Wikipedia:Today's featured article/April 3, 2007

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Ziaur Rahman was the 6th President of Bangladesh and founder of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. While an officer in the Pakistan Army, Zia's unit captured the Kalurghat radio station at the onset of the Bangladesh Liberation War and declared the independence of Bangladesh. Recognised as a war hero, he would be honoured with the Bir Uttom in 1972. A high-ranking officer in the Bangladesh Army, Zia was appointed chief of army staff following the Assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975. Although briefly overthrown in a coup d'etat, Zia returned to power in a counter-coup organised by Colonel Abu Taher. Declaring himself president in 1977, Zia won a referendum held in 1978. Founding the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Zia won widespread popular support for stabilising the nation and leading it in a new direction. A right-wing politician, Zia established free-market policies in a 19-point programme of industrialisation and development. He adopted policies bringing the government increasingly under Islam, which he included in the national constitution. Zia controversially pardoned the assassins of Sheikh Mujib by signing the Indemnity Act and rehabilitated individuals who had supported the Pakistan Army. A popular yet controversial leader, Zia was assassinated in 1981 in an abortive military coup. (more...)

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