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Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq

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Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
محمد ضیاء الحق
Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq in 1982
6th President of Pakistan
In office
16 September 1978 – 17 August 1988
Prime MinisterMuhammad Khan Junejo
Preceded byFazal Ilahi Chaudhry
Succeeded byGhulam Ishaq Khan
Personal details
Born(1924-08-12)12 August 1924
Jalandhar, Punjab, British India
Died17 August 1988(1988-08-17) (aged 64)
Bahawalpur, Punjab, Pakistan
Resting placeFaisal Masjid
NationalityIndian people (1924–1947) Pakistani people (1947–1988)
Spouse(s)Begum Shafiq Zia (1950–1988; his death)[1]
Children5 (including Muhammad Ijaz-ul-Haq)
Alma materSt. Stephen's College, Delhi
United States Army Command and General Staff College
Military service
Allegiance British India
Branch/service British Indian Army
 Pakistan Army
Years of service1943–1988
Rank General
Unit22 Cavalry, Army Armoured Corps (PA – 1810)
Commands2nd Independent Armoured Brigade
1st Armoured Division
II Strike Corps
Chief of Army Staff
Battles/warsWorld War II
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Black September in Jordan
Soviet–Afghan War

Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (Urdu: محمد ضياء الحق; 12 August 1924 – 17 August 1988) was a Pakistani military officer and politician who was the sixth president of Pakistan from 1978 until his death in 1988.

Early life[change | change source]

He was born in Jalandhar, Punjab. He died in a plane crash in Bahawalpur Punjab. Before he was president, he was chief martial law administrator from 1977, when martial law had been declared for the third time in the country's history.[2][3]

Career[change | change source]

His reign is regarded as one of the longest-serving regimes in Pakistan, as he ruled nine years. It was a very cruel and bad time for most Pakistani people. He also helped the United States in fighting against the Soviet Union during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and in the process, he ruined his own country also.[source?]

Death[change | change source]

Zia's Tomb in Islamabad

Zia died in a plane crash on 17 August 1988. After witnessing a US M1 Abrams tank demonstration in Bahawalpur, Zia had left the small town in the Punjab province by C-130B Hercules aircraft. The aircraft departed from Bahawalpur Airport and was expected to reach Islamabad International Airport.[4] Shortly after a smooth takeoff, the control tower lost contact with the aircraft. Witnesses who saw the plane in the air afterward claim it was flying erratically, then nosedived and exploded on impact. In addition to Zia, 31 others died in the plane crash, including chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Akhtar Abdur Rahman, close associate of Zia, Brigadier Siddique Salik, the American Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Lewis Raphel and General Herbert M. Wassom, the head of the US Military aid mission to Pakistan.[5][6] Ghulam Ishaq Khan, the Senate chairman announced Zia's death on radio and TV. Conditions surrounding his death have given rise to many conspiracy theories.[7] There is speculation that the United States, India, the Soviet Union (in retaliation for Pakistani support of the mujahideen in Afghanistan) or an alliance of them and internal groups within Zia's military were behind the incident.[8][9]

A board of inquiry was set up to investigate the crash. It concluded 'the most probable cause of the crash was a criminal act of sabotage perpetrated in the aircraft'. It also suggested that poisonous gases were released which incapacitated the passengers and crew, which would explain why no Mayday signal was given.[10] There was also speculation into other facts involving the details of the investigation. A flight recorder (black box) was not located after the crash even though previous C-130 aircraft did have them installed.[11]

Maj. Gen. (retd) Mahmud Ali Durrani, who was suspected by many circles within Pakistan and also by the then United States Ambassador to India, John Gunther Dean, for being "extraordinarily insistent" with President Zia to visit the demonstration, is considered to be the prime suspect in the incident.[12] He claimed later that reports of Israeli and Indian involvement in Zia's plane crash were only speculations and he rejected the statement that was given by former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan that the presidential plane was blown up in the air. Durrani stated that Zia's plane was destroyed while landing.[13]

Lt. General Hameed Gul, the head of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency at the time, suggested that the United States might be responsible, even though the U.S. Ambassador and military attaché were also killed. He told The Times that the Pakistani President was killed in a conspiracy involving a "foreign power".[14]

References[change | change source]

  1. "About Shafiq Zia: First Lady of Pakistan (b. 1931, d. 1996) (1931 - 1996) | Biography, Facts, Career, Life". peoplepill.com. Retrieved 25 March 2022.
  2. "Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq | president of Pakistan". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  3. Krishnan, Revathi (2019-08-17). "Zia-ul-Haq, the Stephanian Pakistani dictator who feared Indira Gandhi". ThePrint. Retrieved 2020-06-22.
  4. Harro Ranter (17 August 1988). "ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed C-130B Hercules 23494 Bahawalpur Airport (BHV)". aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  5. Foreign affairs Pakistan by Pakistan. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, (MOFA, 1988)
  6. "Plea in court to revive C-130 crash case" Business Recorder, 22 April 1996 Archived 30 May 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  7. "Editorial: Another clue into General Zia's death". Daily Times. Lahore. 4 December 2005. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2011.
  8. Bone, James; Hussain, Zahid (16 August 2008). "As Pakistan comes full circle, a light is shone on Zia ul-Haq's death". The Times. London. p. 40. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2011.(subscription required)
  9. Hamilton, Dwight; Rimsa, Kostas (2007). Terror Threat: International and Homegrown terrorists and their threat to Canada. Dundurn. p. 83. ISBN 9781550027365. Retrieved 3 July 2015 – via Internet Archive. zia al haq.
  10. The History and Culture of Pakistan by Nigel Kelly. ISBN 1-901458-67-9
  11. "Engines Probed in Air Crash". Deseret News. AP. 16 April 1982. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  12. John Gunther Dean."John Gunther Dean's Oral History". Archived from the original on 1 June 2009. Retrieved 10 January 2009. Oral history at jimmycarterlibrary
  13. Durrani, Mahmud Ali (14 September 2009). "Pakistan started war with India in 1965". Daily Times. Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  14. Ghosh, Palash (27 April 2013). "Politics Who Killed General Zia Of Pakistan? Perhaps The Israelis, The US, Moscow; He Implemented Sharia Law And His Murder Remains Unsolved 25 Years He was buried in the premises of Faisal mosque, islamabad. The Chowk near Faisal mosque is popularly known as "GABRA CHOWK" after discovery of only teeth in crash incident. Later". International Business Times. IBT Media Inc. Retrieved 22 November 2014.