West Pakistan

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West Pakistan

مغربى پاکستان
পশ্চিম পাকিস্তান
Flag of Pakistan.svg
Coat of arms of Pakistan.svg
Coat of arms
Motto: "Unity, Discipline, Faith"
Anthem:  Qaumī Tarāna
National Anthem
Pakistan (orthographic projection).svg
Area controlled by West Pakistan shown in dark green;Indian Kashmir shown in light green
StatusWestern provincial wing of Pakistan
Capital Karachi (1947–1955)
Islamabad (1965–1970)
Common languages Urdu (official)
English (official)
Balochi  · Pashto  · Punjabi
Saraiki  · Sindhi  · Kashmiri
Government Parliamentary dominion (1947–58)
Presidential republic (1960–69)
Military government (1969–70)
Chief Ministers  
Abdul Jabbar Khan
Abdur Rashid Khan
Muzaffar Ali Qizilbash
Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani
Akhter Husain
Amir Mohammad Khan
Muhammad Musa
Nur Khan
Legislature Legislative Assembly
High Court
Historical era Cold War
14 August 1947
22 November 1954
1 July 1970
Currency Pakistani rupee (M)
Calling code92
Preceded by
Succeeded by
British Raj Red Ensign.svg British Raj
Pakistan Flag of Pakistan.svg
Today part ofFlag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan

West Pakistan (Urdu : مغربی پاکستان, Mag̱ẖribī PākistānIPA:  [məɣrɪbiː pɑːkɪstɑːn] ; Bengali : পশ্চিম পাকিস্তান, Pôśchim Pākistān) was one of the two exclaves created at the formation of the modern State of Pakistan following the 1947 Partition of India. [1]

Bengali language Indo-Aryan language mainly spoken in India and Bangladesh

Bengali, also known by its endonym Bangla, is an Indo-Aryan language primarily spoken by the Bengalis in South Asia. It is the official and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh and second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India, behind Hindi. In 2015, 160 million speakers were reported for Bangladesh, and the 2011 Indian census counted another 100 million. With approximately 260–300 million total speakers worldwide, Bengali is the 6th most spoken language by number of native speakers and 7th most spoken language by total number of speakers in the world.

An enclave is a territory, or a part of a territory, that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Territorial waters have the same sovereign attributes as land, and enclaves may therefore exist within territorial waters.

Partition of India partition of British India into the independent states of India and Pakistan in 1947

The Partition of India was the division of British India in 1947 which accompanied the creation of two independent dominions, India and Pakistan. The Dominion of India is today the Republic of India and Dominion of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh. The partition involved the division of two provinces, Bengal and the Punjab, based on district-wise Hindu or Muslim majorities. It also involved the division of the British Indian Army, the Royal Indian Navy, the Indian Civil Service, the railways, and the central treasury, between the two new dominions. The partition was set forth in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and resulted in the dissolution of the British Raj, or Crown rule in India. The two self-governing countries of India and Pakistan legally came into existence at midnight on 14–15 August 1947.


After gaining independence from the British in 1947, the State of Pakistan was physically separated into two exclaves, with the western and eastern wings separated from each other by the Republic of India. The western wing of Pakistan comprised three Governor's provinces (North-West Frontier, West-Punjab and Sindh Province), one Chief Commissioner's province (Baluchistan Province), and the Baluchistan States Union along with several other independent princely states (notably Bahawalpur, Chitral, Dir, Hunza, Khairpur and Swat), the Federal Capital Territory around Karachi, and the tribal areas. [1] The eastern wing of the new country – East Pakistan – formed the single province of East Bengal (including the former Assam district of Sylhet).

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, formerly known as North-West Frontier Province, is one of the four administrative provinces of Pakistan, located in the northwestern region of the country along the international border with Afghanistan. It was previously known as the North-West Frontier Province until 2010 when the name was changed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the 18th Amendment to Pakistan's Constitution, and is known colloquially by various other names. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the third-largest province of Pakistan by the size of both population and economy, though it is geographically the smallest of four. Within Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shares a border with Punjab, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Islamabad. It is home to 17.9% of Pakistan's total population, with the majority of the province's inhabitants being Pashtuns. The province is the site of the ancient kingdom Gandhara, including the ruins of its capital Pushkalavati near modern-day Charsadda. Originally a stronghold of Buddhism, the history of the region was characterized by frequent invasions under various Empires due to its geographical proximity to the Khyber Pass.

West Punjab

West Punjab was a province of Pakistan from 1947 to 1955. The province covered an area of 205,344 km2, including much of the current Punjab province and the Islamabad Capital Territory, but excluding the former princely state of Bahawalpur. The capital was the city of Lahore and the province was composed of four divisions. The province was bordered by the Indian states of East Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir to the east, the princely state of Bahawalpur to the south, the provinces of Balochistan and Sind to the southwest, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to the northwest, and Azad Kashmir to the northeast.

Baluchistan States Union

The Baluchistan States Union or Balochistan States Union (BSU) was an administrative division of Pakistan that existed between 3 October 1952 and 14 October 1955 in the southwestern part of West Pakistan. It was formed by the four princely states of Kalat, Kharan, Las Bela and Makran with the capital at the town of Kalat. The area of the Union was roughly the south-western half of the modern province of Balochistan. The Union was separate from the Chief Commissioners Province of Baluchistan which comprised areas to the northeast of the Union. The Union did not include the enclave of Gwadar which was part of the Muscat and Oman. The four state rulers continued in office and retained autonomy.

West Pakistan was politically dominant despite East Pakistan having over half of the population and a disproportionately small number of seats in the Constituent Assembly. This inequality of the two wings and the geographical distance between them were believed to be delaying the adoption of a new constitution. To diminish the differences between the two regions, the government decided to reorganise the country into two distinct provinces under the One Unit policy announced by Prime Minister Chaudhry Muhammad Ali on 22 November 1954.

Constitution of Pakistan Current constitution of Pakistan

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, also known as the 1973 Constitution is the supreme law of Pakistan. Drafted by the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, with additional assistance from the country's opposition parties, it was approved by the Parliament on 10 April and ratified on 14 August 1973.

One Unit

The One Unit was a geopolitical program launched by the government of Pakistan led by then-Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra on 22 November 1954. The program was believed to be enacted after the government faced difficulty of administrating the two unequal polities of Pakistan separated from each other by more than a thousand miles. To diminish the differences between the two regions, the program merged the Four Provinces of West Pakistan into a single province as was the case with East Pakistan.

Chaudhry Muhammad Ali 4th Prime Minister of Pakistan

Chaudhry Muhammad Ali, best known as Muhammad Ali, was the fourth Prime Minister of Pakistan, appointed on 12 August 1955 until being removed through a successful passage of vote of no confidence motion in the National Assembly on 12 September 1956.

In 1970, President General Yahya Khan enacted a series of territorial, constitutional and military reforms. These established the provincial assemblies, state parliament, and the current provisional borders of Pakistan's four provinces. On 1 July 1970, West Pakistan was devolved and renamed "Pakistan" under Legal Framework Order No. 1970, which dissolved the "One Unit" and removed the term "West", simply establishing the country as Pakistan. [1] The order had no effect on East Pakistan, which retained the geographical position established in 1955. [1] The next year's civil war, however, resulted in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh.

Yahya Khan Pakistani president

Agha Muhammad Yahya KhanNePl, widely known as Yahya Khan, was the third President of Pakistan, serving in this post from 25 March 1969 until turning over his presidency in December 1971.

Parliament of Pakistan Federal legislature of Pakistan

The Parliament of Pakistan is the federal and supreme legislative body of Pakistan. It is a bicameral federal legislature that consists of the Senate as the upper house and the National Assembly, as the lower house. According to the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President of Pakistan is also a component of the Parliament. The National Assembly is elected for a five-year term on the basis of adult franchise and one-man one-vote. The tenure of a Member of the National Assembly is for the duration of the house, or sooner, in case the Member dies or resigns. The tenure of the National Assembly also comes to an end if dissolved on the advice of the Prime Minister or by the president in his discretion under the Constitution.

Political history

Geography of West Pakistan West Pakistan Map.gif
Geography of West Pakistan

Independence after British colonial period

At the time of the state establishment in 1947, the founding fathers of Pakistan participated in the Boundary Commission conference. Headed by Cyril Radcliffe, the Commission was tasked with negotiating the arrangement, area division, and future political set up of Pakistan and India.

Radcliffe Line Boundary of the Partition of India

The Radcliffe Line was the boundary demarcation line between the Indian and Pakistani portions of the Punjab and Bengal provinces of British India. It was named after its architect, Sir Cyril Radcliffe, who, as the joint chairman of the two boundary commissions for the two provinces, received the responsibility to equitably divide 175,000 square miles (450,000 km2) of territory with 88 million people.

Cyril Radcliffe, 1st Viscount Radcliffe British Viscount

Cyril John Radcliffe, 1st Viscount Radcliffe, was a British lawyer and Law Lord best known for his role in the partition of British India. He served as the first chancellor of the University of Warwick from its foundation in 1965 to 1977.

Pakistan was formed from two distinct areas, separated by a thousand miles and India. The western state was composed of three Governor's provinces (North-West Frontier, West-Punjab and Sindh Province), one Chief Commissioner's province (Baluchistan Province), the Baluchistan States Union, several other princely states (notably Bahawalpur, Chitral, Dir, Hunza, Khairpur and Swat), the Federal Capital Territory (around Karachi) and the tribal areas. [1] The eastern wing of the new country – East Pakistan – formed the single province of East Bengal, including the former Assam district of Sylhet.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Chitral Town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Chitral is the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the Chitral River in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Chitral also served as the capital of the princely state of Chitral until 1969.

Dir (princely state)

Dir was a small Muslim princely state in a subsidiary alliance with British India within the Northwest Frontier Province until August 1947 when the British left the subcontinent. For some months it was unaligned, until February 1948, when its accession to the new Dominion of Pakistan was accepted.

West Pakistan experienced great problems related to the divisions, including ethnic and racial friction, lack of knowledge, and uncertainty of where to demarcate the permanent borders. [2] East Pakistan, Balochistan, and the North-West Frontier Province experienced little difficulty, but Southern Pakistani Punjab faced considerable problems that had to be fixed. [2] Former East Punjab was integrated with the Indian administration, and millions of Punjabi Muslims were expelled to be replaced by a Sikh and Hindu population and vice versa. [3] The communal violence spread to all over the Indian subcontinent. Economic rehabilitation efforts needing the attention of Pakistan's founding fathers further escalated the problems. [3]

The division also divided the natural resources, industries, economic infrastructure, manpower, and military might, with India as the larger share owner. [4] India retained 345 million in population [5] (91%) to Pakistan's 35 million [6] (9%). Land area was divided as 78% to India and 22% to Pakistan. Military forces were divided up with a ratio of 64% for India and 36% for Pakistan. [7] Most of the military assets – such as weapons depots and military bases – were located inside India; facilities in Pakistan were mostly obsolete, and they had a dangerously low ammunition reserve of only one week. [7] Four divisions were raised in West Pakistan, whilst one division was raised in East Pakistan. [7]

Parliamentary democracy

Jacqueline Kennedy visiting West Pakistan, c. 1960.

From the time of its establishment, the State of Pakistan had the vision of a federal parliamentary democratic republic form of government. With the founding fathers remaining in West Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan was appointed the country's first prime minister, with Mohammad Ali Jinnah as Governor-General. West Pakistan claimed the exclusive mandate over all of Pakistan, with the majority of the Pakistan Movement's leading figures in West Pakistan. In 1949, the Constituent Assembly passed the Objectives Resolution and the Annex to the Constitution of Pakistan, paving the road to a Westernized federal parliamentary republic. The work on parliamentary reforms was constituted by the constituent assembly the year after, in 1950.

The western section of Pakistan dominated the politics of the new country. Although East Pakistan had over half of the population, it had a disproportionately small number of seats in the Constituent Assembly. This inequality of the two wings and the geographical distance between them was believed to be holding up the adoption of a new constitution. To diminish the differences between the two regions, the government decided to reorganise the country into two distinct provinces.

Under the One Unit policy announced by Prime Minister Chaudhry Muhammad Ali on 22 November 1954, the four provinces and territories of western Pakistan were integrated into one unit to mirror the single province in the east. The state of West Pakistan was established by the merger of the provinces, states, and tribal areas of West Pakistan. The province was composed of twelve divisions and the provincial capital was established at Karachi. Later the state capital moved to Lahore, and it was finally established in Islamabad in 1965. The province of East Bengal was renamed East Pakistan with the provincial state capital at Dhaka (Dacca).

Clashes between East Pakistan and West Pakistan soon erupted, further destabilising the entire country. The two states had different political ideologies[ citation needed ] and different lingual cultural aspect. West Pakistan had been founded on the main basis of a parliamentary democracy (and had a parliamentary republic form of government since 1947), with Islam as its state religion. In contrast, East Pakistan had been a socialist state since the 1954 elections,[ citation needed ] with state secularism proclaimed.[ citation needed ] West Pakistan sided with the United States and her NATO allies, whilst East Pakistan remained sympathetic to the Soviet Union and her Eastern Bloc.[ citation needed ] Pakistan's 1956 constitution validated the parliamentary form of government, with Islam as state religion and Urdu, English and Bengali as state languages. The 1956 constitution also established the Parliament of Pakistan as well as the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Ethnic and religious violence in Lahore, which began in 1953, spread all over the country. Muhammad Ali Bogra, prime minister of Pakistan, declared martial law in Lahore to curb the violence. This inter-communal violence soon spread to India, and a regional conflicts put West Pakistan and India in a war-threatening situation. The prime ministers of Pakistan and India held an emergency meeting in Lahore.

Military dictatorships

From 1947 to 1959, the government was only partially stable. Seven prime ministers, four governors-general, and one president were forcefully removed either by constitutional coup or by military coup. The One Unit program was met with harsh opposition, civil unrest, and political disturbance. Support for the Muslim League and Pakistan Socialist Party in the upcoming elections threatened Pakistan's technocracy. The Muslim League and Socialist Party gained momentum after the League's defeat in the 1954 elections, and the Socialist Party were challenging for the constituencies of the President Iskandar Mirza's Republican Party. Relations with the United States deteriorated, with the US assessing that democracy in both states was failing.

A US-backed military coup d'état was launched in 1958 by the Pakistan Army command. The Urdu-speaking class and the Bengali nation were forcefully removed from the affairs of West Pakistan. With the imposition of martial law led by then-Army Commander-in-Chief General Ayub Khan, the state capital was moved from Karachi to Army Generals Combatant Headquarters (The GHQ) at Rawalpindi in 1959, whilst the federal legislature was moved to Dacca. In 1963, Rawalpindi had become ineffective as a federal capital; a new city was planned and constructed, finally completing in 1965. In 1965, the state capital was finally re-located in Islamabad.

Dissolution in 1970

On contrary perception, the provinces did not benefit from economic progress, but the One Unit program strengthened the central government. [8] In West Pakistan, the four provinces also struggled hard for the abolition of One Unit which caused injustices to them as it was imposed on them. [9]

The provisional powerful committees pressured the central government through the means of civil disobedience, violence on street, raising slogans against the martial law, and attacks on government machines such as police forces. [8] [9] For several weeks, the four provinces worked together and guided the "One Unit Dissolution Committee", towards resolving all outstanding issues in time set by the Yahya government. [8] [10] Finally, the committee's plan went into effect on 1 July 1970, when West Pakistan's "One Unit" was dissolved, and all power was transferred to the provinces of Balochistan, the North West Frontier Province, Punjab and Sindh. [8] [10] President General Yahya Khan issued the decree, simply removing the "West", and adding the word "Pakistan" on 1 July 1970. [8]

In the 1970 general elections (held in December 1970 and ), the far left Awami League under Mujibur Rahman won an overall majority of seats in Parliament and all but 2 of the 162 seats allocated to East Pakistan. The Awami League advocated greater autonomy for East Pakistan but the military government did not permit Mujibur Rahman to form a government.

East Pakistan became the independent state of Bangladesh on 16 December 1971. The term West Pakistan became redundant.


1950 film about West Pakistan

West Pakistan went through many political changes, and had a multiple political party system. West Pakistan's political system consisted of the popular influential Left-wing sphere against elite Right-wing circles.

Parliamentary republic

Since independence, West Pakistan had been a parliamentary republic (even as of today, the parliamentary system is the official form of government of Pakistan) with a Prime minister as the head of the government and a President as a head of state in a ceremonial office.

The 1956 Constitution provided the country with Semi-presidential system and the office of President was inaugurated the same year. The career civil service officer Major-General (retired) Iskander Mirza became the country's first President, but the system did not evolved for more than the three years, when Mirza imposed the martial law in 1958. Mirza appointed army commander-in-chief General Ayub Khan as Chief Martial Law Administrator; he later turned his back on the President and exiled him to Great Britain after the military government was installed.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan was a judicial authority, a power broker in country's politics that played a major role in minimising the role of parliament. The Supreme Court was moved to Islamabad in 1965 and Chief Justice Alvin Robert Cornelius re-located the entire judicial arbiter, personnel and high-profile cases in Islamabad. The Supreme Court building is one of the most attractive places in Islamabad, yet the most largely beautiful building in the state capital.

This provisional parliament had no lasting effects of West Pakistan's affairs but it was a ceremonial legislature where the lawmakers would gather around to discuss non-political matters. In 1965, the legislative parliament was moved to Islamabad after Ayub Khan built a massive capitol. The assembly was renamed as the Parliament of Pakistan and staffed only with technocrats.

Governor and chief minister

The office of Governor of West Pakistan was a largely ceremonial position but later Governors wielded some executive powers as well. The first Governor was Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani, who was also the last Governor of West Punjab. Ayub Khan abolished the Governor's office and instead established the Martial Law Administrator of West Pakistan (MLA West).

The office Chief Minister of West Pakistan was the chief executive of the state and the leader of the largest party in the provincial assembly. The first Chief Minister was Abdul Jabbar Khan who had served twice as Chief Minister of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province prior to independence. The office of Chief Minister was abolished in 1958 when Ayub Khan took over the administration of West Pakistan.

Governors of West Pakistan

TenureGovernor of West Pakistan [11] Party BackgroundForm of Government
14 October 1955 – 27 August 1957 Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani Muslim League Democratic government
September 1957 – 12 April 1960 Akhter Husain Independent Military government
12 April 1960 – 18 September 1966 Amir Mohammad Khan Muslim League Military government / Civilian authority
18 September 1966 – 20 March 1969General (retired) Muhammad Musa Independent Civilian Authority
20 March 1969 – 25 March 1969 Yusuf Haroon Civilian Government Civilian Authority
Tenure TermMartial Law AdministratorType of GovernmentService in effect
25 March 1969 – 29 August 1969 Lieutenant-General Attiqur Rahman (first term) Military Government Pakistan Army
29 August 1969 – 1 September 1969Lieutenant-General Tikka Khan Military Government Pakistan Army
1 September 1969 – 1 February 1970 Air Marshal Nur Khan Military Government Pakistan Air Force
1 February 1970 – 1 July 1970Lieutenant-General Attiqur Rahman (second term) Military Government Pakistan Army
1 July 1970Province of West Pakistan dissolved

Chief Ministers of West Pakistan

TenureChief Minister of West Pakistan [11] Political Party
14 October 1955 – 16 July 1957 Dr Khan Sahib Pakistan Muslim League/Republican Party
16 July 1957 – 18 March 1958 Sardar Abdur Rashid Khan Republican Party
18 March 1958 – 7 October 1958 Nawab Muzaffar Ali Khan Qizilbash Republican Party
7 October 1958Office of Chief Minister abolished

Local government

The twelve divisions of West Pakistan province were Bahawalpur, Dera Ismail Khan, Hyderabad, Kalat, Khairpur, Lahore, Malakand, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, and Sargodha; all named after their capitals except the capital of Malakand was Saidu, and Rawalpindi was administered from Islamabad. The province also incorporated the former Omani enclave of Gwadar following its purchase in 1958, and the former Federal Capital Territory (Karachi) in 1961; the latter forming a new division in its own right.

In 1970, the Martial Law Office was dissolved by General Yahya Khan who disestablished the state of West Pakistan. On 1 July 1970, the provisional assemblies of Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Office of Prime minister, and much of the civil institutions were revived and re-established by the decree signed by Yahya Khan. The four provinces and four administrative units retained their current status and local governments were constitutionally established in 1970 to manage and administer the provisional autonomy given to the provinces in 1970.

Domestic affairs

Position toward East Pakistan

During West Pakistan's conflict with India, East Pakistan's military government remained silent and did not send any troops to exert pressure on Eastern India. West Pakistan accused East Pakistan of not taking any action, and their inaction caused West Pakistani resentment against East Pakistan's government.[ citation needed ] In fact, the Indian Air Force Eastern Air Command attacked East Pakistan's Air Force. However, East Pakistan was defended only by the under-strength 14th Infantry Division and sixteen fighter jets; no tanks and no navy were established in East Pakistan.[ citation needed ]

Days of disintegration

The One Unit policy was regarded as a rational administrative reform that would reduce expenditure and eliminate provincial prejudices. [12] West Pakistan formed a seemingly homogeneous block, but in reality it comprised marked linguistic and ethnic distinctions. The four provinces did not quite fit official definitions of a single nation. [13]

The Sindhi and Urdu-speaking class in Sindh Province revolted against the One Unit policy. [14] The violence spread to Balochistan Province, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab Province. The One Unit policy was a failure in West Pakistan, and its survival was seen as improbable. [14] However, with the military coup of 1958, trouble loomed for the province when the office of Chief Minister was abolished and the President took over executive powers for West Pakistan. [12]

Influence of socialism

Due to West Pakistan's close relations with the United States and the capitalist states, the influence of socialism had far more deeper roots in the West Pakistan population. The population favoured socialism but never allied with communism.[ citation needed ] The Pakistan Socialist Party had previously lost support due to its anti-Pakistan clauses during the time of the pre-independence movement. However, despite initiatives to improve the population during the Ayub Khan's government, the poor masses did not enjoy the benefits and reforms that were enjoyed by the middle and gentry classes of Pakistan.

After the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965, the cultural revolution, resentment, hostility towards the government began to arise when the population felt that "Kashmir cause" was betrayed by President Ayub Khan. Problems further mounted after Foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was sacked and vowed to take a revenge. After gathering and uniting the scattered democratic socialist and Marxist masses, Bhutto founded the Pakistan Peoples Party in 1967. The socialists tapped a wave of antipathy against the United States-allied president. The socialists integrated in poor and urban provinces of West Pakistan, educating people to cast their vote for their better future, and the importance of democracy was widely sensed in the entire country. The socialists, under Bhutto's guidance and leadership, played a vital role in managing labour strikes and civil disobedience to challenge Khan's authority. The military government responded fiercely after arresting the senior socialists' leadership, notably Bhutto, Mubashir Hassan, and Malick Mirage. This sparked gruesome violence in West Pakistan, thereby increasing pressure on Khan that he was unable to endure. Khan called for a Round Table Conference in Rawalpindi, but socialists led by Bhutto refused to accept Ayub's continuation in office and rejected the 6 Point Movement for regional autonomy put forth in 1966 by East Pakistani politician Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

In 1969, Khan handed over power to Army Chief of Staff General Yahya Khan, who promised to hold elections within two years. Meantime, Bhutto extensively worked to gather and unite the country's left-wing organisations, which, under Bhutto's leadership, participated with full force and became vital players in the country's politics.

Foreign relations


The long border between Afghanistan and West Pakistan was uneasy. This is due in part to the independent Pashtun tribes that inhabit the area. In addition, the physical boundary is uncertain: the 1893 Durand Line was used by West Pakistan to mark the border between the two countries, but Afghanistan has never recognised that frontier. [15]

In 1955, diplomatic relations were severed with the ransacking of Pakistan's embassy. In 1961, Pakistan Armed Forces suppressed an Afghan invasion in the Bajaur region of Pakistan.


Film showing Pakistan Armed Forces.

West Pakistan had hostile relations with India, primarily due to aftermaths of the 1947 independence and the issue of Kashmir.

In 1947, the Pakistan army and Pakistan Air Force attempted to annexe Kashmir, but were pushed back by the Indian army. Although the operation was a partial success, it did occupy 40% of Kashmir, which was later integrated into Northern Pakistan.

In 1965, "Operation Gibraltar" had long-ranging negative effects, outside and inside the country. Foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Defence minister Vice-Admiral Afzal Rahman Khan approached President Ayub Khan for approval of a covert operation to infiltrate Indian Kashmir using airborne troops from the Pakistan army (Special Service Group) and Pakistan Air Force (Special Service Wing). During nights in August 1965, airborne troops parachuted into Indian Kashmir whilst ground assault began by Pakistan Army's troops. The airborne troops managed to occupy much of Indian-administered Kashmir and were only 6 miles (10 km) from Srinagar, but this was the closest Pakistani troops ever got to capturing the city. In September 1965, India launched a counter-attack and the airborne troops were pushed back to what is today Azad Kashmir. The operation failed brutally, and Indian Armed Forces attacked West Pakistan with full force. The Soviet Union intervened in the conflict in September 1965 (for fear of escalation), and the month–long war ended with no permanent territorial changes. West Pakistan and India signed the Tashkent Declaration in January 1966, but the ceasefire was criticised both in India and Pakistan, and public resentment against each other grew. In West Pakistan, Ayub Khan deposed Bhutto as his Foreign minister, and Vice-Admiral Khan blamed Bhutto for the operation's failure. As an aftermath, Bhutto tapped into an anti-Ayub Khan movement and kicked off a storm of civil disobedience. Protests and spontaneous demonstrations broke out around the country, and Ayub Khan lost the control. In 1967, another martial law was imposed by another Army Commander-in-Chief, General Yahya Khan, who designated himself as the Chief Martial Law Administrator.

People's Republic of China

West Pakistan had positive relations with the People's Republic of China, with whom it shared a small northern border.

In 1950, Pakistan was among the first countries to end official diplomatic relations with the Taiwanese Republic of China and recognise the PRC. After that, both countries maintained an extremely close and supportive relationship. [16] [17] The PRC provided economic, military and technical assistance to Pakistan during the Cold War, and the two countries considered each other to be close strategic allies. [18]

Soviet Union

Relations varied from cool to extremely strained between West Pakistan and the Soviet Union. This was during the Cold War, and Pakistan's close ties with the United States came at the expense of relations with the Soviets.

Soviet-Pakistan relations were further eroded during the 1960 U-2 incident, when the Soviets shot down a US spyplane; Army Chief-of-Staff Ayub Khan had given the US permission to fly out of Peshawar Air Station on reconnaissance and covert surveillance missions over the Soviet Union.

The USSR backed India during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. The Soviets were the biggest supplier of military hardware to India at that time. [19]

United States

The United States was one of the first nations to establish relations with Pakistan upon its independence.[ citation needed ]

Pakistan was allied with the US during the Cold war against the USSR. Pakistan was an integral member of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), both alliances opposed to the Soviet Union and communism.

A major factor in Pakistan's decision to ally with the West was their urgent need for aid. [20] In the years that followed, the US supplied extensive economic, scientific, and military assistance to Pakistan. [21]

This close relationship continued through Pakistan's years of democracy and military rule. Relations only soured after West Pakistan had dissolved into Pakistan, when the left-oriented Pakistan Peoples Party came to power in 1971.

See also

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General Muhammad Musa Khan, HPk, HQA, HI, HJ, MBE, was a four-star rank army general, politician, and the Commander in Chief of Pakistan Army, serving under President Ayub Khan from 1958 until 1966.

Asghar Khan Pakistani Air Force air marshal

Mohammad Asghar Khan, was a Pakistani politician and an autobiographer, later a dissident serving for the cause of pacifism, peace, and the human rights.

Former administrative units of Pakistan

The former administrative units of Pakistan are states, provinces and territories which mainly existed between 1947 and 1975 when the current provinces and territories were established. The former units have no administrative function today but some remain as historical and cultural legacies. In some cases, the current provinces and territories correspond to the former units – for example the province of Punjab includes almost all the territory of the former province of West Punjab.

National Awami Party (Wali) Wali Khan faction of the National Awami Party, political party in East Pakistan

The Wali Khan faction of the National Awami Party was formed after the 1967 split in the original NAP between Maulana Bhashani and Khan Wali Khan. The Wali Khan faction was later named National Awami Party (NAP) after the separation of East Pakistan.

1970 Pakistani general election

General elections were held in Pakistan on 7 December 1970. They were the first general elections held in Pakistan and ultimately only general elections held prior to the independence of Bangladesh. Voting took place in 300 parliamentary constituencies of Pakistan to elect members of the National Assembly of Pakistan, which was then the only chamber of a unicameral Parliament of Pakistan. The elections also saw members of the five Provincial assemblies elected in Punjab, Sindh, North West Frontier Province, Balochistan and East Pakistan.

The political history of Pakistan is the narrative and analysis of political events, ideas, movements, and leaders of Pakistan. Pakistan gained independence from the United Kingdom on 14 August 1947, when the Presidencies and provinces of British India was divided by the United Kingdom, in a region which is commonly referred to as the Indian subcontinent. Since its independence, Pakistan has had a colorful yet turbulent political history at times, often characterized by martial law and inefficient.

Syed Mohammad Ahsan Pakistani military person

Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad AhsanHQA, SPk, DSO, often known as S. M. Ahsan, was a three-star rank admiral in the Pakistan Navy, politician, and the Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Navy, serving under President Ayub Khan from 1966 until 1969.

The Muhajir people are Muslim immigrants, of multi-ethnic origin, and their descendants, who migrated from various regions of India to Pakistan, after the independence of Pakistan. Although many of them speak different languages at the native level, they are primarily identified as native Urdu speakers and hence are called Urdu-speaking people. The term Muhajirs generally refers to those Muslim migrants from India who settled in urban Sindh.

History of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

The history of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan began on 14 August 1947 when the country became an independent nation in the form of Dominion of Pakistan within the British Commonwealth as the result of Pakistan Movement and the partition of India. While the history of the Pakistani Nation according to the Pakistan government's official chronology started with the Islamic rule over Indian subcontinent by Muhammad bin Qasim which reached at it's zenith during Mughal Era. In 1947 Pakistan consisted of West Pakistan and East Pakistan. The President of All-India Muslim League and later the Pakistan Muslim League, Muhammad Ali Jinnah became Governor-General while the secretary general of the Muslim League, Liaquat Ali Khan became Prime Minister. The constitution of 1956 made Pakistan an Islamic democratic country.


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Coordinates: 30°N70°E / 30°N 70°E / 30; 70