1970-1977 1988-1999

Sindh, 1977-1988

In 1977, General Zia ul Haq staged a coup d'etat. Again, Pakistan experienced an authoritarian regime, the longest in the country's history. While Zia's predecessor Ayub Khan was a nationalist whose goal was to promote the development of the country, Zia ul Haq emphasized the Islamic nature of the country. In 1978, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was sentenced to death, and hanged the year after.
Under Zia ul Haq, the provincial self-administration of Sindh was suspended, to be restored only in 1985. A policy of privatization of state-owned industries was implemented, undoing the legislation under PPP-administration.
In Sindh, the Zia regime was identified as Punjabi domination. The family of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto went into exile; many Sindhi civil servants, presumed to be loyal to Z.A. Bhutto and the PPP, were sacked, the party itself banned. Vast sections of the Sindhi-speaking population were further alienated by the policy of privatization which undid many of the PPP achievements.
In 1985, in exile in London, Mumtaz Ali Bhutto demanded the restoration of a federal constitution, and a higher degree of provincial autonomy. Meanwhile, equally in exile, Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took the leadership of the PPP (declared illegal in Pakistan in 1977).
Tension between the Sindhi-speakers and the Urdu-speakers, notably in the cities of Karachi and Hyderabad, had been building up for some time. In 1978, the Mohajirs began to organize themselves politically; in 1984 the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) was established, a political party representing the Urdu-speaking Mohajirs. Politically estranged from both the Pakistani state and the majority Sindhi population, in 1986, MQM members for the first time conducted acts of violence against institutions of the state of Pakistan.
In 1985 provincial self-government was restored. The population of the province, 13.9 million in 1972, rose to 21.6 million in 1985; the population of Karachi rose from 2.8 million in 1972 to 4.9 million in 1991.

History of Sindh, from Pakistan History, from Wikipedia
Hyderabad History, from Apnahyderabad, from Wikipedia
Kolachi to Karachi, from City of Karachi
Story of Karachi, from Pakistan History; from Wikipedia
Article Provincial Assembly of the Sindh, from Wikipedia
History of the High Court of Sindh, Karachi
Article Bhutto Tribe, from Wikipedia
Article Mumtaz Bhutto, from Wikipedia
Yearwise detail of MQM atrocities, from FAS
Article Benazir Bhutto, from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS Pakistan Provinces : Sind, from World Statesmen
Historical Population Figures : Pakistan, Provinces, from Population Statistics
Sindh Provincial Assembly, Seventh Assembly, 1985-1988
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

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on April 30th 2007

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