Strategic Analysis ISSN: 0970-0161 (Print) 1754-0054 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rsan20 Pakistan: Crisis is Inherent Samuel Baid To cite this article: Samuel Baid (2011) Pakistan: Crisis is Inherent, Strategic Analysis, 35:2, 342-371, DOI: 10.1080/09700161.2011.545586 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/09700161.2011.545586 Published online: 08 Feb 2011. Submit your article to this journal Article views: 132 Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=rsan20 Strategic Analysis Vol. 35, No. 2, March 2011, 342–371 From the Archives Pakistan: Crisis is Inherent Samuel Baid O I n March 23 every year a ritual is performed in Pakistan: observation of Pakistan Day. Forty-two years ago on this day, the Muslim League, which then was 34 years old, adopted a resolution in Lahore demanding separation of Muslims from India. The president of the League, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, expounded a theory that Hindus and Muslims were two different nations. He told the Lahore session: . . . it is a dream that they Hindus and Muslims can ever evolve a common nationality . . . they neither intermarry, nor interdine together and, indeed they belong to two different civilisations which are based mainly on conflicting ideas and conceptions. . . . that Hindus and Musalmans derive their inspiration from different sources of history. . . . Very often the hero of one is a foe of the other and likewise their victories and defeats overlap. To yoke together two such nations under a single State, one as numerical minority and the other as a majority, must lead to a growing discontent and final destruction of any fabric that may be so built for the government of such a State. Jinnah also advocated that Muslims were ‘a nation with their own distinctive culture and civilisation, language and literature, art and architecture, names and nomenclature, sense of values and proportion, legal laws and moral history and traditions. They are a nation by all canons of all international law’. These sayings of Jinnah are recalled every year on March 23 by the Pakistani news media. One may find it ridiculous to go harping on about them three decades after achieving Pakistan. But it does betray a certain complex: of not being able to get used to the state of partition. What the common man thinks of this two-nation theory is clearly brought out by the occasional debates and discussions on Pakistan’s culture. In 1980, the Urdu daily, Jang of Karachi, started a series of interviews with teachers, journalists, politicians and public personalities to ascertain the relevance of this theory. Most interviewees expressed their disapproval of this theory. To them it did not explain how a man could be changed to a different nationality the moment he changed his religion. The change of religion did not also automatically change food, dress, language, ethics, culture and history. This is an abridged version of the original article, which was first published in the IDSA Journal, 15(1), July–September 1982, pp. 87–135. ISSN 0970-0161 print/ISSN 1754-0054 online © 2011 Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses DOI: 10.1080/09700161.2011.545586 http://www.informaworld.com Strategic Analysis 343 By his two-nation theory Jinnah wrought a double harm both on Islam and the Muslim Ummat in the subcontinent: he turned Islam into a negative religion, a religion which derived its force from hatred of Hindus. This factor has become a nightmare for Pakistan: to prove the correctness of this theory, all successive governments had to maintain a state of confrontation with India (Hindu) and suppressed all democratic and cultural forces at the great cost of internal and external peace. Secondly, Jinnah’s theory has divided the Muslims of the subcontinent into three weak parts: India, Pakistan and now Bangladesh. Had there been no partition in 1947, the Muslims would have become a mighty power in this region. All through the Pakistan movement it was very clear that if Hindus and Muslims were not one Indian nation, they could not have been two nations either. For example, see what happened after partition. Have the Muslims in Pakistan proved themselves one nation? East Bengalis clearly told Jinnah, when he visited Dacca after partition, that they were not going to accept Urdu as the national language. Jinnah insisted that in Pakistan only Urdu would be the national language. East Bengalis were proud of their language and culture, which they shared with Bengali Hindus. In West Pakistan, only about 7 per cent of Muslims claimed Urdu as their language. Punjabis, Sindhis, Baluchis and Pathans took pride in their own separate cultural identities. Baluch and Pathan leaders insist that Pakistan has four nationalities and reject the theory of Muslim nationhood. Even the Muhajireen (refugees from India) maintained their separate identity although they call themselves the standard bearers of Jinnah’s two-nation theory. This has been the cause of confrontation between the central government and the provinces and between the democratic forces and religious obscurantists. This confrontation has already cost Pakistan its eastern wing and whatever is left of that country is under constant fear of further disintegration. In September 1977, a close associate of deposed Prime Minister Z.A. Bhutto was quoted by Jang as saying that he (Bhutto) was of the view that Pakistan could not stay together for long: Punjab and Sind would return to India, Baluchistan would go to Iran and the Frontier Province to Afghanistan.1 Many Muslim Leaguers, who were closely associated with Jinnah during the Pakistan movement, were in fact not convinced by his philosophy. His own sister Fatima told Sri Prakasa, India’s first high commissioner to Pakistan, in 1947: ‘I do not know how it was that the Qaid-i-Azam thought that Hindus and Muslims could not live together. But he did so. You will please exert your influence to bring about good relations between India and Pakistan’.2 The first chief minister of Sind, Mohammad Ayub Khusro, who was in the innermost counsels of the Muslim League, told Sri Prakasa that nobody had really wanted partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. The demand for Pakistan was only a policy of bargain to secure the Muslim’s future in United India.3 Jinnah’s own right-hand man, Liaquat Ali Khan, tried to prevent the creation of Pakistan by entering into an agreement with Congress General Secretary Bhulabhai Desai on January 11, 1945, on the formation of the interim government. This agreement was made without Jinnah’s knowledge because Liaquat Ali, who was then the Muslim League secretary general, thought that the days of the Qaid were numbered. When Jinnah came to know of this agreement he was furious. The agreement was never ratified. Pakistan’s Law Minister Sharifuddin Pirzada, who disclosed this in Rawalpindi on October 15, 1979, said that the agreement would have scuttled or delayed the creation of Pakistan. According to him, Jinnah died a heartbroken man.4 Jinnah himself gave short shrift to his two-nation theory when, at the time of partition, he insisted that Punjab and Bengal should not be partitioned on the basis of Hindu-Muslim population. In this case he argued that the culture, language, etc. of Punjabi Hindus and Muslims were the same. And the same was true about Bengal, he said. Later, after Pakistan had been conceded, he repeatedly said that now there were no Muslims and Hindus: they were all Pakistanis. So much for the two-nation theory. Another question connected with this theory was: will Pakistan be an Islamic state or a Muslim state? To Western educated lawyers, 344 Samuel Baid landowners, merchants, doctors, journalists and civil servants, Pakistan meant a state where Muslims would constitute the great majority, and where all trade, defence and bureaucracy would be under the control of Muslims. This group dominated the Muslim League. Jinnah belonged to this group. Thus, it would appear that the Muslim League wanted Pakistan for political and economic reasons and not for religious reasons. This was emphasised by veteran Muslim Leaguer Mian Mumtaz Mohammad Khan Daultana at a function held in Lahore on March 23, 1981, in connection with the platinum jubilee of the League. He said right from its birth in 1906 to the achievement of Pakistan in August 1947 that the League was a political movement and not a religious one. Had this been so (if it had been a religious one), the Muslims, despite all the large-heartedness, would not have accepted Jinnah as their leader. ‘You may make Pakistan as Islamic as you want, but do not blame the Muslim League, for not having done religious work. The Muslim League had only sought to have a political homeland.’5 Jinnah himself did not appear very sure on this question. After partition he called Pakistan a Muslim state, but at the same time allowed his right-hand man Liaquat Ali Khan to preach that Pakistan was an Islamic state.6 Those who argue that Jinnah favoured Pakistan to be an Islamic state point out that for the 1946 elections he had acquired the services of mullahs for electioneering. These mullahs decried opponents of the League as enemies of Islam and said Pakistan would be a state deriving its inspiration and guidance from the principles of the Holy Quran and traditions of the Prophet. They invoked divine displeasure against those who did not vote for the League. In Punjab, they threatened that Muslims who did not vote for the League would be barred from using Muslim graveyards.7 ‘. . . the twin cries of Islam in danger and Pakistan had put so much power in the hands of Jinnah that no landowner could hope to defy his authority without losing political support.’8 This use of Islam as a negative force helped the league win 460 of the 538 Muslim seats in the central and provincial elections in 1946.9 However, the party was able to form governments only in Sind and Bengal. After Jinnah’s death in September 1948, the confusion about what role Islam should play in Pakistan increased further. He had told the first constituent assembly that in Pakistan there would be no Muslims or Hindus, but only Pakistanis. However, after his death this ideal was ignored and the same constituent assembly adopted the Objective Resolution stating that Muslims and Pakistan would be enabled to mould their lives in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam. Thus confusion was created about the goal of Pakistan. The confusion has since persisted and has been the cause of instability of all the institutions of the country. Throughout the Pakistan movement, the Muslim League had never bothered to seriously work out a social and political philosophy and a system of government for the homeland they were demanding. They had all the time at their disposal, unlike the congressmen, who were most of the time in jails. II That the League had not prepared a social philosophy and a system of government may mean that it was not really serious about its demand for a separate homeland for Muslims. It is quite possible that under cover of the demand for a separate homeland, Jinnah was trying to prevent independence; but if this could not be prevented, Muslims must have a separate country as a last resort. One reaches this conclusion on the strength of reports that he had established secret links with Sir Winston Churchill, who was posing freedom to India, and British intelligence, which was trying to sabotage efforts for independence by creating bloody communal riots.10 Thus, when Pakistan was conceded, the Muslim League and Jinnah were not really prepared for it, like the five foolish virgins in the parable. Jinnah betrayed this stage of Strategic Analysis 345 unpreparedness in his remark after the creation of Pakistan: ‘I have done my job. When the Field Marshal leads army into victory, it is for the civil authority to take over’.11 But he knew well there was no civil authority to take over. For him the League was not a political organisation; it was a machine which must obey his command without asking questions, and this machine could not work by itself. In other words, the League which had followed Jinnah like a sheep could not be expected to suddenly start functioning as an effective organisation. Because Jinnah was opposed to the involvement of the masses in the struggle against British rule, the League never tried to strike roots among them. He wanted the League to remain an elitist organisation. Such an organisation, its claims notwithstanding, could not have been the representative of the rural masses and the working classes. The 1937 elections had proved his point. The 1946 electoral gains were largely the result of the use of Islam as a negative force: creation of anti-Hindu communal frenzy and the threats of mullahs of divine displeasure. These gains, therefore, did not mean that the Muslim voters had expressed their confidence in the League. They had voted in an extraordinary communal situation created by the League. After the creation of Pakistan, the League was denuded of its anti-Hindu appeal and thus its claim that it was the only representative of the Muslims of India exploded. Jinnah also lost his strongest point (Hindu baiting) after the creation of Pakistan. Both Jinnah and the League still did not think it necessary to build bridges with the masses and decide what type of government the new homeland should have. Some writers, and many Pakistanis, believe that things would have been better for Pakistan had not Jinnah died so soon (he died on September 11, 1948). Perhaps things would have been worse. He had become a spent force. But he had made things miserable by trying to prove otherwise. As the first governor-general, he was very keen that all files should go to him, but he never wanted to return them.12 He did not allow Liaquat Ali Khan to work as an independent prime minister. Liaquat owed his prime ministership not to his position as the leader of the League, but to the kindness of Jinnah. Jinnah also chose cabinet members for Liaquat and presided over cabinet meetings.13 Jinnah’s order to the armed forces to march into Kashmir was also without Liaquat’s consent.14 The British commander-in-chief of the Pakistani army, General Gracy, also did not support the idea of invading Kashmir by Pakistani forces.15 As Ayub Khan writes in his autobiography, Friends Not Masters, it was because of this attitude of the British commander-in-chief that the government decided to replace him with a Pakistani. Thus Ayub became the first Pakistani to hold that position on January 17, 1951.16 The order to the army to march into Kashmir and the removal of Dr. Khan Saheb’s congress government in the Frontier Province were two of Jinnah’s actions before his death which laid the foundation of future crises. The 1947–48 war in Kashmir, which resulted from Jinnah’s order, wrought a double disaster for Pakistan. First, it organised and strengthened the armed forces while political forces were weak, divided and uncertain of themselves. After Jinnah’s death, the Muslim Leaguers found themselves as sheep running astray without the shepherd. Liaquat Ali, the Nawab that he was, could at best be the leader of an elite group and not of the masses. The army had realised that the League had no roots and therefore it was not fit to rule. Until today this is the army’s alibi for not allowing the political parties to rule the country. Worse, the army, since its action in Kashmir on Jinnah’s orders, had begun to consider itself the defender not only of Pakistan’s geographical boundaries but also its ideological boundaries. The latter function puts it above all other institutions in Pakistan and makes it the only force to rule the country. Any opposition to it is considered anti-Islam, anti-ideology. The first confrontation between the Muslim League leadership and the army came when Liaquat Ali ordered the latter to cease fire in Kashmir. This confrontation finally ended with the assassination of Liaquat Ali on October 16, 1951, very close to army 346 Samuel Baid headquarters in Rawalpindi.17 Ayub Khan admits in his autobiography that right from the day Liaquat Ali was killed the army had started preparing itself for the eventual takeover of the government. Once Governor-General Ghulam Mohammad asked Ayub to take over the reins of the government. Ayub declined. However, on October 7, 1958, he finally accepted the post of chief marshal law administrator (CMLA) from President Iskandar Mirza. Twenty days later, Ayub ousted his benefactor as he found the post of president redundant. The army had taken over after a thorough dress rehearsal in 1953 when martial law was imposed in Lahore in the wake of anti-Ahmediyya riots. The martial law gave a clear idea to the army how country-wide martial law would be accepted and how it worked. In October 1958 the army staged its coup just as the country was preparing to go to its first ever polls under the 1956 Constitution. The prospects of a government by the people, for the people were just nipped in the bud. Secondly, Jinnah’s order to the army has since turned the Kashmir issue into a dead albatross around the neck of the people of Pakistan. The army has been fattening itself on it in the name of Islam and ideology, while for the common man it has become the source of all his misery, suppression and frustration. When Pakistan lost its eastern wing in 1971, the shocked and grief-stricken people blamed the Kashmir issue for it. The second action of Jinnah related to the dismissal of Dr. Khan Saheb’s government in the Frontier Province. This undid the 1946 mandate of the people in that province18 and brought in power the defeated Muslim League, led by Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, an ex-congressman. After Jinnah’s death every successive governor-general thought it was his prerogative to dismiss the central or provincial government whether or not it enjoyed the majority support. On the strength of the 1935 Constitution, a governor-general interpreted the phrase ‘during the pleasure of the governor-general’ to mean that the prime minister or the chief minister and his government could exist as long as he, the governor-general, was pleased. The instability created by this confrontation can be measured by the number of governorgenerals and prime ministers who came and went between 1947 and 1958. During this period, Pakistan had four governor-generals, one president and seven prime ministers. In between, Governor-General Ghulam Mohammad had dissolved the Constituent Assembly in 1953 because it redefined the powers of a governor-general. This was a serious blow to the political system which was still in the embryonic stage. III Whatever Jinnah might or might not have thought of the future system of government for Pakistan, one could say with some assurance that he did not have the rule of the generals in mind. But as irony would have it, the military turned out to be the only organised force which could provide a semblance of a stable government. In reality it corroded public morals and national sentiments in Pakistan. During its role, the army proved more corrupt than civilian leaders. Worse, while civilian leaders were accountable to the public, army bosses are answerable to none. The army rule also created provincial tensions. Since more than 60 per cent of the armed forces personnel belonged to Punjab, the people of that province benefited the most from military rule. There are few Punjabi families who do not have at least one member in the armed forces. Now, since all administrative powers were in the hands of the military, Punjabis got most of the contracts, licences and lucrative posts at the cost of the people of other provinces, who were virtually reduced to the status of second rate citizens. However, these benefits did not make Punjabis support military governments because like others they were also denied their fundamental rights and their leaders were given long jail terms. Newspapers coming out from Lahore and Rawalpindi were by no means freer than those published in Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta or Dacca. Thus Strategic Analysis 347 Punjabis were as angry with the Punjabi-dominated military government as were the Bengalis. This was abundantly demonstrated during the anti-Ayub agitations in 1968. But for the Punjabis’ whole-hearted support, Sindhi Bhutto could not have shaken the mighty Ayub. The 12-year spell of Ayub’s and then Yahya Khan’s rule established another point: power not only corrupts state defence forces; it also makes them unfit for the profession. This point was proved by the 1965 and 1971 wars. The military eats away more than 50 per cent of the annual budget and behaves as if this homeland for the Muslims of India was carved out for it alone. They were not trained to rule, but they would not allow anybody else to rule.19 They were trained to defend the geographical boundaries of the country, but they claim they have a duty to defend the ideological boundaries of the country. Akhbar-i-Jahan in September 1965 wrote that the plan for the 1965 attack on India was made by Ayub Khan himself in the hope of taking Kashmir overnight and then using this would-be victory for making the people accept him as life-president. But within 11 days he was nervous because there were no more weapons to fight with. When Bhutto took over as president and chief martial law administrator on December 20, 1971, the people of Pakistan were writhing in anger and shame because of the performance of their army. Bhutto sought to exploit this by allowing newspapers to expose the misdeeds of the armed forces. Pakistan TV showed the surrender ceremony (in Dhaka on December 16, 1971). The newspapers made spicy disclosures about the sex life of the following generals. Bhutto brought one General Rani into the limelight to expose the sex exploits of General Yahya Khan and his band. She was called General because she was patronised by generals. Rani, as the newspaper report said, supplied highly connected women to them. The idea of this publicity was to tell the people that their present plight was brought about by these fun-loving generals, who ruled the country claiming themselves to be the defenders of ideology and the soldiers of Islam. IV The rise, decline and fall of Bhutto fits well in the political culture of West Pakistan. Born in the landed aristocracy, Bhutto received political training in the military dictatorship of Ayub Khan. These two points—his birth and training—made Bhutto anything but a Democrat. Intelligent as he was, he had carefully studied the working, the weakness and the strength of Ayub’s government. During the anti-Ayub agitations led by Jinnah’s sister, Fatima, in 1964 with the support of a five-party alliance called the Combined Opposition Party (COP),20 Bhutto might have clearly seen how powerful, yet easy to exploit, was the support of the masses. At that time, as part of the Ayub regime, he was supporting Ayub against the frail Miss Jinnah. It is commonly charged in Pakistan that as the then foreign minister, Bhutto had beguiled Ayub into sending intruders into Kashmir in 1965 on the assurance that India would not react elsewhere.21 Ayub who had been badly shaken up by Miss Jinnah’s campaign, needed a diversion. Bhutto offered him one. But that turned out to be a poisoned apple. Probably, Bhutto knew that the only way to get rid of the army was to set it against India. He struck when he found the army in its weakest state—disunited and demoralised—after the 1965 war. He broke away from Ayub during the Tashkent meeting because Ayub was furious when he realised that he had been taken for a ride by his own Sindhi protege, Bhutto, who opposed the draft declaration although he had written the draft himself.22 Bhutto’s objection to the Tashkent Accord was that it did not mention the Kashmir issue—the issue which Pakistan wanted to highlight by sending intruders into Kashmir. The people of Pakistan, fed on the propaganda during the war that their army was scoring victory after victory and that the capture of the whole of Kashmir was a 348 Samuel Baid matter of a few days, found their dreams shattered when the ceasefire and later the Tashkent Accord came. Frustration, anger and humiliation seized them. Bhutto found it was the best time to launch a campaign against the army leadership. He gave a new slogan of 1000-year war on India and found that it had gone down very well with the people of Punjab. Striking while the iron was hot, Bhutto formed his Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on December 1, 1967. A glance at the 1970 election results will reveal how effective the 1000-year slogan proved with the people living in the areas bordering India. Bhutto received almost total support from these areas. But as the distance from these areas increased, Bhutto’s support in terms of votes dwindled and tapered off in Baluchistan and the Frontier Province. A campaign against Ayub had become very easy after the 1965 war which had left the Field Marshal demoralised, humiliated and sick. What fuelled the situation further was the launching of the six-point demand by the Awami League in East Bengal and disunity among the armed forces. At the same time the United States was annoyed with Ayub for not renewing the lease of its monitoring base in Peshawar. The Americans expressed their annoyance by supporting Bhutto, according to both rightist and leftist papers in Pakistan. The rightist weekly Chatan wrote on July 12, 1976, that big landlords of Multan joined Bhutto only at the insistence of American envoy Farland in 1970. The leftist weekly Al Fatah later repeated this charge. That there was some truth in this could be seen from the support Bhutto received from the sons and daughters of senior army officers in Islamabad during anti-Ayub agitations. Because of very close relations with America, these officers were considered to be pro-US. Bhutto picked up slogans which appealed to all important sections of the society. For example, the 1000-year war slogan appealed to the hawks in the army as well as to many people in Punjab and Sind. His slogan of Roti, Kapda, Makaan (food, clothes and shelter) is like a sweet melody in the ears of the starving, ill-clad and shelter-less mass of the poor. The leftists, trade unionists, workers, students and a section of the intelligentsia were attracted by his slogan of socialism. To the mullahs, he gave the slogan ‘Islam is our faith’. Amid anti-government riots both in West and East Pakistan, Ayub handed over power to Yahya on March 25, 1969, because he said he did not want to preside over the disintegration of Pakistan. Yahya Khan abrogated Ayub’s 1962 Constitution, imposed martial law and promised to hold elections. Elections he did hold as promised, but as it turned out later, he had hoped that no party would be able to get an absolute majority in either wing and thus he would stay in power by manipulating political parties. 23 In West Pakistan, elections were fought by the PPP on the aforementioned slogans of the 1000-year war and Roti, Kapda, Makaan. In East Bengal, the Awami League fought on the six-point programme. Both were well requited by voters in their respective wings. The election results, much against Yahya’s estimates were: Awami League PPP Muslim League (Qayyum) Muslim League (Council) Muslim League (Convention) Jamiat (Ahl-i-Sunnat) NAP (Wali Khan) Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan Democratic Party Independents (Two of them later joined PPP) Total 160 81 9 7 3 7 6 4 1 16 300 Strategic Analysis 349 Had democratic norms been allowed a fair chance, the Awami League (or for that matter, East Bengal) would have taken over the reins of government. But this could not be allowed: West Pakistan, after all, had a long 24-year history of ruling all of Pakistan. During these years the armed forces, the bureaucracy, the landed aristocracy, the 22 wealthy families and what was nicknamed ‘Islam pasands’ had emerged as the tributaries of the powers that be. Bhutto represented these class interests and therefore would not allow any government which would not protect these interests. Bhutto, in fact, was being used as a front by these interests. The worst to suffer would have been Punjab’s monopoly of the armed forces had Bengalis been allowed to rule. Those who accuse him of causing the break-up of Pakistan by refusing to accept the status of an opposition for his party conveniently ignore the reasons why he was being patronised by the army. Secondly, Bhutto’s rejection of the Awami League’s victory and his refusal to accept any future constitutional set-up which did not ensure his party’s equality with the Awami League only repeated a similar attitude of Jinnah in united India. Jinnah, too, was unwilling to accept any future constitutional set-up in united India which did not give equal political power to the minority Muslim population with the majority. The result was the break-up of India. Twenty-four years later Jinnah’s philosophy rebounded on Pakistan and broke it into two. V The separation of East Bengal in 1970 dealt a crippling blow to their hopes of democracy in Pakistan. It sounds paradoxical, because it was in December 1971 itself that the army surrendered power to civilians in West Pakistan. But as we shall see later, the change from military dictatorship to civilian rule was something like a change from tweedledum to tweedledee for those who aspired for genuine democracy. Bhutto’s civilian government was a more ruthless and indisciplined dictatorship than one had experienced during the military rule. Bhutto’s rule, with all its infirmities, had started a process of political awakening which if it had been allowed to proceed would have strengthened the roots of democracy in Pakistan. With the loss of East Bengal, Pakistan had lost its politically conscious majority population, which alone produced genuine leaders of the masses like Fazlul Haq, H.S. Suhrawardy and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. West Pakistan, maybe because of the dominant tribal-feudal influences, has not produced a single leader to match these Bengali leaders. In 1974, the Karachi weekly, Outlook wrote24 that the Bengali leadership was not only a stabilising factor in the country’s politics, but a powerful counterpoise to the forces of despotism that naturally grew out of the feudal structure of the western wing. Ayub had become so convinced and awed by the Bengali power that while quitting he shocked everyone by saying that he did not want to preside over the disintegration of Pakistan. He had chosen his protégé Yahya Khan for this ritual. VI Bhutto’s slogan of ‘all power to the people’ had made him appear a symbol of change in Pakistan’s political, economic and social institutions. Hitherto, the successive governments, right from that of Jinnah, had not given any thought to the toiling, poor masses, nor did they acknowledge that they owed their existence to them (the masses). So Bhutto appeared to have descended as the Messiah on the horizon of West Pakistan to redeem the people from their misery. Bhutto had really worked to create this impression about himself: during the electioneering for the 1970 elections, he went 350 Samuel Baid on whirlwind tours carrying his own coffin and a sword (his election symbol), which he called Ali’s sword, and proclaimed himself the deliverer. His gimmicks were successful: on December 20, 1971, the defeated and humiliated army crowned him the president and the chief marshal law administrator or whatever was left of Pakistan. But it was a crown of thorns. Bhutto had inherited a bankrupt economy, an utterly demoralised people and a battered national image. On the other hand there was the hydra- headed monster—the combination of urban Muslim obscurantists, landed aristocracy, businessmen, bureaucrats and the armed forces. These forces wielded real power in Pakistan. These elements are interconnected with family ties, business interests and identities of interest in ruling this ‘promised land’ in different capacities. Bhutto’s emergence as the voice of the masses alarmed them. During the 1970 electioneering the mullahs floated a slogan that socialists, whom Bhutto led, had no right to stay in the masses. His first priority was to establish the supremacy of the people over the erstwhile ruling forces. His economic and social reforms in respect of landholdings, labour, education, police and the armed forces as well as his programme of nationalisation of banks and industries were all aimed at effecting a revolutionary change in Pakistani society and polity. The new CMLA began a crackdown on the 22 wealthiest families and ordered them to bring back their money from foreign banks. But this yielded only Rs 4 crore out of an estimated Rs 2710 crore. On January 1, 1972, he ordered the arrest of Ahmed Daoud and Fakhruddin Walika, both connected with these families. On January 10, he got Lt. Gen. Habibullah Khan arrested. Habibullah, who was released 10 days later, headed the Gandhara Industries, which were a monumental example of corruption among the armed forces if they are allowed to rule. The Gandhara Industries, a car assembling plant, were established by Ayub’s relatives with his support.25 The most formidable challenge to Bhutto came from the armed forces, although a section of them had favoured handing over power to him after the 1971 humiliation. However, another section opposed surrender of power to civilians while yet another took the stand that nobody, within or without the armed forces, who was connected with the state of affairs which resulted in the 1971 debacle be allowed to rule. This section comprised younger officers, who were not willing to forgive and forget the fact that Bhutto was a dominant part of the military junta right from the very first day of Ayub’s rule to the last day of Gen. Yahya Khan. It appeared there was another section which was under the influence of Jamaat-i-Islami, an unrelenting enemy of Bhutto and his socio- economic policies. Gen. Mohammad Ziaul Haq belonged to this section. Bhutto used the proverbial stick-and-carrot method to keep the army under control. The very day he took over as president and CMLA, he sacked seven generals including Yahya Khan. He called them fat and flabby generals and waderas of the armed forces. On the same day he appointed chief of the general staff, Lt. Gen. Gul Hasan Khan as the acting commander-in-chief of the army. Hasan superseded all generals of his rank except Lt. Gen. A.A.K. Niazi, who was then a prisoner of war in India. Hasan was confirmed as the commander-in-chief on January 22, 1972. Bhutto also appointed Air Marshal A. Rahim as commander-in-chief of the air force. These appointments were Bhutto’s rewards to the two officers for installing him as president. On December 22, 1971, Bhutto had removed military governors of the four provinces. They were simultaneously removed from service. The following day he removed the navy admirals, two commodores and three more major-generals. Bhutto also exposed the sex escapades of the military generals when they were ruling. Pakistan TV showed a number of women, supposed to be the girlfriends of Yahya. The Urdu weekly, Al Fatah, which supported Bhutto’s socialist policies, wrote that General Niazi was drinking and womanising in the Governor’s House while Dacca was burning. He had built up a harem of helpless Bengali girls ‘whom he ravaged like a hungry wolf’. Strategic Analysis 351 Bhutto also punished Ayub’s information secretary, Altaf Gauhar, by putting him on trial and accusing him of drafting Mujibur Rahman’s six-point programme because of his (Gauhar’s) illicit relations with a Bengali woman, Rukiya Kabir. These charges, which sometimes sounded like a mix of pornography and mystery, were given wide press publicity. Further, on January 9, 1972, TV showed the surrender of General Niazi in Dacca on December 16, 1971. This created a furore. Some young people wanted to burn down the Karachi TV studio. The following day Bhutto’s information minister, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, called a press conference to explain the screening of the film. He said every Pakistani should be ‘man enough to face the truth in regard to their country’s defeat at the hands of India and the surrender of the Pakistani army in Dacca’.26 On March 3, 1972, Bhutto replaced Lt. Gen. Hasan with Lt. Gen. Tikka Khan as the army chief. Air Force Chief A. Rahim Khan was replaced by Air Marshal Zafar Choudhury who was then the managing director of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). At the same time he retired eight air force officers and announced that the chiefs of each of the three services would thenceforth be designated as chiefs of staff and not commanders-in-chief and that they would have a fixed tenure. By doing so, said Bhutto, he had put an end to Bonapartism in Pakistan. He said ‘the people and the armed forces were equally determined to wipe out the Bonapartist influence from the armed forces which had resulted in turning a professional army into professional political leaders’.27 Later, the 1973 Constitution (Article 6) laid down that ‘any person, who abrogates or attempts or conspires to subvert the Constitution by use of force or other unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason’. On September 14, 1973, the National Assembly prescribed the death penalty or life imprisonment for high treason. Another method to keep the army under control was to raise a rival force, a people’s army. Bhutto once said: ‘We must take a leaf out of Vietnam’s military textbook. A People’s Army rather than a conventional army. That is the philosophy that will guide us in our new defence’.28 Many accused Bhutto of trying to add insult to the injury the armed forces had received from India. But he was fighting for his own survival. Soon after he took over, conspiracies to remove Bhutto had started. On January 7, 1972, he told his party workers in Larkana that a conspiracy was being hatched to overthrow his government. He said the current wave of industrial unrest and agitations in the country was all part of this conspiracy, which, he said, was being hatched inside and outside the country.29 While Bhutto was addressing workers in Larkana, the worst jail riots took place in Karachi, the traditional stronghold of the Jamaat-i-Islami. In the confusion of riots, which overlapped the nationwide student agitations, 300 of the 1,500 jail inmates ran away. The following month, policemen went on strike throughout the country. At the same time anti- and pro-Urdu riots erupted in Sind during June–July while Bhutto was trying to reach a peace accord with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India in Simla. Posters appeared in Karachi in Rawalpindi demanding the return of Ayub Khan. Some posters were addressed to Tikka Khan asking him to take over. VII As events unfolded themselves, the motives of Gen. Hasan and Air Marshal Rahim Khan in making Bhutto the president became known. They had brought in Bhutto just for the period of public hostility towards the armed forces. But Bhutto outsmarted them. He not only retired them, but also exiled them on ambassadorial posts in Greece and Spain respectively. Salmaan Taseer writes in Bhutto: A Political Biography that the two officers had not actively plotted against Bhutto, but near-record suggested that they might.30 Shahi Javed Burai wrote in Pakistan under Bhutto that these officers were 352 Samuel Baid interested in a new system in which the military would retain some political control.31 The Karachi Urdu weekly Al Fatah wrote in April 1977 that Yahya wanted to hand over power to his commander-in-chief Gen. Hamid, but Gen. Hasan and Air Marshal Rahim Khan intervened and forced him to hand over power to Bhutto. The two officers had feared a civil war if another army man took over the reins of power immediately after the 1971 defeat. So they thought they could themselves rule the country with Bhutto as a facade. Gul Hasan wanted to become the president of the country eventually. During anti-Ayub agitations in 1968 he was hoping to take over the reins of government.32 What Gul Hasan and Rahim wanted was a system of government wherein both civilians and the military could rule together. Bhutto himself was the author of this idea; and that might be the reason why the two officers favoured him as a successor to Yahya. On June 9, 1969, Bhutto had issued a statement saying that there were three claimants to power in Pakistan. In order of their importance, they were the armed forces, the bureaucrats and the politicians. These three must evolve a system of cooperation instead of confrontation. He suggested that Pakistan should have the Constitution on the lines of the Turkish Constitution, which, as evolved in 1960, envisaged the army’s role in the conduct of the government. According to Al Fatah, Yahya Khan was pleased with this suggestion. However on September 1, 1977, when Gen. Ziaul Haq advocated this theory for the future government in Pakistan, Bhutto, then on bail, opposed it (September 14) saying that this could not guarantee political stability in Turkey.33 A few months after the despatch of Gul Hasan and Rahim on ambassadorial posts, an army conspiracy came to light. On August 10, 1972 six senior army officers were sacked on charges of causing a civil war in Pakistan and disrupting public life just two days before Bhutto took over. Later on March 30, 1973, the government announced that a group of military officers had been arrested because they had been engaged in activities directed towards seducing military personnel from their duty or allegiance to the government. The following day the government gave the number of those arrested as 24. They included Brig. F.B. Ali and Col. A.B. Afridi, who were sacked on August 10, 1972. Among the serving officers arrested were a brigadier, three lieutenant colonels and 14 majors of the army, an air force wing commander and a squadron leader. Of the two civilians arrested, one was a retired police officer and a government officer, who had been retired along with 1,400 government servants in March 1972. By April 2, 1973, the number of arrests had gone up to 63. They included two serving brigadiers, one retired brigadier, four lieutenant colonels, 17 majors and three captains. There were three civilians including one Tariq Khan, a brother of Tehrik-i-Istiqlal Chief Asghar Khan. A Defence Ministry statement on May 12, 1973, said that the conspirators had planned to seize power between April 4 and April 21, 1973, by arresting top government executives and military generals. Their subsequent trial was presided over by the little known Brigadier Ziaul Haq. These reports of military conspiracy exploded the myth that Bhutto was popular among junior officers. They also showed that the army had not reconciled to its subjugation to the civilian authority, Bhutto’s claim of ending Bonapartism notwithstanding. VIII What baffles one is the fact that, surrounded by these threats, Bhutto systematically alienated not only the opposition leaders but also his own party stalwarts and thus expanded the circle of his foes. We need to go on to December 20, 1971, when he lifted the Yahya-imposed ban on the National Awami Party of Wali Khan, but refused to acknowledge its position in the Frontier Province and Baluchistan. In these provinces, party positions after the 1970 elections were: Strategic Analysis Party 353 NWFP Baluchistan NAP Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) PPP Jamaat-i-Islami Muslim League (Qayyum) Muslim League (Convention) Muslim League (Council) Baluchistan United Front Independents 15 4 3 1 10 2 1 0 6 Total 42 9 3 0 0 2 0 0 1 6 (two of them later joined the PPP) 21 It was hoped that in ‘new Pakistan’ Bhutto would respect the results. But he ignored the NAP’s position in the two provinces and appointed his own party men as provincial governors despite stiff opposition by the people of these provinces. This act of Bhutto held him suspect in the eyes of the provincial leaders and ignited violent agitations. On March 6, 1972, he entered into a tripartite agreement with the NAP and JUI and allowed them to form coalition governments in the two provinces. Maulana Mufti Mahmud (JUI) and Arbab Sikandar Khalil (NAP) became chief minister and governor, respectively, in the Frontier Province while in Baluchistan Sardar Ataullah Mengal and Sardar Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo took charge of these posts, respectively. But the fact that his party had majority in only two of Pakistan’s remaining four provinces never stopped nagging Bhutto. On February 10, 1973, Bhutto broke the tripartite agreement with the NAP and JUI by dismissing their governments [as well as governors] in Baluchistan and the Frontier Province. The NAP-JUI government in the latter province resigned in protest. The excuse for this action was supplied by the discovery of arms in the Iraqi embassy in Islamabad. Bhutto said the arms were meant for insurgency in Baluchistan. But he could never prove his charge and further lost his credibility. Tehrik-i-Istiqlal Chief Asghar Khan issued a statement condemning this action and alleging that Bhutto himself staged the drama of arms discovery to discredit the NAP and remove it from power. However, the NAP kept up its cooperation with the government until the adoption of the permanent Constitution on April 10, 1973. Of the 144 members of the National Assembly, as many as 125 voted for the Constitution. The rest either did not attend the Assembly or avoided casting their vote. Mir Ali Talpur (then PPP) was the only member who walked out of the Assembly saying that in his opinion the Constitution was neither federal nor democratic. The Constitution was promulgated on August 14, 1973. But the government’s very first act after the promulgation of the Constitution was the suspension of fundamental rights. In fact fundamental rights had never been recognised in Pakistan since October 1958. Between December 20, 1971 and April 20, 1972, Bhutto had ruled under the extant martial law, which excluded these rights. Between April 20, 1972 and August 14, 1973, he ruled under his own interim Constitution and kept fundamental rights suspended during this period. The draft of the 1973 Constitution was finalised by an all-party34 24-member team on December 30, 1972. Five of them had put their signatures on the draft with dissent notes. These five leaders belong to the Council Muslim League, the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP), JUI and Jamaat-i-Islami. They had demanded the abrogation of the Political Parties Act, 1961, which denied the legislators their rights of 354 Samuel Baid freedom of conscience and association. The NAP representatives signed the draft without any conditions despite stiff opposition from hawks and younger elements within the party. Suspension of fundamental rights by the president disillusioned those parties which were trying to cooperate with Bhutto for strengthening democracy in ‘new Pakistan’ against the impending danger from the armed forces. In addition to the denial of fundamental rights, there was the never-ending emergency, which had been imposed by Yahya Khan on November 23, 1971. Under the emergency, Defence of Pakistan Rules (DPR) were imposed and DPR tribunals were set up to award long prison terms to political opponents. Throughout Bhutto’s rule most of Pakistan was under Section 144, a device to prevent opposition parties from public contacts. After the promulgation of the Constitution in 1973, the government made seven amendments. Most of them took away the citizen’s right to seek justice from courts of law. Five of the amendments curtailed the rights of the citizen and deprived the courts of their power to grant relief to the victims of government action. The first amendment bill was introduced on April 15, 1974, and passed the following day in the absence of the opposition which had boycotted the session. This amendment was cleverly designed to ultimately ban the NAP with the approval of the Supreme Court. The second amendment, passed by the Assembly on September 9, 1974, declared the Ahmediyyas as non-Muslims. This amendment had the support of the opposition. The next amendment bill, introduced on February 11, 1975, and passed the following day, increased the period of preventive detention from one month to three months. The fourth amendment bill, introduced on November 11, 1975, and passed within 48 hours, deprived the High Courts of their power to grant bail to any person detained under the preventive detention law and to prohibit the making of executive orders for detention. The protesting opposition leaders were beaten up and thrown out of the House by the Federal Security Force. In Lahore and Karachi lawyers were lathi-charged for protesting against this amendment. The fifth amendment bill was moved on September 1, 1976 and passed on September 3. It was in fact a super amendment of the fourth amendment. The fifth amendment withdrew from High Courts their power to order in interim relief, including bail, in all cases where they were exercised extraordinary jurisdiction. This was combined with the introduction of a tenure system for the Chief Justices. The sixth amendment, introduced and passed on December 12, 1976, was meant to retain the services of Justice Yaqub Ali, the Chief Justice, who was to retire in early 1977. The seventh amendment on May 16, 1977, created a provision for holding a referendum. All these amendments were rushed through with indecent haste—without adequate debate. Bhutto was not willing to recognise the role of the opposition in the National Assembly at all. Within his own party, he did not tolerate dissent or anybody who did not follow him silently. Those who made up the hard core of his party were one by one humiliated and thrown out. Such members included J.A. Rahim, an elderly Bengali, whom he had persuaded to join his party; Miraj Mohammad Khan; the Talpur brothers; Ghulam Mustafa Khar (he later returned); Mohammad Ali Kasuri (he later joined Tehrik-i-Istiqlal); and Dr. Mubashir Hasan, an eminent leftist economist. The Federal Security Force (FSF), which Bhutto built up as a counterweight to the army, was brazenly used against his political opponents and those who wanted genuine democracy. The FSF, more loyal than the king himself, resorted to large-scale assassinations and harassment of the common man. Political murders, kidnapping and torturing of Bhutto’s critics became the sport for the FSF jawans. For example, J.A. Rahim and his son were taken from their house and tortured separately. In 1973, the police arrested one JUP maulana and took him to a cell where he was stripped naked and a naked prostitute was made to sit on his lap. The police clicked their cameras. Muslim Leaguer Khwaja Khairuddin was arrested and left on an uninhabited island Strategic Analysis 355 near Ahmedabad. He was rescued by Indian fishermen. A sex scandal was floated against Asghar Khan. It was alleged that the Tehrik chief had illicit relations with the woman party worker Tahir Masud. Her husband Farduddin Masud filed a complaint accusing them of adultery. The husband was apparently acting at the behest of the government. Those who were murdered included Dr. Nazir Ahmed of Jamaat-i-Islami (on June 8, 1972), Khwaja Mohammad Rafiq of Ittehad Party (on December 20, 1972), Baluch Gandhi Abdus Samad Achakzai of the NAP Pakhtoonkhawa (on December 1, 1973) and Maulvi Shamsuddin of JUI (on March 13, 1973). Sardar Ataullah Mengal’s son was kidnapped from Karachi and later believed killed. Those who escaped assassination attempts included Asghar Khan and Khan Abdul Wali Khan. On March 23, 1973, a public meeting of the combined opposition in Liaquat Bagh in Rawalpindi was attacked by gun-toting FSF men. Another FSF group released snakes and scorpions among the audience to create panic and stampede. Many people were killed in the FSF firing. Another method to suppress the opposition was to gag the press. Newspapers were told not to publish statements of opposition leaders. Thus while section 144 kept them away from the public, the restrictions on the press denied them the right to express their opinions through the media. So the change from the military to a civilian government for the common man made no difference. At this point of time, efforts were made to persuade Ayub Khan to come out in politics and lead the people against Bhutto’s repression. Perhaps, after appointing Tikka Khan as the army chief, Bhutto felt assured of the army’s total loyalty and so he apprehended no threat from this quarter now. Also, perhaps, he wanted to prove to the people that he had controlled the genie of the army. And so he pitched the army against the people in Baluchistan. Four divisions were dispatched there to suppress ‘the insurgency’—something which Bhutto himself conjured up. His Special Secretary Rao A. Rashid Khan wrote a note to him on July 13, 1976, strongly pleading that the army be withdrawn from Baluchistan as its ‘prolonged stay is causing adverse repercussions in many fields’. The army, he wrote, had become ‘an independent law enforcing agency’.35 But Bhutto did not pay any heed to this suggestion, and later, after his fall, he blamed the army leadership for keeping four divisions in Baluchistan. IX The dismissal of the NAP-JUI governments was a clear indication that Bhutto was moving towards one-party rule. He installed his own party in power in the two provinces just as Jinnah did in 1947 in the Frontier Province. Jinnah’s action was not challenged although it had set a bad, undemocratic precedent. Bhutto’s action turned out to be a massive political blunder. The NAP, which he had managed to keep out from Punjab and Sind, accusing it of being anti-Pakistan and pro-India, suddenly found widespread sympathies in Punjab. The NAP joined the six-party United Democratic Front (UDF) and came to be known as a national party. The UDF was formed soon after the dismissal of the NAP-JUI government in Baluchistan. Its constituents included the NAP, JUI, Jamaat-i-Islami, Pakistan Democratic Party, Muslim League and Jamiat-ul-Ulema in Pakistan (JUP). Tehrik-i-Istiqlal of Asghar Khan refused to join the Front. The establishment of the Front was a serious challenge to Bhutto’s dictatorial style of functioning. But he underestimated it, depending on his own ability to break it up as it consisted of political parties whose ideologies and philosophies were heterogenous. Jamaat-i-Islami, an ultra-rightist party, was poles apart from the NAP, a leftist secular party. Although the PPP’s philosophy agreed more with that of the NAP, Bhutto sought to cultivate the Jamaat. It was to please this party that Islam for the first time was mentioned in the 1973 Constitution as the state’s official religion. By this, 356 Samuel Baid Bhutto was trying to emphasise to other constituents of the Front that the Jamaat was interested in the Islamisation rather than democratisation of the Constitution. Bhutto gave another blow to the opposition by banning the NAP on February 10, 1975, following a bomb blast in Peshawar which killed PPP leader Mohammad Hayat Khan Sherpa. The NAP was banned and its top leaders including Wali Khan, Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo and Attaullah Mengal were jailed without verifying NAP’s responsibility for the bomb blast. This blast had occurred in a series of blasts throughout the country since the establishment of the Front. According to a Dawn report of April 24, 1975, as many as 293 blasts took place in different parts of Pakistan between January 1974 and February 1975, killing 22 and wounding 144 persons. These blasts might have been contrived by the Federal Security Force who then put the blame on the opposition.36 After banning the NAP, Bhutto made a reference to the Supreme Court charging the NAP with ‘anti-Pakistan activities’ like Ghaffar Khan’s opposition to the partition of India in 1947. The Supreme Court, then headed by a Bengali, Justice Hamoodur Rahman, upheld the ban on October 31, 1975. A week later, an independent member of the National Assembly, Sher Baaz Mazari, announced (on November 6) the formation of a new party called the National Democratic Party to provide a refuge to the members of the now-defunct NAP. Bhutto countered this move by issuing an ordinance on December 26, 1975, unseating NAP legislators from the National and Provincial Assemblies. Earlier, on December 20, a special court was set up under that Criminal Law Amendment (Special Court) ordinance to try top NAP leaders for treason. This ordinance was later regularised. The special court which came to be known as the Hyderabad Tribunal was first convened on April 15, 1976. Later it was expanded to try other opposition leaders. It was as long after as July 25, 1975 that the accused were first informed of the charges. Wali Khan rejected these charges as they contained no particulars about dates, times, and places. Two months later a revised list of the charges was submitted. The trial proceeded very slowly, giving an impression that the NAP leaders were being held as hostages in return for Kabul’s acceptance of the Durand Line as the international boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan.37 Also, Bhutto sought to please the Shah of Iran by keeping the NAP leaders in jail. The Shah had told Bhutto (and Bhutto transmitted this to Wali Khan) that he did not want an NAP government in Baluchistan. X By January 7, 1977, when Bhutto announced elections for March, he had completely swung from the left to the right. As said earlier, he won the 1970 elections in West Pakistan on the slogan of socialism. By 1977, he had joined the camp of that very hydraheaded monster which he claimed to be fighting in 1970. He had removed some officers who, he feared, would challenge his position. For the same reason he had retired 1,400 government servants. But the democratic system, which could have effectively checked the ambitions of the armed forces and the bureaucracy, was not allowed to grow. On the contrary, Bhutto did everything to strengthen the armed forces. In his affidavit to the Lahore High Court, he had said that he had modernised the armed forces by purchasing modern and the latest equipment worth over 1.5 billion dollars. ‘I gave the armed forces an annual budget of approximately 800 crores. I got considerable military equipment from China and to a lesser extent from Iran without payment.’ Simultaneously, Bhutto began depending on the bureaucracy for his party work. Thus the only use of the PPP for Bhutto was that it lent to him some political respectability. But the party never had any elections. It was being run on an ad hoc basis. The party organisation began disintegrating and the people who elected this Strategic Analysis 357 organisation were one by one removed. It was the bureaucracy which prepared the PPP manifesto for the March 197738 elections and chose party candidates. Those who enthusiastically voted for the PPP in 1970 were disappointed by the party manifesto and the choice of candidates, who belong to capitalist and feudal classes. Bhutto perhaps was aware of the alienation from the masses and, therefore, he was initially hesitant to hold elections. However, something told him that since the opposition was in disarray he had no cause for worry and so on January 7, he unexpectedly announced general elections for March 7, 1977. But more unexpected was the announcement by the opposition on January 11 that nine of them had formed the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA). The nine opposition parties were the National Democratic Party, the Muslim League, the Pakistan Democratic Party, Tehrik-i-Istiqlal, Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamiatul-Ulema-i-Islam, Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Pakistan, Khaksar Party, and the Muslim Conference of occupied Kashmir. These parties were carrying on negotiations for a long time for forging an alliance. But to hoodwink Bhutto they deliberately created an impression in their letters to one another, that an alliance was impossible.39 The alliance parties agreed to fight the election as one party under one symbol (the plough) while maintaining their separate identities. The PNA issued its manifesto on February 7 promising to return the nationalised industries to their owners, ban pubs, prostitution and charging of interest and bring down prices to the 1970 level. Whatever its promises and components, the PNA was enthusiastically welcomed by the people, who constantly lived under section 144 and without fundamental rights. So far they had been made to hear only the government’s views. Now they had the opportunity to hear the other side. About two lakh persons attended the PNA’s first public meeting in Nishtar Park on January 23. This confounded even the PNA leaders. The PNA was so encouraged by the public response that at a press conference in Karachi on February 20, Asghar Khan said: ‘The people have given their verdict. We have won. The voting on March 7 and 10 will only be a formality. Ten lakh people participated in my procession and that is a proof that PPP candidates will lose their deposits.’40 This, however, was a highly unrealistic claim. It was only in urban areas that very large crowds attended the PNA meetings. The same crowds also graced Bhutto’s meeting. The large attendance at public meetings might largely have been because of the curiosity of the people, who hitherto were not allowed to hear the opposite view. Moreover, the PNA strongholds were only in urban areas where the voters accounted for only 25 per cent. These included a big chunk of minorities, different non-Sunni Muslim sects and women who were alarmed by the religious fanaticism of the PNA as it was dominated by Jamaat-i-Islami. The alliance had made no impact on rural areas, where Bhutto’s image remained high. Thus the PPP victory at the March 7 elections could not be dismissed as completely due to rigging, although rigging did take place in an awfully crude manner. The PPP had won 20 of the 200 National Assembly seats uncontested. Of the remaining 180 seats, the PNA was contesting 137. On the day of the election large-scale bloody clashes took place near different polling booths, killing 18 and injuring 13 persons. The election results were: PPP PNA Muslim League(Qayyum) Independents Total 155 36 1 8 200 358 Samuel Baid The PNA protested against the rigging and boycotted the 460 seat Provincial Assembly elections on March 10. Of these seats the PPP had already bagged, uncontested, 60. They were 36 in Sind; 20 in Baluchistan;41 three in Punjab; and one in NWFP. It took three weeks for Bhutto to convene the first session of the National Assembly (on March 26) after the March 7 elections. The Lahore High Court Bar Association called March 26 the blackest day in Pakistan’s history of constitution and democracy. The PNA demanded Bhutto’s resignation and re-elections under the supervision of the army and the judiciary. Punjab and Sind were rocked with agitations punctuated with bomb blasts and sabotage. Top PNA leaders were taken into custody and the agitations began to be guided by mosques; and now the PNA was demanding that Nizam-iMustafa be promulgated in Pakistan. On April 17, Bhutto held a press conference in Lahore and made the following points: (1) The Islamic ideology council could be reconstituted. He invited Jamaat-i-Islami founder Maulana Madoodi to send his nominee to it. (2) Drinking in horse race was banned and nightclubs were ordered to be closed. (3) Free elections would be held to Provincial Assemblies and if the opposition was able to win them, there would be fresh elections to the National Assembly. (4) Section 144 would be lifted. (5) The Press and Publication Ordinance was abrogated. These concessions did not work. On April 21, Bhutto imposed martial law on Lahore, Karachi, Hyderabad and later on Multan. The Pakistan Army Act was amended to empower the army to set up courts to try offenders. The martial law was imposed under Article 246 of the Constitution. However, on June 2, the Lahore High Court held that the imposition of martial law was unconstitutional. The Sind High Court said it was constitutional. The martial law was lifted on June 7. On April 28, Bhutto told a joint session of parliament that the US was after his blood because he was emerging as the Third World leader. Later, on April 13, he sent a military officer to PNA Chief Maulana Mufti Mahmud in jail with maps to convince him that there was troop build-up on Pakistan borders and in view of this, re-elections would amount to committing suicide. This cry of troop build-up had already been rejected by the armed forces on April 6 when Foreign Minister Aziz Ahmed addressed 500 officers of the three services in Karachi. He said the US was against Bhutto because of the nuclear reprocessing plant and his efforts to organise the Third World countries in one forum. He said the US gave Rs 25 crores to the PNA for elections. A report of this meeting was prepared by the Inter-Services Intelligence directorgeneral, Ghulam Jilani Khan,42 which had clearly told Bhutto that the armed forces were not with the government and that the orders of superior commanders were more important for them than their loyalty to the Constitution. Yet Bhutto did not try to make up with the opposition. On the contrary, he announced on May 13 that he would hold a referendum to seek the people’s support for himself, which was something extraconstitutional. He had rejected the PNA demand for re-election on the plea that there was no provision for them in the Constitution. He said that after the referendum he would change the Constitution to guarantee non-recurrence of a crisis like the present one. Rumour had it that he was thinking of reverting to the presidential system for one-party system. It was also rumoured that he was thinking of the Turkish model of government wherein the armed forces had a role to play.43 However, Bhutto had to drop the referendum plan when the Amir of Kuwait sent a message to Bhutto and the jailed PNA leaders on May 15 pleading with them to start Strategic Analysis 359 negotiations. Ambassadors of Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia played an active role in an attempt to effect reconciliation between Bhutto and the PNA leaders. Consequently, negotiations began on June 3 in the prime minister’s house in Rawalpindi. Others present at the talks were intelligence chief Rao Abdul Rashid and Army Chief Gen. Ziaul Haq, whom Bhutto had specially brought in to convince the PNA leaders that under the present circumstances, emergency could not be lifted. At the talks, the PNA demanded, among other things, lifting of the emergency and censorship, and release of the PNA leaders and workers from jail. The government said the number of such prisoners was 30,000 while PNA leaders said it was about one lakh.44 The PNA side was led by Mufti Mahmud and it consisted of (besides Mufti) Ghafoor Ahmed and Nawabzada Nasurullah Khan. While carrying on negotiations with the Alliance, Bhutto was also trying to create a rift in it. He sent journalist Mazhar Ali to NDP leaders and then to Wali Khan and other jailed leaders in Hyderabad to seek their support for himself on the promise that they would be allowed to form their governments in Baluchistan and the Frontier Province. The proposal was pooh-poohed. They retorted: ‘It is a strange joke: on the one hand the Government is trying us for treason, while on the other, it is seeking the traitors’ help to bring about an understanding between the NDP and the Government.’ Bhutto further tried to undermine the PNA, when after the announcement on June 15 that an agreement had been reached on basic issues, he suddenly decided to fly to Libya, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and Iran on an unexplained mission. The PNA protested saying that he should have first signed the agreement. In the agreement, the government had committed itself to holding the ‘next’ election (not re-elections) after the Ramazan. The difference between the two was the modus operandi: how to hold the elections. The PNA had suggested the formation of a 10-man council to run the country until the next elections. The council, said the PNA, should consist of five members from each side and Maulana Mufti Mahmud should be its chief. The government side rejected it. On July 1 and 2, the two sides talked for 13 hours and later announced that an agreement had been reached. In the next 12 hours, the PNA denied it and Asghar Khan said that the PNA representatives had exceeded their brief. However the PNA leaders were still willing to continue negotiations. They had raised 10 new points. On July 4, Bhutto called a hurried press conference at 10:30 pm at the prime minister’s house to say that he was willing to discuss these extra 10 points. ‘If they want they can come tomorrow morning to sign the agreement,’ he said. But Bhutto was not to see the next morning as prime minister. At 2 in the night a solitary colonel came to Bhutto’s house in a jeep to tell him that he was no more the prime minister. The man who deposed him was none other than Bhutto’s own protégé—Ziaul Haq. XI Aziz Ahmed’s talks with the 500 officers of the three services in Karachi clearly established that their first loyalty was to their superior commanders—not to the Constitution. Thus all Bhutto’s efforts to provide constitutional guarantees against a possible military takeover looked like an attempt to strengthen a house of cards. The respective attitudes of the army and the government to these constitutional guarantees were well dramatised when Bhutto’s law minister, Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, vigorously remonstrated with the army jawans, who had come to arrest him in a pre-dawn swoop on political leaders, that the Constitution did not allow the military takeover. He quoted from the Constitution to prove his point while being dragged out of his house in his pyjama suit. The jawans pretended they did not understand what he was saying. They only understood the orders they had received from superior commanders. 360 Samuel Baid As said earlier, the army was treating Bhutto simply as a stop-gap arrangement soon after its defeat in the 1971 war with India. It either wanted to take back power from Bhutto as early as the first quarter of 1972 or it planned to rule through him. But Bhutto outsmarted them and quickly weeded out as many black sheep from the armed forces as he could find. Also, and that perhaps was sheer luck, Bhutto could find a loyal soldier like Tikka Khan. But for him, perhaps Bhutto’s fall would have been much quicker than it was. In March 1976, Bhutto very carefully picked out Ziaul Haq, then a junior officer, to take over as the army chief on the retirement of Gen. Tikka Khan. Seven senior officers resigned in protest. Bhutto did not care, nor did he listen to the advice of Tikka Khan against appointing Zia, who had close links with the Jamaat-i-Islami, a party which was the arch enemy of modernist Bhutto. But Bhutto, who had acquired a dictator’s characteristics, wanted no-one but a sycophant for his army chief. Zia promised to beat any other officer in this trait. In his affidavit in the Lahore High Court, Bhutto admits: ‘On numerous occasions in private gatherings and in public meetings and conferences, he (Zia) paid me such wholesome compliments that I was a trifle embarrassed by the heavenly eulogies’. Zia was taunted by some of his colleagues as ‘Bhutto’s butler’.45 Later after his fall, Bhutto regretted his choice openly. During the hearing of Begum Bhutto’s petition, Bhutto told the Supreme Court that it was the greatest mistake of his life to make a Jamaat-i-Islami man the army chief over the heads of seven senior officers. But, had Zia proved himself an honest sycophant, perhaps things would have been as devastating in Pakistan as they were in Iran where the Shah used the army to gun down the agitating civilians. Bhutto was so impulsive and dictatorial that he would not have hesitated to do the same, to deal with the post-March 1977 elections agitation.46 But the martial law in Karachi, Lahore, Hyderabad and later in Multan in April 1977 proved to him that the army was in no mood to oblige him.47 On the contrary, the martial law in these cities proved that without the army’s connivance the agitation would not have become so formidable. The PNA leaders, particularly Tehrik-i-Istiqlal Chief Asghar Khan, openly boasted that the army was with them. As the post-March 1977 elections agitation continued, it became clear that the country was drifting further and further away from democracy. National Democratic Party (a reincarnation of Wali Khan’s National Awami Party) President Sher Baaz Mazari told the Urdu weekly of Karachi, Al Fatah, on June 18, 1977, that he feared some obstructions in the way of democracy. These obstructions, he said, were the armed forces. Mazari knew better because his party was an active constituent of the PNA. Bhutto, too, had warned on June 28, 1977, at a press conference that a ‘third force would take over’ if there was no agreement between the government and the PNA. He had said: For the sake of the country, the nation, the people, the democracy and the Constitution, I have done my best. But, if a stalemate is caused despite my efforts, then only God can save us. Then if the constitution is trampled and angels, Rasputin or a ferocious Satan comes to rule the country we would not be responsible for that. After this the result might be a fatal destruction but that would not be my fault. Bhutto, apparently, was aware of the army’s manoeuvres to recapture power from the civilians. In a statement to the Supreme Court in 1978, Bhutto said: ‘Actually, even before the dissipation of power on 5 July 1977, the chief of army staff organised teams of military officers in each of the provinces to conduct “discreet” inquiries into the conduct of the March 1977 elections. This was reported to be in categorical terms by at least one Chief Minister.’48 Al Fatah wrote (July 22–29, 1977) that the army was taking a keen interest in the PNA-government negotiations right from the beginning. The army was kept well informed of whatever went on between the two. In the light of this information, the Strategic Analysis 361 army had prepared a secret plan code-named ‘Operation Fairplay’ many weeks before July 5. Connected with this plan were the joint chief of staff, three chiefs of staff of the armed forces, staff officers and all corps commanders. The signal to execute ‘Operation Fairplay’ was given at 5 pm on July 4, 1977. The time fixed for the operation was six hours—from 12 at night to 6 in the morning. Seventeen hours after his coup, Zia announced in a nationwide broadcast over radio and television that now he was the chief martial law administrator and that the National and Provincial Assemblies stood dissolved and the 1973 Constitution suspended. He said he had taken over so as to hold fair and free elections within 90 days. He called it ‘Operation Fairplay’. Zia said the armed forces had stressed on the government that it should reach a compromise with the Opposition without loss of time. The armed forces were subjected to criticism from certain quarters for their role in aid of the civil administration. We tolerated this criticism in the hope that it was a passing phase. I will like to point out here that I saw no prospects of a compromise between the People’s Party and the PNA because of their mutual distrust and lack of faith. So as to assure his countrymen that he was sincere in returning the reins of government to civilians, Zia said the Constitution had not been abrogated. Only certain parts were suspended, and that Fazal Elahi would continue to be the president and the fourmember military council would assist him in the discharge of his national duties. The council consisted of the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the chiefs of staff of three forces. ‘I will discharge the duties of the Army staff and Chief Martial Law Administration,’ he said. He had no political ambition and he was only filling in the vacuum created by the political leaders. ‘I have accepted this challenge is a true soldier of Islam. My sole aim is to organise free and fair elections which would be held in October . . . I give solemn assurance that I will not deviate from his schedule. During the next three months my total attention will be concentrated on the holding of elections and I would not like to dissipate my powers and energies as the CMLA on anything else.’ So far the speech sounded quite reassuring. But the poison lay at the tail end. He gave a veiled hint of his long-term programme when he said: ‘I must say that the spirit of Islam, demonstrated during the recent movement was commendable. It proves that 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 Islamic system as an essential prerequisite for the country.’ This showed that he supported the anti-Bhutto agitations, because, as he said, they demonstrated the spirit of Islam. Therefore, the PNA’s claim that the army was with the Alliance was correct. But his long-ranging socio-economic programmes betrayed that Zia had not come for holding elections. On July 10, he issued a set of martial law regulations prescribing severe Islamic punishments and also punishments for indulging in politics. On July 14, he told his first press conference that the army would put the fear of God in the hearts of the people. XII If Zia had only taken over for holding re-elections, as he claimed, one saw no sense in his description of himself as a soldier of Islam and the need to introduce the Islamic system in the country. This was especially alarming in view of the PNA’s allegations that the PPP was un-Islamic and socialist. 362 Samuel Baid Zia in fact had much more cunning than many students of Pakistani affairs are willing to credit him with. He sought to create an impression that his coup was different from that of Ayub Khan’s in 1958. Ayub’s coup took place to prevent the very first elections, while Zia’s coup was meant to hold fair and free elections as had been demanded by the PNA. When Ayub came to power he did not immediately seek the support of Islam or any political bloc. Zia sought the help of both. He knew well that the name of Islam would not only endear him with the rightist parties like Jamaat-i-Islami, sections of the Muslim League and many religious groups at home, but would also get the support of Muslim countries, especially Saudi Arabia. Zia began his martial law career with a dual strategy: he made seeming preparations for the promised elections to keep the PNA on his side while in fact affecting long-ranging structural changes in the administration so as to weed out all pro-Bhutto elements. Zia repeatedly assured that his interim government would not make such changes, but changes he was making. The chief secretaries of Sind and Punjab were the very first victims. Because of censorship the press briefly reported these changes without pointing out the implications in terms of Zia’s long-term plans. He sought to tighten the grip of the military on the civil administration by dividing the whole of Pakistan into five military zones (in charge of military officers). The same day he issued a martial law order providing for the establishment of special military courts. Similarly, while Zia claimed that the Military Council had decided not to proceed against any politician, preparations were going on to implicate Bhutto in some cases. The press was given full freedom to expose all aspects of the former prime minister’s life. Most stories the papers published were actually supplied to them by the military junta. The election promise was a sort of sedative which Zia used to numb the PNA while he was proceeding against Bhutto and his party. After Bhutto’s fall at least seven cases were filed against him, but the military junta was of the opinion that only one—that of the murder of Nawab Mohammed Kasuri in 1974—was enough to finish him. Besides spreading the claws of the army all over the country, Zia beat the judiciary into submission by replacement of ‘untrustworthy’ judges with ‘loyal’ ones. Justice Mustaq Hussain, a bitter critic of Bhutto was appointed acting chief justice of Punjab High Court on July 16. A day earlier, he had been appointed the chief election commissioner. This appointment was made less than 24 hours after Zia’s assurance that there would be no witch-hunting of the politicians. Two months later Bhutto would be tried in this court on a murder charge. A day before Bhutto’s trial opened in Punjab High Court, Zia told the chief justice and the judges of the Supreme Court to take a new oath, which freed them from their commitment to the Constitution. It was clearly aimed at dislodging Chief Justice Yaqub Khan, who proved himself an obstruction in Zia’s long-term strategy by admitting Mrs Bhutto’s constitutional petition challenging the imposition of the martial law. Justice Yaqub was therefore replaced by Justice Anwar-ul-Haq, who took the Zia-prescribed oath. Zia also changed the oath of governors. So all the civil institutions were cut to fit into the military’s plan of recapturing the governance of the country with the help of servile politicians, government servants and judges. He told Newsweek that ‘in Pakistan, that only real stability is [provided by] its armed forces’. However, he denied that he had the Ayubian ambitions.49 Zia also changed the very economic philosophy of the country as had been adopted by the PPP government, by replacing the Rice Milling Control and Development Act, 1976, on September 2, 1977. That the PNA was not alarmed by Zia’s step-by-step entrenchment into power speaks of the utter immaturity of the political leadership in the country. The PNA supported all actions of Zia until the hanging of Bhutto in April 1979. As said earlier, Strategic Analysis 363 Zia used the promise of elections as a cover to first finish his most dangerous enemy, Bhutto, his family and his party. Just one day before the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence on Bhutto on February 6, 1979, Zia fixed November 17 as the long-awaited date for elections. But after Bhutto’s execution he thought he did not need the PNA support. To the observers of the Pakistani scene it was very clear that Zia dared not hold elections and restore the Constitution which had prescribed death for anyone who abrogated or subverted the Constitution. The PNA supported the army against Bhutto because the alliance feared that it could never hope to rule the country as long as Bhutto was around. So its leaders demanded punishment to Bhutto before elections—even public execution.50 In fact, as it turned out, they were demanding the execution of the infant democracy in Pakistan. Looking back, it appears, the controversy about the postponement of elections was cleverly continued and played up to create a favourable atmosphere for the arrest (on September 3, in connection with the death of Nawab Ahmed Khan in 1974), and for an indefinite postponement of elections. Overlapping this controversy was another which conceived the changeover to a presidential form of government and the military’s role in it. This controversy was floated by Zia himself on September 1 in an interview.51 With the support of the PNA, Zia cancelled the elections on September 30 when it became clear that Bhutto would not be out of jail and the PPP would split on the question of his successor in the party. To further tighten the screw on the PPP a process of accountability was started against all those who had held ministerial posts or were members of the Senate and National and Provincial Assemblies between 1970 and July 5, 1977. Those who were found guilty of misuse of power were disqualified from contesting future elections. Thus almost every PPP leader of any consequence was disqualified. Supporters of the PPP were sought to be silenced either by public whipping or jail terms. In the meantime, Zia continued to strengthen his position. He took over as president on September 14, 1978, in addition to being the CMLA and the army chief. Now Zia had to tame the PNA. The first one to be brought to his senses was no other than Asghar Khan. He had always refused to join any opposition alliance. He agreed to join the PNA on condition that he would be made the prime minister. Zia defused him by releasing Wali Khan from the Hyderabad jail and using him as a sort of counterweight to him. The moment Wali Khan came out of jail, all attention turned to him. Zia often publicly praised Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s patriotism—something which no Pakistani ruler had done so far. There was also talk of Wali Khan being the next prime minister. Consequently, Asghar Khan was reduced to a political pigmy. But Zia still badly needed the support of the PNA. He celebrated his first year in power by inducting PNA leaders into his cabinet. But after the execution of Bhutto on April 4, 1979, he asked them to quit. The excuse for their removal was that they could not continue to be in the government as they were going to contest the promised-again elections to be held on November 19, 1979. What he really thought of the PNA was revealed by him in an interview with Kayhan International in September 1977 during his brief visit to Iran. He said the PNA members were inexperienced politicians, and ‘I told them that they cannot fill the people’s empty stomach with the Holy Quran’. About Bhutto he said he was a smart intellectual, but totally devoid of principles.52 He also made it very clear that he was not prepared to hand over power either to the PPP or the PNA. With Bhutto’s arrest and a crackdown on the PPP, whatever unity the PNA parties had artificially forged against their common enemy began to loosen. Asghar Khan quit the Alliance on November 14, 1977, on the plea that it had achieved its goal of toppling Bhutto and now it had no relevance. His decision came on the heels of the Supreme Court’s verdict allowing Zia to rule under the law of necessity. Next to quit the Alliance 364 Samuel Baid was Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP). The NDP, which as a constituent of the PNA was supporting Zia’s rule, was under tremendous pressure from radicals within the party to quit the Alliance. The pro-NDP (earlier pro-NAP) students lost to the proPPP students at the Peshawar University elections in 1978. The losing students blamed the NDP leaders’ support to Zia for this. Wali Khan, who was obliged to the military government for releasing him and 54 other NAP leaders from the Hyderabad jail, was actively campaigning against Bhuttoism and talking of Nizam-i-Mustafa. The younger elements in the NDP resented this because by preaching Nizam-i-Mustafa, Wali Khan was going against secularism which had remained the cardinal principle of the NAP and then the NDP. Similarly, Wali Khan’s support to the military dictatorship went against the principle of democracy for which the NDP (as the NAP earlier) had stood and suffered for the last 34 years. Things became worse for the NDP after the April 27 revolution in Afghanistan in 1978, when President Mohammed Daoud and his government members were killed and leftist Mohammed Tarakki took over. The Baluch NDP leaders at once welcomed the change in Kabul while the NDP leaders of the Frontier Province were not in a position to express jubilation at the Kabul events because Wali Khan’s family had very close links with President Mohammed Daoud. Secondly, they could not possibly support the socialist regime of Tarakki when they had been a part of the Nizam-i-Mustafa movement. Thus an ideological gulf emerged and separated the Pathan and Baluch leaders who had jointly fought for democracy and autonomy for 34 years. The two parted company. On June 2, 1979, the Baluch leaders announced the formation of the Pakistan National Party with Ghaus Bakhsh Bizenjo as its president. Its secretary-general, Syed Qaswar Gardezi, told newsmen that the new party would redraw provincial boundaries on the basis of culture, language, geography and history. Within the Frontier Province, a group of ex-NDP workers attempted to revive the NAP as they refused to join the NDP. The NDP, by joining the PNA had hoped to find a foothold in Punjab and also get Wali Khan and others released. But a foothold in Punjab was costing the party its stronghold in the Frontier Province and Baluchistan. NDP Chief Sher Baaz Mazari tried to correct the party’s course by coming out of the PNA in protest against the Alliance’s decision to join the military government in August 1978. Later, he became a bitter critic of the military regime and demanded more provincial autonomy. By joining the government, the PNA isolated itself from the people who were fast growing sympathetic to persecuted Bhutto, his family and the party. The Muslim League split into three on provincial lines. The Pir of Pagaro led the faction dominated by Sindhis; the Punjabi-dominated faction was led by Malik Mohammad Qasim; and Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan came out to lead his Pathan version of the League. Zia picked up the Punjabi Muslim Leaguers to be made federal ministers despite the Pir of Pagaro’s resentment. This undermined Pagaro’s position as the president of the League. The PNA fully supported Zia in his plans to execute Bhutto. The PNA leaders resented mercy appeals from world leaders saying that they amounted to interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs. They also said that in an Islamic society there was no question of showing mercy to a man just because he had held high position. The death sentence on Bhutto, according to them, was Islamic justice. But Bhutto was not tried according to Islamic laws despite his lawyer Yahya Bakhtiar’s appeals. What morbid pleasure the PNA derived from Bhutto’s execution was symbolised by Muslim League member of the military government Chaudhury Zahoor Elahi, who begged Zia to let him have the pen which he used for rejecting mercy appeals on behalf of Bhutto. Zia obliged him. Strategic Analysis 365 XIII Bhutto executed, Zia now wanted to tell the PNA and others, who had seriously believed that election would take place on November 17, to forget the elections. He first asked the PNA to quit the cabinet. The alliance did not think it was a rebuff. He then openly confronted them by announcing that the proposed November elections would be preceded by elections to local bodies on a non-party basis. The PNA resented this because it was the job of an elected government to hold such elections. PNA Chief Mufti Mahmud accused Zia of trying to follow in the footsteps of Ayub Khan. He feared that these elections to local bodies would be eventually turned into basic democracies. In fact, in Pakistan the local body elections, held in September 1979, did not augur well for Zia if he went ahead with holding the promised November election. The majority of the candidates who won the local body elections were supported by the PPP. They used the phrase ‘Awami Dost’ as a Shibboleth to tell the voters of their links with the PPP. The government later purged as many pro-PPP councillors as it suspected. Simultaneously, with the preparation for the local body elections, Zia was trying to disabuse the people’s mind from general elections. On August 30, 1979 he amended the Political Parties Act 1961 laying down a four-point code of conduct. It said: (1) No political party in receipt of foreign money would be allowed to contest the general election. (2) All political parties would have to register themselves within one month of the enforcement of this amendment. (3) No party would work against the ideology of Pakistan or cast aspersion on the judiciary or the armed forces. (4) All political parties must hold their organisational elections before the general elections. The amendment also required all political parties to submit their accounts to the Election Commission. This code of conduct was transparently designed against the PPP, which was accused by the censored press of receiving foreign money (especially Soviet). After Bhutto’s removal this party was trying to revive its leftist image to take students, workers and peasants with it. This turn to the left was condemned as antiIslamic and anti-Pak ideology. Also since its formation in 1967, the party never had organisational elections. Soon after the July 1977 coup, the party split because Bhutto, from jail, had appointed Begum Nusrat Bhutto as the acting chairman of the party and in case she was not able to do so, their daughter Benaziar would act as the chairman. Bhutto’s former information minister, Kauser Niaz, objected to this and was expelled from the party. It was suspected that he had built up bridges with the military government. He then formed the Pakistan Progressive Party with the help of some dissenters of the party. Zia wanted to exploit this organisational weakness of the PPP by demanding that all parties should hold organisational elections. Just two months before the November elections, Zia sent another shock wave by declaring that elections would be held on a proportional representation system. Ten days later (September 23) Zia said that the elections would be held only after it was assured that the future government would be capable of maintaining national integrity and ensuring Nizam-i-Mustafa. Asghar Khan reacted by saying that Zia was a salaried employee who had no business to foist himself on the nation. PNA Chief Maulana Mufti Mahmud rejected the registration condition and called it undemocratic. The PPP, PNP and NDP also refused to register. On October 16, Zia finally cancelled the elections and re-imposed the ban on political parties and strict censorship on newspapers. He declared that the country was now under real martial law. At the time of Zia’s action, the Punjab High Court was 366 Samuel Baid hearing Asghar’s petition against the martial law in defiance of the Supreme Court’s verdict of November 11, 1977, allowing Zia to rule with a limited purpose of holding elections. From the proceedings of the case it appeared that the judges were convinced of the justification of Asghar’s petition. The petition was considered withdrawn after Zia’s October 16 action and the petitioner was put under detention. The disillusioned Asghar Khan had become so bitter that when once Zia said that the Quran did not say that he should hold elections, he retorted: ‘Does the Quran tell you to keep on telling lies?’ XIV Zia’s last action had further alienated him from the civilians. Even parties like Jamaati-Islami and the Muslim League who continued to stand by him realised that they were losing whatever support they had among the voters. So they also occasionally began demanding elections. But Zia did not seem to bother about increasing alienation at home because he was gaining increasing support among Western countries and the pro-West Arab world, particularly Saudi Arabia, in the wake of the Soviet troops’ entry into Afghanistan and a violent change of government in that country on December 27, 1979. Zia cleverly exploited this incident to reinforce his position in Pakistan in the name of Islam. He gave a cry that due to the Soviet action in Afghanistan Islam was in danger. The Americans, the Western world and the pro-West Arabs were only too anxious to come to the rescue of this ‘soldier of Islam’. But they had the uneasy awareness that major political parties did not consider the Afghan crisis an adequate justification for not holding elections. In January 1980 when Carter announced a $400 million package of military and economic aid and resumption of arms supply to Islamabad, the people were resentful, because this amounted to strengthening the military dictatorship of Ziaul Haq and consequently obscuring the changes of the restoration of democracy. Except the government-owned newspapers, the entire press wrote scathing editorials against the American policies in this region and condemned its attempts to involve Pakistan in a big-power confrontation. During Lord Carrington’s visit to Pakistan on March 28, MRD acting president Nafis Sadiqi issued a statement accusing the Western countries of demanding a popular government in Afghanistan while helping Zia to rule Pakistan without popular support. The only notable party which supported Zia’s stand on Afghanistan was the Jamaat-i-Islami which had reportedly got $80 million from Saudi Arabia in the name of Afghan refugees. Carter’s offer of help only aggravated the anti-US sentiments which had been smouldering since the removal of Bhutto in July 1977. Bhutto had blamed the Americans for his fall. The people believed that without the USA’s connivance Zia could not have executed Bhutto. They showed their feelings by attacking the American embassy in Islamabad following the temporary capture of Mecca by rebels on November 19, 1979. The attack on the US embassy had some revealing aspects. It was organised by the student wing of the Jamaat-i-Islami, which was trying to sail in two boats simultaneously: support Zia’s military government while trying to keep its influence among the people, who were demanding elections. That the Jamaati students had official blessings for their attack on the embassy was quite evident form the way truck-loads of them attacked the embassy despite stiff martial law restrictions. The martial law authorities did not respond to the frantic SOS calls from the embassy officials until the embassy building was burnt down, six workers, including two Americans, were killed and women humiliated. What supposedly motivated the students was an unheard of broadcast by an unknown radio that Americans had seized Mecca. Later, the Pakistani officials sought to blame All India Radio for creating this misunderstanding. But significantly, only Strategic Analysis 367 a selected few in Pakistan heard this mysterious broadcast. Further intriguing was Zia’s sudden rush to Saudi Arabia to, as he said, apprise King Khalid of the inflamed passions of the people of Pakistan against the Mecca incident. The attack on the US embassy was only an expression of these sentiments. But while Zia was trying to exploit this incident to endear himself with the Saudi royalty, he too was surprised, and perhaps alarmed by its fierceness. As press reports subsequently indicated, the anti-US and anti-Zia forces had displayed their strength by taking advantage of the official permission to the Jamaati students to raid the embassy. It is also quite possible that some senior army officers allowed things to come to that pass as a warning to Zia. Public demonstration in Pakistan takes a threatening turn only if a section of the army supports them. See, for instance, the anti-Ayub demonstrations during 1967 – 68 and the anti-Bhutto movement in early 1977. The government-controlled news media in Pakistan sought to make much of Zia’s rejection of the US$400 million military and economic aid. But why did Zia reject the US offer? Before saying yes to this aid, Zia, perhaps, wanted to be clear on some basic questions: will this aid be adequate to face the deceived and angry people of Pakistan and the increased animosity of the bordering neighbours? Is this aid big enough to please the hawks and aspirants in the armed forces? The latter section was very important because due to the non-retirement of General Zia and his senior colleagues, frustration and disaffection were brewing and threatening to result in conspiracies. Zia needed a lot of money to buy sophisticated arms for the satisfaction of the hawks and for buying off the aspirants. Within the limited means at his disposal, Zia was doing all he could to keep the armed forces personnel happy. He made them the most privileged section of society. Officers’ wives were given the privilege to go abroad for shopping at the government’s expense53 and all the top posts in public sector companies and hotels were reserved for retired officers. Reservation of seats for the children of army officers was increased in educational institutions. All this required much more money than Carter was offering. In view of his requirements, $400 million was really a paltry sum. He, perhaps, wanted the Americans to adopt him as an alternative to the deposed Shah of Iran and thus underwrite his own security. This desire was transparent in some of his statements. On February 14, 1979, he told CBS TV that the Shah was ‘the only stable factor in this region’ and lamented that Americans were abandoning their friends in this region.54 (This statement was another example of his dual character. He had otherwise gone into Islamic ecstasy over the Khomeini revolution in Iran.) On January 17, 1980, he told US newsmen in Islamabad that Carter’s offer of $400 million was ‘peanuts’. He wanted the USA to guarantee support to Pakistan in the form of a bilateral treaty. However, he ruled out construction of bases on Pakistan soil because it would earn the animosity of the Soviet Union. (However, in June 1981, he told Newsweek International that he was willing to consider any US request for Pakistani bases or port facilities.) 55 He said the 1959 treaty was not enough: ‘We are looking for a defence treaty, a friendship treaty in which the integrity and freedom of Pakistan is guaranteed’. As a model he cited the Indo-Soviet Treaty and Afghan-Soviet Treaty. General Zia also made it clear that he would not give up the nuclear programme, nor would he restore civilian rule in the country ‘for the next few years at least. Please do not look at Pakistan from American eyes . . . About 75 per cent of the people of Pakistan are illiterate. Do you expect illiterates to decide for themselves what is good for them?’ Zia knew that what he was demanding from Washington were not the wishes of a beggar. Christian America was only too eager to defend Islam from the onslaught of communists. The extent to which the Americans were ready to support Zia is well indicated in the suppression of the news of the indignities inflicted on the wives of the US embassy officials in Islamabad and in Washington’s indifference to Pakistan’s 368 Samuel Baid nuclear programme and the suppression of human rights and liberties in that country. Zia finally got what he wanted on June 15, 1981, when Foreign Minister Agha Shahi and visiting US Under-Secretary of State for Security Assistance James Buckley signed an agreement in Islamabad envisaging the sale of F-16 aircraft and other advanced military hardware to Pakistan in addition to a five-year package of US$3000 million arms sales and economic aid commencing in October 1982. Zia successfully crushed a conspiracy within the armed forces against himself in March 1980. The conspiracy had come to light on March 5 with the arrest of Maj. Gen. Tajamal Hussain Malik, a retired infantry officer. Besides him, his son, two nephews and about 20 officers were reportedly detained. Among the conspirators was reported to be Deputy Chief of the Army Staff Lt. Gen. Mohammad Iqbal Khan. Another name mentioned in this connection was that of Zia’s right-hand man Lt. Gen. Faiz Ali Chisti, the former commander of the northern corps. That he was getting fed up with Zia’s style of rule was clear from a statement he made in London before Pakistani journalists on February 26, 1980. He said that all governments in Pakistan, without any exception, had been thrown out of power. No government has ever walked out on its own. He made this remark when Pakistani journalists told him that the Western press was creating an impression that Zia would not hold elections and transfer power to civilian representatives.56 Zia dealt with the coup attempt by promoting six major generals to the rank of lieutenant generals on March 16. Earlier, on March 13, he had promoted Lt. Gen. Iqbal Khan to the rank of general and appointed him as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Other officers were sent out of the country on lucrative posts in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Later, in April, Zia said the conspiracy was not deeprooted. Crushing of the army conspiracy proved that Zia did not face a real threat from this quarter. However, a continued ban on newspapers and suppression of civil liberties and fundamental rights were clear indications that the threat from the civilian population was very much there. Efforts to divide this population into pro-Islam and anti-Islam camps did not much succeed.57 Zia’s friends in the Arab world and the Western countries sought to help brighten up his image by giving him the unique privilege of addressing the UN Special Session on October 1, 1980, as the representative of 900 million Muslims of the world. This was played up by the controlled press as the greatest event in Pakistani history. It was an apparent attempt to tell the people of Pakistan that Zia had done much more commendable service to Islam and to the unity of the Islamic world than what the PPP claimed for Bhutto. Strangely, while Zia was rehearsing his speech, to be delivered at the UN Session, communal riots broke out in different parts of India. And this became part of his speech (without mentioning India by name). Back home, the Pakistani press was trying to create hysteria against India by publishing exaggerated stories and cartoons about the riots. The apparent idea behind creating the anti-India hysteria in the name of the Muslim Ummat appeared aimed at bringing the whole Pakistan nation behind the leadership of Zia, the newly emerged leader of the whole Muslim world. When Zia came back from New York, he made it very clear that there would be no restoration of democracy in Pakistan. He told a meeting in Lahore on October 22, 1980, that ‘unless Islam is enforced in all its aspects in Pakistan, I shall continue to serve the country as a humble servant of Islam as long as I possess the strength to serve’. About the system of government in the country, he said ‘. . . in Pakistan sovereignty lies in Allah and His Deen and none else. There could be no un-Islamic Government in the country nor could there be the rule of persons upholding un-Islamic values’. 58 Zia faced a fresh challenge to his position in February 1981 when leaders of nine political parties secretly met and set up an alliance called the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy. The alliance included PPP, Tehrik, NDP, Muslim Conference, Muslim League (Khairuddin Group), JUP, JUI and two leftist parties. It Strategic Analysis 369 was preceded by the victory of pro-PPP and leftist students at the college and university elections. With the support of students, teachers, lawyers and workers the movement gained momentum in no time. Zia’s position began to appear shaky. But things moved into a different direction following the hijacking of a PIA plane on March 2, 1981, to Kabul and thence to Damascus. Zia used the hijacking incident to put an end to the MRD agitations. The hijackers were demanding the release of 54 political prisoners in exchange for the hostages. The Pakistan government was ignoring the demand and blaming the Kabul government and the PPP for hijacking. The hostages, as they said in interviews after their release, were convinced that the government was not interested in saving their lives. Thus 15 days were wasted while it was becoming clear that the Zia government was driving the hijackers to execute their threat of blowing up the plane along with the hostages. PPP Chairman Nusrat Bhutto condemned the hijacking and said her party had nothing to do with it. The MRD issued a statement on March 8, accusing the government of trying to exploit the incident instead of saving the lives of the hostages. On March 15, the Mazdoor Party issued a statement saying it would not condemn the hijacking because it was the result of Zia’s lawless government. The Jamiat-ul-Ulemai-Pakistan, in its statement on March 23, said that hijacking was bad but worse was the holding of a nation of 80 million hostage by Zia. The Pakistan government on March 15 conceded the hijackers’ demand only when they threatened to first kill the two American passengers aboard the hijacked plane. Zia said on March 15 that some elements in league with foreign forces were working against the Islamic order in Pakistan. Taking a cue from this statement the censorship-bound press began reeling out stories of India’s involvement in the hijacking. India was blamed for financing the PPP. Muslim Conference Chief Sardar Qayyum Khan, who as MRD president for the month of March cancelled the country-wide agitations programme scheduled for March 23, openly blamed India on March 21 for the hijacking. He charged that the PPP had spent a lot of money on student union elections. His press conference was given wide publicity by radio, TV and newspapers despite a ban. General Zia himself welcomed Qayyum’s statement the following day. Later, on March 24, Zia tightened his grip further on the country’s affairs by virtually abrogating the 1973 Constitution and replacing it with a Provisional Constitution Order 1981, which did not admit fundamental rights and provision for any elected bodies including the National Assembly. In place of this, he provided for a Federal Council of 350 members to be nominated by him. It took him almost a year to collect 270 persons to join the Council. It had its first session in February 1982. He also brought the judiciary under his full control by demanding that all judges would have to take a new oath pledging their loyalty to the martial law. They would not entertain any petition against any action of the martial law authorities. Among those who refused to take this oath was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Anwar-ul-Haq who, in September 1977, had willingly taken the Zia-prescribed oath and became the chief justice of Pakistan in place of Justice Yaqub Anwarul Haw and had allowed Zia to rule under the ‘law of necessity’ for the limited purpose of holding elections. He later also upheld the death sentence on Bhutto. Whenever Zia went abroad he acted as president although the 1977 Constitution did not entitle the chief justice to perform these duties. Nor was there any other law under which the chief hustice could perform the duties of the acting president. Notes 1. This report appeared in Jang of Karachi at a time when a campaign of vilification was on against Bhutto soon after his removal from power by Gen/ Ziaul Haq on July 5, 1977. One may question the authenticity of the disclosure. But it is significant, the 370 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. Samuel Baid Times of India then wrote, inasmuch as it reflected the Pakistan people’s obsession with the fear of further break-up of the country. Sri Prakasa, Pakistan: Birth and Early Days, New Delhi, p. 181. Ibid, p. 54. Nawa-i-Waqt, October 16, 1979. Imroze, March 25, 1981. He reiterated this in an interview with the Pakistan Times, March 27, 1981. Sri Prakasa, no. 2 pp. 56–57. Khalid B. Sayeed, The Political System of Pakistan, p. 52. Ibid. See Churchill’s letter to Jinnah, reproduced by Dawn, April 2, 1981, and also Behind the Enemy Lines, by Dharmendra Gaur. Quoted by Sayeed, no. 7 from Dawn, August 18, 1974. Sri Prakasa, no. 2, p. 85. Mushtaq Ahmed, Government and Politics in Pakistan, Karachi, p. 21. Mashriq, October 16, 1979. Ibid. M.H. Saiyid, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, a Political Study, Lahore, p. 451. See Samuel Baid and Sreedhar, ‘Pakistan’s Defence Potential’, Foreign Affairs Report, April 1976. The 1947 referendum in this province cannot be said to have set aside the 1946 election results. A Pakistani poet-journalist from Lahore told this author in February 1981, in New Delhi, that journalists must decide what arms the Pakistan army should buy and what defence strategy it should follow. ‘Why not, if the army can tell us what is journalism and what it is not, why cannot we tell them what is defence and what it is not?’ The five parties were: the Muslim League (Council); the Awami League; the National Awami Party; the Jamaat-i-Islami; and Nizam-i-Islami. Many people including Yahya Khan, Asghar Khan and other military writers have talked about it. But the first inside story of the 1965 war and the Tashkent declaration was disclosed by Outlook in its issue of January 12, 1974. Ibid. Maj. Gen. Fazle Muqueem Khan writes in Pakistan’s Crisis in Leadership, pp. 40–41: By about August 1970, the appreciation of the government about the outcome of the forthcoming elections was that out of the 169 seats in the National Assembly for East Pakistan; Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami League would win 46 seats or at the most 60 to 70 seats, the Muslim League 60 seats and the remainder being divided amongst the other parties including Maulana Bhashani’s National Awami Party and Jamaati-Islami. In West Pakistan the results of elections as envisaged by the president and his close advisers was that out of 144 National Assembly seats, the Pakistan People’s Party would win 20 to 30 seats, the three Muslim Leagues 20 to 30 seats each, the remainder going to the National Awami Party (Wali Group) and the Jamaat-i-Islami. Yahya’s Constitutional adviser G.W. Choudhury had said in London on September 10, 1970, that there was no question of East Pakistan members forming one single group in confrontation. ‘. . . If that happened, then it would mean the end of the State,’ Muqueem wrote on p. 41. D. Shah Khan, ‘Non-Politics in New Pakistan’, Outlook, January 26, 1974, pp. 11–13. This was alleged by Miss Jinnah during the 1965 presidential elections. Statesman, January 12, 1972. Outlook, May 19, 1973. Pakistan Times, March 29, 1973. National Herald, January 9, 1972. Salmaan Taseer, Bhutto, a Political Biography, Delhi, 1980, p. 149. Shahid Javed Burki,0 Pakistan under Bhutto, 1971-77, London, 1980, p. 73. Al Fatah, April 29–May 6, 1977. Al Fatah, September 25–30, 1977. This includes Tehrik-i-Istiqlal as this party has no member in the National Assembly. The party chief Ashar Khan had argued that the Assembly based on the 1970 elections results was not a legal body and therefore not competent to make the Constitution. Strategic Analysis 34. 371 White Paper on the Conduct of the General Elections in March 1977, produced by the Pakistan government in July 1978. Annexure pp. 270–271. 35. Jang wrote on July 14, 1977, that the FSF was responsible for explosions in Baluchistan. 36. In August 1976, the Afghan deputy foreign minister and Pakistan’s foreign minister of state for foreign affairs prepared a draft agreement in Lahore calling for the simultaneous release of NAP leaders by the Pakistan government and the recognition of the Durand Line by Afghanistan. 37. Al Fatah, February 25–March 4, 1977. 38. This was disclosed by Tehrik Chief Asghar Khan and JUP President Maulana Shah ahmed Noorani. 39. Al Fatah, no. 37. 40. The PNA had boycotted the elections in Baluchistan in protest against the continuance of the army in that province. 41. The text of the report was reproduced by Akhbar-i-Jahan, November 27–December 4, 1977. 42. Al Fatah, May 20–27, 1977. 43. Jang, June 4, 1977. 44. Dawn, July 3, 1977. 45. Denzil Peiris, Far Eastern Economic Review, October 14, 1977. 46. Samachar, November 13, 1977. 47. Denzil Peiris, no. 45, quotes Ziaul Haq as saying that he was told by Defence Minister Tikka Khan: ‘You can shoot down between 10,000 and 20,000 people. That is nothing. It’s in the national interest.’ Tikka Khan denied this. 48. This statement was not allowed to be published in Pakistan. It was later published in New Delhi in a book form under the name, ‘If I am Assassinated. . .’ by Vikas with an introduction by Pran Chopra. 49. Pakistan Times, July 17, 1977. 50. Pakistan Times, September 29, 1977. 51. Pakistan Times, September 2, 1977. 52. Kayhan International, July 18, 1977. 53. This was told to this writer by a senior Pakistani journalist who was asked how the other army officers were tolerating Zia. 54. Pakistan Times, February 15, 1979. 55. Statesman, June 9, 1981. 56. Daily News (Karachi), February 26, 1980. 57. See ‘How Islamic is Islamic Resurgence’, IDSA Journal, April–June 1979. 58. Pakistan Times, October 23, 1980.