A Time, When A Pakistani Leader Visited Saudi Arabia, Whole World Got Stunned

Mohammed Ayub Khan (Urdu: محمد ایوب خان‎; May 14, 1907 – April 19, 1974), widely known as Ayub Khan, HPk, NPk, HJ, was a Pakistani politician and a five-star rank army general who served as the second President of Pakistan from 1958 until being forced into resignation amid a popular uprising in East-Pakistan in 1969. He is noted for being the first and only Field Marshal as well as the first martial law ruler who assumed the presidency after exiling President Iskander Mirza when the latter imposed the martial law against Feroze government in 1958.

Trained at British Sandhurst Military College, Ayub Khan fought in World War II as a Colonel in the British Indian Army. He opted for Pakistan and joined the military upon establishment as an aftermath of partition of British India in 1947. He served as chief of staff of Pakistan Eastern Command in East-Bengal and elevated as first native commander-in-chief of Pakistan Army in 1951 by then-Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan in a controversial promotion over several senior officers. From 1953–58, he served in the civilian government as Defence and Home Minister and supported Iskander Mirza’s decision to imposed martial law against Prime Minister Feroze Khan’s government in 1958 .Two weeks later, he took over the presidency from Mirza after the meltdown of civil-military relations between the military and the civilian President.

After appointing General Musa Khan as an army chief in 1958, the policy inclination towards the alliance with the United States was pursued that saw the allowance of American access to facilities inside Pakistan, most notably the airbase outside of Peshawar, from which spy missions over the Soviet Union were launched.Relations with neighboring China were strengthened but deteriorated with Soviet Union in 1962, and with India in 1965. His presidency saw the war with India in 1965 which ended with Soviet Union facilitating the agreement between two nations. At home front, the policy of privatisation and industrialization was introduced that made the country’s economy as Asia’s fastest-growing economies. During his tenure, several infrastructure programs were built that consisted the completion of hydroelectric stations, dams and reservoirs, as well as prioritizing the space program but reducing the nuclear deterrence.

In 1965, Ayub Khan entered in a presidential race as PML candidate to counter the popular and famed non-partisan Fatima Jinnah and controversially reelected for the second term. He faced with allegations of widespread intentional vote riggings, authorized political murders in Karachi, and the politics over the unpopular peace treaty with India which many Pakistanis considered an embarrassing compromise. In 1967, he was widely disapproved when the demonstrations across the country were led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto over the price hikes of food consumer products and, dramatically fell amid the popular uprising in East led by Mujibur Rahman in 1969. Forced to resigning to avoid further protests while inviting army chief Yahya Khan to imposed second martial law, he fought a brief illness and died in 1974.

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