The province of West Pakistan was created on 14 October 1955 by the merger of the provinces, states and tribal areas of the western wing. The province was composed of twelve divisions and the provincial capital was established at Lahore. The province of East Bengal was renamed East Pakistan with the provincial capital at Dacca. The federal government moved in 1959 from Karachi to Rawalpindi (provisional capital until Islamabad was finished), whilst the federal legislature moved to DACCA.
West Pakistan formed a block whose people seemed homogeneous (similar to each other). However, the new region included people of different ethnicities and languages. The "One Unit Policy" was regarded as a rational administrative reform which would reduce spending and eliminate provincial prejudices. However with the military coup of 1958, trouble loomed for the province when the office of Chief Minister was abolished and the President took over executive powers for West Pakistan. The province of West Pakistan was dissolved in July 1970 by President Yahya Khan.
General elections held in December 1970 saw the Awami League under Mujibur Rahman win an overall majority of seats in parliament (all but two of the 162 seats allocated to East Pakistan). The Awami League advocated greater autonomy (or self-rule) for East Pakistan, but the military government did not permit Mujibur Rahman to form a government.
Stamp showing both the East and west divisions of Pakistan Before the secession of Bangladesh. On March 25th 1971, West Pakistan began a civil war to subdue the democratic victory of East Pakistanis. This began the war between the Pakistani military and the Mukhti Bahini. The resulting refugee crisis led to the intervention by India, eventually leading to the surrender of the Pakistani Army. East Pakistan suffered a genocide of its Bengali population. East Pakistan became the independent state of Bangladesh on December 16, 1971. The term West Pakistan became redundant.
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