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Monday, May 25, 2009

(2) President of Pakistan

(2) Ayub Khan.

president of Pakistan from 1958 to 1969, whose rule marked a critical period in the modern development of his nation.

In January 1951, Ayub Khan succeeded General Sir Douglas Gracey as
commander in chief of the Pakistan Army, becoming the first Pakistani in
that position. Although Ayub Khan's military career was not particularly
brilliant and although he had not previously held a combat command, he
was promoted over several senior officers with distinguished careers.
Ayub Khan probably was selected because of his reputation as an able
administrator, his presumed lack of political ambition, and his lack of
powerful group backing. Coming from a humble family of an obscure
Pakhtun tribe, Ayub Khan also lacked affiliation with major internal
power blocks and was, therefore, acceptable to all elements.

Within a short time of his promotion, however, Ayub Khan had become a
powerful political figure. Perhaps more than any other Pakistani, Ayub
Khan was responsible for seeking and securing military and economic
assistance from the United States and for aligning Pakistan with it in
international affairs. As army commander in chief and for a time as
minister of defense in 1954, Ayub Khan was empowered to veto virtually
any government policy that he felt was inimical to the interests of the
armed forces.

By 1958 Ayub Khan and his fellow officers decided to turn out the
"inefficient and rascally" politicians--a task easily
accomplished without bloodshed. Ayub Khan's philosophy was indebted to
the Mughal and viceregal traditions; his rule was similarly highly
personalized. Ayub Khan justified his assumption of power by citing the
nation's need for stability and the necessity for the army to play a
central role. When internal stability broke down in the 1960s, he
remained contemptuous of lawyer-politicians and handed over power to his
fellow army officers.

Ayub Khan used two main approaches to governing in his first few
years. He concentrated on consolidating power and intimidating the
opposition. He also aimed to establish the groundwork for future
stability through altering the economic, legal, and constitutional

The imposition of martial law in 1958 targeted "antisocial"
practices such as abducting women and children, black marketeering,
smuggling, and hoarding. Many in the Civil Service of Pakistan and
Police Service of Pakistan were investigated and punished for
corruption, misconduct, inefficiency, or subversive activities. Ayub
Khan's message was clear: he, not the civil servants, was in control.

Sterner measures were used against the politicians. The PRODA
prescribed fifteen years' exclusion from public office for those found
guilty of corruption. The Elective Bodies Disqualification Order (EBDO)
authorized special tribunals to try former politicians for
"misconduct," an infraction not clearly defined. Prosecution
could be avoided if the accused agreed not to be a candidate for any
elective body for a period of seven years. About 7,000 individuals were
"EBDOed." Some people, including Suhrawardy, who was arrested,
fought prosecution.

The Press and Publications Ordinance was amended in 1960 to specify
broad conditions under which newspapers and other publications could be
commandeered or closed down. Trade organizations, unions, and student
groups were closely monitored and cautioned to avoid political activity,
and imams at mosques were warned against including political matters in

On the whole, however, the martial law years were not severe. The
army maintained low visibility and was content to uphold the traditional
social order. By early 1959, most army units had resumed their regular
duties. Ayub Khan generally left administration in the hands of the
civil bureaucracy, with some exceptions.

Efforts were made to popularize the regime while the opposition was
muzzled. Ayub Khan maintained a high public profile, often taking trips
expressly to "meet the people." He was also aware of the need
to address some of the acute grievances of East Pakistan. To the extent
possible, only Bengali members of the civil service were posted in the
East Wing; previously, many of the officers had been from the West Wing
and knew neither the region nor the language. Dhaka was designated the
legislative capital of Pakistan, while the newly created Islamabad
became the administrative capital. Central government bodies, such as
the Planning Commission, were now instructed to hold regular sessions in
Dhaka. Public investment in East Pakistan increased, although private
investment remained heavily skewed in favor of West Pakistan. The Ayub
Khan regime was so highly centralized, however, that, in the absence of
democratic institutions, densely populated and politicized Bengal
continued to feel it was being slighted.

Between 1958 and 1962, Ayub Khan used martial law to initiate a
number of reforms that reduced the power of groups opposing him. One
such group was the landed aristocracy. The Land Reform Commission was
set up in 1958, and in 1959 the government imposed a ceiling of 200
hectares of irrigated land and 400 hectares of unirrigated land in the
West Wing for a single holding. In the East Wing, the landholding
ceiling was raised from thirty-three hectares to forty-eight hectares.
Landholders retained their dominant positions in the social hierarchy
and their political influence but heeded Ayub Khan's warnings against
political assertiveness. Moreover, some 4 million hectares of land in
West Pakistan, much of it in Sindh, was released for public acquisition
between 1959 and 1969 and sold mainly to civil and military officers,
thus creating a new class of farmers having medium-sized holdings. These
farms became immensely important for future agricultural development,
but the peasants benefited scarcely at all.

In 1955 a legal commission was set up to suggest reforms of the
family and marriage laws. Ayub Khan examined its report and in 1961
issued the Family Laws Ordinance. Among other things, it restricted
polygyny and "regulated" marriage and divorce, giving women
more equal treatment under the law than they had had before. It was a
humane measure supported by women's organizations in Pakistan, but the
ordinance could not have been promulgated if the vehement opposition to
it from the ulama and the fundamentalist Muslim groups had been allowed
free expression. However, this law which was similar to the one passed
on family planning, was relatively mild and did not seriously transform
the patriarchal pattern of society.

Ayub Khan adopted an energetic approach toward economic development
that soon bore fruit in a rising rate of economic growth. Land reform,
consolidation of holdings, and stern measures against hoarding were
combined with rural credit programs and work programs, higher
procurement prices, augmented allocations for agriculture, and,
especially, improved seeds to put the country on the road to
self-sufficiency in food grains in the process described as the Green

The Export Bonus Vouchers Scheme (1959) and tax incentives stimulated
new industrial entrepreneurs and exporters. Bonus vouchers facilitated
access to foreign exchange for imports of industrial machinery and raw
materials. Tax concessions were offered for investment in less-developed
areas. These measures had important consequences in bringing industry to
Punjab and gave rise to a new class of small industrialists.

Basic Democracies

Ayub Khan's martial law regime, critics observed, was a form of
"representational dictatorship," but the new political system,
introduced in 1959 as "Basic Democracy," was an apt expression
of what Ayub Khan called the particular "genius" of Pakistan.
In 1962 a new constitution was promulgated as a product of that indirect
elective system. Ayub Khan did not believe that a sophisticated
parliamentary democracy was suitable for Pakistan. Instead, the Basic
Democracies, as the individual administrative units were called, were
intended to initiate and educate a largely illiterate population in the
working of government by giving them limited representation and
associating them with decision making at a "level commensurate with
their ability." Basic Democracies were concerned with no more than
local government and rural development. They were meant to provide a
two-way channel of communication between the Ayub Khan regime and the
common people and allow social change to move slowly.

The Basic Democracies system set up five tiers of institutions. The
lowest but most important tier was composed of union councils, one each
for groups of villages having an approximate total population of 10,000.
Each union council comprised ten directly elected members and five
appointed members, all called Basic Democrats. Union councils were
responsible for local agricultural and community development and for
rural law and order maintenance; they were empowered to impose local
taxes for local projects. These powers, however, were more than balanced
at the local level by the fact that the controlling authority for the
union councils was the deputy commissioner, whose high status and
traditionally paternalistic attitudes often elicited obedient
cooperation rather than demands.

The next tier consisted of the tehsil (subdistrict)
councils, which performed coordination functions. Above them, the
district (zilla) councils, chaired by the deputy commissioners,
were composed of nominated official and nonofficial members, including
the chairmen of union councils. The district councils were assigned both
compulsory and optional functions pertaining to education, sanitation,
local culture, and social welfare. Above them, the divisional advisory
councils coordinated the activities with representatives of government
departments. The highest tier consisted of one development advisory
council for each province, chaired by the governor and appointed by the
president. The urban areas had a similar arrangement, under which the
smaller union councils were grouped together into municipal committees
to perform similar duties. In 1960 the elected members of the union
councils voted to confirm Ayub Khan's presidency, and under the 1962
constitution they formed an electoral college to elect the president,
the National Assembly, and the provincial assemblies.

The system of Basic Democracies did not have time to take root or to
fulfill Ayub Khan's intentions before he and the system fell in 1969.
Whether or not a new class of political leaders equipped with some
administrative experience could have emerged to replace those trained in
British constitutional law was never discovered. And the system did not
provide for the mobilization of the rural population around institutions
of national integration. Its emphasis was on economic development and
social welfare alone. The authority of the civil service was augmented
in the Basic Democracies, and the power of the landlords and the big
industrialists in the West Wing went unchallenged.

The 1962 Constitution

In 1958 Ayub Khan had promised a speedy return to constitutional
government. In February 1960, an eleven-member constitutional commission
was established. The commission's recommendations for direct elections,
strong legislative and judicial organs, free political parties, and
defined limitations on presidential authority went against Ayub Khan's
philosophy of government, so he ordered other committees to make

The 1962 constitution retained some aspects of the Islamic nature of
the republic but omitted the word Islamic in its original
version; amid protests, Ayub Khan added that word later. The president
would be a Muslim, and the Advisory Council of Islamic Ideology and the
Islamic Research Institute were established to assist the government in
reconciling all legislation with the tenets of the Quran and the sunna.
Their functions were advisory and their members appointed by the
president, so the ulama had no real power base.

Ayub Khan sought to retain certain aspects of his dominant authority
in the 1962 constitution, which ended the period of martial law. The
document created a presidential system in which the traditional powers
of the chief executive were augmented by control of the legislature, the
power to issue ordinances, the right of appeal to referendum, protection
from impeachment, control over the budget, and special emergency powers,
which included the power to suspend civil rights. As the 1965 elections
showed, the presidential system of government was opposed by those who
equated constitutional government with parliamentary democracy. The 1962
constitution relaxed martial law limitations on personal freedom and
made fundamental rights justiciable. The courts continued their
traditional function of protecting the rights of individual citizens
against encroachment by the government, but the government made it clear
that the exercise of claims based on fundamental rights would not be
permitted to nullify its previous progressive legislation on land
reforms and family laws.

The National Assembly, consisting of 156 members (including six
women) and elected by an electoral college of 80,000 Basic Democrats,
was established as the federal legislature. Legislative powers were
divided between the National Assembly and provincial legislative
assemblies. The National Assembly was to hold sessions alternatively in
Islamabad and Dhaka; the Supreme Court would also hold sessions in
Dhaka. The ban on political parties was operational at the time of the
first elections to the National Assembly and provincial legislative
assemblies in January 1960, as was the prohibition on "EBDOed"
politicians. Many of those elected were new and merged into factions
formed on the basis of personal or provincial loyalties. Despite the
ban, political parties functioned outside the legislative bodies as
vehicles of criticism and formers of opinion. In late 1962, political
parties were again legalized and factions crystallized into government
and opposition groups. Ayub Khan combined fragments of the old Muslim
League and created the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) as the official
government party.

The presidential election of January 1965 resulted in a victory for
Ayub Khan but also demonstrated the appeal of the opposition. Four
political parties joined to form the Combined Opposition Parties (COP).
These parties were the Council Muslim League, strongest in Punjab and
Karachi; the Awami League, strongest in East Pakistan; the National
Awami Party, strongest in the North-West Frontier Province, where it
stood for dissolving the One Unit Plan; and the Jamaat-i-Islami,
surprisingly supporting the candidacy of a woman. The COP nominated
Fatima Jinnah (sister of the Quaid-i-Azam and known as Madar-i-Millet,
the Mother of the Nation) their presidential candidate. The nine-point
program put forward by the COP emphasized the restoration of
parliamentary democracy. Ayub Khan won 63.3 percent of the electoral
college vote. His majority was larger in West Pakistan (73.6 percent)
than in East Pakistan (53.1 percent).

Ayub Khan's Foreign Policy and the 1965 War with India

Ayub Khan articulated his foreign policy on several occasions,
particularly in his autobiography, Friends not Masters. His
objectives were the security and development of Pakistan and the
preservation of its ideology as he saw it. Toward these ends, he sought
to improve, or normalize, relations with Pakistan's immediate and
looming neighbors--India, China, and the Soviet Union. While retaining
and renewing the alliance with the United States, Ayub Khan emphasized
his preference for friendship, not subordination, and bargained hard for
higher returns to Pakistan.

Other than ideology and Kashmir, the main source of friction between
Pakistan and India was the distribution of the waters of the Indus River
system. As the upper riparian power, India controlled the headworks of
the prepartition irrigation canals. After independence India had, in
addition, constructed several multipurpose projects on the eastern
tributaries of the Indus. Pakistan feared that India might repeat a 1948
incident that curtailed the water supply as a means of coercion. A
compromise that appeared to meet the needs of both countries was reached
during the 1950s; it was not until 1960 that a solution finally found
favor with Ayub Khan and Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 was backed by the World Bank and the
United States. Broadly speaking, the agreement allocated use of the
three western Indus rivers (the Indus itself and its tributaries, the
Jhelum and the Chenab) to Pakistan, and the three eastern Indus
tributaries (the Ravi, Beas, and Sutlej) to India. The basis of the plan
was that irrigation canals in Pakistan that had been supplied by the
eastern rivers would begin to draw water from the western Indus rivers
through a system of barrages and link canals. The agreement also
detailed transitional arrangements, new irrigation and hydroelectric
power works, and the waterlogging and salinity problems in Pakistan's
Punjab. The Indus Basin Development Fund was established and financed by
the World Bank, the major contributors to the Aid-to-Pakistan
Consortium, and India.

Pakistan's tentative approaches to China intensified in 1959 when
China's occupation of Tibet and the flight of the Dalai Lama to India
ended five years of Chinese-Indian friendship. An entente between
Pakistan and China evolved in inverse ratio to Sino-Indian hostility,
which climaxed in a border war in 1962. This informal alliance became a
keystone of Pakistan's foreign policy and grew to include a border
agreement in March 1963, highway construction connecting the two
countries at the Karakoram Pass, agreements on trade, and Chinese
economic assistance and grants of military equipment, which was later
thought to have included exchanges in nuclear technology. China's
diplomatic support and transfer of military equipment was important to
Pakistan during the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War over Kashmir. China's new
diplomatic influence in the UN was also exerted on Pakistan's behalf
after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Ayub Khan's foreign minister,
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, is often credited for this China policy, which gave
Pakistan new flexibility in its international relationships. The entente
deepened during the Zia regime (1977-88).

The Soviet Union strongly disapproved of Pakistan's alliance with the
United States, but Moscow was interested in keeping doors open to both
Pakistan and India. Ayub Khan was able to secure Soviet neutrality
during the 1965 Indo-Pakistani War.

Ayub Khan was the architect of Pakistan's policy of close alignment
with the United States, and his first major foreign policy act was to
sign bilateral economic and military agreements with the United States
in 1959. Nevertheless, Ayub Khan expected more from these agreements
than the United States was willing to offer and thus remained critical
of the role the United States played in South Asia. He was vehemently
opposed to simultaneous United States support, direct or indirect, for
India's military, especially when this assistance was augmented in the
wake of the Sino-Indian War of 1962. Ayub Khan maintained, as did many
Pakistanis, that in return for the use of Pakistani military facilities,
the United States owed Pakistan security allegiance in all cases, not
merely in response to communist aggression. Especially troublesome to
Pakistan was United States neutrality during the 1965 Indo-Pakistani
War. The United States stance at this time was a contributing factor to
Pakistan's closing of United States communications and intelligence
facilities near Peshawar. Pakistan did not extend the ten-year agreement
signed in 1959.

The 1965 war began as a series of border flare-ups along undemarcated
territory at the Rann of Kutch in the southeast in April and soon after
along the cease-fire line in Kashmir. The Rann of Kutch conflict was
resolved by mutual consent and British sponsorship and arbitration, but
the Kashmir conflict proved more dangerous and widespread. In the early
spring of 1965, UN observers and India reported increased activity by
infiltrators from Pakistan into Indian-held Kashmir. Pakistan hoped to
support an uprising by Kashmiris against India. No such uprising took
place, and by August India had retaken Pakistani-held positions in the
north while Pakistan attacked in the Chamb sector in southwestern
Kashmir in September. Each country had limited objectives, and neither
was economically capable of sustaining a long war because military
supplies were cut to both countries by the United States and Britain.

On September 23, a cease-fire was arranged through the UN Security
Council. In January 1966, Ayub Khan and India's prime minister, Lal
Bahadur Shastri, signed the Tashkent Declaration, which formally ended
hostilities and called for a mutual withdrawal of forces. This
objectively statesmanlike act elicited an adverse reaction in West
Pakistan. Students as well as politicians demonstrated in urban areas,
and many were arrested. The Tashkent Declaration was the turning point
in the political fortunes of the Ayub Khan administration.

In February 1966, a national conference was held in Lahore, where all
the opposition parties convened to discuss their differences and their
common interests. The central issue discussed was the Tashkent
Declaration, which most of the assembled politicians characterized as
Ayub Khan's unnecessary capitulation to India. More significant,
perhaps, was the noticeable underrepresentation of politicians from the
East Wing. About 700 persons attended the conference, but only
twenty-one were from the East Wing. They were led by Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman (known as Mujib) of the Awami League, who presented his
controversial six-point political and economic program for East
Pakistani provincial autonomy. The six points consisted of the following
demands that the government be federal and parliamentary in nature, its
members elected by universal adult suffrage with legislative
representation on the basis of distribution of population; that the
federal government have principal responsibility for foreign affairs and
defense only; that each wing have its own currency and separate fiscal
accounts; that taxation occur at the provincial level, with a federal
government funded by constitutionally guaranteed grants; that each
federal unit control its own earnings of foreign exchange; and that each
unit raise its own militia or paramilitary forces.

Ayub Khan's also lost the services of Minister of Foreign Affairs
Bhutto, who resigned became a vocal opposition leader, and founded the
Pakistan People's Party (PPP). By 1968 it was obvious that except for
the military and the civil service, Ayub Khan had lost most of his
support. Ayub Khan's illness in February 1968 and the alleged corruption
of members of his family further weakened his position. In West
Pakistan, Bhutto's PPP called for a "revolution"; in the east,
the Awami League's six points became the rallying cry of the opposition.

In October 1968, the government sponsored a celebration called the
Decade of Development. Instead of reminding people of the achievements
of the Ayub Khan regime, the festivities highlighted the frustrations of
the urban poor afflicted by inflation and the costs of the 1965 war. For
the masses, Ayub Khan had become the symbol of inequality. Bhutto
capitalized on this and challenged Ayub Khan at the ballot box. In East
Pakistan, dissatisfaction with the system went deeper than opposition to
Ayub Khan. In January 1969, several opposition parties formed the
Democratic Action Committee with the declared aim of restoring democracy
through a mass movement.

Ayub Khan reacted by alternating conciliation and repression.
Disorder spread. The army moved into Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Dhaka,
and Khulna to restore order. In rural areas of East Pakistan, a curfew
was ineffective; local officials sensed government control ebbing and
began retreating from the incipient peasant revolt. In February Ayub
Khan released political prisoners, invited the Democratic Action
Committee and others to meet him in Rawalpindi, promised a new
constitution, and said he would not stand for reelection in 1970. Still
in poor health and lacking the confidence of his generals, Ayub Khan
sought a political settlement as violence continued.

On March 25, 1969, martial law was again proclaimed; General Agha
Mohammad Yahya Khan, the army commander in chief, was designated chief
martial law administrator (CMLA). The 1962 constitution was abrogated,
Ayub Khan announced his resignation, and Yahya Khan assumed the
presidency. Yahya Khan soon promised elections on the basis of adult
franchise to the National Assembly, which would draw up a new
constitution. He also entered into discussions with leaders of political

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