Martial Law of 1958
Martial law of 1958 or 1958 pakistani coup detat was imposed by Iskander Mirza on the night of October 7, 1958, by a Presidential declaration. Ministers were removed from office, legislatures were disbanded, and political parties were banned.
From the beginning of 1958, it became clear that Iskander Mirza was waiting for the right moment to strike because he was a power lover. He began finalizing his preparations with colleagues. He started to put pressure on Feroz Khan Noon to resign. On the other hand he gave an extension to Ayub Khan on June 9, 1958.
Ayub Khan appointed Martial Law officials after reviewing the system for a few days in Karachi and appointed some of his closest officers like Azam Khan, General Khalid Shaikh, and General Burki on main positions. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a young lawyer who had recently opened a practice in Karachi, was among the civilians. Ayub also had a plan to get rid of Iskander Mirza.
Until Sept. 25, 1958, Ayub met with his colleagues to discuss the country’s security and economic conditions. During the meeting, he showed his displeasure with the politicians and called it an economic conspiracy. Iskandar Mirza was also pressuring his colleagues.
On 7-October 1958 night Iskander Mirza suspended the 1956 Constitution by using his power and imposed Martial law all over the country. He appointed Ayub Khan as Chief Martial law administrator and nominated him to become Prime Minister of Pakistan after Feroz Khan Noon.
On other hand Ayub had decided to say goodbye to Mirza on October 27th, 1958. Generals Burki, General Azam, and Khalid Shaikh called Iskander Mirza and told him to resign. Iskander Mirza knew that he did not have any support from anywhere so he resigned. He said he wanted to go to London. As a result, Iskander Mirza and his wife were shifted to Quetta firstly. Later they both shifted to London after an overnight stay in Quetta. “President Mohammad Ayub Khan succeeded Iskandar Mirza on October 27, 1958”
Reasons of 1958 pakistani coup detat
Iskander Mirza General Ayub khan gave the following reasons for Martial law.
Inappropriate Presidential Use of Powers
According to the constitution of 1956, the president would pick the Prime Minister from the National Assembly. Since the national legislature lacked the authority to choose a prime minister, they were powerless. Moreover, the president had the right to fire the prime minister and the national legislature. To remain in his position as a top executive, the Prime Minister must have the president’s trust.
Parity Representation Controversy
According to the constitution of 1956, there would be equal representation in the center. In the assembly, East Pakistani lawmakers expressed their disapproval of this method of representation. East Pakistan did not agree with the 1956 Constitution.
It is argued by the people of East Pakistan that their representation in the National Assembly should be increased because they make up 56 percent of the country’s population. West Pakistani leaders didn’t want Bangladesh to be the dominant political force. Because of this, they stressed the equality of representation at the center. It also created a shape of deadlock between East and West Pakistan.
One Unit Formula Opposition
As a result of Ch. Muhammad Ali’s government in 1954, the One-Unit Formula was incorporated into the 1956 constitution. Four provinces of West Pakistan (Punjab, Sindh, NWFP, and Baluchistan) were merged into one entity using this formula.
Politicians in West Pakistan were against the One-Unit Formula for many reasons. West Pakistan(today Pakistan) was converted into one unit rather than four independent provinces. Therefore Budget of West Pakistan was also reduced. In reaction to this, people and politicians were protesting against One unit formula both inside and outside the assembly, creating a chaotic and unsettling atmosphere in the country.
Loss of Public Trust
Due to dictatorial actions and the abuse of presidential powers, the public lost faith in the president. By 1958, the president’s popularity was at its lowest point. According to the constitution, he was unable to win the 1958 general elections. Iskander Mirza didn’t want to lose power, and he was willing to do whatever it took to keep it. Before the 1958 elections, he revoked the constitution, disbanded the assembly, and declared martial law.
when and who enforced 1st martial law in the country,when and who enforced 1st martial law in the country