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HISTORY HOMEWORK

Achievements And Failures Of Z.A Bhutto and Zia-ul-Haq

By: Maham Qureshi X-B

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto


Z.A. Bhutto was president of Pakistan from 20 December 1971 to 13 August 1973. During this period he has significant achievements like drafting the 1973 constitution, Simla Agreement with India through which he recovered the 93,000 prisoners of war and regained 5000 square miles captured land from India. He restored the national confidence after separation of Bangladesh; constructed Pakistan Steel Mills in 1972 with the help of USSR. Such achievements must not be mentioned in your answer because the question is explicitly asking about Bhutto when he was Prime Minister. Similarly, his nationalization policy and military operation in Balochistan also started during this period. So be careful! Achievements! Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 14 August 1973 to 5 July 1977. As a politician he strengthened his political party, the Pakistan Peoples Party and won the parliamentary elections in 1977 by significant margin. His party remains the largest national party even today. He strengthened relations with China, former USSR, Saudi Arabia and the Arab world. He played active role in uniting Muslims of the world. He hosted the second Conference of Islamic States in Lahore in February 1974. This conference was a historic event that projected Pakistan as a leading Muslim country. He was trying to create an economic alliance between the Islamic countries. He signed a number of bilateral agreements with the gulf countries for facilitating Pakistani workers to seek overseas employment. Millions of skilled and non-skilled workers obtained jobs in the Middle East. There was significant rise in foreign exchange for Pakistan. Bhutto was serious in raising the living conditions of industrial workers. He introduced labor policy in which he increased the workers rights and power of trade unions. Similarly, to empower small farmers, Bhutto introduced land reforms in which the land ownership limit was reduced and the tenants were given first right of purchase. Security of tenure was also granted to the peasants. Z.A. Bhutto continued his policy of nationalization of key industries. Banks were nationalized in 1974 followed by nationalization of flour, rice and cotton mills. Although there was no significant economic growth, but inflation rate was brought down from 25% in 1972 to just 6% in 1976.

Development expenditure was substantially increased in the health and education sectors both in rural and urban areas. Rural Health Centers and Basic Health Units in urban areas were established. Training colleges for doctors and nurses were also established. A large number of elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, intermediate colleges and junior colleges were established in urban and rural areas. Bhutto is considered the chief architect of Pakistans nuclear program. Bhutto kept continue the military operations against Baloch separatists to suppress the rising insurgency in the province of Balochistan. The separation movement was dealt with iron hands and it was completely crushed though at the expanse of thousands of civilian and military casualties. Failures: The nationalization process was not successful. The nationalized units went into loss as they were run by inexperience civil servants. Foreign investors and many big businessmen took their money out of Pakistan because their confidence in government was shaken. A considerable number of small traders were ruined when their small businesses were taken under direct control of government. Academic standards were dropped in the nationalized educational institutes. This was due to increased number of students and less number of trained teachers. There was no significant change in literacy rate (only about 1% rise) despite of changes in curriculum. FSF (Federal Security Force) was a brutal force which was used for detaining suspects indefinitely. It was considered his personal army that was used for breaking up opposition rallies and frightening his political opponents. Its Repressive measures greatly damaged his reputation. He made structural changes in army to reduce powers of senior generals and also minimized their role in politics through the constitution of Pakistan, but he himself invited army for help against the massive protests of grand opposition after 1977 elections. He could not negotiate terms with opposition parties through political dialog. Relations with USA went down due to startup of the nuclear program.

Overall, Bhutto was a successful politician as he pulled massive crowds in his public speeches. He founded a very deep-rooted political party. But he could not bring major improvements in economy, education, agriculture or social welfare. He could not fulfill his commitment of Roti, Kapra aur Makan (food, clothes and shelter) with the poor people of Pakistan.

Zia-ul-Haq General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was the one who enforced Martial Law for the third time in the brief history of Pakistan. Second child and eldest son of Muhammad Akram, a teacher in the British Army, Zia-ul-Haq was born on August 12, 1924, at Jalandhar. After receiving his early education from Government High School Simla, he did his B. A. Honors from St. Stephen College, Delhi. He was commissioned in the British Army in 1943 and served in Burma, Malaya and Indonesia during World War II. When the war was over, he decided to join the armored corps. At the time of Independence, like most of the Muslim officers in the British Army, Zia-ul-Haq opted to join the Pakistan Army. As a Major he got an opportunity to do a training course in the Commander and Staff College of United States of America in 1963-64. During the 1965 War, he acted as the Assistant Quarter Master of 101 Infantry Division, which was posted at the Kiran Sector. He remained posted in Jordan from 1967 till 1970, where he was involved in training Jordons military. He was appointed as Corps Commander of Multan in 1975. On April 1, 1976, in a surprise move the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, appointed Zia-ul-Haq as Chief of Army Staff, superseding five senior Generals. Bhutto probably wanted somebody as the head of the armed forces who would not prove to be a threat for him, and the best available option was the simple General who was apparently interested only in offering prayers and playing golf. However, history proved that General Zia-ul-Haq proved to be much smarter than Bhutto thought. When political tension reached its climax due to the deadlock between Bhutto and the leadership of Pakistan National Alliance on the issue of general elections, Zia-ul-Haq took advantage of the situation. On July 5, 1977, he carried out a bloodless coup overthrowing Bhuttos government and enforced Martial Law in the country.

After assuming power as Chief Martial Law Administrator, Zia-ul-Haq promised to hold National and Provincial Assembly elections in the next 90 days and to hand over power to the representatives of the Nation. However, in October 1977, he announced the postponement of the electoral plan and decided to start an accountability process of the politicians. In a statement, he said that he changed his decision due to the strong public demand for the scrutiny of political leaders who had indulged in malpractice in the past. The Disqualification Tribunal was formulated and many former Members of Parliament were disqualified from participating in politics at any level for the next seven years. A white paper was also issued which criticized the activities of Pakistan People Partys government under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. With the retirement of Fazal Ilahi, Zia-ul-Haq also assumed the office of President of Pakistan on September 16, 1978. In the absence of a Parliament, Zia-ul-Haq decided to set up an alternative system. He introduced Majlis-i-Shoora in 1980. Most of the members of the Shoora were intellectuals, scholars, ulema, journalists, economists and professionals belonging to different fields of life. The Shoora was to act as a board of advisors to the President. The idea of establishing this institution was not bad but the main problem was that all 284 members of the Shoora were to be nominated by the President and thus there was no room for dissention. In the mid 80s, Zia-ul-Haq decided to fulfill his promise of holding elections in the country. But before handing over the power to the public representatives, he decided to secure his position. Referendum was held in the county in December 1984, and the masses were given the option to elect or reject the General as the future President of Pakistan. The question asked in the referendum was phrased in a way that Zia-ul-Haqs victory was related to the process of Islamization in the country. According to the official result, more than 95 percent of the votes were cast in favor of Zia-ul-Haq, thus he was elected as President for the next five years. After being elected President, Zia-ul-Haq decided to hold elections in the country in February 1985 on a non-party basis. Most of the political parties decided to boycott the elections but election results showed that many victors belonged to one party or the other. To make things easier for himself, the General nominated the Prime Minister from amongst the Members of the Assembly. To many, his nomination of Muhammad Khan Junejo as the Prime Minister was because he wanted a simple person at the post who would act as a puppet in his hands. Before handing over the power to the new Government he made certain Amendments in the Constitution and got them endorsed from the Parliament before lifting the state of emergency in

the county. Due to this Eighth Amendment in the Constitution, the powers of the President were increased to an absolute level on the plea of safeguarding national integrity. As time passed, the Parliamentarians wanted to have more freedom and power. By the beginning of 1988, rumors about the differences between the Prime Minister and Zia-ul-Haq were rife. The general feeling was that the President, who had enjoyed absolute power for eight long years, was not ready to share it with anybody else. On May 29, 1988, Zia-ul-Haq finally dissolved the National Assembly and removed the Prime Minister under article 58(2) b of the amended Constitution. Apart from many other reasons, Junejos decision to sign the Geneva Accord against the wishes of Ziaul-Haq proved to be one of the major factors responsible for his removal. After 11 years, Zia-ul-Haq once again made the same promise to the Nation to hold fresh elections within next 90 days. With Benazir Bhutto back in the country and the Muslim League leadership annoyed with the President over the decision of May 29, Zia-ul-Haq was trapped in the most difficult situation of his political life. The only option left for him was to repeat history and to postpone the elections once again. However, before taking any decision, Zia-ul-Haq died in an air crash near Bhawalpur on August 17, 1988. The accident proved to be very costly for the country as almost the entire military elite of Pakistan was onboard. Though United States Ambassador to Pakistan was also killed in the misfortune, yet many do not rule out U. S. involvement in the sabotage. They believe that United States could not afford Pakistan to oppose Geneva Accord and thus they removed the biggest hurdle in their way. The remains of Zia-ul-Haq were buried in the premises of Faisal Mosque, Islamabad. His death brought a large number of mourners to attend his funeral, including a large number of Afghanis, which proved to be one of the biggest in the history of the country. During his rule, Zia-ul-Haq tried his utmost to maintain close ties with the Muslim World. He made vigorous efforts along with other Muslim States to bring an end to the war between Iran and Iraq. Pakistan joined the Non-Aligned Movement in 1979 during Zia-ul-Haqs term. He also fought a war by proxy in Afghanistan and saved Pakistan from a direct war with Soviet Union.