- Tashkent Agreement onward
Tashkent Agreement ended the hostilities between India and Pakistan but ZAB made it an issue promising people to reveal the inner secrets of Tashkent Agreement. Well that was never revealed by ZAB in his lifetime. Bhutto fell out with Ayub Khan and was sacked from government.
He founded the PPP in 1967 in Lahore, contesting general elections in 1970. The Awami League won a majority of seats in East Pakistan and PPP won a majority of seats in West Pakistan; the two parties were unable to agree on a new constitution in particular on the issue of Six Point Movement which many in West Pakistan saw as a way to break up the country. The point of separate currency and military by Mujeebur Rehman were totally unacceptable to people of West Pakistan.
Subsequent uprisings, fully supported by India through Mujeeb’s Mukti Bahni, trained by Indians led to the secession of Bangladesh, and Pakistan losing the war in 1971. India crossed the international borders of Pakistan committing blatant aggression against Pakistan. It was one of the worst defeat in Muslim history. War Enquiry Commission was set up on just after few days of fall of Dacca:
“The Hamoodur Rahman Commission (otherwise known as “War Enquiry Commission”, was a judicial inquiry commission that assessed Pakistan’s political–military involvement in East-Pakistan from 1947 to 1971. The Commission was set up on 26 December 1971 by the Government of Pakistan and chaired under the Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman. Constituted “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the atrocities and 1971 war”, including the “circumstances in which the Commander of the Eastern Military Command, surrendered the Eastern contingent forces under his command laid down their arms.” Gen Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi was the commander.
Commission’s primary conclusion was very critical of the role of Pakistan’s military interference, the misconduct of politicians as well as the intelligence failures of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which permitted the infiltration of Indian agents all along the borders of East Pakistan. Originally, there were 12 copies of the Report. These were all destroyed; except the one that was handed over to Government who disallowed its publication at the time. In 2000, parts of the commission report were leaked to Indian and Pakistani newspapers. The full report was thought to be declassified by the government in 2000, along with other reports concerning the year of 1971. However, it was reported that the supplementary report based on testimonies of POWs was published, and the key portion of the report concerning the political and military issues remained classified and marked as “Top secret.”“
In December 1971, Bhutto was handed over the presidency and emergency rule was imposed. Bhutto set about rebuilding Pakistan he stated his intention to ‘rebuild confidence and rebuild hope for the future’. By July 1972, Bhutto had recovered 93,000 prisoners of war and 5,000 square miles of Indian-held territory after signing the Simla Agreement. In foreign affairs, he strengthened ties with the Soviet Union, China and Saudi Arabia. Mujeeb was set free and Bhutto recognised the sovereignty of Bangladesh.
Domestically, Bhutto’s reign saw parliament unanimously approving a new constitution in 1973, that was a great achievement on his part. After which he endorsed Ch Fazal Ilahi’s bid for president, and assumed instead the newly empowered office of prime minister. He also played an integral role in initiating the atomic–bomb programme for which nation remains thankful to him. His economic programme was based on the nationalization of much of Pakistan’s industries, and expansion of the Welfare State by introducing minimum wage and old age benefits. Still lot is needed to improve the lives of industrial workers in Pakistan. In addition Bhutto launched the process of industrial reconstruction by establishing Pakistan Steel Mills and Port Qasim.
Bhutto dissolved the Balochistan Assembly on the pretext that arms had been discovered in the Iraqi Embassy ostensibly for Baloch rebels. The Pakistan government declared its belief in covert Indian intervention just like the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. This was met with unrest in Balochistan. It was after visiting Iran in 1973 that President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto dissolved Balochistan’s provincial government. When the operation was begun, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran and Bhutto ally, feared a spread of the greater ethnic resistance in Iran. The Imperial Iranian Army began providing Pakistan with military hardware and financial support. Among Iran’s contribution were 30 Huey cobra attack helicopters and $200 million in aid. The 1970s operation in Balochistan was a 5 year military conflict in Balochistan against separatists that lasted from 1973 to 1978.
The ensuing protest against the dismissal of the duly elected government also led to calls for Balochistan’s secession that was met by Bhutto’s ordering the Pakistan Army into the province. Akbar Khan Bugti, who would be killed in a later operation in 2006 during Musharraf regime, served as provincial governor during the early stages of the conflict. The operation itself was led by Gen Tikka Khan and provided military support by Iran, against the resistance of fighters coordinated by Baloch Sardars, or tribal chiefs, that most notably included Khair Bakhsh Marri and Ataullah Mengal. Also ZAB responded by introducing a series of political and economic reforms.
The PPP won the 1977 parliamentary elections. Still many analysts believe that there was no need of such a movement against ZAB even if there was some sort of rigging in just few constituencies. Anyways the conservative alliance, Pakistan National Alliance (PNA), the right-wing political alliance consisting of 9 political parties formed that year, agreed upon to run a political campaign as a single bloc against the left oriented PPP in the 1977 general elections, alleged widespread rigging and civil disorder escalated across Pakistan. This lead to imposition of Martial Law. On 5 July 1977, COAS Gen Zia-ul-Haq deposed Bhutto in a bloodless coup, and had the former PM was controversially tried and executed by the Supreme Court in 1979 for authorising the murder of a political opponent, Nawab Muhammad Ahmed Khan Kasuri father of Ahmad Raza Khan Kasuri who was killed in 1974. Bhutto did not create any hurdle once the FIR was registered against him. During Iftikhar Ch tenure as CJP in 2012, the presidential reference seeking to reopen the murder trial of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto took a new turn. Ahmed Raza Kasuri though contended that the case cannot be reopened. ” On 2 April 2011, 32 years after Bhutto’s trial and execution, the PPP (the ruling party at that time) filed a petition at the Supreme Court to reopen Bhutto’s trial. At the Geo News, senior journalist Iftikhar Ahmad aired a series of televised interviews with those who played a major and often controversial role in Bhutto’s death. A legal team was organized by the Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani’s cabinet seeking to reopen the trial. President Asif Ali Zardari gave his consent to the resulting presidential order named Article 186 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court taking up the petition on 13 April 2011. Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry eventually presided the three-judge-bench (although it was expanded with law experts from four provinces of Pakistan), while Minister of Law Babar Awan counseled Bhutto’s case. With immediate effect, Babar Awan resigned as Law minister, even leaving the Justice ministry entirely in order to legally counsel Bhutto’s case completely independently. In his noting remarks, Chief Justice Chaudhry praised and appreciated the move by the senior PPP leadership and remarked the gesture as “historic”. In a crucial advancement, the Supreme Court ordered the decision on the legal status of Bhutto’s execution to a to-be-formed larger bench. After a series of hearings at the Supreme Court, the case was adjourned and dismissed after the PPP approved the suspension of Babar Awan on 2 May 2012.”