars in aid for the mujahideen from the Western states, famously dismissing a United States proposed $325 million aid package as "peanuts". Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and Special Service Group now became actively involved in the conflict, and in cooperation with the Central Intelligence Agency and the United States Army Special Forces supported the armed struggle against the Soviets.

Fighting the war by proxy

Zia's international standing greatly rose after his declaration to fight the Soviet invaders. Pakistan–United States relations took a much more positive turn. U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, cut off U.S. aid to Pakistan on the grounds that Pakistan had not made sufficient progress on the nuclear issue. Then, on 25 December 1979, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, and Carter offered Pakistan $325 million in aid over three years. Zia rejected this as "peanuts."[76] Carter also signed the finding in 1980 that allowed less than $50 million a year to go to the Mujahideen. After Ronald Reagan came to office, defeating Carter for the US Presidency in 1980, all this changed, due to President Reagan's new priorities and the unlikely and remarkably effective effort by Congressman Charles Wilson aided by Joanne Herring, and CIA Afghan Desk Chief Gust Avrakotos to increase the funding for Operation Cyclone. Aid to the Afghan resistance, and to Pakistan, increased substantially, finally reaching $1 billion. The United States, faced with a rival superpower looking as if it were to create another Communist bloc, now engaged Zia to fight a US-aided war by proxy in Afghanistan against the Soviets.

International standing enhancement and resumption of aid

Even though Zia had removed the Bhutto sentiment in the nuclear energy project, Zia did not completely disband Bhutto's policy on nuclear weapons. After the retirement of Zahid Ali Akbar, Zia transferred control of the nuclear weapons programme to Bhutto's close aide Munir Ahmad Khan, Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. Soon, Zia promoted Khan as the technical director of the entire programme as well as appointing Khan as his Science Adviser.[66] With the support of handpicked civilian Prime Minister Muhammad Juneijo, Zia sanctioned the launch of the 50 Megawatt (MW) heavy water plutonium production reactor, known as Khushab-I, at Khushab in 1985.[66] Zia also took initiatives to launched the space projects as spin-off to nuclear project.[66] Zia appointed nuclear engineer Salim Mehmud as the Administrator of the Space Research Commission.[74] Zia also launched the work on the country's first satellite, Badr-1, a military satellite.[74] In 1987, Zia launched the clandestine aerospace project, the Integrated Missile Research Programme under General Anwar Shamim in 1985, and later under Lieutenant-General Talat Masood in 1987.[75]


After Zia's death, his successor General Mirza Aslam Beg, as Chief of Army Staff, encouraged Abdul Qadeer Khan and gave him a free hand to work with some like-minded nations such as North Korea, Iran and Libya which also wanted to pursue their nuclear ambitions for a variety of reasons. In 2004, Abdul Khan's dismissal from the nuclear weapons programme was considered a face saving exercise by the Pakistan Armed Forces and political establishment under the then Chief of Army Staff and President General Pervez Musharraf.[73] Zia's nuclear proliferation policy had a deep impact on the world, especially anti-western states, most nominally North Korea and Iran. In the 2000s (decade), North Korea would soon follow the same suit after it was targeted by the international community for its on-going nuclear programme. In the 2000s (decade), North Korea attempted to aid the Syrian and Iranian nuclear programmes in the 1990s.[66] The North Korean connection to the Syrian nuclear programme was exposed in 2007 by Israel in its successful strategic operation, Orchard, which resulted in them sabotaging the Syrian nuclear programme as well as the deaths of 10 senior North-Korean scientists who were aiding the nuclear program.

Soon after the coup, the clandestine nuclear energy project was no longer a secret to the outside world.[66] Part of his strategy was the promotion of nuclear proliferation in anti-western states (such as North Korea, Iran, and communist China) to aid their own nuclear ambitions, in order to divert international attention which was difficult.[66] In 1981, Zia contracted with China when he sent weapon-grade uranium to China and also built the centrifuge laboratory which increasingly enhanced the Chinese nuclear programme.[66] This act encouraged Abdul Qadeer Khan, who allegedly tried to aid the Libyan nuclear programme but because Libya–Pakistan relations were strained, Khan was warned of serious consequences.[66] This policy envisaged that this would deflect international pressure onto these countries, and Pakistan would be spared the international community's wrath.[72]

Nuclear proliferation

In 1977, Zia ultimately adopted the policy of "Nuclear opacity" to deliberately deny the atomic bomb programmes.[69] This policy of nuclear ambiguity was adopted after witnessing the success of Israel's nuclear programme and on multiple occasions Zia broke his words and promises concerning the nature of the country's atomic bomb project.[69] On nuclear policy issues, Zia deliberately misguided the United States and concealed classified information from the outside world.[69] The United States trusted Zia's sincerity and his promises made to the United States; Zia gave assurances to the United States not to produce weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium (HEU) above a 5% level.[69] However, the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Vernon Walter, confronted Zia on his secret trip to Pakistan in October 1981. Confronted with the evidence, Zia acknowledged that the information "must be true," but then denied everything, leading Walters to conclude that: "either Zia "did not know the facts" or was the "most superb and patriotic liar I have ever met...".[69]

Following the success of Operation Opera— in which an Israeli Air Force strike took place to destroy the Iraqi nuclear programme in 1981— suspicion grew in Pakistan that the Indian Air Force had similar plans for Pakistan.[70] In a private meeting with General Anwar Shamim, then-Chief of Air Staff, Zia had notified General Shamim that the Indian Air Force had plans to infiltrate Pakistan's nuclear energy project, citing solid evidence.[70] Shamim felt that the Air Force was unable to divert such attacks, therefore, he advised Zia to use diplomacy through Munir Ahmad Khan to divert the attacks.[70] At Vienna, Munir Ahmad Khan met with Indian physicist Raja Ramanna and notified him that such an attack would provoke a nuclear war between the two countries.[71] In the meantime, Shamim decided to start the programme to acquire the F-16 Falcons and A-5 Fanton jets for the Pakistan Air Force.[70] Shamim launched Operation Sentinel- a counter operation that thwarted the Israeli Air Force attempt to sabotage Pakistan's nuclear energy project— forced Indian Premier Indira Gandhi to held talks with Pakistan on nuclear issues and directed a high delegation to Pakistan where both countries pledged not to assist or attack each other's facilities. In 1985, following the induction the of F-16 Falcons and A-5 Fantons, Shamim commissioned the Air Force Strategic Command to protect and battle the weapons of mass destruction.[70]

[68], drew a five-point proposal as a practical rejoinder to world pressure on Pakistan to sign the NPT; the points including the renouncing of the use of nuclear weapons.Foreign Minister, Agha Shahi Zia, with the help of Munir Ahmad Khan and [66].Indian nuclear programme (NPT); Zia deftly neutralised international pressure by tagging Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme to the nuclear designs of the neighbouring Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty From 1979 to 1983, the country was made a subject of attack by international organisation for not signing the [66]Unlike Bhutto, who faced rogue criticism and a heated diplomatic war with the United States throughout the 1970s, Zia took different diplomatic approaches to counter the international pressure.

Nuclear diplomacy

This was proved when the PAEC conducted the cold-fission test of a fission device, codename Kirana-I on 11 March 1983 at the Weapon-Testing Laboratories-I, under the leadership of weapon-testing laboratory's director Dr. Ishfaq Ahmad.[66] Lieutenant-General Zahid Akbar went to GHQ and notified Zia about the success of this test. The PAEC responded by conducting several cold-tests throughout the 1980s, a policy also continued by Benazir Bhutto in the 1990s.[66] According to the reference in the book, "Eating Grass", Zia was so deeply convinced of the infiltration of Western and American moles and spies into the project, that he extended his role in the atomic bomb, which reflected extreme "paranoia", in both his personal and professional life.[67] He virtually had PAEC and KRL separated from each other and made critical administrative decisions rather than putting scientists in charge of the aspects of the atomic programmes.[67] His actions spurred innovation in the atomic bomb project and an intense secrecy and security culture permeated PAEC and KRL.[67]

By the time, Zia assumed control, the research facilities became fully functional and 90% of the work on atom bomb project was completed. Both the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and the Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) had built the extensive research infrastructure started by Bhutto. Akbar's office was shifted to Army Combatant General Headquarters (GHQ) and Akbar guided Zia on key matters of nuclear science and atomic bomb production. He became the first engineering officer to have acknowledge Zia about the success of this energy project into a fully matured programme. On the recommendation of Akbar, Zia approved the appointment of Munir Ahmad Khan as the scientific director of the atomic bomb project, as Zia was convinced by Akbar that civilian scientists under Munir Khan's directorship were at their best to counter international pressure.[66]

One of the earliest initiatives taken by Zia in 1977, was to militarise the integrated atomic energy programme which was founded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972.[66] During the first stages, the programme was under the control of Bhutto and the Directorate for Science, under Science Advisor Dr. Mubashir Hassan,who was heading the civilian committee that supervised the construction of the facilities and laboratories.[66] This atomic bomb project had no boundaries with Munir Ahmad Khan and Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan leading their efforts separately and reported to Bhutto and his science adviser Dr. Hassan who had little interest in the atomic bomb project.[66] Major-General Zahid Ali Akbar, an engineering officer, had little role in the atomic project; Zia responded by taking over the programme under military control and disbanded the civilian directorate when he ordered the arrest of Hassan. This whole giant nuclear energy project was transferred into the administrative hands of Major-General Akbar who was soon made the Lieutenant-General and Engineer-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers to deal with the authorities whose cooperation was required. Akbar consolidated the entire project by placing the scientific research under military control, setting boundaries and goals. Akbar proved to be an extremely capable officer in the matters of science and technology when he aggressively led the development of nuclear weapons under Munir Ahmad Khan and Abdul Qadeer Khan in a matter of five years.[66]

Consolidation of atomic bomb programme

Zia reversed many of Bhutto's foreign policy initiatives by first establishing stronger links with the United States, Japan, and the Western world.[65] Zia broken off relations with the Socialist state and State capitalism became his major economic policy. U.S. politician Charlie Wilson claims that Zia directly dealt with the Israelis, working to build covert relations with them, allowing the country to actively participate in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Helped by ISI, the Mossad channeled Soviet reversed engineered weapons to Afghanistan.[65] In Wilson's own word, Zia is reported to have remarked to the Israeli intelligence service: "Just don't put any stars of David on the boxes".[65]

While there, Indira Gandhi compared the personality of Zia to Bhutto's while she summed up that Bhutto was intelligent, caring, and global experience that would reflect in his face.[34] But with Zia, the tyranny could easily been seen on his face.[34]

In November 1982, Zia travelled to the Soviet Union to attend the funeral of Leonid Brezhnev, then-General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.[34] Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko and the new Secretary-General Yuri Andropov met with Zia where a brief meeting took place at the Kremlin.[34] The Soviet Union and Andropov were angry at Pakistan's covert involvement in the support of Afghan resistance against the Soviet Union and her satellite state, Afghanistan, and expressed his indignation to Zia.[34] Then Zia took his hand and told him that, "Mr. Secretary General... Believe me, Pakistan wants nothing but good and healthy relations with the Soviet Union".[34] According to Gromyko, Zia's sincerity had caught them off guard, and in the meeting, everyone believed him but sadly found out that his words were not followed by his actions.[34]

During this meeting, the Director-General of the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) then-Lieutenant-General Akhtar Abdur Rahman advocated for a covert operation in Afghanistan by arming Islamic extremists.[64] During this meeting, General Rahman was heard saying: "Kabul must burn! Kabul must burn!",[64] and mastered the idea of a proxy war in Afghanistan.[64] After this meeting, Zia authorised this operation under General Rahman, and it was later merged with Operation Cyclone, a programme funded by the United States and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).[64]

On 25 December 1979, the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) 'intervened' in Afghanistan.[64] Following this invasion, Zia chaired a meeting and was asked by several cabinet members to refrain from interfering in the war, owing to the vastly superior military power of the U.S.S.R.[64] Zia, however, was ideologically opposed to the idea of communism taking over a neighbouring country, supported by the fear of Soviet advancement into Pakistan, particularly Balochistan, in search of warm waters, and made no secret about his intentions of monetarily and militarily aiding the Afghan resistance (the Mujahideen) with major assistance from the United States.[64]

Soviet invasion and Soviet-Afghan War

Soviet-Afghan War and Strategic initiatives

By the end of 1987, the Finance ministry had begun studying the process of engaging the gradual privatisation and economic liberalization.

By the time General Zia had initiated the coup against Prime Minister Zulfikar Bhutto, the economic cycle process of nationalization program was completed. The socialist orientation and nationalisation program was slowly reversed; the idea of corporatization was heavily favored by President Zia-ul-Haq to direct the authoritarianism in the nationalized industries. One of his well-known and earliest initiatives were aimed to Islamized the national economy which featured the Interest-free economic cycle. No actions towards privatizing the industries were ordered by President Zia; only three steel mill industries were returned to its previous owners.

In general Zia gave economic development and policy a fairly low priority (aside from Islamization) and delegating its management to technocrats such as Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Aftab Qazi and Vaseem Jaffrey. [61] However, between 1977 and 1986, the country experienced an average annual growth in the GNP of 6.8%—the highest in the world at that time—thanks in large part to remittances from the overseas workers, rather than government policy.[61] The first year of Zia's government coincided with a dramatic rise in remittances, which totaled $3.2 billion/year for most of the 1980s, accounted for 10 percent of Pakistans's GDP; 45 percent of its current account receipts, and 40 percent of total foreign exchange earnings.[62][63]

Economic policy

Before handing over the power to the new government and lifting the martial law, Zia got the new legislature to retroactively accept all of Zia's actions of the past eight years, including his coup of 1977. He also managed to get several amendments passed, most notably the Eighth Amendment, which granted "reserve powers" to the president to dissolve the Parliament.[11] However, this amendment considerably reduced the power he'd previously granted himself to dissolve the legislature, at least on paper.[11] The text of the amendment permitted Zia to dissolve the Parliament only if the government had been toppled by a vote of no confidence and it was obvious that no one could form a government or the government could not function in a constitutional manner.[11]

The General worked to give himself the power to dismiss the Prime Minister dissolve the National Assembly, appoint provincial governors and the chief of the armed forces. His prime minister Muhammad Khan Junejo was known as unassuming and soft spoken but was a Sindhi.[11]

After holding the 1984 referendum, Zia succumbed to international pressure and gave permission to election commission to hold national wide general elections but without political parties in February 1985.[11] Most of the major opposing political parties decided to boycott the elections but election results showed that many victors belonged to one party or the other. Critics complained that ethnic and sectarian mobilisation filled the void left by banning political parties (or making elections "non-partisan"), to the detriment of national integration.[60]

1985 elections and constitutional amendments

After Bhutto's execution, momentum to hold elections began to mount both internationally and within Pakistan. But before handing over power to elected representatives, Zia-ul-Haq attempted to secure his position as the head of state. A referendum was held on 19 December 1984 with the option being to elect or reject the General as the future President, the wording of the referendum making a vote against Zia appear to be a vote against Islam.[57] According to official figures 95% of votes were cast in favour of Zia, however only 10% of the electorate participated in the referendum.

Referendum of 1984

Zia's parliament and his military government reflect the idea of "military-bureaucratic technocracy" (MBT) where professionals, engineers, and high-profile military officers were initially part of his military government. His antipathy for the politicians led the promotion of bureaucratic-technocracy which was seen a strong weapon of countering the politicians and their political strongholds. Senior statesman and technocrats were included physicist-turned diplomat Agha Shahi, jurist Schariefuddin Perzada, corporate leader Navaz Scharif, economist Mahbub ul Haq, and senior statesman Aftab Kazie, Roedad Khan, and chemist-turned diplomat Ghulam Ishaq Khan were a few of the leading technocratic figures in his military government.

Although ostensibly only holding office until free elections could be held, General Zia, like the previous military governments, disproved of the lack of discipline and orderliness that often accompanies multiparty "parliamentary democracy." He preferred a "presidential" form of government[57] and a system of decision making by technical experts, or "technocracy". His first replacement for the parliament or National Assembly was a Majlis-e-Shoora, or "consultative council." After banning all political parties in 1979 he disbanded Parliament and at the end of 1981 set up the majlis, which was to act as a sort of board of advisors to the President and assist with the process of Islamization.[58] The 350 members of the Shoora were to be nominated by the President and possessed only the power to consult with him,[57] and in reality served only to endorse decisions already taken by the government.[57][59] Most members of the Shoora were intellectuals, scholars, ulema, journalists, economists, and professionals in different fields.

Formation of Majlis-e-Shoora

Political structural changes

The Military Government of General Zia-ul-Haq
Presidential cabinet Officer holder Term
President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq 1978–1988
Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo 1985–1988
Foreign Affairs Agha Shahi
Lt.General Yaqub Khan
Treasury Ghulam Ishaq Khan
Dr. Mahbub-ul-Haq
Law, Justice Sharifuddin Pirzada 1977–1988
Interior Air Mshl Inamul Haq Khan
Mahmoud Haroon
Lt.General Farooq Lodhi
Aslam Khan
Wasim Sajjad
Defence Lt.General Ghulam Jilani Khan
Maj.General Rahim Khan
Science advisor Lt.General Zahid Ali Akbar
Munir Ahmad Khan
Health Lt.General Vajid Ali Khan 1977–1988
Media broadcasting Brig.General Siddique Salik 1977–1988
Internal Security Roedad Khan 1977–1988
Public Service Adm Mohammad Sharif 1980–1988
Communications Adm Tariq Kamal Khan 1986–1988
Economic Adm Karamat Rahman Niazi 1983–1988
Intelligence Maj.General Rao Farman Ali 1983–1988

Despite the dismissal of most of the Bhutto government, President Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was persuaded to continue in office as a figurehead.[56] After completing his term, and despite Zia's insistence to accept an extension as President, Chaudhry resigned, and Zia took the office of President of Pakistan on 16 September 1978. Thus his position was cemented as the undisputed ruler of the country. Over the next six years, Zia issued several decrees which amended the constitution and greatly expanded his power. Most significantly, the Revival of Constitution of 1973 Order granted Zia the power to dissolve the National Assembly virtually at will.

Assumption of the post of President of Pakistan

Reign as President of Pakistan

Both Admiral Sharif and General Arif handled the matters efficiently if the matters were out of control by Zia. In 1979, Zia influenced the Navy's Promotion Board several times after he succeeded first in the appointment of Admiral Caramatt Nazi as Chief of Naval Staff in 1979, and Admiral Tarik Kamal Khan, also chief of naval staff, in 1983.[41] On his request, then-President Fazal Illahi approved the appointment of General Anwar Shamim as Chief of Air Staff and following President's resignation, Zia appointed Shamim as the Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator.[41] In the matters of serious national security, General Zia had take the chief of air staff and chief of naval staff in confidence after he discussed the matters with the respected chiefs of Staff.[41] Zia's appointment in inter-services were highly crucial for his military government and pre-emptive measure to ensure the continuous loyalty of Navy and Air Force to himself and his new military government.[41]

Zia benefited from the extremely capable martial law administrators who previously had worked with the military governments of former president Yahya Khan and Ayub Khan in the 1960s.[41] One of the notable officers that had worked with him were General Khalid Arief, Chief of Army Staff, and Admiral Mohammad Shariff, Chairman Joint Chiefs.[41] Both were noted by Western governments as highly capable and had wide experience from the military government of the East-Pakistan and remained General Zia' confidential members.[41][55]

Zia's tenure saw the influx of heroin,[52] sophisticated weaponry, and countless refugees in from neighboring Afghanistan.[52] Law and order deterioration was worse after he appointed Mr. Junejo as Prime minister in 1985.[52] The government did not locate evidence of Zia having a relationship in the heroin trade, but has been considered.[54]

The second appointment was of Lieutenant-General S.M. Abbasi who was appointed Martial Law Administrator of Sindh Province; his tenure too saw civil disorder amid student riots.[52] By contrast, third martial law administrator appointment of Lieutenant-General Ghulam Jilani Khan to the Punjab Province made much headway in beautifying Lahore[52] extending infrastructure, and muting political opposition.[52] The ascent of Navaz Sharif to Chief Minister of Punjab was largely due to General Jilani's sponsorship.[53] Perhaps most crucially, final and fourth martial law administrator appointment was then-Lieutenant-General Rahimuddin Khan.[52] Lieutenant-General Rahimuddin Khan was appointed to the post of Martial Law Administrator of Balochistan Province saw the disbanding of the Baloch insurgency, the containment of Afghan Mujahideen, as well as the construction of nuclear test sites in the Chagai District.[52]

The Zia regime largely made use of installing high-profile military generals to carte blanche provincial administration under martial law. Zia's Guides Cavalry comrade and foul-mouth Lieutenant-General Fazhle Haque was appointed Martial Law Administrator of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province.[52] Lieutenant-General Fazle Haque was considered a strong vocal General and a strong man. General Haque was the commander of the XI Corps, and commanding-general officer of the Army elements responsible for fighting a secret war against Soviet Union.[52]

Zia presenting the Hilal-i-Imtiaz to Shamim Alam Khan.

Martial law governors

The objection was overruled by the Chief Justice Anwarul Haq, and the case of Bhutto was again heard by the Chief Justice Anwar-ul-Haq as the bench's lead judge, and presided the whole case of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto while forcing the martial law throughout Pakistan.[51] Shortly, after Zia's return, another judge Mushtak Ahmad also gained Zia and Anwar-ul-Haq's support and elevated as the ad hoc Chief Justice of Lahore High Court; he was too part of the bench who retained the death sentence of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto even though Bhutto was not declared guilty of the murder of the political opponent.[51] In 1979, when Zia departed for Saudi Arabia, Justice Haq served as interim president of Pakistan.[51]

After calling for martial law, Zia pressured President Fazal Illahi to appoint Justice Sheikh Anwarul Haq to Chief Justice of Pakistan on September 23, 1977.[51] Immediately, chief justice Yaqub Ali was forcefully removed from the office after the latter agreed to re-hear the petition filed at the supreme court by the peoples party's chairwoman Nusrat Bhutto on 20 September 1977.[51] After Justice Yaqub Ali's removal, Bhutto objected to the inclusion of the new Chief Justice, Sheikh Anwar-ul-Haq, as a chief justice of the Bench on the grounds that by accepting the office of acting president during the absence of Zia-ul-Haq from the country, he had compromised his impartial status.[51] Bhutto also stated that the Chief Justice in his public statements had been critical of his government in the recent past.[51]


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