President Zia Ul Haq- Martial Law- Majlis-e-Shura-Islamization-Soviet Invasion

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President Zia Ul Haq,Zia Ul Haq

President Zia Ul Haq

Zia-ul-Haq was born in Jullundur, Punjab, on August 12, 1924. He died in Bahawalpur on 17, 1988. He served as Chief of Army Staff (1-March 1976-17-August 1988), Chief Martial law Administrator (5-July 1977- 24-March 1985), and President of Pakistan (16-September 1978- 17-August 1988)

Majlis-e-shura of Zia ul haq

         Zia Ul Haq

Early Life

His father, Muhammad Akbar’s was a civil servant in British Government. He studied at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi and then graduated from the University of Selamat. After graduation in 1943, Zia joined the British Indian.

Military Career

Initially, Zia was appointed in the cavalry regiment of the British Indian Army. He also participated in World War II against Nazi Germany and its allies. After independence, Zia was appointed a teacher at Quetta Command and Staff College. In the 1965 Indo-Pak war, Zia was a tank commander. During 1966–72, he subsequently led a regiment, a brigade, divisions, and a corps.

He was a major general from 1972 and head of military courts, which investigated the various military and military commanders. In 1975, Bhutto elevated him to Lieutenant General, and in 1976, he became a chief army Staff.

Martial Law by Zia-Ul-Haq

Zia-Ul-Haq Martial Law

Zia-Ul-Haq Martial Law

After the 1977 elections, the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) rejected the results and started protests all over the country. When the situation became worse, Bhutto imposed Martial law in Lahore, Hyderabad, and Karachi. In the meantime, Zia made a plan to take over the country. This military coup’s name was “Fair Play.” Zia took advantage of the situation and imposed martial law all over the country on 5-July 1977.  Pakistan Military arrested Bhutto and cabinet members. But the President of Pakistan, Fazal Illahi Chaudhary, remained in his seat. During this military coup, the Chief of Air staff Zulfiqar Ali khan, Director General Military Intelligence Naseerullah Babar, and Vice-Admiral Syed Muhammad Ahsan were loyal to Bhutto.

After a successful military coup, Zia-ul-Haq pressured President Fazal Illahi Chaudhary to appoint General Anwar as Chief of Air Staff, Admiral Karamat Niazi as Chief of Naval Staff. When Bhutto was on trial in the Supreme Court, Zia again pressured Fazal Illahi Chaudhary to appoint Sheikh Anwar Haq, a Chief Justice of Pakistan. During the trial, Bhutto objected to the Chief Justice, but he overruled the objection. Sheikh Anwar presided over the Bhutto case. After the case, the Supreme court remained with the Lahore High Court decision “sentenced to death.”

 It is also believed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in this military coup against Bhutto.

Martial law Administrator of Provinces:

To control the situation, Zia-ul-Haq appointed a Military Governor in all provinces.

General Fazal Haq was appointed as Martial law administrator of KPK.

General Ghulam Jillani was appointed as Martial law administrator of Punjab.

General Sahibzada Muhammad was appointed as Martial law administrator of Sindh.

General Rahimullah Khan was appointed as Martial law administrator of Baluchistan.

Zia ul Haq as President 

Despite the military coup, President Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry remained as President of Pakistan. He completed his tenure till 16-September 1978. After that, Zia became the President of Pakistan also. Despite the rejections of most of the government of Bhutto, he was convinced to continue as a leader. Following his service, Chaudhry resigned, and Zia took up the position of President of Pakistan on September 16, 1978, despite Zia’s insistence on accepting prolongation to the presidency.

Policies by Zia Ul Haq

In his governance period, Zia ul Haq made different policies which are below:

Majlis-e-shura of Zia ul haq

After the Martial law, Zia-ul-Haq banned all the political parties. In 1980 Zia ul haq introduced Majlis-e-Shura to govern the country. Most of the Shura’s members included intellectuals, researchers, ulemas, journalists, and economists. There were 350 members of Majlis-e-Shura , all appointed by Zia ul Haq. The Shura’s members served as advisers to the President. Khawaja Muhammad Safdar (Khawaja Muhammad Asif) was Chairman of Majlis-i-Shura.


Zia-ul-Haq promised to implement Nizam-e-Mustafa and Sharia law in the country. He also established separate Sharia courts. Zakat donations became an annual tax of 2.5 percent. Training and library books of the school were revised to remove un-Islamic material. Prayer rooms were made in offices, schools, and factories.

Soviet Invasion 1979

  On December 25, 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.  It was clear that the USSR’s target was Hot water. After Afghanistan, the next target is Pakistan. To counter USSR, Zia-ul-Haq called the meeting. During the meeting, DG ISI Akhtar Abd-ur-Rehman proposed starting the “Jihad” against USSR and supporting the Afghanistan local leaders.

In the early years, Pakistan alone fought against the USSR; No western country came for help. Later the CIA started “Operation Cyclone” with ISI against the USSR in Afghanistan.   Pakistan was then considered the second-largest military workforce provider in the developing countries at that time.

Referendum of 1984

Referendum of 1984

  Referendum of 1984

In 1983 different political groups started the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) to pressure Zia-ul-Haq to organize elections and lift martial law. In 1984 a referendum was held in Pakistan too. The purpose of the referendum was to legitimize the Military coup after seven Years due to national and international pressure. Zia-ul-Haq was not in favor of democratic elections, so he chose a presidential referendum. For the referendum, a tricky question was asked from people. The answer should be Yes or no.

This was the question in Referendum of 1984. “Do you endorse the process initiated by the President of Pakistan, General Mohammad Zia-ul Haq, for bringing the laws of Pakistan under Islamic Sharia as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and for the preservation of the ideology of Pakistan and are you in favor of continuation of Zia-ul-Haq for further five years. 

After the result, 95 % voted in favor of Zia.

1985 Elections in Pakistan

The 1984 referendum was rejected nationally and internationally. So Zia-ul-Haq agreed on General elections. In February 1985, General elections were held in the Pakistan. The elections were held on a “Non-party basis.” The Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) rejected it again; they demanded the restoration of the 1973 constitution and election on a party basis.

On February 25 National assembly was held, and on 28-February provincial elections were held. After the election, Muhammad Khan Junejo became the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and a newly elected assembly replaced Majlis-e-Shura.

Problems of Zia ul Haq Era

In the second half of Zia ul Haq reign period, he faced many problems:

  • Pakistan supported the ‘Afghan Jihad.
  • In Pakistan’s streets, guns became widespread.
  • Murder and violence widespread on Karachi streets.
  • Drug consumption and drug trafficking increased alarmingly till Pakistan became a world leader in drug trafficking.
  • Then a store of weapons at Ojhri camp exploded on April 10, 1988.
  • A depot was positioned between Rawalpindi and Islamabad, in the center of a highly populated area, where hundreds of civilians were killed and thousands more wounded.
  • Thus, Zia utilized his authority to dissolve the National Assembly on May 29, 1988 and ended the government of Muhammad Khan Junejo.

Death of Zia ul Haq

On August 17, 1988, Zia died in a plane crash. Thirty-one others died in the air crash as well. His funeral was held in Islamabad on August 19, 1988. He was buried in Faisal Masjid.


1985 elections in Pakistan,1985 elections in Pakistan

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