Ayub Khan (general)
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Mohammed Ayub Khan
|2nd President of Pakistan|
27 October 1958 – 25 March 1969
|Preceded by||Iskander Mirza|
|Succeeded by||Yahya Khan|
|Minister of the Interior|
23 March 1965 – 17 August 1965
|Preceded by||Khan Habibullah Khan|
|Succeeded by||Chaudhry Ali Akbar Khan|
|Minister of Defence|
28 October 1958 – 21 October 1966
|Preceded by||Muhammad Ayub Khuhro|
|Succeeded by||Afzal Rahman Khan|
24 October 1954 – 11 August 1955
|Preceded by||Muhammad Ali Bogra|
|Succeeded by||Chaudhry Muhammad Ali|
|Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army|
16 January 1951 – 27 October 1958
|Preceded by||Douglas Gracey|
|Succeeded by||Muhammad Musa|
|8th Prime Minister of Pakistan|
24 October 1958 – 27 October 1958
|Preceded by||Feroz Khan Noon|
|Succeeded by||Nurul Amin|
|Born||Mohammed Ayub Khan
14 May 1907
Rehana, Haripur District of North-West Frontier Province, British India
(now in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan)
|Died||19 April 1974
|Political party||Pakistan Muslim League|
|Children||Akhtar Ayub Khan
Gohar Ayub Khan
|Alma mater||Aligarh Muslim University
Royal Military College, Sandhurst
|Service/branch|| Indian Army
|Years of service||1928–1958|
|Unit||1st Battalion (now 5th Punjab), 14th Punjab Regiment|
|Commands||Commander-in-Chief, Pakistan Army
Deputy Commander-in-Chief,Pakistan Army
GOC of Pakistan Armed Forces Eastern Command
Waziristan Brigade, British Indian Army
14th Army Division, Pakistan Army
Adjutant General, General Headquarters, Pakistan Army
|Battles/wars||World War II
Waziristan campaign (1936–1939)
Indo-Pak War of 1965
Mohammed Ayub Khan (Urdu: محمد ایوب خان; 14 May 1907 –19 April 1974), widely known as Ayub Khan, was the first native four-star general and the only Field Marshal of Pakistan. He was the first military ruler (martial law imposed in 1958) and also the second President of Pakistan who assumed power in the 1958 Pakistani coup d'état, serving in office until his forced resignation amid a popular uprising in 1969 (in East Pakistan).
Trained at British Sandhurst Military College, Ayub Khan fought in World War II as an officer (Colonel) in the British Indian Army. He joined the armed forces of the newly formed state of Pakistan upon independence in 1947, and became its chief military commander in East Bengal. He was appointed as the first native Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army in 1951 by the then-Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, in a controversial promotion over several senior officers. President Iskander Mirza's decision to declare martial law in 1958 was supported by Ayub, whom Mirza declared chief martial law administrator. Two weeks later, Ayub deposed Mirza in a bloodless coup and assumed the presidency. He relinquished the post of army chief to General Musa Khan the same year.
Ayub Khan continued his predecessors' policy of an alliance with the United States during the Cold War, joining CENTO, and allowing the U.S. and Britain access to facilities inside Pakistan, most notably the airbase outside of Peshawar, from which U-2 intelligence flights over the Soviet Union were launched. He also strengthened military ties with neighboring China, while relations deteriorated with the Soviet Union and India. There was the five-week war in 1965 with India, ending in a United Nations-mandated ceasefire. Domestically, Ayub embraced private-sector industrialization and free-market principles, purportedly making the country one of Asia's fastest-growing economies. He built several infrastructure projects, including canals, dams and power stations, began Pakistan's space programme, and gave less priority to nuclear deterrence.
After defeating Fatima Jinnah in the controversial presidential elections of 1965, Ayub's standing began to slide amid allegations of widespread vote rigging and political murder. Proceeding with a peace agreement with India to end the war, many Pakistanis considered an embarrassing compromise and demonstrations across the country over rising prices, including those led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, increased dramatically from 1967 onwards. In 1969, Ayub resigned and handed over power to General Yahya Khan, who declared martial law for the second time. Following ill health, Ayub died in 1974. His legacy remains mixed; he is credited with an ostensible economic prosperity and what supporters dub the so-called 'decade of development', but is criticized for beginning the first of the army's incursions into civilian politics, for concentrating corrupt wealth in a few hands and policies that later led to the break-up of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh.
- 1 Early years and personal life
- 2 Military career
- 3 President of Pakistan (1958–1969)
- 4 Death
- 5 Legacy
- 6 Honour
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Early years and personal life
Ayub Khan was born on 14 May 1907 in Rehana, a village in Haripur District in Hazara region of then North-West Frontier Province (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan). He belonged to the Tarin tribe of ethnic Pashtuns settled in Hazara. He was the first child of the second wife of Mir Dad Khan, who was a Risaldar-Major (senior regimental junior commissioned officer, then known as viceroy's commissioned officer) in 9th Hodson's Horse, a cavalry regiment of the pre-independence British Indian Army. For his basic education, he was enrolled in a school in Sarai Saleh, which was about 4 miles from his village. He used to go to school on a mule's back. Later he was shifted to a school in Haripur, where he started living with his grandmother. He was educated at Aligarh Muslim University, but did not complete his studies there, as he was accepted into the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Khan was fluent in Urdu, English and his regional Hindko dialect as well as Pashto.
Ayub Khan managed to pass from Sandhurst, UK and was commissioned in the rank of 2/Lt. on 2 February 1928 in the 1/14th Punjab Regiment (1st Battalion of the 14th Punjab Regiment) which is now known as 5th Punjab of Pakistan Army. Amongst those who passed out with him was the future Indian Army general Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri. After the standard probationary period of service in a British Army regiment, he was appointed to the British Indian Army on 10 April 1929, joining the 1/14th Punjab Regiment Sherdils, later known as 5th Punjab Regiment. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 2 May 1930 and to Captain on 2 February 1937. On 19 May 1941, he was promoted to Major.
During the Second World War, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1942 and was posted to participate in 1942 Burma front. In 1945, he was promoted to colonel and assumed the command of his regiment to direct operations on 1945 Burma campaign; however he was soon suspended from that command temporarily for visible cowardice under fire 
He returned to British-controlled North-West Frontier Province and in 1947, he was promoted to one-star rank, a brigadier and commanded a combatant brigade in Waziristan. After the establishment of State of Pakistan, he joined the fledgling Pakistan Army as the 10th ranking senior officer (his Pakistan Army number was PA-010). He was immediately promoted to two-star rank, major-general in 1948. Khan was appointed as GOC of 14th Division, stationed in Dacca, East-Pakistan. In 1949, he was appointed as commander-in-chief of East Pakistan Armed Forces Command (Pakistan Armed Forces Eastern Command) and held responsibility for the ground defence of the entire state. The same year, he was awarded Hilal-i-Jurat (HJ) by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan for non-combatant service. In November 1949, he returned to West Pakistan and posted as adjutant-general at the Army combatant Headquarters (GHQ). In 1951, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan made Ayub deputy commander-in-chief of Pakistan Army.
Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan approved the relief papers of Lieutenant General Sir Douglas Gracey (later retired as an honorary general) on 16 January 1951 after his term was completed. There were three senior general officers in-line- of- promotion for becoming commander-in-chief; first general officer being Major-General Iftikhar Khan while others were Major-Generals Akbar Khan and N. A. M. Raza. Initially, it was General Iftikhar Khan who was selected to be appointed as first native commander-in-chief but later died in an airplane crash en route to his senior officers training in the United Kingdom. The senior most Bengali officer of the Pakistan Army was Major-General Ishfakul Majid and he was senior to Ayub Khan as well. Meanwhile, Defence Secretary Iskandar Mirza played an instrumental role in Ayub's appointment, he convinced Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan to promote Ayub Khan to Lt. Gen. and appoint him as Commander-in-Chief. Ayub's papers of promotion were approved and Ayub Khan landed as a lieutenant general on 17 January 1951 and took over the command of the Pakistan Army, he was promoted to full-general in 1957. With Ayub becoming the commander-in-chief, it marked the change in the military thinking of preferring native Pakistanis and ending the transitional role of British Army officers.
The events surrounding his appointment set the precedent for a native general being promoted out of turn, ostensibly because he was the least ambitious of the generals in the line of promotion and the most loyal to civil government at that time. Three months before the end of his tenure as commander-in-chief, Ayub Khan deposed his mentor, Iskandar Mirza, Pakistan's president, in a military coup – after Mirza had declared martial law and made Ayub Khan the chief martial law administrator.
In 1954, Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra appointed Ayub Khan as the Defence Minister of Pakistan. During this time, his role in national politics began to grow. He served in the governments of Suhrawardy, Feroz Noon, and Chundrigar. As Defence Minister, he maintained close ties to President Iskandar Mirza, and was endorsed as the chief martial law administrator on 7 October 1958. This was the first of many instances in the history of Pakistan that the military became directly involved in politics.
President of Pakistan (1958–1969)
After losing confidence in running the government, Prime Minister I.I. Chundiragar resigned, which led to collapse of the national cabinet. With the support gained from the Republican Party, Awami League, and Krishak Sramik, Feroz Noon took over the government by appointing a new cabinet. This alliance nearly threatened President Iskander Mirza because Suhrawardy and Feroz were initially campaigning to become Prime Minister and President in the next general elections to be held. The Pakistan Muslim League, led under Abdul Qayyum Khan, was also gaining momentum. These events were against President Mirza hence he was willing to dissolve even Pakistan's one unit for his advantage. On the midnight of 7 and 8 October 1958, President Mirza ordered a mass mobilization of Pakistan Armed Forces and abrogated the 1956 Constitution. The Feroz administration and parliament were dissolved, and approved the appointment of Ayub Khan as chief martial law administrator. In mere two weeks, Ayub deposed Mirza on 27 October in a bloodless coup, after Mirza tried to undercut Ayub's authority by coopting military officers. The Army sent Mirza into exile in England. Subsequently, Admiral A. R. Khan and four army generals, Azam Khan, Amir Khan, and Wajid Khan were instrumental in Ayub Khan's rise to power.
In 1960, he held an indirect referendum of his term in power. Functioning as a kind of electoral college, close to 80,000 recently elected village councilmen and local union councilmen in urban areas, were allowed to vote yes or no to the question: "Do you have confidence in Mohammed Ayub Khan?" Winning 95.6% of the vote, he used the confirmation as impetus to formalise his new system. This was the first of many instances in the history of Pakistan that the military became directly involved in national politics.
In July 1961, Ayub paid a visit to the United States, accompanied by his daughter Begum Naseem Aurangzeb. Highlights of his visit included a state dinner at Mount Vernon, a visit to the Islamic Center of Washington, and a ticker tape parade in New York City.
Move to Presidential republic
Ayub moved to have a constitution created, and this was completed in 1961. A fairly secular person by nature, Ayub Khan's constitution reflected his personal views of politicians and the use of religion in politics.
In 1962, he pushed through a new constitution that while it did give due respect to Islam, it did not declare Islam the state religion of the country. It also provided for election of the President by 80,000 (later raised to 120,000) Basic Democrats—men who could theoretically make their own choice but who were essentially under his control. He justified this as analogous to the Electoral College in the United States and cited Thomas Jefferson as his inspiration. The government "guided" the press though his take- over of key opposition papers and, while Ayub Khan permitted a National Assembly, it had only limited powers.
Ayub Khan introduced the 'Muslim Family Laws' through an Ordinance on 2 March 1961 under which unmitigated polygamy was abolished, consent of the current wife was made mandatory for a second marriage, brakes were also placed on the practice of instant divorce where men could divorce women by saying "I divorce you" three times under Islamic tradition. The Arbitration Councils were set up under the law in the urban and rural areas to deal with cases of (a) grant of sanction to a person to contract a second marriage during the subsistence of a marriage; (b) reconciliation of a dispute between a husband and a wife; (c) grant of a maintenance allowance to the wife and children.
His economic policies were based on the model of capitalism and followed free-market economics principles. The industrialization that took place in his term is often regarded as "Great Decade" in the history of the country (both economical and political history). The "Great Decade" was celebrated, which highlighted the development plans executed during the years of Ayub's rule, the private consortium companies, industries and credited with creating an environment where the private sector was encouraged to establish medium and small-scale industries in Pakistan. This opened up avenues for new job opportunities and thus the economic graph of the country started rising. He also introduced a new curricula and books for schools. Many schools and colleges were constructed during his time. He also introduced agricultural reforms according to which no one could occupy land less than 12.5 acres (500 irrigated land and 1000 unirrigated.) An oil refinery in Karachi was set up, and these reforms led to 15% GNP growth of the country that was three times greater than that of India. Despite the increase in the GNP growth, the profit and revenue was gained by the famous 22 families of the time that controlled 66% of the industries and land of the country and 80% of the banking and insurance of Pakistan.
The education reforms were steadily improved, and scientific development efforts were rising during his years, leading to the world-acclaim of Pakistan where his image was regarded more positive. This policy could not be followed for a long time after 1965, the economy collapsed and led to the economic declines which he was unable to control. In 1964, the Planning Commission, Economic minister Muhammad Shoaib, and Foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Ayub Khan chaired a meeting to discuss the economical assessment of the Operation Gibraltar against India. According to Sartaj Aziz, Bhutto had gone on a populist Anti-Indian and Anti-American binge during the meeting. Bhutto succeeded in the meeting on spellbinding the ruling general and the President into thinking he was becoming a world statesman fawned upon by the enemies of the United States. When authorizing the Operation Gibraltar, Deputy Chairman had famously told the President in the meeting, "Sir, I hope you realize that our foreign [p]olicy and our economic requirements are not fully consistent, in fact they are rapidly falling out of line". Aziz vetoed the Operation Gibraltar against India, fearing the economical turmoil that would jolt the country's economy, but was rebuffed by his senior bureaucrats. In that meeting Bhutto convinced the President and the Economic Minister that India would not attack Pakistan due to Kashmir being a disputed territory, and per Bhutto's remarks: "Pakistan’s incursion into Indian-occupied Kashmir, at [A]khnoor, would not provide [India] with the justification for attacking Pakistan across the international boundary because Kashmir was a disputed territory". This theory proved wrong when India launched a full-scale war against West-Pakistan in 1965.
The war caused Pakistan to lose the 500 million dollars it had been receiving by the Consortium for Pakistan through the United States. Ayub Khan could not politically survive in the aftermath of 1965 war with India and fell from the presidency after surrendering the presidential power to Army Commander General Yahya in 1969.
Presidential election of 1965
In 1964, Ayub Khan, confident in his apparent popularity and seeing deep divisions within the political opposition, called for Presidential elections in Pakistan.
He was however taken by surprise when despite a brief disagreement between the five main opposition parties ( a preference for a former close associate of Ayub Khan, General Azam Khan as a presidential candidate was dropped), the joint opposition agreed on supporting the respected and popular Fatima Jinnah, the sister of the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah as a candidate for next presidential elections.
Despite Fatima Jinnah's considerable popularity and public disaffection with Ayub's government, Ayub won with 64% of the vote in a bitterly contested election on 2 January 1965. The election did not conform to international standards per many journalists of the time. Ayub promoted him to Field Marshal after this election and making him the only field marshal of Pakistan till date.
Overview of Ayub's rule
As President, Ayub Khan allied Pakistan with the global U.S. military alliance against the Soviet Union. Pakistan developed strong economic, political and strategic ties with the United States. This in turn led to major economic aid from the U.S. and European nations, and the industrial sector of Pakistan grew very rapidly, improving the economy, but the consequences of cartelization included increased inequality in the distribution of wealth. Khan also became concerned about arrogance and bossiness of the US, who strongly criticized Pakistan for building ties with China. Ayub Khan then wrote the book Friends not masters . It was under Ayub Khan that the capital was moved from Karachi to Islamabad, in anticipation of the construction of a new capital: Islamabad. In 1960, Khan's government signed the Indus Waters Treaty with archrival India to resolve disputes regarding the sharing of the waters of the six rivers in the Punjab Doab that flow between the two countries. Khan's administration also built a major network of irrigation canals, high-water dams and thermal and hydroelectric power stations.
Military and domestic affairs
Khan's domestic policies had heavy impact on Pakistan Armed Forces, and initially reduced the funding of military forces. His Chief of Army Staff had little interest in the military advancement and was seen lenient towards friendly India. His policies forced a halt to the nuclear deterrence and the nuclear energy projects established under the government of Prime Minister Suhrawardy. The Prime minister established the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and launched the effective nuclear deterrence under the auspices of Dr. Nazir Ahmad, an experimental physicist. In 1958, when General Ayub Khan seized the office and imposed martial law in Pakistan, he had limited the research facilities of PAEC based on economic grounds. Overall, the nuclear deterrence remained a low priority to Khan and his government repeatedly vetoed the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's proposal to lead the establishment of national laboratories and the growth of nuclear power plants. Because of Abdus Salam's influence on Ayub Khan, Salam had succeeded into convincing him to personally approve a nuclear power plant— against the wishes of his own military government. However, despite Abdus Salam's efforts, Ayub Khan rejected further proposals made by the Abdus Salam, and the PAEC to set up a nuclear reprocessing plant in 1968.
Ayub Khan closely allied with the United States and her allies while he publicly criticized the Soviet Union. His first visit to United States took place as he was the Defence Minister as part of the delegation of Prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan, convincing the U.S along with prime minister to provide a military aide to the country. The new defence minister Ayub Khan was obsessed with the modernization of the armed forces in the shortest possible time and saw the relationship with United States as the only way to achieve his organizational and personal objectives.
In April 1958, Ayub Khan stressed that armed forces were the strongest element, convincing the United States that the left-wing would gain influence if elections were held in the prevailing circumstances, and that this would not only destabilize Pakistan but would affect U.S. strategic interests.
During his presidency, the Central Intelligence Agency's activities grew with a secret intelligence base, Peshawar Air Station, was leased to United States. The government officials, ministers including the military officials of Pakistan Armed Forces were not allowed near the base, and could not dare to enter the base. The station and its activities were exposed in 1960, when Soviet Air Defence Forces's S-75 Dvina missile shot down the U-2 Dragon Lady, capturing its pilot near the vicinity. This incident seriously and severely compromised the security of Pakistan, brought the Soviet ire on Pakistan. In all,Ayub Khan had known of the operation,was fully aware of what happened in the Soviet Union. Ayub Khan was in London when the U-2 incident took place, notified by the CIA station chief, Khan shrugged his shoulders and said that he had expected this would happen at some point.
In 1959, then-Commerce and Energy minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto wished to visit the station, but was refrained from entering the spy operation's command room. Ayub Khan appointed left-wing intellectual Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the Foreign Minister, but soon forced him to resign when he excessively criticized the United States. In 1961-62, Ayub also garnered a lot of public interest in the UK, due to his involvement in the Christine Keeler affair.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
The turning point in his rule was the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, and it ended in a settlement reached by Ayub Khan at Tashkent, called the Tashkent Declaration. The settlement was perceived negatively by many Pakistanis and led Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to resign his post and take up opposition to Ayub Khan. According to Morrice James, "For them [Pakistanis] Ayub had betrayed the nation and had inexcusably lost face before the Indians."
Joint defence union with India
In 1959, Ayub Khan's interest in building defence forces diminished when he made an offer of joint defence with India during the Sino-Indo clashes in October 1959 in Ladakh, in a move seen as a result of American pressure and a lack of understanding of Foreign affairs
Final years in office
In 1969 Ayub Khan opened up negotiations with the opposition alliance - except for Maulana Bhashani and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. However, under increasing pressure from Bhutto and Bhashani (who allegedly had support for their agitation from elements within the Army) and in violation of his own constitution (which required him to transfer power to the speaker of the National Assembly), on 25 March 1969, Ayub Khan handed over control of Pakistan to Army Commander-in-Chief General Yahya Khan.
He subsidized fertilizers and modernized agriculture through irrigation development, spurred industrial growth with liberal tax benefits. In the decade of his rule, gross national product (GNP) rose by 45% and manufactured goods began to overtake such traditional exports as jute and cotton. It is alleged that his policies were tailored to reward the elite families and the feudal lords.[who?] During the fall of his dictatorship, just when the government was celebrating the so-called 'Decade of Development', mass protests erupted due to an increasingly greater divide between the rich and the poor. In recent times, the myth of the so-called Decade of Development has also been trashed by economists.
His rule was characterised by an increasing dependency on East Pakistan for export revenues, coupled with an exclusion of East Pakistan from political influence. This laid the foundation for break up of the country in 1972.
Criticism in later years of Ayub's rule
Government corruption and nepotism, in addition to an environment of repression of free speech and political freedoms increased unrest in later years of Ayub's rule. Criticisms of his son's and family's personal wealth increased, especially his son's actions after his father's election in the allegedly rigged 1965 Presidential elections against Fatima Jinnah is a subject of criticism by many writers. In 2003, the nephew of the Quaid-i-Azam, Akbar Pirbhai, re-ignited the controversy by suggesting that she was assassinated by the Ayub Khan establishment . His son, Gohar Ayub Khan, it is said led a victory parade right into the heartland of opposition territory in Karachi in a blatantly provocative move and the civil administration's failure to stop the rally led to fierce clashes between opposing groups with many locals being killed. Gohar Ayub Khan also faced criticisms during that time on questions of family corruption and cronyism through his business links with his father-in-law retired Lt. General Habibullah Khan Khattak. One Western commentator in 1969 estimated Gohar Ayub's personal wealth at the time at $4 million, while his family's wealth was put in the range of $10–20 million.
Ayub began to lose both power and popularity. On one occasion, while visiting East Pakistan, there was a failed attempt to assassinate him, though this was not reported in the press of the day.
Ayub Khan is critiqued for the growth in income inequality 5 million people fell below the poverty line. He is also blamed for not doing enough to tackle the significant economic disparity between East and West Pakistan. Whilst he was aware of the acute grievances of East Pakistan he did try to address the situation. However, the Ayub Khan regime was so highly centralized that, in the absence of democratic institutions, densely populated and politicized East Pakistan province continued to feel it was being slighted. Sadaf Farooq from School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Reading argued that workers wages fell by 60% during the 60s. Furthermore, the policy of promoting entrepreneur elite and Industrial cartels to get economic growth generated increasing regional and social tensions among the nation and the emergence of business and industrial cartels.
Ayub Khan’s eldest son Gohar Ayub Khan was Pakistan's Foreign Minister in the Nawaz Sharif government and his grandson Omar Ayub Khan was briefly Pakistan’s Minister of State for Finance. His daughter Begum Nasim Aurangzeb was married to Miangul Aurangzeb, the Wali of Swat.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Muhammed Ayub Khan.|
- Ayub Khan Bio
- Official profile at Pakistan Army website
- Video clip of Ayub Khan in Paris----use QuickTime Player.
- Video clip of Ayub Khan with General De Gaulle
- Video clip in Rawalpindi
- The London Gazette: . 17 May 1960. Retrieved 29 June 2010. Creation as an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George on 26 April 1960
|Chief of Army Staff
Muhammad Ali Bogra
|Minister of Defence
Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
|President of Pakistan
|Chief Martial Law Administrator
Muhammad Ayub Khuhro
|Minister of Defence
Afzal Rahman Khan
Khan Habibullah Khan
|Minister of the Interior
Chaudhry Ali Akbar Khan