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Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (1928-1979)

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was born on January 5, 1928. He was a Pakistani politician who served as the President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973 and as the Prime Minister of ¬†Pakistan from 1973 to 1977. He was the founder of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which is one of the largest political parties in Pakistan. His daughter Benazir Bhutto has also served twice as prime minister. Bhutto is often addressed as the Quaid-e-Awam .

Born in a wealthy and influential family, Bhutto became one of the youngest politicians in Pakistan when he entered the government led by President Ayub Khan. In 1957, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto became the youngest member of Pakistan’s delegation to the United Nations. He would address the United Nations Sixth Committee on Aggression on 25 October 1957. In 1958 Bhutto became the youngest cabinet minister when he was given charge of the Energy ministry by President Field Marshal Ayub Khan, who had seized power, through a successful coup d’√©tat, and declared martial law in the country. In 1960, he was subsequently promoted to minister of the Commerce Ministry, and Ministry of Information and Industry Ministry. Bhutto aided Ayub Khan in negotiating the Indus Water Treaty in India in 1960. In 1961, Bhutto negotiated an oil exploration agreement with the Soviet Union, which also agreed to provide economic and technical aid to Pakistan.

As foreign minister, Bhutto significantly transformed Pakistan’s hitherto pro-Western foreign policy. While maintaining a prominent role for Pakistan within the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization and the Central Treaty Organization, Bhutto began asserting a foreign policy course for Pakistan that was independent of U.S. influence. Bhutto criticised the U.S. for providing military aid to India during and after the Sino-Indian War of 1962, which was seen as an abrogation of Pakistan’s alliance with the U.S. Bhutto worked to establish stronger relations with the People’s Republic of China. Bhutto visited Beijing and helped Ayub negotiate trade and military agreements with the Chinese regime, which agreed to help Pakistan in a large number of military and industrial projects. Bhutto also signed the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement on March 2, 1963 that transferred 750 kilometers of territory from Pakistan-administered Kashmir to Chinese control. Bhutto asserted his belief in non-alignment, making Pakistan an influential member in non-aligned organizations. Believing in pan-Islamism, Bhutto developed closer relations with Muslim nations such as Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.

Bhutto also helped Ayub Khan during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. Falling out with Ayub after the war, Bhutto founded the Pakistan People’s Party in 1966, which won a majority of seats from West Pakistan in 1970. He refused to accept the victory of the Awami League, leading to a political and sectarian crisis. After the Bangladesh Liberation War, Bhutto took over as president and the first civilian chief martial law adminstrator of Pakistan. In this capacity, he negotiated the Shimla Agreement with Indian leader Indira Gandhi to establish peace.

On national development side Bhutto adopted a new constitution for Pakistan. Transferring to the post of prime minister, Bhutto nationalized many industries. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the founder of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme and due to his administrative and aggressive leadership to lead this nuclear deterrence programme, Bhutto is often known as Father of Nuclear deterrence programme Pioneering Islamic socialism in Pakistan, he undertook land reforms and other socialist policies. Bhutto also ordered the Pakistan Army to suppress the insurgency in Balochistan and suppressed a military coup attempt in 1973. However, Bhutto became increasingly unpopular over allegations of corruption and suppression of political opponents.

General Elections were held on March 7, 1977. PPP emerged as the victorious Party. At the behest of General Ziaul Haq, PNA accused government of rigging in the elections. Negotiations with PNA resumed. An Agreement was reached on June 8, 1977 for holding Fresh Elections on October 1977. On July 5, 1977 COAS General Zia-ul-Haq imposed Martial Law.

Zia’s Military Junta established a dummy government of PNA with CMLA as President. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was arrested on July 5, 1977 and released on July 28, 1977.
Re-arrested on September 3, 1977 from Karachi, on the charges of murder case and was executed on April 4, despite a controversial trial and protest.

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