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ONE UNIT (1955)
When Pakistan came into existence the geography of Pakistan was completely confusing in a sense of divisional land. The land of Pakistan was geographically divided into two parts which were known as East Pakistan (now current Bangladesh) and West Pakistan (Islamic Republic of Pakistan). It is crystal clear that East Pakistan was separated from West Pakistan with a vast expanse of land. On the other hand, West Pakistan was itself divided into four provinces. East Pakistan was considered one province. It was difficult for east Pakistani to be prosperous with the privileges which it had. So there were a lot of hurdles between east and west. Such as language issues, sharing of powers, etc. additionally West Pakistan was more developed and it had a strong military and bureaucracy.
Nevertheless, the rulers of Pakistan tried to solve the issue of disparity that was being faced by East Pakistan. The then Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra brought the concept of one unit under discussion. The leaders of the viewed that the disparity and hopelessness of East Pakistan could be removed by merging all four units of West Pakistan into one unit and the campaign would have other development projects.
In this way, equality between east and west would come to the surface. On 30th September a bill was passed in the assembly in the favor of one unit. Furthermore, Lahore was declared the capital of one unit. The land of West Pakistan was controlled by three governors which became under a chief commissioner. Knowing the fact the one unit’s first governor was appointed as Mushtaque Ahmed Gurmani and the first chief minister was dr. khan sahib.
The question arises here whether the merging of all West Pakistan provinces was the consent of all the units of the provinces or not. The answer would be “NO” because when the campaign of one unit was initiated, firstly it was opposed by the Sindh assembly. It is clear as day that the center or federal government has been strong all the time. The then chief minister was dismissed Pirzada Abdul Sattar was dismissed by Ghulam Muhammad.
After the dismissal of Pirzada, Muhammad Ayub Khuro was installed as the new chief minister of Sind. The Sind assembly started supporting one unit campaign. Sad to as that Ayub Khuro was dismissed in the case of corruption PRODA (public and representative officer disqualified act) “under the Act 1949, the government could start legal proceedings against ministers and members of the assembly on the charges of misconduct or corruption.’ But after three years he was appointed as chief minister. After few months again he was dismissed. But in 1954 PRODA was lifted and Mr. Khuro was again made the chief minister of Sindh. Besides Sind and West Pakistan, East Pakistan was fully against one unit campaign because they had a threat of demographic change. But passing through great hurdles one unit came into existence.
The fact cannot be denied that the merging of the provinces created further troubles and tribulations. The circumstances of one unit could not bring prosperity and development to the country. Due to that the West Pakistan legislature passed a bill in October recommending the dissolution of one unit. This led to the downfall of Suhrwardy’s cabinet. The central government dismissed the ministries in Punjab, Sind, and NWFP. One unit continued until general Yahya khan dissolved it on July 1st, 1970.
To conclude, one unit created more problems internally in West Pakistan. With one unit of West Pakistan neither the disparity of East Pakistan was removed nor was any other issue was resolved.