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General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (Punjabi, Urdu: محمد ضياء الحق; August 12, 1924 – August 17, 1988), was a Pakistani general officer and military Dictator who served as the sixth President of Pakistan. He served as president from 1978 until his death in 1988. He was born in Jalandhar, Punjab. He died in a plane crash in Bahawalpur Punjab. Before he was president, he served as chief martial law administrator from 1977, when martial law had been declared for the third time in the country's history. 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?].