Pakistan History

By | November 7, 2021

Against the background of the independence movement in British India (India, history), M. Iqbal, as President of the annual conference of the Muslim League (1930), developed the idea of ​​an independent state for Indian Muslims for the first time. Rahmat Ali (* 1893, † 1951) proposed the name »Pakistan« for such a state in 1933 (P for Punjab, a for Afghan Province, k for Kashmir, i for Indus, s for Sind and tan for Balochistan) and built it territorial ideas. In the Pakistan resolution (1940), the Muslim League, led by M. A. Jinnah, took up the two-nation theory that Hindus and Indian Muslims are two nations. Set against the resistance of the Indian National Congress Jinnah in the following years the division of British India into the Indian Union (India) and Pakistan.

From the founding of the state to the secession of East Pakistan (1947-71)

On August 14, 1947, according to Payhelpcenter, Pakistan became independent (both as Dominions) within the framework of the (British) Commonwealth, a day later the Indian Union. In the course of the partition of British India, Pakistan received the majority Muslim areas; this created the two parts of West Pakistan, which are widely separated (by the territory of the Indian Union) (above all the former British-Indian provinces Sind, North-West Frontier Province, Baluchistan and West Punjab) and East Pakistan (East Bengal and parts of Assam). The Principality of Bahawalpur, which had been under the British protectorate up to this point, joined Pakistan. The dispute with India over Kashmir led to the outbreak of a first military conflict in December 1947. After the UN brokered an armistice (December 31, 1948), the armistice line (valid since January 1, 1949) developed into the Pakistani-Indian demarcation line in the area of ​​Kashmir. In the course of a resettlement campaign, around 7 million Muslims moved from India to western Pakistan, which when it was founded only comprised around two thirds of Indian Muslims, often under bloody circumstances; the rest remained in India as a minority. In April 1950, India and Pakistan signed an agreement on the treatment of their Muslim and Hindu minorities, respectively.

Under the Governors General Jinnah (1947–48), Khwaja Nazim ud-Din (* 1894, † 1964; 1948–51) and Ghulam Mohammed (* 1895, † 1956; 1951–55), the Prime Ministers Liakat Ali Khan (1947– 51), Nazim ud-Din (1951–53) and Mohammed Ali(1953–55), drawing on the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), to help develop Pakistani. With economic aid v. a. from the USA (since 1951) the economic structure of the country should be modernized and the social situation of the people improved, v. a. to integrate the large number of refugees from India into society. Domestic politics were dominated by tensions between different groups about the role of Islam in the understanding of the state, as well as contradictions between the widely separated parts of Pakistan. The attempt to introduce the West Pakistani Urdu in East Pakistan sparked unrest there. Against the background of this development, the opposition Awami League won regional elections in East Pakistan in 1954 over the PML. With the declaration of a state of emergency (1954), domestic political tensions reached a climax. In this situation General developed Iskander Ali Mirza (* 1899, † 1969) to the dominant figure of Pakistan. As Governor of East Pakistan (1954) he suppressed the separatist tendencies. Politically, he advocated stronger central power in Pakistan and a sharper separation of politics and religion. As Governor General of Pakistan (1955–56) he played a decisive role in the proclamation of the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” on March 23, 1956, of which he became the first president.

Under the influence of the steadily increasing domestic political crisis, President Mirza suspended the constitution in October 1958 (dissolution of parliament and the parties) and appointed General M. Ayub Khan as “supreme administrator of martial law”; a little later this ousted him as president. Ayub Khan, who also took over the office of Prime Minister, sought to improve the economic situation on the basis of five-year plans and initiated land reform. With the constitution of March 1, 1962, he introduced the system of “guided democracy”: around 80,000 “basic democracies” (small, politically manageable constituencies) elected shop stewards to the higher parliamentary bodies at regional and parliamentary level. The growing repression of the opposition triggered demonstrations by students and a general strike at the turn of 1968/69. Under this pressure, Ayub Khan was forced to resign in March 1969.

General Aga Mohammed Jahja Khan (* 1917, † 1980), the successor of Ayub Khan, initially suspended the constitution and imposed martial law. By re-admitting parties and holding elections to a constituent national assembly, he sought to save the unity of his country, but failed because of the polarization of political forces: while in the elections of December 7, 1970 in West Pakistan, the one in favor of Pakistani unity, won by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led by Z. A. Bhutto, the Awami League, led by Mujibur Rahman and advocating its autonomy, prevailed with a large majority in East Pakistan.

The constituent national assembly did not meet; Instead, the leaders of East Pakistan proclaimed it the independent Republic of Bangladesh in March 1971. With the bloody suppression of these efforts by the v. a. Central government troops provided by West Pakistan spilled a large stream of refugees into India. With the military support of India, however, the East Pakistani national movement succeeded in December 1971 in securing East Pakistan as Bangladesh from Pakistan; West Pakistan has since been identical to Pakistan. On December 20, 1971, Bhutto became president.

Foreign policy 1947-71

Pakistan’s foreign policy line has been determined since its inception by its tense relationship with India, which was additionally strained by the dispute over Kashmir. In contrast to India’s policy of non-alignment, Pakistan met the USA, which was trying to establish a global alliance system in the course of the East-West conflict, and joined SEATO in 1954 and CENTO in 1955 (originally called the Baghdad Pact). Pakistan, which received a large amount of military aid from the USA, was v. a. interested in a military strengthening vis-à-vis India. In addition, Pakistan established closer relations with the People’s Republic of China and concluded a border agreement with her in 1963. The relationship with Afghanistan turned out to be problematic because of the unresolved »Pashtunistan question« (Durand line).

With the attack of its troops on the Indian part of Kashmir (September 1965) Pakistan tried unsuccessfully to solve the Kashmir conflict militarily. After the conclusion of an armistice, the USSR brokered a Pakistani-Indian agreement at the Tashkent Conference (January 4–10, 1966) not to seek any more military solutions in the dispute over Kashmir.

From the government under Z. A. Bhutto to the military dictatorship M. Zia ul-Haqs (1971 / 73-88)

After more than a decade of military rule, Bhutto built a civil, parliamentary-style system of government with the 1973 constitution, in which he himself (1973) took over the office of prime minister. The state president was Fazal Elahi Chaudry (* 1904, † 1982 ; 1973–78). Bhuttocarried out a land reform and nationalized a.o. Industrial companies and banks. Based on the PPP, however, he developed a personal, authoritarian style of government under ever increasing suppression of any opposition. In 1974/75 riots broke out in Balochistan and the North-West Frontier Province. The accusation of massive election manipulation in favor of the PPP sparked serious unrest in 1977 (over 300 dead; almost 30,000 arrests). On July 5, 1977, General M. Zia ul-Haq took power and proclaimed martial law, suspending the constitution and banning parties and unions. In 1978 he was also sworn in as President. Drawing on the army, Zia built ul-Haqa dictatorial system of government, which v. a. turned against parties (especially the PPP) and groups that ran counter to “Islamic principles”. In 1978 Bhutto was sentenced to death on charges of ordering the murder of an opposition politician and executed in 1979. Until 1988, Zia ul-Haq gradually introduced Sharia law as the supreme legal institution. In a referendum in 1984, the population approved his policy of Islamization and extended his term of office by five years.

Political, social and ethnic riots have broken out in Pakistan since 1979. Under the leadership of the PPP, nine political parties founded a “movement to restore democracy” in 1981. After the 1985 elections, in which only individual candidates, i.e. H. Non-party candidates were admitted, the government lifted the ban on parties and martial law. In 1986 Benazir Bhutto, the daughter of Bhutto and the leading political head of the PPP since the early 1980s, returned to Pakistan from exile.

In August 1988, Zia ul-Haq was killed in a plane crash. His successor (until December 1988 interim) was Ghulam Ishaq Khan (* 1915, † 2006).

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy from 1971 to the 1990s

In terms of foreign policy, Pakistan had modified its political line towards a greater distance from the Western powers (1989 return to the Commonwealth) after its military defeat against India (1971) with its exit from the Commonwealth and SEATO (1972). As part of the CENTO, the Pakistani government continued to work v. a. with Iran and Turkey together. At the Islamic Summit Conference (1974), Pakistan recognized Bangladesh as an independent state. In 1979 it left CENTO.

Pakistan strongly condemned the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. On the border with Afghanistan, the civil war there resulted in repeated attacks by both the Afghan and Pakistani military. Finally, on April 14, 1988, Pakistan signed the Geneva Afghanistan Agreement, which contained Afghan-Pakistani agreements on non-interference and repatriation of refugees. Even after that, however, it continued to help the v. a. Afghan mudjahedin trained and organized by the Pakistani secret service Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) who formed a government-in-exile in Peshawar in 1989; as the mujahedeen but after the conquest of the Afghan capital Kabul (1992) in bloody power struggles and Afghanistan disintegrated into individual territories ruled by warlords, Pakistan switched to the training and massive support of the Taliban, which from autumn 1994 were gradually able to conquer most of Afghanistan. In May 1997, Pakistan became the first country to recognize the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Pakistan History