The Decades of Progress Bhutto and Zia


Pakistan Studies 2059

The Decades of Progress Bhutto and Zia

The Decades of Progress Bhutto and Zia

Key Question 14: How successful was Pakistan in the twenty years following the decades of Progress?

Policies of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (1971 – 1977)

Military Reforms:

• He made major changes in the Military officers and replaced Tikka Khan with Gul Hassan as Chief of Army Staff to get his intended support.

• He established Federal Security Force (FSF) but he misused it to get rid of opponents.

Constitution of 1973:

• In 1973, a new constitution was introduced and approved that received zero criticism from Ulemas.

• This constitution states that Pakistan being an Islamic republic can only appoint Muslim Prime Minister and President.

• Jamat-e-Islami also gave their approval on it.

• This constitution also countered the Punjab domination by stating seats in National Assembly (Lower House) equal to population and seats in Provincial Assembly (Upper House) equal in provinces.

Agricultural Reforms:

• He introduced land reforms that halved the limits set by Ayub Khan.

• He also gave the first power to buy the land to tenants, but it was useless because they were not wealthy enough.

Health Reforms:

• He established Basic Health Units and Rural Health Centers in the rural areas that provided free health care.

• He made sure that medicines are affordable which substandard medicines as well as less investment by foreign companies.

Industrial Revolution:

• During his reign, the inflation rate decreased by 25%.

• He localized the industries.

• However, there was a shortage of experts to run these industries.

Education System:

• He introduced a free education system, but it failed because there was not any proper administration.

• During his time, the literacy rate did not improve much but only 1%.

Foreign Policy:

• He signed the Simla Agreement with Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India for the release of the war prisoners of 1971 as well as recovered the Pakistani territory held by India.

• He pledged to recognized Bangladesh as well as to do a Kashmir agreement to resolve the dispute and improve the relationship with India.

• In 1972, he visited the Soviet Union and they decided to build a steel mill in Pakistan.

Nuclear Power:

• Bhutto is considered as the father of the Atomic Deterrence Program in Pakistan.

• He established Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission long before the war of 1971.

• In 1974 when India demonstrated and tested its nuclear power.

• Bhutto sensed the urgency of the situation and considered India’s Nuclear test as the death of Pakistan.

• At that moment he pledged that Pakistani would eat grass but will make the nuclear bomb to defend itself.

• In 1978, Bhutto called for the nuclear test from his jail cell.

Policies of Zia-ul-Haq (1977 – 1988)

Introduction of Islamisation:

• Zia-ul-Haq introduced Islamisation to prove that he considers Pakistan’s ideology and he is a better leader than Bhutto who only focused on industrialization.

• He wanted support from the Islamic political parties such as Jamaat-e-Islamic.

• In 1979, Russian invaded Pakistan and to fight against the Pagans (Jihad) he needed the support of the World's other Muslim leaders, so he took measures to prove himself a true Muslim leader.

Hudood Ordinances:

• He introduced punishments for crimes as per the penalties defined in Islam.

• After the introduction of Hudood Ordinances, the crime rate in the country decreased.

The Shariat Court:

• He established a Federal Shariat Court to give decisions considering the Quran and Hadith. 

Zakat Ordinances:

• He implemented one very important pillar of Islam, Zakat in the banking sector.

• Its introduction made a deduction of an amount from the savings of banks on every 1st of Ramzan.

• It helped the poor and underprivileged Muslims.

• However, it gained criticism from the Shia community and sectarian division started.

Pakistan Studies & Islamiyat:

• In the education system, Pakistan Studies and Islamiyat were declared compulsory. 

• An incentive of 20 extra marks was introduced for Hafiz-e-Quran students; but it was unfair for non-Muslim students of FSc, Matric, and MBPS.

• In the universities, a course of Arabic was introduced.

Sanctity of Ramadan:

• The introduction of “Sanctity of Ramadan” strengthened the fasting behavior among the Muslims.

• Considering it, special Ramadan transmissions also increased.

Economic Reforms:

• He reversed the industry nationalization done by Bhutto and it helped decrease the burden from the government.

• The denationalization of industries also helped in attracting more foreign investors to Pakistan. 

• He applied remittance to Pakistanis who went abroad with the help of his policies.

• The remittance alone gave Pakistan around a billion in revenue, foreign exchange improved, and economic growth increased by 6%.

Judiciary Reforms:

• He established Military Courts which made the judiciary system of Pakistan partial.

• The Judges were required to take an oath to not make any decision that goes against the rule of Zia-ul-Haq.

• He established “Majlis-e-Shoora” that was an Islamic Parliament, however it did not have any real power.

Political Reforms:

• In the constitution of 1972, he made the eighth amendment to have extensive powers that allowed him to dismiss Assembly, Cabinet and the Prime Minister.

• The government of Junejo during Zia’s rule was a mere puppet and before him, Zia-ul-Haq dismissed many Prime Ministers for invalid reasons.

• In 1988, Zia-ul-Haq also dismissed Junejo for calling an All Party Conference to investigate the "Ojhri Camp” incident that could have put Zia in a tight spot.

• Junejo also signed the “Geneva Accord” against Zia’s wish.

• There was no political stability during his rule.

Foreign Policy:

• In 1979, Russia invaded Afghanistan. 

• Zia-ul-Haq agreed to help the United States decided to do Jihad for Afghanistan.

• The war led to increased crime rates, guns, and drugs.

• NWFP had to accommodate and manage around 3 million refugees from Afghanistan.

• Balochistan was tired of this war and disunity started.

• The end of the war also resulted in the end of aid from the United States and there were no funds to care for 3 million refugees.

The Death of Zia:

• In 1988, after 11 years of rule, Zia announced to hold elections within the next three months.

• At that time, Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto also came back to Pakistan.

• Zia was in a dilemma that whether to postpone the election or not but before any decision could have been taken, he died in a plane crash.

• In that crash, Zia was accompanied by the ambassador of the United States yet many believe that it was an assassination as the United States was fearful that Zia might prove a threat to the "Geneva Accords".

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