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Factors behind the June 5, 1977 Coup!

Not many of us are known to this fact that when Pak came under military rule on 5th July 1977, Bhutto had already called out the army and instituted martial law in five major cities on 22 April to crush the series of strikes.....

in Karachi and other cities. This all happened after Bhutto rigged the 1977 elections.

His information minister Maulana Kausar Niazi later said,
"I don't think there was any need for resorting to rigging of polls. However it was unfortunate that PM Bhutto himself....

was the first to make the incorrect move of getting himself elected". Dissent began with the PPP itself with Mubashar Hasan stepping down as secretary general of PPP.

If there was anyone responsible for the #BlackDay, it was Bhutto himself.

His fall from the grace was aided by his own missteps:

Distancing himself from his original political core, taking on the army wih his paramilitary organizations like FSF, falling into the web of sycophants and unprincipled bureaucrats.

As soon as he took over, he issued orders for dismissal of various key individuals and almost 1300 civil servants. Seeking a weakness in the military after the fall of Dhaka, he also began a compaign to publicize the military's surrender ceremony in Dhaka.

Despite of being genuinely elected by the people, he managed to acquire all the characteristics of the regime he succeeded.

Bhutto rapidly resiled from political agreements with opposition parties in NWFP and Baluchistan. He dismissed the gov's in both the provinces.

Bhutto send the army for military operations in Baluchistan. He further emasculated the civil services. He nationalized the fledgling industries and commercial enterprises and thus sank the economy.

Bhutto also nationalized the missionary schools and colleges that had produced most of the leaders in Pak. He created Federal Security Force (FSF) as a potential rival to the army.

After massive rigging in '77 elections, Bhutto brought the army face to face with the people of Pakistan by imposing martial law in five different cities as mentioned above. A number of officers in Lahore refused to allow their troops to be used against the civilians.

Brig Ishtiaq Ali Khan, Said Muhammad and Niaz Ahmad asked to be relieved of martial law duties to avoid using force against civilians. Zia dismissed them from service.

Zia may have been willing to help but when the discipline and integrity of army was challenged, Zia decided to overthrow Bhutto.

And once that was done, there was no turning back.

1. Maulana Kausar Niazi, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan: The Last Days
2. Niazi, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, pp. 68-71
3. Stanley Wolpert, Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan
4. Shuja Nawaz, Crossed Swords
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