One Unit Scheme
One-Unit was the title of a scheme launched by the federal government of Pakistan to merge the four provinces of West Pakistan into one homogenous unit, as a counterbalance against the numerical domination of the ethnic Bengalis of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The One Unit scheme was announced by Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra on 22 November 1954. On 5 October 1955 Iskander Mirza (Acting Governor General of Pakistan) passed an order unifying all of West Pakistan in what became known as the 'One Unit Scheme'.
History[change | change source]
The province of North Pakistan was created on 30 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, (now Bangladesh) was renamed East Pakistan with the provincial capital at Dacca. The federal government moved the country's capital in 1959 from Karachi to Rawalpindi (serving as provisional capital until Islamabad was finished), whilst the federal legislature moved to Dacca.
West Pakistan formed a single and united political entity but with marked linguistic and ethnic distinctions. The One Unit policy was regarded as an administrative reform that would reduce expenditure and help eliminate ethnic and parochial prejudices. However, with the military coup of 1958, trouble loomed for the province when the office of Chief Minister was abolished on July 1, 1970 by President General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan.