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The Bhutto Years, 1971–1977
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8. The Bhutto Years, 1971–1977

The rise of Zulfiqar ‘Ali Bhutto and the Pakistan People’s Party to power between 1969 and 1971 promised to bring fundamental changes to the country, but they did not produce what Pakistan had hoped for. The People’s Party never managed to institutionalize the charismatic appeal of its leader, and his regime fell back into the mold of the country’s time-honored patrimonial politics. The advent of a populist government in Pakistan shaped the Jama‘at’s outlook on politics as well as the pace of its organizational change, but it was still unable to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Bhutto’s assault against the traditional power structure (1971–1973) and later the decline of his power (1973–1977).

The People’s Party rose to power as the movement which took most of the credit for ousting both Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan. It took over the reigns of power after the dismemberment of Pakistan, when Dhaka had fallen to Indian troops. This, combined with the impact of the new regime’s populist political and economic agenda, led to greater participation by various social strata in the political process, which the government was able neither to harness nor suppress. The problems of the new regime were further aggravated by Bhutto’s autocratic style and his unwillingness to use the army’s moment of weakness to strengthen both his party and civilian rule. As a result, the People’s Party bogged down in political disputes and lost sight of its agenda.

No sooner had Bhutto assumed power than the anti–People’s Party constituency became apparent. Between 1971 and 1977 it grew and became more powerful. As part of this opposition the Jama‘at channeled its efforts into a successful campaign of political agitation that eventually brought down the government.

The failure of Ayub Khan’s regime had unleashed the Islamic opposition in the political arena. The Bhutto government initially tried to control the activities of the Islamic parties by following the example of its predecessors, but given the gradual rise in the popularity of Islam, the weakening of the state following the civil war, and the mistakes made by the ruling party, it failed and the Islamic parties continued to press the state for greater representation. This led to a further decline in the government’s authority as the Islamic parties grew stronger. By the end of the Bhutto era, they were in a position to make a direct bid for controlling the state.

The inability of Islam to keep the two halves of the country united had not diminished the appeal of religion either to politicians or the people. Oddly enough it even increased it. The precariousness of Pakistan’s unity led Pakistanis to reaffirm their Islamic roots. Even the avowedly secularist and left-of-center People’s Party government did not remain immune and talked of “re-Islamizing” the country. The People’s Party government, much as Ayub Khan’s regime, sought to both manipulate Islam and marginalize its principal spokesmen, but did not succeed. Efforts to woo the religious vote provided the government with a mechanism for support, but also made it susceptible to criticism from religious quarters. By sanctioning the sacralization of politics, the People’s Party created the kind of political climate in which parties such as the Jama‘at had a clear advantage. Although not the main force behind the return of Islam, the Jama‘at proved to be its main beneficiary. For, given the prevailing climate, its views on an array of national issues were for once in tune with those of a larger number of Pakistanis. Its growing influence in the army, the most secular and anglicized of state institutions, was indicative of this trend.

Since the beginning of the East Pakistan crisis, Mawdudi had claimed that the problem before the country was the product of lackluster adherence to Islam. He in fact blamed the loss of East Pakistan on Yahya Khan’s womanizing and drinking.[1] The IJT echoed Mawdudi’s sentiments: its answer to “What broke up the country?” was “wine” (sharab). Some in the army apparently agreed. In 1972–1973, the military high command uncovered a conspiracy, later dubbed the Attock conspiracy, hatched by a group junior officers, led by Brigadier F. B. ‘Ali, most of them veterans of the civil war of 1971.[2] The officers were charged with sedition and brought to trial. S. M. Zafar, who defended the officers in court, recollects that they believed East Pakistan had been lost because of the government’s “un-Islamic” ways and Yahya Khan’s drinking in particular.[3] This concern for Islamicity in the army was the result of the officer corps having opened its ranks to cadets from the lower-middle classes after 1965, which made it markedly more subject to the influence of traditional Islamic values.[4] The Attock conspiracy certainly shows that the armed forces—dominated by Punjabi and Pathan officers, and the staunch defender of the unity of Pakistan and the integrity of the state—were no longer a bastion of secularism and were gradually turning to religion.

This trend was reinforced in the subsequent years thanks in part to Bhutto’s choosing General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq as the army’s chief of staff. Zia had long been sympathetic to the Jama‘at. He had been greatly impressed with Mawdudi’s works, and following his investiture as chief of staff, used the powers vested in his office to distribute the party’s literature among his soldiers and officers. When in July 1976 Zia gave copies of Mawdudi’s Tafhimu’l-Qur’an (Understanding the Qur’an) as “prizes” to soldiers who had won a debate arranged by the Army Education School, and subsequently proposed to include the book in the examination “for promotion of Captains and Majors,” Bhutto was greatly dismayed.[5] Finally, on November 24, 1976, Bhutto summoned the general before the cabinet to explain his actions.[6] Later during his trial before the supreme court, Bhutto was to remark, “I appointed a Chief of Staff belonging to the Jamaat-i-Islami and the result is before all of us.”[7] His statement underscores the Jama‘at’s increasing influence in the armed forces and the party’s role in bringing down his regime.

The revival of the Islamic dimension in Pakistani politics extended beyond the army, however. The People’s Party’s credo from its inception had been “Islamic Socialism”; Bhutto had said “Islam is our faith, democracy is our polity, socialism is our economy,” but under the pressures of Islamization, as he lost his grip over the hearts and minds of the people and with growing ties with the Persian Gulf states, he had to forego the second two in favor of the first.[8] The constitution of 1973, promulgated under the aegis of the People’s Party, reinstated “Islamic” as part of the official name of the state. But because Bhutto had been a protégé of General Mirza, and one of the most antireligious of Ayub Khan’s lieutenants, he was still regarded as a rabid secularist, and his gestures toward Islam were not thought to be genuine by those he sought to appease.[9] For instance, the People’s Party government named Kawthar Niyazi, who had gained prominence while a member of the Jama‘at, as its minister for religious affairs, a concession to the Islamic parties. Niyazi, however, was not held in high esteem either by the ulama or by the Jama‘at, since he had left the party in 1964, and the appointment was not popular with either of them.

The ulama, the Jama‘at, and religiously conscious Pakistanis were also greatly disturbed with the open flouting of religious values and mores by the prime minister and his coterie of friends and associates which belied their claim to promote Islam. This image of moral corruption was compounded by the widely held belief in religious circles that Bhutto enjoyed the financial and organizational backing of Pakistan’s Ahmadi community, rumors of which had been circulating since 1969. The government could do little to stop these charges or to allay the suspicions of the Islamic parties.[10] By 1974 the Ahmadi connection had become sufficiently damaging to the government to compel Bhutto to declare the Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim minority, but despite this concession the People’s Party government never managed to develop a following among the religiously inclined Pakistanis. It was caught in a situation of sacralizing the national political discourse, while it was unable effectively to appeal to Islam. In fact, given Bhutto’s policies and style, the re-Islamization of national politics would not favor him or his party. The un-Islamic ways of the People’s Party’s leaders never ceased to be a political issue. When, in 1976, the Jama‘at demanded the enforcement of the shari‘ah in public affairs it unexpectedly attracted some fifteen thousand new affiliates to its ranks.[11]

The confrontations between the People’s Party government and the Islamic parties soon extended beyond purely religious issues to other political and socioeconomic concerns, attracting others to the opposition. The result was the Nizam-i Mustafa, the opposition coalition that eventually toppled Bhutto’s government.

The People’s Party’s weakness was rooted in the very program of action which had brought it to office. Populism defined both the People’s Party’s base of support and that of its opposition. Throughout the 1970s the People’s Party ignored its supporters in favor of placating its opponents, substituting the party’s program for a balancing act between various Pakistani interest groups. Bhutto was compelled to eviscerate his agenda of its substantive content, purge his party of its left-of-center workers, and push the People’s Party in the direction of patrimonial politics. By the mid-1970s the People’s Party—populist by claim and leaning to the right in practice—was paralyzed. Discrepancies between ideals and reality spelled disaster for the party. The left wing and its network in the labor unions, who had played a pivotal role in bringing Bhutto to power, were purged in favor of the landed and industrial elite who had begun to join the ranks of the People’s Party from 1973 onward, in reaction to the growing strength of the Islamic parties. Rather than developing a reliable party machine, Bhutto placed his faith in the army, civil service, and the newly found Federal Security Forces. The government’s suppression of labor unrest in Karachi in 1973 alienated labor from the government, broke the monopoly of the left over its politics, and opened the workers up to the Jama‘at’s influence.

The People’s Party did implement new policies in the economy, but it failed to manage the changes it had initiated. As a result, the very policies which were designed to respond to the demands of the masses and thereby consolidate the People’s Party’s support became its undoing. Failing to harness the popular enthusiasm it had generated, the People’s Party’s rhetoric and socioeconomic policies instead coalesced the opposition.

The nationalization of industries and the use of the public sector to foster greater economic equity, which followed the People’s Party’s rise to power, had benefited the bureaucracy and the state bourgeoisie, whose powers had been increased to allow them to oversee the new state-run industries, more than it had the labor force. With the influx of its erstwhile enemies—landed gentry and business leaders—into the ranks of the People’s Party following its ascension to power, Bhutto’s populist agenda was turned on its head. The party was transformed into a patronage machine to benefit those with political clout rather than the poor. Bhutto’s appeal to Islamic symbols and to the support of the traditional elite and interest groups and his strong-arm tactics in dealing with the left disheartened loyal party workers and eroded the People’s Party’s base of support among the modern social sector, whose expectations had remained unfulfilled. As a result, in 1977, although labor union members and the urban, educated middle class, both of which were by this time far more numerous than in 1969, did not participate in the agitations that brought the Bhutto government down, more significantly, they also did little to save it. By abandoning ideological politics, the People’s Party government handed it over to the opposition, which mobilized Islam to wage all-out war against the government.

The opposition also found ample ammunition in People’s Party nationalization and land-reform measures. The propertied elite and the Islamic parties—the first motivated by its economic and business interests and the second by its belief in the sanctity of property—joined forces to denounce the government’s economic policies. Their opposition manifested itself in a host of anti–People’s Party issues. The government’s efforts at land reform in 1972, and the nationalization of agribusinesses—cotton-ginning and rice-husking mills—in 1976 (shortly before national elections) allied the landed gentry, small landowners, rural politicians, shopkeepers, and merchants who saw their economic interests threatened. This alliance, however, did not focus its attention on economic issues alone. Religious and political arguments were thought to provide a more effective basis for a social movement and had the added advantage of taking the debates beyond individual policies to challenge the legitimacy of the government as a whole. The alliance between the state and the bourgeoisie, which was the People’s Party’s avowed aim, produced a more significant alliance between the rural people and the landed classes. Bhutto responded with efforts to find his own base of support in the rural areas, but in line with the People’s Party’s dilemma of meeting the demands of diverse interest groups, the move was interpreted by city dwellers as having an “anti-urban bias” and further pushed the middle and lower-middle classes into the fold of the anti–People’s Party alliance.

The government confronted similar problems in its dealings with the bureaucracy. The civil service of Pakistan was used to having power under Ayub Khan and did not fare well under the rule of a politician. Bhutto’s power, although unleashed against the interests of the propertied elite, found its targets, for the most part, among the bureaucrats, the only group in Ayub Khan’s regime to be unaffected by the events of 1969–1971. In 1973 the civil service was formally abolished and was replaced by a national grade structure which permitted the lateral entry of political appointees into the bureaucracy. This move and Bhutto’s deliberate humiliation of senior bureaucrats were greatly resented and pushed the bureaucracy into the anti–People’s Party alliance. When Altaf Gauhar, one of Ayub Khan’s trusted lieutenants and a senior civil servant in the 1960s, was imprisoned in 1972–1973 on Bhutto’s orders, significantly he chose to use his time in jail to translate Mawdudi’s Tafhimu’l-Qur’an into English. The text was serialized in the Karachi daily Dawn.[12] Although alienated by the regime, the bureaucracy benefited from the nationalization of the industries which extended its activities. The gradual empowerment of the bureaucracy combined with its embittered attitude toward the People’s Party was a source of great concern to Bhutto. The People’s Party’s failure to evolve into a well-organized party eventually left Bhutto with no means to counter the power of the bureaucracy and placed him at its mercy.

The anti–People’s Party alliance also found an ethnic and provincial base of support. Bhutto’s open courting of the Sindhis, his use of the army to suppress dissent, and his conciliatory policy toward both India and Bangladesh were quite unpopular with the Muhajirs and the Punjabis. Throughout the electoral campaign of 1970, Bhutto had openly assailed the Muhajirs and promised the Sindhis a greater share of power in Sind as well as in the central government. Once in power, Bhutto delivered on his promises by distributing coveted bureaucratic and political positions to Sindhis without regard for bureaucratic procedures or merit. In addition, he closely allied the People’s Party with the secessionist Jiya Sind (Long Live Sind) party and emboldened the Sindhis by allowing vitriolic anti-Muhajir passages in the People’s Party newspaper, Hilal-i Pakistan.[13] The Muhajirs, who already blamed Bhutto’s intransigence for the loss of East Pakistan, did not take kindly to the new prime minister’s pro-Sindhi policies. In July 1972 the Sind provincial assembly, controlled by the People’s Party, passed the Teaching, Promotion, and Use of Sindhi Language Bill, which declared Sindhi the official language of the province, made its teaching in public schools mandatory, and made its use by civil servants obligatory. The assembly also passed a resolution stipulating that all provincial government employees—most of whom were Muhajirs and Punjabis—learn Sindhi in three months or be dismissed. The Muhajirs rose up in protest.[14] There were riots in Karachi, and Muhajirs and a good segment of Punjabi public opinion regarded this challenge to the primacy of Urdu as treasonous. For the Muhajirs and Punjabis, Bhutto was increasingly sounding like Shaikh Mujibu’l-Rahman in the 1960s.

Bhutto’s suppression of dissent in Baluchistan added to his problem. In February 1973 he summarily dismissed the Jami‘at-i Ulama-i Islam–National Awami Party coalition government in that province, whereupon the Jami‘at-i Ulama-i Islam–National Awami Party government of North-West Frontier Province resigned in protest. The Baluchis resisted, and a brutal guerrilla war broke out which by the December of 1974 pitched the Baluchi tribes against the Pakistani army. For the Jama‘at and its constituency the parallels between Baluchistan and the civil war in East Pakistan were uncomfortably close, and the Baluchistan debacle was yet another proof that the People’s Party must be defeated. The crisis compelled Bhutto to appeal to Islamic symbols to bolster the state to avoid yet another secessionist movement.

Also of concern to the already apprehensive Muhajir and Punjabi communities was Pakistan’s decision to recognize Bangladesh. In June 1972, Bhutto met with Indira Gandhi in Simla to discuss the geopolitical order in South Asia following the division of Pakistan. Although the meeting was a positive step in creating a framework for improving the relations between Pakistan and India, the agreements reached were not popular in all quarters in Pakistan. Two groups who had both fought to prevent the creation of Bangladesh, the Indophobic Muhajir community, many of whose members had suffered greatly at the hands of Bengali nationalists, and the Punjabis, who boasted the greatest numbers in the Pakistan armed forces, were vehemently opposed to recognizing the independence of Pakistan’s erstwhile province. The nonrecognition of Bangladesh campaign (Bangladesh namanzur), was spearheaded by the IJT and was concentrated in Lahore, Karachi, and Hyderabad; it found great support among Muhajirs and Punjabis. The Muhajir-Punjabi-Sindhi standoff in Sind, the Baluchistan imbroglio, and the dispute over the recognition of Bangladesh made the Muhajir community and a sizable portion of Punjabi public opinion—which had sent most of the People’s Party’s elected representatives to the National Assembly in 1970—a strong base of support for the anti–People’s Party alliance. The participation of religiously inclined groups in the anti–People’s Party coalition was guaranteed by its Islamic coloring. The government’s failure to attract mass support, combined with its disregard for the public’s religious sensibilities, provided the opposition with an open field for political action. The emergence of this discernible anti–People’s Party coalition provoked the government to resort to undemocratic measures which in turn further fueled the fire and emboldened the opposition.

Bhutto, confined by the realities of Pakistani politics and beguiled by the popular enthusiasm that brought him into office, missed an opportunity in 1972–1973 to transform his movement into a strong party; the Jama‘at fell into the same trap. The party grew in strength throughout the Bhutto era, when Islam was reintroduced into the political process and a constellation of dissident political forces and social groups formed the core of the anti–People’s Party alliance, but it failed to unite these forces and effectively manipulate and direct their political action and to develop a coherent sociopolitical program which could attract a base of support beyond mere opposition to the government. Even the Islamic constitution was shelved in favor of political action. The Jama‘at remained content to agitate against single issues such as Bhutto’s language policy in Sind, the nonrecognition of Bangladesh, and declaring the Ahmadis to be a non-Muslim minority. The party basked in the momentary glory of its leadership and failed to consolidate its position. The alliance of convenience between the Jama‘at and other anti–People’s Party forces remained transitory.

The Formation of the Opposition

Hostility between the Jama‘at and the People’s Party dated back to Yahya Khan’s regime. After the elections of 1970, the Jama‘at had pressed Yahya Khan to call on Shaikh Mujibu’l-Rahman to form an Awami League government and had berated Bhutto for betraying Pakistan’s interests by lobbying with the army to keep the Awami League out of office. This attitude led many in the People’s Party, especially in the party’s left wing led by Mi‘raj Muhammad, to encourage Bhutto to suppress the Jama‘at,[15] but others including Bhutto himself favored mollifying it.[16] The Jama‘at, meanwhile, having championed the cause of democracy for the preceding two decades, was compelled to recognize the People’s Party’s electoral mandate, albeit grudgingly. The government may have understood the Jama‘at’s move to be a sign of conciliation, but conflict continued to loom. On December 20, 1971, the Jama‘at announced its opposition by ridiculing Bhutto for assuming the title of chief martial law administrator, and demanded the formal abrogation of martial rule as the precondition for the start of the constitutional debate.[17]

Meanwhile the People’s Party and the IJT were fighting things out on the nation’s campuses. The IJT had proved to be a thorn in the side of the People’s Party since 1969, when it had begun soundly defeating People’s Party candidates in campus elections in Karachi and Punjab. The People’s Party was particularly unhappy with the IJT’s success at the University of Punjab in Lahore, a People’s Party stronghold. The IJT’s victory on Punjabi campuses not only shattered the myth of the People’s Party’s invincibility but also turned the IJT into an opposition party, the only political organization willing and able to challenge the People’s Party electorally. As a result, the IJT confronted the People’s Party on issues beyond campus politics. In January 1972 at a national educational conference in Islamabad, IJT students got a resolution passed which demanded the Islamization of the educational system in Pakistan.[18] Shortly after, IJT students disrupted the convocation ceremonies at Karachi University to keep the governor of Sind from addressing the gathering.[19] Convocation ceremonies thenceforth became an occasion for asserting student power; for instance, not until 1990 was a senior government official—on this occasion President Ghulam Ishaq Khan—again permitted to preside over the convocation ceremonies at the IJT-controlled campus of the University of Punjab in Lahore.

The episode at Karachi University showed that the IJT would be more than just a political inconvenience to the People’s Party. While the parent party advocated Islamic constitutionalism, the IJT demanded Islamic revolution. Victory at the polls at the University of Punjab had greatly boosted the morale of the student organization, whose growing radicalism continued to guide its politics. The tales of the heroism of the al-Badr and al-Shams counterinsurgency units in defense of East Pakistan, a project in which the Jama‘at had no direct role, had filled the IJT with revolutionary zeal. It was therefore not long before the IJT was able to exert a certain amount of control over the Jama‘at and the direction of its politics, and it was the students who pushed the party to adopt more unbending positions. In February 1972 the Jama‘at launched a countrywide campaign demanding the convening of the National Assembly, and in March it demanded an official investigation into the roles of Yahya Khan and Bhutto in the loss of East Pakistan.[20] The party stepped up its campaign against the continuation of martial law to revive its Islamic constitutionalist platform, which it had abandoned during the Yahya Khan period.

The National Assembly was convened in late April of 1972, altering the political climate of Pakistan once again. The Jama‘at welcomed the measure, abandoned its demand for the restitution of the 1956 constitution, and prepared itself for participation in the drafting of a new constitution. The government again understood the Jama‘at’s move as a sign of conciliation. There was reason for the government’s conclusion; Mawdudi had interceded to break the boycott by the opposition coalition, the United Democratic Front, of the constitutional debates in parliament.[21] But then the government, in what the Jama‘at regarded as a breach of faith, sent security agents, disguised as People’s Student Federation activists, to the University of Punjab to control campus elections in April and steal them from the IJT, using guns and other strong-arm tactics.[22] In the end, ballot boxes were confiscated, and the events created much bitterness toward the government among the IJT’s rank and file.[23]

In August 1972 the IJT took it upon itself to secure the release of two girls who had been abducted by the People’s Party governor of Punjab, Ghulam Mustafa Khar, for illicit purposes. The IJT rally in Lahore, which was well attended, secured the release of the abducted girls and embarrassed the government by revealing the extent of arbitrary rule and immorality in the ruling circles. Although the government’s immediate reaction was to disrupt an IJT session in Karachi in September, generally it sought to mollify the students. In late September, an IJT leader, Javid Hashmi, by now a national political figure, was invited to meet with Bhutto at the governor’s mansion in Lahore, and later with Mumtaz Bhutto, the People’s Party chief minister of Sind in Karachi.[24] The meetings attested to the IJT’s growing prominence, but the truce that resulted lasted only until December.

In the National Assembly, meanwhile, the Jama‘at had strongly opposed Bhutto’s pro-Sindhi policy as well as his handling of opposition to it, and had pressed the government to reveal its dealings with India over Bangladesh and the extent of its commitment to socialism. Its members were tenacious opponents and presented an obstacle to Bhutto’s monopoly on the constitutional process. Frustrated with the Jama‘at, the People’s Party resorted to force. On June 8, 1972, Nazir Ahmad, one of the Jama‘at’s most vociferous National Assembly representatives, was assassinated in his home constituency of Darah Ghazi Khan in Punjab.[25] Never before had any Pakistani government gone so far to silence its opposition. Although Mawdudi preached caution to the Jama‘at, and especially to the IJT, the assassination of Nazir Ahmad marked the beginning of the rapid radicalization of the IJT.

A month later Bhutto invited leaders of various Pakistani parties to Murree to report on his meeting with Indira Gandhi in Simla. The Jama‘at was represented by Mian Tufayl, who warned Bhutto against recognizing Bangladesh and “selling out Pakistan’s interests to India.”[26] Events in Sind soon thereafter provided the party with the means for precipitating a crisis over the issue. Muhajirs and Sindhis began fighting in July over the question of what was to be the official language of the Sind government. Emboldened by Bhutto’s rhetoric and enjoying the patronage of the People’s Party ministry in Sind, the Sindhis asserted their power at the expense of the Muhajirs. Bhutto was alarmed by the extent of discontent among the Muhajirs and by the fact that they could become supporters of the opposition, especially after the Jama‘at used the government’s decision to recognize Bangladesh as a way to mobilize them. Although the campaign for the nonrecognition of Bangladesh later found great support in Punjab as well, the Muhajirs represented its original base of support.

On September 25, 1972, Bhutto invited Mawdudi to a meeting at the governor’s mansion in Lahore to discuss recognizing Bangladesh, but no apparent understanding on the issue emerged from the meeting. The two made more headway in their discussion of the future role of the left in the People’s Party, which also featured prominently in that session. Mawdudi was adamant in his opposition to the left and, sensing Bhutto’s ambivalence, encouraged him to distance himself from them: “If they [the left] challenge you, we will support you.”[27] Mawdudi’s promise played an important part in Bhutto’s decision to downplay socialist themes in the constitutional debate and later to purge the left from the People’s Party. Leftist activists confirm this, claiming that the People’s Party gave the IJT free reign on Pakistani campuses to uproot the left in the universities.[28] In return, Bhutto got Mawdudi’s support for his constitution, although not before agreeing to call the state the “Islamic Republic” of Pakistan, and stipulating in the constitution that the president and prime minister must both be Muslim, and laws passed under the constitution would be compatible with Islamic law.[29]

During the meeting, Mawdudi also pressed Bhutto to adhere to his own democratic principles and said that fair play was the condicio sine qua non for any rapprochement between the Jama‘at and the government:

We have no policy of confrontation with anyone. In the remaining Pakistan [i.e., after the secession of East Pakistan] as long as your party enjoys a majority, we recognise your party’s right to rule the country constitutionally, democratically and with justice and fair play. We shall not exert to remove you by undemocratic and violent means. But you should also concede that we have a right to perform the role of the opposition in a peaceful and democratic manner. And this is our constitutional and democratic right, that we should point out and criticize the wrong policies of the government. If the ruling party and the opposition were to act within their limits, there would be no danger of confrontation between them.[30]

Given that the meeting took place soon after the assassination of Nazir Ahmad, Mawdudi’s proposals were conciliatory. The proceedings, moreover, revealed the extent of his own, if not the Jama‘at’s, commitment to the political process. It was also paradoxical that the leader of a putatively autocratic Islamic party lectured the leader of the avowedly democratic People’s Party on his constitutional duties. Relations between the two were thenceforth in good measure typified by Bhutto’s undemocratic ways and the Jama‘at’s demands that he abide by the country’s constitution. Neither side, however, viewed the exchanges in this meeting as binding, and soon thereafter they were at odds again. The government barred the Jama‘at from contesting by-elections in Swat and Darah Ghazi Khan; the Jama‘at reciprocated by intensifying its opposition to the recognition of Bangladesh.[31]

In October, Mawdudi, in his last political undertaking as amir, prepared a detailed case against the Simla agreement and the recognition of Bangladesh’s independence. The new amir, Mian Tufayl, continued the campaign through numerous meetings and gatherings across Pakistan.[32] The government reacted by arresting and jailing scores of IJT activists.[33] With Mawdudi no longer at the helm, the Jama‘at was unable to control the IJT, which became further enmeshed in violence and agitation with each bout of government repression. Its popularity only increased as it withstood arrest and imprisonment, and the repressive measures by the Federal Security Forces. By 1974 the IJT was winning campus elections at an increasing number of colleges across Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, and Karachi and Hyderabad in Sind, with larger margins than before. The Jama‘at gave the IJT its full support.

Throughout 1973 the Jama‘at expanded the purview of its anti government activities. The dismissal of the provincial government in Baluchistan in February 1973 gave the Jama‘at the opportunity once again to put Bhutto’s record during the East Pakistan crisis on trial. The Jama‘at lambasted the government’s increasingly “fascist” tendencies, stated that “Pakistan is not the fief of Mr. Bhutto,” and demanded that the ruling establishment abide by the constitution in its dealings with the provinces and opposition parties.[34] On February 18, 1973, Mian Tufayl was arrested and jailed for his criticism of the government’s policies in Baluchistan and his participation in the campaign for the nonrecognition of Bangladesh.[35] He remained in jail for a month, where he was badly mistreated by the Federal Security Forces. The Jama‘at’s leaders had not been strangers to Pakistani prisons, but never before had they suffered as they did during the Bhutto period.[36] Although in 1977 Bhutto formally apologized to Mian Tufayl for his poor treatment and blamed the wrongdoing on Khar,[37] Mian Tufayl remained bitter toward the People’s Party, which may in part explain why he supported General Zia in demanding Bhutto’s execution in 1979.

The government was finally able to resolve the Bangladesh controversy by convening an Islamic summit in Lahore in 1974. The full force of the support of Muslim heads of state silenced its critics and finally allowed Pakistan to recognize Bangladesh. In the same year, the Jama‘at had pressed Bhutto to convene the National Assembly and had participated in its proceedings when he finally did. But once there its representatives suddenly made an about-face and declared the assembly illegal because it was based on the elections of 1970, and the majority of the seats belonging to East Pakistan were never occupied. It therefore never had a quorum to operate and the 1973 constitution was thus not valid.[38] This pronouncement was followed by a flurry of criticisms against Bhutto’s economic policies, the moral laxity of the ruling elite, demands for a more aggressive posture toward India over Kashmir, and greater adherence to Islamic values, in the constitution as well as in the conduct of government affairs. The Jama‘at probably sensed the government’s weakness and the potential for mobilizing a political movement around Islamic symbols. The government must have reached the same conclusion, as it became noticeably more attentive to the demands of Islamic parties, thoroughly purged itself of its socialist trappings, and itself sought to ride the rising tide of religious fervor.

A renewed anti-Ahmadi campaign, under the banner of Finality of Prophethood (Khatm-i Nubuwwat), began on May 22, 1974, when a train carrying 170 IJT students en route to Lahore from Multan stopped in Rabwah, an Ahmadi town in Punjab.[39] Ahmadi missionaries boarded the train and distributed pamphlets and books among the passengers. The students reacted by staging an anti-Ahmadi demonstration at the station. A week later, on May 29, another group of Ahmadis boarded the train, which was carrying the same IJT contingent back to Multan and, in an ill-conceived move, attacked the students. Three days later the nazim-i a‘la of the IJT, delivered a tirade against the Ahmadis and revived the demand to declare them a non-Muslim minority. As in 1953–1954, the movement quickly gained momentum in Punjab. The Jama‘at was not initially in favor of pursuing the matter but since Mawdudi was away from Pakistan for medical treatment the party proved unable to influence the IJT, and quickly fell in line in order to retain control over the IJT and the flow of events.[40] ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad took up the issue in the National Assembly and Mian Tufayl met Bhutto regarding the unfolding events.[41] The leadership of the campaign remained with the IJT, which confirmed the student organization’s emergence as a semiautonomous organization. The anti-Ahmadi campaign also brought the IJT closer to a host of other Islamic groups, especially the rural and small-town-based Brailwis who have a special attachment to the memory of the Prophet and are therefore vehemently anti-Ahmadi. This alliance served as the basis for the IJT’s hold over the religious vote on university campuses well into the 1980s.

Thanks to its part in the anti-Ahmadi agitation, the IJT’s membership grew considerably, and it won nine consecutive student elections on various Peshawar and Karachi campuses.[42] The government approached IJT leaders, hoping to persuade them to desist from pursuing its campaign, but they flatly refused, and in fact on June 26 began to escalate the conflict. The ensuing 102 days produced 8,797 meetings and 147 processions, and despite the arrest of some 834 IJT leaders and workers, the government proved unable to stem the tide.[43] On September 7, 1974, the government capitulated, declaring the Ahmadis a non-Muslim minority. The polity, which only five years earlier had been overwhelmingly in support of populism and socialist idealism, had once again exposed itself to manipulation by Islamic symbols. The return of Islam to center stage was now complete. The fact that all this happened under the aegis of Pakistan’s most popular government to date, one which had a strong ideological basis of its own, only attested to the incomparable influence of Islam on the life and thought of Pakistanis. The seemingly implausible resurgence of Islam in lieu of socialism during the Bhutto era meant total victory for Islam and confirmed its central role in Pakistani politics. As populism lost its momentum to Islam, the fate of Bhutto’s government was sealed, long before Islam actually pulled down the People’s Party and its populist government.

The Pakistan National Alliance
and the Nizam-i Mustafa Movement

After the constitution of 1973 had been promulgated, a parliamentary opposition coalition, the United Democratic Front, emerged in the National Assembly. The Jama‘at was a member and used it as a forum for propagating its views on the government’s handling of politics, economics, and religious issues. Between 1974 and 1975 the Jama‘at registered 283 complaints against the government and the People’s Party for harassment and the closing of its paper Jasarat.[44] The Front proved to be an effective tool for dissent because its appeal to the constitution and use of parliamentary procedures emphasized how the government was abusing its power. For instance, in February 1975, following the banning of the National Awami Party and the arrest of Wali Khan, the Front’s members walked out of the National Assembly, damaging the democratic image of the government. Consequently, on October 21, 1975, opposition leaders decided to strengthen the United Democratic Front as an anti–People’s Party coalition. In a move indicative of the increasingly central role which Islam was playing, Mufti Mahmud of the Jami‘at-i Ulama-i Islam was made its leader.

While the composition of the Front already pointed to the Islamization of dissent, a number of government policy initiatives in 1976 accelerated this trend. In the summer of that year the government appointed the attorney general, Yahya Bakhtiyar, to head a committee charged with drawing up a legislative proposal for a women’s rights bill. The committee’s report was presented to the government in July. The Islamic parties immediately moved to oppose it, and Bhutto’s initiative was nipped in the bud. He was losing his grip over national politics and saw that his only course was to call for fresh elections. He appointed his minister of religious affairs, Kawthar Niyazi, to oversee the People’s Party’s press and public relations during the election campaign.[45]

The government announced that national elections would be held on March 7. The opposition immediately sprang into action. The United Democratic Front was disbanded and was replaced by the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA), which eventually incorporated nine parties.[46] The alliance adopted a religiously inspired platform, popularly known as Nizam-i Mustafa (Order of the Prophet), which favored the Islamic parties. The PNA gave the Jama‘at thirty-two national tickets and seventy-eight provincial ones.[47] The party took the possibility of an electoral victory seriously, even wooing the Shi‘i vote to break up the alliance between the People’s Party and the Shi‘i community. Mian Tufayl and ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad personally courted a number of Shi‘i politicians.

The PNA decided to contest Bhutto in his hometown constituency of Larkana in Sind. When Bhutto went to Larkana to declare his candidacy, the PNA announced that Jan Muhammad ‘Abbasi, amir of the Jama‘at-i Islami of Sind and a native of Larkana, would challenge him. ‘Abbasi was, however, kidnapped by Bhutto’s supporters on January 18, thereby preventing him from filing his papers on time and thus permitting the government to declare that Bhutto was uncontested in his bid for the Larkana seat.[48] In spite of these strong-arm tactics, the PNA’s campaign was sufficiently effective to compel the People’s Party to resort to rigging the elections in order to guarantee its victory.

Of thirty-one seats contested (18 percent of the PNA’s total of 168) in the National Assembly, the Jama‘at won nine (25 percent of the PNA’s total of thirty-six seats) (see table 12).[49] The Jama‘at did surprisingly well, winning two seats in Punjab (Multan and Muzaffargarh), three in North-West Frontier Province (Swat, Malakand, and Dir), and four in Sind (one in Hyderabad and three in Karachi). If the results of the rigged elections were any indication, the Jama‘at had been headed for its best electoral showings to date, dominating the PNA in the process. By July 1977, as a result of the PNA’s postelection agitational campaign, the Jama‘at’s popularity had risen still farther, enough so to suggest that it would have done even better if new elections were held. The government’s interference with the election secured it 155 of the total of 191 seats contested (77.5 percent of the National Assembly of 200 seats) (see table 13).[50]

12. Results of the 1977 Elections for the Jama‘at-i Islami
  Punjab NWFP Sind Total
Source: Election Bureau of the Jama‘at-i Islami.
Votes received by the Jama‘at 789,743 133,362 290,411 1,213,516
Seats contested by the Jama‘at 20 5 6 31
Seats won by the Jama‘at 2 3 4 9
Seats Won by the PNA 8 17 11 36

The PNA lost no time in denouncing the election, declaring the results fraudulent and unacceptable to the opposition. The PNA parties called for Bhutto’s resignation, boycotted the provincial elections scheduled for March 10, demanded new national elections, and called for a national strike on March 11. Mian Tufayl claimed that Bhutto had not only stolen the elections but had also deprived the Jama‘at of its best chance yet to assume power. Disturbances over the election results broke out in Karachi and quickly spread across Pakistan.

In a defiant mood Bhutto denied any wrongdoing, which only fanned the flames of the opposition. On March 18, ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad, then the secretary-general of the PNA, Chaudhri Rahmat Ilahi, and Mahmud A‘zam Faruqi of the Jama‘at, all of whom would become PNA ministers in 1978, were arrested along with other PNA leaders. On March 25, Mian Tufayl Muhammad and Sayyid Munawwar Hasan and, in early April, Mawlana Gulzar Mazahiri and Jan Muhammad ‘Abbasi were also apprehended.[51] Civil disobedience, street demonstrations, and clashes with the government organized in good part by the Jama‘at and the IJT, meanwhile, increased, deepening the cleavage between the government and the opposition. Demand for constitutional and democratic rights were in the process transformed into an Islamic social movement under the banner of the demand for Nizam-i Mustafa.

13. Seats Won in the 1977 Elections
  Punjab Sind NWFP Baluchistan Islamabad Tribal Areas Total
Source: Overseas Weekly Dawn (March 13, 1977), reprinted in Shahid Javed Burki, Pakistan under Bhutto, 1971–1977 (London, 1980), 196.
Pakistan People’s Party 107
0 115
0 0 0 36
Independent 0 0 1
0 0 8
Total 115 43 26 7 1 8 200

With all of the Jama‘at’s leaders behind bars, Mawdudi returned to center stage to lead the party. On April 2 he issued a statement inviting the government to negotiations with the PNA based on a set of preconditions: the release of all arrested PNA leaders and workers; the lifting of Section 144 and the abrogation of the Defense of Pakistan Rules, both of which authorized the government crackdown; trying in civilian courts all those cases which were referred to special tribunals by the government for violation of Section 144; and a declaration by the government to the effect that it would be open to amending the constitution through negotiations.[52] When the government did not respond, Mawdudi declared it illegal.[53]

Bhutto had all along regarded Mawdudi as a major force behind the PNA.[54] With the government’s options rapidly narrowing, he decided to break the impasse by dealing with Mawdudi directly. On the evening of April 16, 1977, under the pretext of “wishing to solicit the advice and good offices of an elder statesman,”[55] he went to Mawdudi’s house in Lahore. The news of Bhutto’s visit spread throughout the country, raising expectations for a break in the impasse. Many anti–People’s Party politicians and scores of PNA leaders pleaded with the Mawlana not to meet with Bhutto.[56] A crowd of IJT workers congregated outside Mawdudi’s house and began shouting slogans against Bhutto and Mawdudi. Mawdudi responded that he had not asked for the meeting, but common courtesy (adab) did not permit him to turn away a visitor.[57] The meeting, which lasted for forty minutes, did not bear the results Bhutto wished. Mawdudi counseled him to resign and allow a provisional government to take over while new elections were held.[58]

To stay in power Bhutto was compelled to devise a new strategy. He actively championed Islamization in the hope of co-opting a part of the opposition. Two days after his meeting with Mawdudi, he announced that in recognition of the demands of the Nizam-i Mustafa, casinos and nightclubs would be closed down, sale of alcoholic drinks and gambling would be banned, and generally activities proscribed by Islam would be against the law. In addition, he would reconvene the Council of Islamic Ideology under the supervision of Mufti Mahmud, the leader of the Jami‘at-i Ulama-i Islam and the PNA, so it could oversee the implementation of government-sponsored Islamization. The other two members of the council were to be Mawlanas Shah Ahmad Nurani of the Jami‘at-i Ulama-i Pakistan and Ihtishamu’l-Haq of the Jami‘at-i Ulama-i Islam; no member of the Jama‘at was included in the council. The Islamic parties rejected this idea and again demanded new elections.

Unable to stem the rising tide of PNA’s agitational campaign, Bhutto resorted to more repressive measures. On May 17, Mawdudi’s house was surrounded by police, and an attempt was made to arrest him.[59] The PNA issued a statement warning the government that the arrest of Mawdudi would start a rebellion.[60] With no way out of the impasse, Saudi Arabia intervened, using its financial leverage on both sides to end the stalemate. Negotiations began again on June 3. ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad of the Jama‘at served as a member of the PNA’s three-man team in the negotiations.[61]

The PNA contingent was careful to keep negotiations focused on the elections of 1977, the legitimacy of the government, and new elections. Islam and the Nizam-i Mustafa, on which Bhutto was willing to make substantial concessions, did not figure prominently. Bhutto now tried to divert attention from the negotiations by rallying Pakistanis around a nationalist and anti-imperialist platform. In a speech before the parliament on April 28 he declared, “The elephant [the United States government] is annoyed with me.”[62] His charge was that the PNA and the Jama‘at were being led by American agents who had been ordered to debunk the government because of its socialist and Third World leanings and because Pakistan’s nuclear program ran counter to American interests in the region.[63] No one was persuaded by Bhutto’s theory, and the accusation brought a sharp rebuke from Mawdudi.[64]

Negotiations went on for a month. During this period, Bhutto’s resolve gradually waned, and he became increasingly amenable to new elections. It is not certain whether the government and the PNA actually reached an agreement or not.[65] All sides, however, concur that the delay in reaching a final agreement during the last hours before the coup owed much to General Zia’s counsel to Bhutto. The general had warned him against entering into an agreement with the PNA based on preliminary understandings reached in the negotiations because the army would not accept its requirement of leaving Baluchistan in two months and releasing from custody National Awami Party leaders who had fought the army in that province. Bhutto’s indecision augured ill for the stability of the country. On July 5, 1977, the Pakistan army led by Zia staged a military coup, removed the government, arrested political leaders from both sides to the conflict, and imposed martial law.

The Bhutto years saw the apogee of the Jama‘at’s political activism. The party contributed to the repression of socialism and the reinstitution of Islam in national politics, which brought it to the verge of political victory. The Bhutto years, however, proved to be a short-lived aberration. For the success of agitational politics and the gains made by the resurgence of Islam diverted the party’s attention from the importance of opening its ranks to greater numbers and establishing more lasting relations with new groups in the society that the People’s Party’s economic policies and ill-conceived political measures had produced. When the coup of July 5 changed the political map of Pakistan, the alliance of convenience based on opposition to the government dissolved, leaving the Jama‘at once again at odds with popular politics. The Bhutto regime and the vicissitudes of the antigovernment agitational campaign also compromised the Jama‘at and the IJT’s moral resolve and initiated an irreversible trend toward a political activism that would become their vocation.


1. Cited in ‘Abdu’l-Ghani Faruqi, “Hayat-i Javidan,” HRZ, 31. [BACK]

2. There was another Attock conspiracy case in 1984. The first coup attempt is therefore often referred to as the first Attock conspiracy case. [BACK]

3. Interview with S. M. Zafar. [BACK]

4. See Stephen P. Cohen, The Pakistan Army (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1984), 86–104. [BACK]

5. See Stanley Wolpert, Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan: His Life and Times (New York, 1993), 281. [BACK]

6. Interview with ‘Abdu’l-Hafiz Pirzadah. [BACK]

7. Quoted in Khalid B. Sayeed, Politics in Pakistan: The Nature and Direction of Change (New York, 1980), 162. Similarly, Stanley Wolpert reports that when in 1977 the director of the Inter-Services Intelligence sent a secret report to Bhutto, informing him of the Jama‘at’s influence in the army’s Multan barracks, the prime minister responded by saying that the Jama‘at was dangerous to the army only because it received General Zia’s “official blessings and respect. ” See Wolpert, Zulfi Bhutto, 280–81. [BACK]

8. Shahid Javed Burki, Pakistan under Bhutto, 1971–1977 (London, 1980), 53. [BACK]

9. Muhammad Salahu’ddin, Peoples Party: Maqasid Awr Hikmat-i ‘Amali (Karachi, 1982). [BACK]

10. On the importance of this issue in the eventual fall of the Bhutto government, see ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad, Pher Martial Law A-Giya (Lahore, 1988), 101. [BACK]

11. ISIT(2), 17. [BACK]

12. Altaf Gauhar, “Pakistan, Ayub Khan Awr Mawlana Mawdudi, Tafhimu’l-Qur’an Awr Main,” HRZ, 42–44. [BACK]

13. Tahir Amin, Ethno-National Movements of Pakistan (Islamabad, 1988), 144–48. [BACK]

14. Sayeed, Politics in Pakistan, 154. [BACK]

15. Mujibu’l-Rahman Shami, “Jama‘at-i Islami Awr Peoples Party: Fasilah Awr Rabitah, Ik Musalsal Kahani,” Qaumi Digest 11, 2 (July 1988): 13. [BACK]

16. Interview with Kawthar Niyazi. [BACK]

17. ISIT(1), 25; and Rudad-i Jama‘at-i Islami Pakistan, 1972 (Lahore, n.d.), 1–2. [BACK]

18. Interview with Tasnim ‘Alam Manzur, in JVNAT, vol. 2, 297–98. [BACK]

19. Zahid Hussain, “The Campus Mafias,” Herald (October 1988): 56. [BACK]

20. Rudad, 2–3. [BACK]

21. Sarwat Saulat, Maulana Maududi (Karachi, 1979), 85. [BACK]

22. Liaqat Baluch, “Rushaniyun Ka Safar,” TT, vol. 2, 220–21. [BACK]

23. ‘Abdu’l-Shakur, “Jahan-i Tazah ki Takbirin,” TT, vol. 2, 71–72. [BACK]

24. Javid Hashmi, “Ik Jur’at-i Rindanah,” TT, vol. 2, 51–52. [BACK]

25. Rudad, 5. [BACK]

26. Ibid., 6–7. [BACK]

27. Interview with Kawthar Niyazi. [BACK]

28. Interviews with ‘Azizu’ddin Ahmad and Khalid Mahmud. [BACK]

29. Cited in Wolpert, Zulfi Bhutto, 206. [BACK]

30. Cited in Saulat, Maulana Maududi, 83–84. [BACK]

31. Rudad, 9–11. [BACK]

32. Chaudhri Ghulam Gilani, “Ik Chatan,” TT, vol. 2, 18–19; and Sajjad Mir, “Wahid-i Shahid,” TT, vol. 2, 60. [BACK]

33. Hashmi, “Ik Jur’at-i Rindanah,” 52–53. [BACK]

34. Rudad, 19–20. [BACK]

35. ISIT(1), 34. [BACK]

36. On Mian Tufayl’s experiences in prison, see Mian Tufayl Muhammad, “General Zia ul-Haq Shaheed,” in Shaheed ul-Islam: Muhammad Zia ul-Haq (London, 1990), 50. [BACK]

37. Ibid. [BACK]

38. ISIT(1), 52, and Kausar Niazi, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan: The Last Days (New Delhi, 1992), 28–32. [BACK]

39. Salim Mansur Khalid, “Talabah Awr Tahrik-i Khatm-i Nubuwwat,” TT, vol. 2, 159–75. [BACK]

40. Abu Sufyan Muhammad Tufayl Rashidi, Tahaffuz-i Khatm-i Nubuwwat Awr Jama‘at-i Islami (Lahore, n.d.), 81–85. [BACK]

41. ISIT(2), 9–10. [BACK]

42. Ibid., 10. [BACK]

43. Ibid., 14. [BACK]

44. Ibid., 15–16. [BACK]

45. Niazi, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, 36–37. [BACK]

46. The nine parties were the Jama‘at-i Islami, Jami‘at-i Ulama Islam, Jami‘at-i Ulama-i Pakistan, Muslim League, Tahrik-i Istiqlal (Freedom Movement), Pakistan Democratic Party, National Democratic Party, Tahrik-i Khaksar, and the Muslim Conference. [BACK]

47. ISIT(2), 25. [BACK]

48. Ahmad, Pher Martial Law, 92–93; and Nizai, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, 70–71. [BACK]

49. Sharif al-Mujahid, “The 1977 Pakistani Elections: An Analysis,” in Manzooruddin Ahmed, ed., Contemporary Pakistan: Politics, Economy, and Society (Karachi, 1980), 73. The Jama‘at was originally given thirty-two tickets by the PNA, but it contested only thirty-one as Jan Muhammad ‘Abbasi was prevented by the government from running in Larkana, Sind. [BACK]

50. The difference between the share of the popular vote between the two contenders was, however, less staggering. The People’s Party won only 58 percent of the popular vote compared with PNA’s 35 percent. For these figures see, Burki, Pakistan, 196. What was contentious was that given the success of the PNA, the People’s Party was clearly less popular than in 1970, yet both its percentage of national votes and seats won to the National Assembly increased markedly, from 39.9 percent to 58 percent and from 81 to 155, respectively; see Mujahid, “The 1977 Elections,” 83–84. [BACK]

51. Ahmad, Pher Martial Law, 122 and 140–52. [BACK]

52. Saulat, Maulana Maududi, 96. [BACK]

53. SAAM, vol. 2, 460–61. [BACK]

54. For instance, in a speech before the parliament on April 28 Bhutto had referred to “the person inflaming the country in the name of Nizam-e-Mustafa, Maulana Maudoodi,” thus attesting to Mawdudi’s pivotal role in the crisis, at least in the People’s Party’s eyes; cited in Niazi, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, 91. [BACK]

55. Interview with Kawthar Niyazi. [BACK]

56. Interview with Begum ‘Abidah Gurmani. [BACK]

57. Ibid. [BACK]

58. Ahmad, Pher Martial Law, 152. [BACK]

59. Ibid., 182. [BACK]

60. Saulat, Maulana Maududi, 98. [BACK]

61. The government side consisted of Bhutto, ‘Abdu’l-Hafiz Pirzadah (minister of law), and Kawthar Niyazi (minister for religious affairs). The PNA was represented by Mufti Mahmud (Jami‘at-i Ulama-i Islam), ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad (Jama‘at-i Islami), and Nawwabzadah Nasru’llah Khan (Pakistan Democratic Party). For accounts of these meetings, see Kawthar Niyazi, Awr Line Kat Ga’i (Lahore, 1987); idem,Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto; and Ahmad, Pher Martial Law. [BACK]

62. Niazi, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, 89. [BACK]

63. Ibid., 89–94; for other examples of this allegation see Wolpert, Zulfi Bhutto, 277–302. Pakistan’s decision to embark on a nuclear weapons program had created tensions in the relations between the two countries; see, for instance, the alarmist report in U. S. Ambassador, Islamabad, tel. #4065, 4/26/1978, DFTUSED, no. 45, 19. [BACK]

64. Ahmad, Pher Martial Law, 194. [BACK]

65. Most PNA leaders, along with Niyazi and Pirzadah, believe that an agreement was reached; whether or not it would have been signed by all PNA parties or by Bhutto remains open to speculation. Interviews with ‘Abdu’l-Ghafur Ahmad, Sardar Shairbaz Khan Mazari, ‘Abdu’l-Hafiz Pirzadah, Begum Nasim Wali Khan, and Kawthar Niyazi. Pirzadah argues that he and Mufti Mahmud finalized the agreement in the late hours of July 2 and Bhutto was to sign it on July 5. Niyazi too writes that a final accord was reached, and Bhutto had agreed to sign it; Niazi, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, 239–41. Begum Nasim Wali Khan argues that despite the enthusiasm of the negotiating team other PNA leaders had reservations about the agreement, and most were not likely to sign it. Absence of a formal agreement between the government and the PNA was used as an excuse by the armed forces to stage a coup in order to break the dangerous impasse. Those justifying the coup, therefore, argue that no agreement had been reached between the two sides. See, for instance, Lt. General Faiz Ali Chishti, Betrayals of Another Kind: Islam, Democracy, and the Army in Pakistan (Cincinnati, 1990), 66. [BACK]

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