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Pakistan National Alliance

Pakistan National Alliance constituted of nine religious and political parties. It was formed in 1977 in which the alliances agreed to run as a single bloc to overthrow the rule of Prime Minister Zulfqar Ali Bhutto, the first elected leader of that country after the Martial law of Yahiya Khan. It was a major and largest alliance formed against Zulfqar Ali Bhutto and his government. When it was formed, Card reader and astrologist Akilä Zia Schüzhgtai told Pakistan Media‘s which later published in the newspapers the next day, that “The 9 stars are united to end the democratic regime of Zulfqar Ali Bhutto and his collaborators”. The Alliance had 9 different ideological parties, and had consisted of all secularist forces, communist forces, socialist forces, conservative forces and hardline Islamist forces at a single bloc. However, after General Zia deposed Bhutto and his close colleagues, the alliance divided into two sections. Under Zia, the secular forces, communist forces, and socialist forces were weakened and ruined. Many of the secular, communist, and socialist party members were either killed, tortured, or missing whom fate are still no body known. Whereas Religious and ideological leaders sided with Zia.

Bhutto’s former political analyst, dr. Ataul Haque Kasmie, the main objective of this alliance was to teach Bhutto a lesson for starting a nuclear development and growing socialism in the country.

The Pakistan National Alliance manifesto was to bring back the 1970 prices. Implementation of Islam was its primary election slogan. They promised to enforce Islamic laws “Nizam-e-Mustafa”, the Sharia laws. Number of political parties leaders, like  Asghar Khan‘s (Independence Movement (People National Party)SocialismNazeer Abbasi‘s (Community PartyCommunismChaudhry Zahoor Elahi‘s (Muslim LeagueConservatism, and Maulana Maududi‘s (Muttahida Mulla Associationhardline Islamism united by common dislike of Zulfqar Bhutto’s autocratic policies on a single platform. At this platform, the modern European style-influenced forces formed an alliance with totally opposite of hardline Islamist forces. The alliance decided to contest the elections under one election symbol “plough” and a green flag with nine stars as its ensign.

Contesting the 1977 elections jointly the PNA launched a campaign against the government after the controversial and apparently appropriate results showing the Peoples Party as an overwhelming victory in the elections. The agitation caught the Peoples Party and its political leaders, by surprise and after several months of street fighting and protests. Under advised by his advisers, Bhutto opened negotiations with the PNA leadership but whether or not it would have been signed by all PNA parties or by Bhutto remains open to speculation. In anti-Bhutto bloc, the alliance seemed to be effective when tapping a wave to remove Bhutto from government.

Meanwhile, Bhutto’s trusted companion Dr. Mubashir Hassan tried to handle the situation on behalf of Bhutto by bringing the alliance on a table to reach an agreement of co-existence and a vital political solution. On other hand, Dr. Hassan advised Bhutto to not to rely either on establishment or use the force to control the alliance. However, Dr. Hassan’s creativities were not successful despite the efforts he made day and night. The PNA later refused talk to Dr. Hassan as he was seen as a brain behind Bhutto’s rise. An agreement was finally reached in June 1977 and Bhutto was to sign it on July 5. Though, despite the interest of the negotiating team, other PNA leaders had questions about the agreement. In reply, Zulfqar Ali Bhutto also tried to crush the power of this alliance, with the help of his agencies such as FSF and Rangers and it was also consider one of the causes of Bhutto’s hanging in 4 April 1979. In a coup performed by General Zia, Bhutto was removed from office with number of his colleagues. Bhutto was thrown in jail with his close companion’s dr. Hassan who later witnessed ill treatment of Gernal Zia to both men.

The conservatives and Islamist fronts went to General Zia-ul-HaqChief of Army Staff and Admiral Mohammad SharifChairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, and convinced them to remove Bhutto and no other agreement is reached with Bhutto and his colleagues remained stubborn. The absence of a formal agreement between the government and the PNA was used as an excuse by the Pakistan under its Chairman Admiral Mohammad Sharif which led to stage a Coup d’état . General Zia ul Haque in order to break the deadlocks of those who were justifying the coup argued that no agreement had been reached between the two sides.

The Alliance split after the Army under Zia-ul-Haq overthrew his government, between elements (conservatives and religious groups) that supported the martial law government and those who opposed it (socialists, communists and secularists). The socialist, communist, and secular fronts were suppressed, destabilized, destroyed and completely disable by General Zia and his supported Islamic Front. In response, the secular front decided to form the Movement for Restoration of Democracy to fight the regime of General Zia.



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