Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Era -PPP-President-Prime Minister-Nuclear Program-Execution

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Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto era,Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Era

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was born on 5th January 1928. He served as Pakistan’s President from 1971 to 1973 and the country’s Prime Minister from 1973 to 1977. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Era both as President and prime Minister played crucial era in history of Pakistan. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is one of Pakistan’s most influential political parties. His daughter Benazir Bhutto also served as Prime Minister twice. Bhutto is often referred to as “Quaid-e-Awam.”

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Political Career Era

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto achievements

          Bhutto at young age

In 1958, Bhutto became the minister of commerce in President Iskander Mirza’s cabinet. In 1960 President Field Marshal Ayub Khan appointed him to the water and power, industry and communication. He was very close to General Ayub. Bhutto assisted Ayub Khan in negotiating the Indus Water Treaty. In 1961, Bhutto provided technical assistance on negotiating an oil exploration agreement with the USSR.

In 1962 when a conflict was started between China and India due to border territory issues, Mao Zedong called Pakistan and shared their plan to attack India. Bhutto supported this plan and later discussed it with General Ayub. In return, General Ayub rejected this plan and proposed making a joint defense union with India.  Bhutto was shocked after this proposal from Ayub. 

In the Indo-China 1962 war, Bhutto criticized the USA for supporting India with weapons. In 1963 Bhutto was appointed foreign minister of Pakistan. He adopted a neutral foreign policy. He handled the foreign policy of Pakistan. Bhutto didn’t embrace the western side as a foreign minister; instead, he also increased Pakistan’s relationship with other nations.

 He strengthened the relationship with China. In 1963 many countries, including the USSR and USA, accepted Taiwan as the legitimate government of China (meaning china came under Taiwan). But at this challenging time, Pakistan advocated the china stance in the United Nations. Pakistan supported China in the United Nations. When Bhutto visited China, he was received so warmly by Mao Zedong. In the same year, in 1961, Pakistan signed the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement in which Pakistan gave 750 square km area to china near the border.   

After the 1965 war, Tashkent Declaration was signed between Pakistan and India. Bhutto criticized this pact and resigned in June 1966

Creation of Pakistan People’s Party

    Pakistan People’s Party flag

On 30-November 1967, he founded his party, the Pakistan People’s Party, in Lahore at the residence of Mubashir Hassan. Mubashir Hassan was a professor at UET Lahore. He supported a lot of PPP and was the central brain behind the spreading of PPP throughout the country.  Jalal-ud-din Abdur Rahim and Basit Jehangir were also founding members of the PPP. 

Bhutto’s political ideas were based on socialism, and the party’s manifesto consisted of these four things.

 • Religion.

 • Socialism

 • Democracy

 • Sovereignty

Roti, Kapra, and Makan was the main slogan of the PPP. It brought people’s attention to their fundamental rights and freedoms.

Nuclear Program

     Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan

In 1965 Munir Ahmad khan, a Pakistani nuclear scientist working as a scientific secretary in the International Atomic Energy Agency, visited the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Trombay, India. He noticed there that India is making the atomic bomb rather than using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. He informed Bhutto about this news. Bhutto arranged a meeting between General Ayub and Munir Ahmad in London. But Ayub rejected this plan to make an atomic bomb. When Munir told this to Bhutto, he replied to Munir, “Don’t worry, our time will come.”

In January 1972, Bhutto called a meeting of nuclear scientists in Multan. In this meeting, Bhutto talked about the future of Pakistan and also threats from India. Then Bhutto said, “we need an atomic bomb.” Then he asked, “Can you give it to me in how many years?” Many scientists among them respond positively in “Yes we can.” They gave a timeline of five years. Bhutto smiled and said, “I need it in three years. In that meeting, a young scientist, Saddqiue Ahmad” yes, we can make it in three years. 

In November 1972, Bhutto sent Abdul Salam to travel to the United States to get literature about the Manhattan Project ( It was the US project in which the first nuclear weapon was created. Abdul Salam remained successful in this mission and returned to Pakistan with authentic knowledge about the atomic bomb. 

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto achievements

            Munir Ahmad

In 1972 Karachi Nuclear Power Plant was inaugurated by Bhutto. He appointed Munir khan as Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and closely monitored all things related to the nuclear program. In 1976, Bhutto inaugurated the Khuta Research Facility with the codename “Project-706“. He appointed Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, its chairman.   

At the same time, PAEC and Project-706 were trying to make a nuclear bomb. Munir Khan and other scientists showed some concerns about Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, but Bhutto trusted him blindly. At the same time, much international pressure from the US and other countries was coming to Bhutto. He maintained it diplomatically. There was also fear of air attack from India on  military bases if any information leaked about these programs.  

By the end of 1977, PAEC and Project-786 had built the uranium and plutonium plants. In 1978 when Bhutto was in Jail, Pakistan had built its nuclear weapon. Bhutto called for a nuclear test, but it couldn’t happen. Then on 28-May 1998 atomic test was conducted in Chagi, Baluchistan. 

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto As President 1971

 After Dhaka fell on 16-December 1971, Bhutto became President and civilian martial law administrator of Pakistan. General Yahya Khan resigned from the post on 20-December 1971. Bhutto was the first civilian President and civilian law administrator of Pakistan. Bangladesh was created as a result of Pakistan’s defeat in the 1971 war with India. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as president replaced Gen. Mohammad Yahya Khan.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as president

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as president

Pakistan was in a tough time at that time. Pakistan had a lot of crises internally and externally. Bangladesh was created, and many other separation movements started in the country. Bhutto began a military and intelligence operation against all these movements.

Bhutto placed Yahya Khan under house arrest. Then Bhutto ordered the release of Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, who was under arrest. He appointed Gul Hassan the new Chief of Army Staff. Later he dismissed Gul Hassan and was replaced by General Tikka Khan due to participating in political matters. On 2nd January 1972, Bhutto announced the nationalization of all big industries. 

Constitution of 1973

The National Assembly passed the 1973 Constitution on 10th April 1973, and it was promulgated on 14th August 1973. It has a parliamentary governance system. After this Constitution, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became Pakistan’s Prime Minister, and “Fazal Elahi Chaudhary” was elected President of Pakistan. In the country, a democratic parliament was established. 

As Prime Minister (14-August 1947- 5-July 1977)

On 14-August 1973, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took oath as the democratic prime minister of Pakistan. In his era, a lot of essential developments happened in the country. 

Amendments in Constitution 

In the first Amendment of the Constitution, Pakistan recognized Bangladesh.

The second amendment to the Constitution declared Qadianis non-Muslims.

Education Institute 

Bhutto emphasized a lot on modern education in his era. He established many educational institutes.  In 1974 Quaid-e-Azam University and Allama Iqbal university were established. In 1975 he established Allama Iqbal Medical College. He established nearly 500 higher schools and many colleges. 

The Decline of Bhutto

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the target of a political alliance between the major political parties, which took part in the 1977 elections. The alliance was known as the PNA (Pakistan National Alliance). After the 1977 election, the PNA was able to incite anti-Bhutto sentiments among the public and received a positive response during their nationwide processions.

PNA Public Movement 1977

After losing the National Assembly,  PNA refused to take part in provincial elections. PNA started public movement in 1977. Protests and large-scale processions were held all over Pakistan. Mufti Mahmood (Fazal Ur Rehman Jamaat Ulma-e-Islam) and Mian Tufail Muhammad led the PNA public movement against Bhutto in 1977. 

Bhutto and the PNA attempted to reconcile during this time, but no agreement could be reached between the government and the PNA. After this Pna public movement 1977 started more aggressively.  

Enforcement of Martial Law 

General Zia Ul Haq declared martial law on 5th July 1977 in response to the apparent failure of the dialogue for consensus-building between the government and the PNA, as well as the worsening law and order situation, and seized control of the government, arrested Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and his cabinet. On television, Gen. Zia Ul Haq spoke to the nation and tried to justify his Martial Law in front of the country, assuring them that elections would be held in October 1977.

On 29th July, Bhutto was released and received by many supporters in “Larkana,” his hometown. Bhutto traveled the length and breadth of Pakistan, delivering hate speeches against the ambitions of the military generals in the country. Afraid of Bhutto’s fiery speeches and political campaign, Gen. Zia detained him once more on 3rd September 1977. On the other hand, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was released on bail by the LHC on 13th September.

Several PPP leaders were arrested and disqualified from running in the elections after Bhutto’s arrest on 17th September. A few days later, Zia announced he was delaying the upcoming October elections.

Nusrat Bhutto Case

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto death reason

          Nusrat Bhutto

 Wife of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Nusrat Bhutto, filed a petition against the illegal martial law of Zia in the Supreme Court, claiming that General Zia had no authority to arrest Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The hearing began on 20th September 1977 and lasted until 1st November 1977. Zia’s actions were considered extra-constitutional measures by the SC on 10th November.

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto death reason

As part of Ahmed Raza Kasuri’s father’s murder trial, Bhutto was brought before the Lahore High Court on 24th October 1977. Bhutto was found guilty and sentenced to death by the LHC on 18th March 1978, following hearings. As a result, he was sent to Rawalpindi Central Jail. In the end, Bhutto’s family appealed to the Pakistan Supreme Court on his behalf. But the Supreme Court also declared him guilty on 6th February 1979. Bhutto was sentenced to death by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, which handed down its final decision. 

The Ex-Prime Minister was finally hanged at 2 a.m. on 4th April 1979, in the Central Jail Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He was buried in the “Garhi Khuda Bakhsh.” It was judicial murder. 


Pna movement 1977

Tomb of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Bhutto’s wife and daughter Benazir Bhutto continued to lead the PPP even after he was executed. In today’s Pakistani politics, the PPP occupies a prominent position. It has participated in the Pakistani government three times. It is currently the most influential political party with the government in the federation and elected representatives in almost all country provinces.


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