|Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan from 1958 to 1969, belonged to the Pashtun Tareen tribe of Abbottabad. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
After defeating Fatima Jinnah
in the controversial presidential elections
of 1965, Ayub's standing began to slide amid allegations of widespread vote rigging
. The war with India the same year concluded with the Tashkent Agreement
, which many Pakistanis considered an embarrassing compromise. Demonstrations across the country, including those led by Ayub's minister-turned-rival Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
, increased dramatically from 1967 onwards. In 1969, Ayub resigned and handed over power to General Yahya Khan
, who declared martial law for the second time. Following ill health, Ayub died in 1974. His legacy remains mixed; he is credited with economic prosperity and what supporters dub "the decade of development", but is criticized for beginning the first of the army's incursions into civilian politics, and policies that later led to the Bangladesh crisis
Early years and personal life
For his basic education, Ayub was enrolled in a school in Sarai Saleh, which was about four miles from his village and he commuted to school on a mule's back. Later he was moved to a school in Haripur, where lived with his grandmother. He enrolled at Aligarh Muslim University
in 1922, but did not complete his studies there, as he was accepted into the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
His economical policies were based on the model of capitalism
and followed the Free-market economics
principles, industrialization that took place in his term is often regarded as "Great Decade" in the history
of the country (both economical
and political history
The "Great Decade" was celebrated, which highlighted the development plans executed during the years of Ayub's rule, the private consortium companies, industries and credited with creating an environment where the private sector was encouraged to establish medium and small-scale industries in Pakistan.
This opened up avenues for new job opportunities and thus the economic graph of the country start rising.
He also introduced a new curricula and n books for schools. Many schools and colleges were constructed during his time. He also introduced agricultural reforms according to which no one could occupy land less than 12.5 acres (500 irrigated land and 1000 unirrigated.) An oil refinery in Karachi was setup and these reforms led to 7% GNP of the country that was three times greater than that of India. Despite the increase in the GNP the profit and revenue was gained by the 22 families that controlled 66% of the industries and land of the country and 80% of the banking and insurance of Pakistan.
The education reforms were steadily improved, and scientific efforts were at the rising level during his years, leading the world-acclaim of Pakistan where his image was regarded more positive.
This policy could not followed for a long time after 1965, the economy was collapse and the economical declines which he was unable to control.
In 1964, the Planning Commission
, Economic minister Muhammad Shoaib
, and Foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
and Ayub Khan chaired a meeting to discuss the economical assessment of the Operation Gibraltar
According the Sartaj Aziz
, Bhutto had gone on a populist Anti-Indian
binge during the meeting. Bhutto succeeded the President on spellbinding the ruling general into thinking he was becoming a world statesman fawned upon by the enemies
of the United States.
When authorizing the Gibraltar
, Deputy Chairman
had famously told the President in the meeting, "Sir, I hope you realize that our foreign [p]olicy
and our economic
requirements are not fully consistent, in fact they are rapidly falling out of line".
Aziz vetoed the Gibraltar
against India, fearing the economical turmoil that would jolted the country's economy, but was rebuffed by his senior bureaucrats.
In that meeting Bhutto convinced the President and the Economic minister that India would not attack Pakistan due to Kashmir
as a disputed territory
, and in Bhutto's mark: "Pakistan’s incursion into Indian-occupied Kashmir
, at [A]khnoor, would not provide [India] with the justification for attacking Pakistan across the international boundary "because Kashmir was a disputed territory".
This theory proved wrong when India launched a full scale war against West-Pakistan
The war with India cost Pakistan an economical price, when Pakistan lost lost the half a billion dollars it had coming from the Consortium for Pakistan through the United States
Ayub Khan could not suffer the aftermath and fall from the presidency after surrendering the presidential power of Army Commander
General Yahya Khan
Presidential election of 1965
In 1964, Ayub confident in his apparent popularity and seeing deep divisions within the political opposition, called for Presidential elections.
He was however taken by surprise when despite a brief disagreement between the five main opposition parties ( a preference for a former close associate of Ayub Khan, General Azam Khan as candidate was dropped), the joint opposition agreed on supporting the respected and popular Fatima Jinnah
, the sister of the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Despite Jinnah's considerable popularity and public disaffection with Ayub's government,
Ayub won with 64% of the vote in a bitterly contested election on 2 January 1965. The election did not conform to international standards and journalists.
Ayub Khan closely allied with the United States
and her allies while he publicly criticized the Soviet Union
. His first visit to United States took place as he was the Defence Minister
as part of the delegation of Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan
, convincing the U.S along with prime minister to provide a military aide to the country.
The new defence minister Ayub Khan was obsessed with modernization of the armed forces
in shortest possible time saw the relationship with United States the only way to achieve his organizational and personal objectives.
In April 1958, Ayub Khan stressed that armed forces are the strongest element, convincing the United States that left-wing sphere
will gained the influence if the elections view that if elections were held in the prevailing circumstances, which will not only destabilize Pakistan but will affect U.S. strategic interest.
During his presidency, the Central Intelligence Agency
grew with a secret intelligence base, Peshawar Air Station
, was leased to United States.
The government officials, ministers including the military officials of Pakistan Armed Forces were not allowed near the base, and could dare to enter the base. The station and its activities were exposed in 1960, when Soviet Air Defence Forces
's S-75 Dvina
missile shot down the U-2 Dragon Lady
, capturing its pilot
near the vicinity.
This incident seriously and severely compromised the security of Pakistan, brought the Soviet ire on Pakistan.
In all, Khan was knew of the operation, fully aware of what happen in Soviet Union. Khan was in London
when U-2 incident
took place, notified by the CIA chief station
, Khan shrugged his shoulders and said that he had expected this would happen at some point.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The turning point in his rule was the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
, and it ended in a settlement reached by Ayub at Tashkent, called the Tashkent Declaration
. The settlement was perceived negatively by many Pakistanis and led Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
to resign his post and take up opposition to Khan.
According to Morrice James, "For them [Pakistanis] Ayub had betrayed the nation and had inexcusably lost face before the Indians."
The war also increased opposition in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh
) where the Awami League
headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
sought more autonomy for the province.
Joint Defence Union with India
In 1959, his interest in building defence forces diminished when President Ayub Khan made an offer of joint defence with India during the Sino-Indo clashes
in October 1959 in Ladakh, in a move seen as a result of American pressure and lack of understanding of Foreign affairs
Final years in office
In 1969 Ayub Khan opened up negotiations with the opposition alliance - except for Maulana Bhashani
and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto
. However, under increasing pressure from Bhutto and Bhashani (who allegedly had support for their agitation from elements within the Army) and in violation of his own constitution (which required him to transfer power to the speaker of the Assembly), on 25 March 1969 Ayub handed over control of Pakistan to Commander-in-Chief General Yahya Khan
Yahya Khan had acted as the President's most loyal lieutenant, and had received promotion over seven more-senior generals in 1966 to the army's top post.
In 1971 when war broke out, Ayub Khan was in West Pakistan
. He presented himself for fighting in war but government turned him down on account of his age and ill-health. He did not comment on the events of the war. He died on 19 April 1974.
Ayub Khan's legacy is mixed. He was opposed to democracy believing like any other dictator that parliamentary democracy was not suited for the people of his country. Like many subsequent military dictators he was contemptuous of politicians and political parties.
However, during his early years in office, he sided with the Americans against the Soviets, and in return received aid, which resulted in enormous economic growth.
He subsidized fertilizers and modernized agriculture through irrigation development, spurred industrial growth with liberal tax benefits. In the decade of his rule, gross national product rose by 45% and manufactured goods began to overtake such traditional exports as jute and cotton. It is alleged that his policies were tailored to reward the elite families and the feudal lords.
During the fall of his dictatorship, just when the government was celebrating the so-called "Decade of Development", mass protests erupted due an increasingly greater divide between the rich and the poor.
He shunned prestige projects and stressed birth control in a country that has the seventh largest population in the world: 115 million. He dismissed criticism with the comment that if there was no family planning, the time would surely come when "Pakistanis eat Pakistanis." In foreign affairs, he retained his ties to the West and to the United States in particular, allowing the United States to use the Badaber and Peshawar airbase for U-2 flights over the then Soviet Union.
Government corruption and nepotism
, in addition to an environment of repression of free speech and political freedoms increased unrest. Criticisms of his sons and family's personal wealth increased, especially his son's actions after his father's election in the allegedly rigged 1965 Presidential elections against Fatima Jinnah is a subject of criticism by many writers. In 2003, the nephew of the Quaid-i-Azam
, Akbar Pirbhai, reignited the controversy by suggesting that she was assassinated by the Ayub Khan establishment .
Gohar Ayub, it is said led a victory parade right into the heartland of opposition territory in Karachi in a blatantly provocative move and the civil administrations failure to stop the rally led to a fierce clashes between opposing groups with many locals being killed.
Gohar Ayub also faced criticisms during that time on questions of family corruption and cronyism through his business links with his father-in-law retired Lt. General Habibullah Khan Khattak
. One Western commentator in 1969 estimated Gohar Ayub's personal wealth at the time at $4 million dollars, while his family's wealth was put in the range of $10–$20 million dollars.
Ayub began to lose both power and popularity. On one occasion, while visiting East Pakistan, there was a failed attempt to assassinate him, though this was not reported in the press of the day.
Ayub was persuaded by underlings to award himself the Nishan-e-Pakistan, Pakistan's highest civil award, on the grounds that to award it to other heads of state he should have it himself and also promoted himself to the rank of field marshal. He was to be Pakistan's first field marshal (and the only 5 star general till date).
Aggravating an already bad situation, with increasing economic disparity in the country under his rule, hoarding and manipulation by major sugar manufacturers resulted in the controlled price of 1 kg sugar to be increased by 1 rupee
and the whole population took to the streets.
As Ayub's popularity plummeted, he decided in 1969 to give up rule.
Ayub Khan is critiqued for the growth in income inequality 5 million people fell below the poverty line. .
He is also blamed for not doing enough to tackle the significant economic disparity between East and West Pakistan. Whilst he was aware of the acute grievances of East Pakistan he did try to address the situation .However The Ayub Khan regime was so highly centralized that, in the absence of democratic institutions, densely populated and politicized Bengal continued to feel it was being slighted.
Sadaf Farooq from School of Politics and International Relations at University of Reading argued that workers wage fell by 60% during the 60s. Furthermore the on track policy of promoting entrepreneur elite and Industrial cartels to get economic growth generated increasing regional and social tensions. the emergence of business and industrial cartels
Ayub Khan’s eldest son Gohar Ayub Khan
was Pakistan's Foreign Minister in the Nawaz Sharif government and his grandson Omar Ayub Khan
was briefly Pakistan’s Minister of State for Finance. His daughter Begum Nasim Aurangzeb was married to Miangul Aurangzeb
, the Wali of Swat
ion activists in their stronghold of Karachi.