1947-1958 History of Pakistan 1971-1977

Pakistan 1958-1971

Government . In 1958, in East Pakistan governor's rule was introduced. After a military coup d'etat in Oct. 1958, Gen. Ayub Khan assumed the presidency in 1960. Martial law was introduced. Constituencies were reorganized. A new constitution was promulgated in 1962. Ayub Khan had little regard for democratic parties and politicians; he regarded democracy unsuitable for a country like Pakistan. Reelected in January 1965, resigned in 1969 and was succeeded by General Yahya Khan, who would be in office until 1971. Yahya Khan, in response to demands of the opposition, promised "to return power to the people" (BBY 1971); a new constitution was to be prepared (promulgated in 1973).
In elections in East Pakistan in Dec. 1970 / Jan. 1971, the Awami League lead by Sheikh Mujibur Rakhman won a resounding victory, taking 167 of 169 seats. Both Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (PPP) and Sheikh Mijibur Rakhman (AL) pressed for restructuring Pakistan according federal lines; General Yahya Khan responded by threatening to use the army in order to prevent the disintegration of Pakistan. Negotiations were unsuccessful; elections for the National Assembly were postponed. On March 26th, hostilities between the Pakistani army and pro-autonomy Bengalese broke out, and the independence of Bangladesh was proclaimed. Yahya Khan resigned following the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and was succeeded by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

Foreign Policy . In 1958 the enclave of Gwadar (hitherto belonging to Oman) was annexed. Afghanistan, from 1956 to 1972, proposed the establishment of a state to be called Pashtunistan comprising of the North West Frontier Province and Agency.
In 1960, Nehru, PM of India, visited Pakistan and signed the Indus Water Treaty. In 1962, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey established RCD (Regional Cooperation for Development, dissolved in 1979). With the west supporting India in the Sino-Indian War of 1962, Pakistan reassessed her foreign policy. While Pakistan continued her active membership in Commonwealth, CENTO and SEATO, the country improved her relations with nations which, like Pakistan, were suspicious of India, such as the PR China and Nepal. In 1962, Pakistan and the PR China signed an agreement over their mutual borders. Relations with India deteriorated in the fall of 1963, as both countries expelled the diplomats of the other. East Pakistan experienced the arrival of a new wave of Muslim refugees from West Bengal; anti-Hindu riots broke out in East Bengal. Pakistan improved her relations with the USSR.
Pakistan fought three wars with India, in 1948, 1965 and in 1971. The Second Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, triggered by India's announcement to change the status of Indian-held Jammu & Kashmir, was ended by the Tashkent Agreement of Jan. 1966, mediated by the USSR. Now Pakistan reassessed her foreign policy, placing more importance on her relations with Asian states, most notably the PR China and Indonesia; Pakistan supported the PR China bid for a seat in the United Nations. Consequently, the level of foreign financial assistance granted to Pakistan declined. India's increased military budget (1967), mainly for arms purchased from the USSR, resulted in deterioration of Pakistan's relations with the USSR. In 1969 Pakistan announced its intention not to extend the lease for the U.S. base at Peshawar.
The war of 1971 began as a confrontation between the Pakistani military and autonomy-minded Bengalese. When an anonymous radio broadcast the declaration of an independent Bangladesh (March 26th), violence escalated. A massive flow of refugees poured into India. India interfered (Nov. 22nd), Pakistan was defeated, Bangladesh gained independence.

Domestic Policies . The economy of East Pakistan depended heavily on the export of jute. Falling world market prices required the Pakistani government to subsidize East Pakistan, with revenue generated in West Pakistan. General Ayub Khan (in charge 1958/1960-1969) implemented a land reform (1959), breaking the hold of the traditional feudal landowners and granting it to peasants. In the cities a policy to tear down slums was implemented.
The early years of Pakistani history (1947-1958) were marked by political instability; by imposing martial law, Ayyub Khan was able to provide a degree of political stability, despite upheaval caused by the Second Indo-Pakistani War. General Yahya Khan, by the excessive use of force, caused an opposition to rise in East Pakistan (the Awami League) as well as in West Pakistan (the PPP, established in 1967); both would succeed him in their respective regions. In October 1968 a wave of demonstrations and riots began, which continued into 1969 and on March 25th caused President Ayub Khan to resign.

The Economy . The administration established in Oct. 1958 introduced measures, which caused market prices to fall, which marginalized the black market, which reduced tax evasion; the budget was balanced for the years preceding the Second Indo-Pakistani War (1965).
In 1961 the Pakistani Rupee was decimalised. The country's first five year plan ended in 1960, succeeded by the Second five year plan (1961-1965) and the Third Five Year Plan (1965-1970), which had to be revised because of the Second Indo-Pakistani War (1965) and because of natural disasters. "The outstanding feature of 1966 was the speed and resilience of Pakistan's recovery from the severe strain of the war with India" (BBY 1967). The construction of hydroelectric dams supported irrigation schemes, which, in combination with the land reform of 1959, resulted in a considerable increase of agricultural production. The five year plans facilitated the establishment of new industrial facilities, for instance a steel mill and an oil refinery in East Pakistan in 1966; the country's industrial production grew from year to year.
The Industrial Regulations Ordinance (1969) granted labour unions the authority to negotiate with employers on behalf of the employees.
In November 1970 East Pakistan suffered major inundation due to a combination of a cyclone and tidal wave, causing an estimated 200,000 to 300,000 deaths.

Timeline Pakistan, from BBC News
History of Pakistan, from Story of Pakistan
History of Pakistan, by Pak Azadi
Statistics of Pakistan's Democide : Estimates, Calculations, and Sources, from Statistics of Genocide by R.J. Rummel
Article Pashtunistan, from Wikipedia
Pakistan Development Planning, from Pakistan 2007, by www.geographic.org
Article Ayub Khan, from Wikipedia; from Story of Pakistan
Article Yahya Khan, from Wikipedia
CASCON Case INP : India - Pakistan 1965-, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
CASCON Case KAS : Kashmir 1947-, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
DOCUMENTS Article Good Soldier Yahya Khan, from Time Magazine, August 2nd 1971
REFERENCE Christophe Jaffrelot (ed.), A History of Pakistan and its Origins, translated from the French, London : Anthem Press (2002) 2004, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 954.91 J23h
Article : Pakistan, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1959 pp.527-529, 1960 pp.525-527, 1961 pp.536-537, 1962 pp.526-527, 1963 pp.628-629, 1964 pp.639-640, 1965 pp.611-613, 1966 pp.595-596, 1967 pp.603-605, 1968 pp.602-604, 1969 pp.583-584, 1970 pp.593-594, 1971 pp.573-573 [G]
Article : Pakistan, in : The Statesman's Year-Book 1970-1971 pp.389-398 (data of 1969-1970) [G]
Article : Pakistan, in : Americana Annual 1961 pp.570-572, 1962 pp.579-580, 1963 pp.513-514, 1964 pp.509-510, 1965 p.544, 1967 pp.521-523, 1968 pp.517-519, 1969 pp.521-522, 1970 pp.526-527, 1971 pp.523-524, 1972 pp.523-525 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 14th 2002, last revised on April 26th 2007

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