ISLAMABAD – General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was the one who enforced Martial Law for the third time in the brief history of Pakistan. On April 1, 1976, in a surprise move the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, appointed Zia-ul-Haq as Chief of Army Staff, superseding five senior Generals.
Bhutto probably wanted somebody as the head of the armed forces who would not prove to be a threat for him, and the best available option was the simple General who was apparently interested only in offering prayers and playing golf.
However, history proved that General Zia-ul-Haq proved to be much smarter than Bhutto thought.
When political tension reached its climax due to the deadlock between Bhutto and the leadership of Pakistan National Alliance on the issue of general elections, Zia-ul-Haq took advantage of the situation.
On July 5, 1977, he carried out a bloodless coup overthrowing Bhutto’s government and enforced Martial Law in the country.
After assuming power as Chief Martial Law Administrator, Zia-ul-Haq promised to hold National and Provincial Assembly elections in the next 90 days and to hand over power to the representatives of the Nation.
However, in October 1977, he announced the postponement of the electoral and he said he said that he changed his decision due to the strong public demand.
After 11 years of his reign Zia-ul-Haq once again made the same promise to the Nation to hold fresh elections within next 90 days. With Benazir Bhutto back in the country and the Muslim League leadership annoyed with the President over the decision of May 29, Zia-ul-Haq was trapped in the most difficult situation of his political life.
The only option left for him was to repeat history and to postpone the elections once again.
After all these scenarios and Zia’s Islamist policies and laws enforcement. He embraced death on 17th August 1988 in a plane crash near Bahawalpur.
After 27 years of his death most of the Pakistanis still hate his irrational policies. Especially the Bhutto followers.
They openly say no to ZIAISM.