5th July, Black Day of History

By: Malik Muhammad Aslam Awan


On 5th July 1977 General Zia-ul-Haq toppled the democratic Government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who was the elected and legitimate Prime Minister of Pakistan.  Z.A. Bhutto as Prime Minister of Pakistan gave the country a constitution, which was enacted with concerted efforts of all political parties of Pakistan.  Zia-ul-Haq ‘in fact’ had violated the sacred constitution of Pakistan and not only derailed Pakistan from democratic track but put the ever weak cart of the country on the bumpy road, leading to dark destination.

Z.A. Bhutto was the most popular leader of the country, worst enemies of Bhutto despite all the differences with him could not find a single clue of corruption against him and failed in leveling charges of corruption, despite their hectic efforts to malign him.  His re-election as PM and the sweeping victory of PPP made it undisputedly clear that Z.A. Bhutto had deep roots in the hearts of poor masses and they were united to travel the long route under the charismatic leadership of Bhutto.  Pakistan National Alliance could not withstand before the popularity of Bhutto and PNA was not ready to accept the election results.  PNA started a protest against Bhutto, being in league with the veiled forces of the country.  Z.A. Bhutto adopted the democratic way of dialogue.  Maulana Kausar Niazi and Abdul Hafeez Peerzada under the leadership of Z.A. Bhutto and Professor Ghafoor Ahmad and Nawab Zada Nasar-Ullah-Khan under the leadership of Mufti Mahmood had several sessions of dialogue and they were almost agreed to conclude a treaty, final consultation with Z.A. Bhutto and Mufti Mehmood was underway and after their approval a unanimous treaty had to come into effect and PNA had to quit the way of protests.  Zia-ul-Haq being afraid of the conclusion of a pact between Z.A. Bhutto and PNA had a vigilant eye on the dialogue process.

Zia ul Haq was desirous to fish out of troubled waters.  When he came to know that both the parties have reached a treaty and anytime it will come into effect, he surreptitiously walked into the power corridors and took over as Chief Martial Law administrator, declared the constitution null and void and imposed his despotic rule over the country.  Sources say the Asghar Khan was behind the whole maneuvering against democracy.  It is interesting to note that Professor Ghafoor Ahmad, later on, commented that third Martial Law was imposed surreptitiously on the fate of the country.  Zia ul Haq sworn in that he would manage and execute elections in the country within 90 days but later on he repudiated  his own will and pledge and prolonged his despotic rule for eleven long years.  With the assumption of power, Bhutto had put the country on right track of progress.  He had to face a lot of national issues.  Economy of the country had been totally destroyed by the adventurists, playing havoc with the fate of the nation.

Fall of Dhaka was a severe blow to the integration, sovereignty and progress of nascent State.  Hostile forces succeeded in segregation of Pakistan in two parts, and their cherished motive came to be realized.  India Gandhi shouted with joy, we have vindicated the Muslims for one thousand years of their rule over India.

PNA boycotted the Provincial Assembly elections and polling stations remained empty whole day.  PNA protests were fired at by the Government.  Dozens of people were shot dead and as a result partial martial law was imposed in Karachi, Lahore and Hyderabad.  PNA adopted a strategy, to reinvigorate its protest, naming its movement as Tehreek-e-Nizame Mustafa.  PNA stirred the public sentiments under the guise of Tehreek-e-Nizame Mustafa and moved the people to attend its street processions.  In May Government and PNA agreed to hold talks to find a way to ease tensions between them.

It was agreed that under the interim set up elections will be held in the coming October.  In the meantime Air Marshal Asghar Khan sent a letter to Generals to assume power in the larger national interest.  Air Martial Asghar Khan sabotaged the pact between Government and PNA and facilitated General Zia to assume power illegally.

In his reign Bhutto endeavored hard to change the destiny of the country.  He executed land reforms in the country.  Health and food facilities were made accessible to the common man.  Transport Policy was executed to facilitate the poor community of the country.  He introduced the identity card system for the ease and distinction of common man, to facilitate the citizens in day to day official matters.  He declared the 5th February will be observed as Kashmir day.  He was the pioneer of the initiative to bring the third world countries closer, to make them a third power.  He brought back the 90,000 war captives alongwith a vast territory occupied by India. He declared the Qadiani’s, Kafir, which is his remarkable achievement.  Due to his endeavors for the renaissance, resurgence, resurrection of Islam and make the Muslim block, the world powers conspired to remove him physically from the scene and General Zia moved forward to execute the foreign agenda and toppled Bhutto and finally finished him physically.  With the judicial murder of Bhutto the chapter of incessant struggle for renaissance, resurgence, resurrection of Islam was closed.

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