Years of Change in Pakistan (1971-1988)

Zulifikar Bhutto the Father of Pakistan
After the oppressive rule of both Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan, the next president, Zulifikar Bhutto came with relief. Bhutto was elected president in 1971 and soon started preparations for a third constitution. In 1973, Bhutto took the title of Prime Minister and the new constitution was put in place, mandating a parliamentary style government with the Prime Minister having the most power. In the first amendment to the Constitution, Pakistan formally considered Bangladesh as an independent nation. Bhutto then reformed industry agriculture and civil services, and nationalized banks and rice, flour, and cotton mills. In 1977, elections for the National Assembly were held and the political group the PPP (Pakistani Peoples Party, founded by Bhutto himself) won majority with the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) receiving less then half of the seats. In anger, the PNA claimed the elections were rigged and wanted Bhutto accountable. Bhutto was arrested, but was then released a month later.

Later that year Zia-ul-Haq, along with other opposition leaders, led a bloodless coup, and Zia declared martial law. This put all political activity to a halt, while also dissolving the National Assembly, and implementing a military council, but keeping the constitution already in use. Fazai Elahi Chaudhry was allowed to stay in office as Prime Minister, which he had secured earlier. Zia returned to a harsh form of Islamic principles of law, with major punishments for minor infringement. In 1979, Bhutto, the earlier socialist reforming president, was convicted of murder and was hung. Zia continued to hold his power until he announced free elections in 1985. Zia lifted martial law, but in 1988, Zia dismissed the elected bodies of the government and announced non-party elections. Despite his plans, in August of 1988, Zia was killed along with the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan when his airplane exploded midair above Pakistan.

Zia-ul-Haq boarding the plane that he would die on just hours later

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