Saturday, May 21, 2011

Who Ruined the Quaid's Dream (1958-65)

Political Debacle (1948-1958)

Failure of Pakistan Muslim League after assassination of Liquat ali Khan gave rise to a long lasting political crisis which prevailed until General Ayyub Khan took over and banned all political activity in the country. Muslim League failed to counter the problems because of the lack of capable and enthusiastic leadership. Although there were some faithful associates of Mohammad Ali Jinnah to guide the country but they were not able to resolve their own differences. Personal rivalries, power struggle, ethnic differences and regional bias resulted in a forgettable period of Pakistani political history. In the first ten years of its establishment Seven Prime Ministers, Four Governor Generals and a president had been tried but most of them failed to deliver. The other major reason behind the political debacle was the fact that country had two culturally, politically and socially distinct parts East and West Pakistan. Bengalis were economically weaker but politically more mature than the West Pakistanis, they did not want to accept the hegemony of West Pakistan. Ethnic and lingual divide between two halves gave rise to difference which remained the centre of politics in the country. In East Pakistan the darkest chapter of our politics was written when on Sep 21, 1958 in an assembly brawl deputy speaker Shahid Ali Jan was killed and many assembly members were injured. This incident highlighted the political turmoil which invited the military to take control of affairs

Military Take over (1958)

Ayyub Khan was made the commander in chief of Pakistan army superseding two senior officers in 1951 by then Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan. Ayyub Khan had strong links with the political leadership in the country. In his autobiography he has revealed some interesting facts about the role he played time to time in the early politics of the country. How he described the politicians (even Quaid’s associates) is a clear indication military mind set about the civilians. It is an open secret that he had a strong backing from USA and other anti-USSR countries; in fact he was made the C-I-C after a strong support from Anglo-American forces. Ayuub Khan joined the active politics when he became the Defense Minister in the cabinet of Mohammad Ali Bogra in 1954. Iskandar Mirza took over as Governor General ousting Ghulam Mohammad; he had deep rooted ties with Ayyub Khan. In 1958 he declared martial law in country citing the fragile political situation. Ayyub Khan was made chief martial law administrator, who later toppled Iskandar Mirza and became field martial.

U2 Incident 1961 (US used Pakistani Airspace)

It is a million dollar question these days who was the first ruler in Pakistan who gave USA the permission to play with the sovereignty of Pakistan. It was in late 50’s when Pakistan gave them the air and land space to fight their enemy no 1 USSR. In 1960 a US spy plane was shot down by USSR for violating its territories. The incident intensified the ongoing cold war between US and USSR and world was on the verge of first nuclear war. It was later discovered that the spy plane was flown from an air base in Peshawar, which was given to USA. This event enraged the Soviets who were already seeing Pakistan as an enemy for siding USA. This event signified that Pakistan had given the USA authority to violate its territory and use its space for carrying spy operations. Afterwards Soviet Union turned against Pakistan and helped India to break the country into two.

Fatima Jinnah Defeated (1964)

Ayyub Khan introduced basic democracies system and got elected as a president through a poll by basic democrats. He used every possible opportunity to wrest his control on power. During his regime political parties were banned from any political activity and strict bans were put on already inept press. In these circumstances Ayyub introduced a construction in 1962 which was a big failure as the nation rejected his self created document. In 1964 he announced elections for President under new constitution to legitimize and prolong his rule. Opposition was able to persuade Fatima Jinnah to contest the elections. Fatima Jinnah was highly respected personality fro her role in supporting Quiad e Azam in his great struggle. Ayyub Khan had an agenda on his hands from foreign powers so he made the worst rigging in elections and won it by a clear majority. This election is an important event in the history of our nation. Results of the elections divided the country among two as Fatima Jinnah gained majority in East Pakistan and Karachi but in other parts of country there was no contest between the two. Bengalis were outrageous on the manipulated elections and protests started in different parts of East Pakistan. The year after the elections Sheikh Mujeeb Ur Rehman announced his famous 6 points which was considered as the document of separation.

Operation Giberalter (1965)

Kashmir issue was thrown into cold due to the domestic turmoil in Pakistan in early days of Pakistan. India gave Jammu and Kashmir an autonomous entity through their constitution in early 50’s thus rasing fears in Pakistan. There were worrying signs in Jammu and Kashmir as no major appraisal opposition was seen there, Kashmiri’s main leader Sheikh Abdullah was released and was in some dialogue with India. Pakistan was having full support of US due to cold war situation. Sino-Indian war of 1962 has put China and Pakistan in close relations. The news of disappearance of a holy Relic (holy hair of Hazrat Mohammad PBUH) in 1965 had given rise to dissent and revolt among the Kashmiris on the Indian side. Ayyub Khan considered it a real opportunity to get hold of Jamuu and Kashmir, thus a program was designed to infiltrate the civil and military guerillas into Indian Occupied Kashmir and liberate the remaining area. The operation named Opreation Giberalter was started in 1965, Pakistani forces aided with civilian fighters crossed into Indian Occupied Kashmir and captured many areas of great importance. India was on the verge of loosing Kashmir therefore they attacked Pakistan from the Western front Punjab. Both countries have made considerable advancement into each others territory, when USSR and USA come to rescue and a ceasefire was arranged. Ayyub Khan and Lal Bahadur Shastri signed Tashkent agreement in 1966 to put militaries from both countries to pre war positions. Given the situation in Pakistan facing worst ever political and economic turmoil operation giberalter was a luxury which Pakistan did not afford. The operation put the morale of already suffering nation to ground and we were not able strengthen ourselves when India designed the same operation in East Pakistan top deprive us from half of our land and people.

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