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Q: Coups in Pakistan ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Coups in Pakistan
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: neutral-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 24 Sep 2006 15:36 PDT
Expires: 24 Oct 2006 15:36 PDT
Question ID: 768061
I need information on each of the military coups that happened in
Pakistan in the last 100 years.

The information should list each of the coups (by year) along with summaries:
the causes of the coup, what happened during the military rule, and finally,
how & when the system got back to normal.
Subject: Re: Coups in Pakistan
Answered By: leader-ga on 24 Sep 2006 16:47 PDT
Hello neutral-ga:

I will highly recommend using the for a
well constructed history timeline of Pakistan. Since I have myself
thoroughly studied the history of Pakistan, I find the above website
to be informative and lucid. You can easily gather the basic
information on the events leading to the Coups and after the coup.

I also use the Wikipedia Encyclopedia for my reference because it is
easy to follow the various links.

Dates & Timeline of Martial Law

Martial Law under Field Marshall Ayub Khan (Later President Ayub Khan)
Oct, 1958 ? Mar 1962 (as Dictator)
Mar 1962 ? Mar 1969 (as President)

Martial Law under General Yayha Khan 
Mar 1969 ? Dec 1971

Martial Law under General Zia-ul-Haq 
Jul 1977 ? Aug 1988

Martial Law under General Pervez Musharraf
Oct 1999 ? present

Military Martial Law Administrators

Ayub Khan

Yahya Khan

Zia ul Haq

Parvez Musharraf

Useful Terms

< History of Pakistan >
< Pakistan Timeline >

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you require any clarifications.



Request for Answer Clarification by neutral-ga on 25 Sep 2006 07:33 PDT

Please provide the wikipedia link to the information under the title
of 'Dates & Timeline of Martial Law'.

All I need is brief information (like 2-3 paragraphs) for each of the coups.

You can as well paste them here - from wikipedia or not.

Clarification of Answer by leader-ga on 27 Sep 2006 07:27 PDT
Sorry fir the delay in Answer. Below are excerpts from the website

Martial Law under Field Marshall Ayub Khan (Later President Ayub Khan)
Oct, 1958 ? Mar 1962 (as Dictator)

?On October 7, 1958, President Iskander Mirza abrogated the
Constitution and declared Martial Law in the country. General Muhammad
Ayub Khan, the then Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, became the
Chief Martial Law Administrator.
Iskander Mirza and Ayub Khan had begun the new era with apparent
unanimity, jointly describing it as a two-man regime. However,
although the two were responsible for bringing about the change, they
had different views on dealing with the new situation. Iskander Mirza
had not envisaged any change in his previous powers; he wanted to
retain the ability to maneuver things according to his own whim.
Things however had changed. C. M. L. A. Ayub Khan knew that the real
power rested with the army and he was determined to assert himself.
Within a week of the proclamation of Martial Law, Iskander Mirza
realized the delicate position he had gotten himself into. He
regretted his decision and said, "I did not mean to do it" while
offering assurances that the Martial Law would be for the shortest
possible duration.
General Ayub Khan gave himself the rank of Field Marshal. Corruption
had become so widespread within the national and civic systems of
administration that Ayub Khan was welcomed as a national hero by the
After taking over, Ayub Khan focused on the long-standing question of
land reforms in West Pakistan. The land reforms included the reduction
of land ceiling to 1,000 acres for non-irrigated land and 500 acres
for irrigated land and with ownership rights granted to the tenants.
The land in excess of these limits was taken over by the government to
be distributed amongst the deserving persons.
Ayub Khan set up a Constitution Commission which was not only given
the responsibility to make recommendations on the future Constitution,
but was also to examine the causes of failure of parliamentary
government in Pakistan. The report of the Constitution Commission was
presented to Ayub Khan on May 6, 1961. Ayub Khan was not satisfied by
the findings. The 1962 Constitution was very different from the
recommendation of the Constitution Commission, as Ayub Khan favored a
presidential form of government. The 1962 Constitution was promulgated
on March 1. This ended the three-and-a-half-year Martial Law regime of
Ayub Khan. A civilian constitutional government under Ayub Khan
replaced his previous military regime.?

Martial Law under General Yayha Khan 
Mar 1969 ? Dec 1971

?The Tashkent Declaration signed by the Indian Prime Minister Lal
Bahadur Shastri and the Pakistani President Muhammad Ayub Khan was not
at all approved by the general public, and was regarded as submission
to India and humiliation for the nation.
Ayub Khan tried his best to handle the situation by releasing a number
of political prisoners, including the most popular leader of East
Pakistan, Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman. He held a Round Table Conference in
Rawalpindi with all the well-known political leaders in March 1969,
but it proved to be a stalemate, with the result that Ayub Khan was
forced to hand over power to General Muhammad Yahya Khan, on March 25,
1969. Pakistan was now under the grip of another Martial Law.
The political history of Pakistan from 1947 to 1970 witnessed no
general elections. Thus, when Yahya's Regime decided to hold the first
general elections on the basis of adult franchise at national level,
they were not only required to make a new mechanism but were also
required to set up a permanent election machinery.
After the elections of 1970, differences arose between the Government
and Awami League on the transfer of power on the basis of this
Six-Point Program.
There ensued a political deadlock with talks ending in failure and
postponement of the first session of the National Assembly. The
postponement of the National Assembly session triggered a chain of
events that eventually led to the separation of East Pakistan.
The separation of East Pakistan was a great setback to Pakistan. By
1970, sentiments for national unity had weakened in East Pakistan to
the extent that constant conflict between the two Wings dramatically
erupted into mass civil disorder. This tragically resulted in the
brutal and violent amputation of Pakistan's Eastern Wing.
Since Karachi was the seat of the National Government; ministers,
government officials and industrialists exerted immense influence on
national and regional affairs, which brought them many benefits. But
the East Pakistanis were unable to extract the same kind of
advantages, as they were a thousand miles away from the Capital.
Moreover, the Capital initially attracted wealthy industrialists,
businessmen, administrators, doctors and other professionals who had
fled from India.
In the meantime, India exploited Pakistan's dilemma to the full. It
sought to wring full propaganda and strategic value for itself out of
the Bengali suffering and misery. India launched an attack on East
Pakistan on November 22, 1971. The use of modern Soviet missiles,
geographical separation by a thousand miles lying across the hostile
Indian territory, and the collusion of Mukti Bahini and the Indian
Army, made Pakistan's military defeat in the East almost certain.
On December 10, 1971, the first feeler for surrender in East Pakistan
was conveyed to the United Nations. On December 17, 1971, a formal
surrender was submitted and accepted. Forty five thousand troops and
an almost equal number of civilians of West Pakistan were taken as
prisoners of war.
President Yahya tried to act in a militaristic manner to impose law
and order but the people's patience had been exhausted by this time.
Military leadership had been discredited. Disillusionment, uncertainty
and pessimism prevailed. People were no longer prepared to tolerate
misgovernment. The public severely criticized and accused President
Yahya and his Government for ineptness and inability that culminated
with the 1971 national debacle.
Faced with these difficulties, President Yahya ceded power to Zulfiqar
Ali Bhutto, Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party that had won the
majority votes in the 1970 elections in West Pakistan.?

Martial Law under General Zia-ul-Haq 
Jul 1977 ? Aug 1988

?Ever since Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took over the responsibilities of
governance, there was a strong group in the country that was not ready
to accept him. They considered him as one of the players who were
involved in the dismemberment of Pakistan.
Formation of P. N. A. proved to be the beginning of the decline of
Bhutto. During the elections, the Establishment showed its biased
attitude towards P. N. A. which made the Alliance even more popular
among the masses.
It was in these conditions that Chief of the Army Staff, General
Zia-ul-Haq, imposed Martial Law in the country on July 5, 1977, and
sent Bhutto behind the bars. General Zia said, "Had an agreement
reached between the opposition and the Government, I would certainly
never have done what I did".
Under General Zia's Martial Law, there was steady economic growth
favoring the private sector, and efforts were made to Islamize the
political, legal and economic structures. Pakistan gained the status
of Most Favored Nation from the United States following the Soviet
invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Vast amounts of military
equipment and aid were donated to Pakistan to help the four million
Afghan refugees who crossed into Baluchistan and North West Frontier
In his first address to the nation, he declared that Islamic laws
would be enforced and that earnest attention would be devoted towards
establishing the Islamic society for which Pakistan had been created.
General Zia wanted to bring the legal, social, economic and political
institutions of the country in conformity with the Islamic principles,
values and traditions in the light of Quran and Sunnah, to enable the
people of Pakistan to lead their lives in accordance to Islam.
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was killed in an air crash on August 17,
1988. He had gone to Bhawalpur to see a demonstration of tanks where
he was accompanied by a number of Generals, including the Chairman
Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of General Staff, high-ranking
Military Attaches, as well as the U. S. Ambassador to Pakistan. On his
return journey, his military transport aircraft, a C-130, exploded in
mid-air a few minutes after takeoff from Bhawalpur airport, killing
all passengers aboard including the President.?

Martial Law under General Pervez Musharraf
Oct 1999 ? present

?On October 12, 1999, the Pakistan Army once again ousted the Civilian
Government. At that time Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
headed the Government. The coup immediately followed the premier?s
attempt to replace the Army Chief while he was on a tour to Sri Lanka.
After two days of chilling uncertainty, Chief of Army Staff General
Pervez Musharraf assumed the title of Chief Executive. Although the
use of the term "Martial Law" was avoided, Pakistan once again came
under military rule. It was claimed that the Army was forced to take
this step to save the country from "turmoil and uncertainty".
The Supreme Court, in a ruling on May 12, 2000, accepted that a
constitutional deviation had taken place in pursuit of rather noble
objectives, such as economic reforms and bringing to book the corrupt
politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen. The 12 judges based their
ruling on the principle of "salus po puli ex supreme lex", meaning
that the welfare of the people is the supreme law of any land. The
court took the view that there was no other way to remove a corrupt
Government except through the intervention of the armed forces. The
Supreme Court also directed General Musharraf to hold general
elections within three years.
The critical moment in General Musharraf's presidency was 9/11, when
Washington suddenly and direly needed his support the international
antiterrorism campaign and to crush the Taliban in Afghanistan. Thus
he became a pivotal player on the world stage and a close ally
welcomed in Washington and London alike as a statesman of
international standing. General Musharraf did his best to highlight
the core issue of Kashmir at every international forum. In July 2001,
he held his first summit meeting with Indian Prime Minister Atal
Behari Vajpayee at Agra but couldn?t make much headway in solving the
Kashmir problem. Due to his consecutive efforts, however, a lot of
tension between the two neighboring countries with nuclear-armed
rivalry has been eased as they have restored diplomatic relations and
started to build up warming ties mutually by means of confidence
building measures. General Musharraf has given a new formula for
solving the protracted dispute of Kashmir. After the Taliban were
ousted, he offered all possible help to the new government.
President Musharraf presents to the world vision of a modern,
tolerant, democratic, Islamic Pakistan and favors economic reforms and
free trade with the West. He has also played a vital role in
negotiating an economic package to assist Pakistan out of its
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