The Third Islamic Republic
It was against this background of intra-party bickering that a young lawyer from Kasur in the Punjab, Ahmad Raza Kasuri, fell out with Bhutto, and formed a one-man opposition within the PPP, turning into a vehement critic of the government on the floor of the National Assembly. Due to his continuous and loud criticism, Bhutto got fed up with him and is alleged to have instructed Masood Mahmood, Director of the newly created para-military force known as the Federal Security Force, to eliminate this opponent within his own party ranks. Several attempts were made on Kasuri's life. Ultimately, in one such attempt, while Kasuri was returning by car from a marriage party in Lahore in the company of his father and other members of his family, he was ambushed and shot at. His father, Nawab Mohammad Ahmed Khan, was killed although he himself was the alleged target. Kasuri filed his first information report with the police station and accused Bhutto of having plotted the whole incident. This case became the origin of the subsequent Bhutto murder trial during General Zia's military regime.
On March 18, 1978, the Lahore High Court, in a controversial judgment, sentenced Bhutto and his "accomplices" to death by hanging in the murder trial of Nawab Mohammad Ahmed Khan. The High Court judgment also declared that Bhutto was a 'Muslim in name only'. The High Court judgment said: "His function as head of the executive was to eliminate law-breaking tendencies and used them for eliminating a person whom he considered his enemy. There is no rule under which he can escape the extreme penalty. " In its verdict upholding the High Court judgment, the Supreme Court expunged the High Court remarks about 'Muslim in name' but declined a defense plea to apply the Shariah laws, enforced on February 10, 1979, on the case.
On April 4, 1979 Bhutto was executed in Rawalpindi Jail and Pakistan became the second Muslim country to execute its Prime Minister. Turkey executed former Prime Minister Adnan Mendres in 1961.
Bhutto won the 1970 elections on the clarion call of roti, kapra aur makan (food, clothing and shelter), a slogan he picked up from the East Pakistani peasant leader Maulana Bhashani.  The four-fold election motto of his party reflected the demands and aspirations of the various grunted groups in Pakistan. The ringing declaration of the party was: "Islam is our faith. Democracy is our polity. Socialism is our economy. All power to the people." This was populism par excellence that was successful in defeating religious and traditional groups like the Muslim League and the Jamaat-i-Islami in the national elections in Pakistan in 1970.  It also persuaded the urban and rural masses that Islam had certain collectivist doctrines and traditions. Other political parties like the Muslim League and the Jamaat-i-Islami, on the other hand, tried to propagate the idea that Islam and socialism were antithetical.
Bhutto remained in power for five years on the basis of the 1970 elections held under the second martial law regime. Finally he had to hold general elections in 1977. On 7 January 1977, Bhutto announced a schedule for holding national and provincial elections, the first since those in 1970 which tragically led to the carnage in East Pakistan and the ultimate dismemberment of the country. With many of the top opposition leaders in remote prisons, and with no inclination to release them, Bhutto had reason to be confident about the results. The PPP chairman did not really expect a contest. What he wanted was a mandate to complete his consolidation of power. With an overwhelming vote in favor of the PPP, Bhutto would conclude that the public supported his efforts to transform Pakistani society. In other words, the election results were to provide Bhutto with the justification to destroy all his critics, once and for all.
In his anxiety to win the 1977 election by a landslide Bhutto had allowed some rigging, by no means a new feature in the national life of the country. He wanted a two third majority in the Assembly to amend the constitution along presidential lines. The results of the acrimonious elections surprised all parties. The Pakistan National Alliance won majority seats in only one major city, Karachi. It was roundly beaten elsewhere. The PPP won 93 per cent of the seats in the Punjab -- a surprise even to the party's leadership. The opposition hit upon a powerful rallying cry against Islamic socialism. Their slogan was Nizam-i-Mustafa - a powerful symbol in which the system of Islam came alive in the person of the Prophet. Devotion to Islam coupled with infinite respect for the personality of the Prophet, produced an electrifying effect.
The Ulema who seemed to have suffered a defeat in 1953 and 1962, had obviously recovered their strength by 1977 although it was not reflected in the National Assembly. Having failed to oust the PPP in the House, the Ulema took to the streets. When Ayub Khan was in serious difficulty and offered to make concessions, it was Bhutto who refused to accept them, stating that it was all a trick, aimed at keeping Ayub in power. Now it was Bhutto's turn to suffer the same agony. He offered concessions only to find his opposition more intent on exploiting his weakness. Bhutto defended himself against accusations that he was anti-Islam, that he indulged in intoxicants, behaved in a lewd and indecent manner, and encouraged irreligious activity, by eventually ordering the closing of Pakistan's bars, gambling houses, and night spots. But neither these actions, nor promised reforms satisfied his opponents.
On July 4, 1977, Bhutto was overthrown by his own Army Chief of Staff, a man he had carefully chosen for his lack of political ambitions. Later regretting his choice he told the Supreme Court which sent him to the gallows: "I appointed a Chief of Army belonging to Jamaat-i-Islami and the result is before us." Ziaul Haq was the Pakistan army's most junior Lt. General when Bhutto selected him to be Chief of the Army Staff in 1976. His appointment was prompted by a desire to retire those senior officers who had a long and intimate knowledge of Bhutto's performance and who were perceived as posing a threat to the government of the Pakistan People's Party.
The hasty retreat to the barracks that the armed forces made after the tragedy of Bangladesh did not signify a permanent condition. The maneuver was tactical, not strategic. Five years after Bangladesh, men who were not tainted by the humiliating loss of East Pakistan were in charge of the armed forces. Their perspective was quite different from that of Bhutto, the PPP, and their now retired superiors. When the country was again faced with wide-spread disorder, with foreign and domestic forces threatening to divide the nation, and with important military units verging on insurrection, it was time for the armed forces to make their presence known. Bhutto's heavy handed tactics, his shift towards absolute despotism, and his apparent anti-Islamic tendencies distressed some of the Army's elite cadres. The intentions to overthrow Bhutto eventually became known to General Ziaul Haq. Zia was informed that he would have to lead the coup against Bhutto or expected to be swept away with him.
Even before the election campaign began, army officers were plotting to overthrow Bhutto. These men no longer believed that he was the savior sent to restore Pakistan to a place in the constellation of states. On 5 July 1977 Bhutto was arrested by a force under Zia's command. His government was dissolved and Pakistan passed into still another phase of martial law. Bhutto was Pakistan's first civilian leader since the overthrow of the parliamentary experiment in 1958 but his rule was not a new beginning, only an intermission in the protracted rule of the civil-military establishment. 
During his six and half years turbulent rule, Bhutto used both economic measures (such as wage and fringe benefits and subsidies) and police power in order to keep his populist base under control. Bhutto was primarily motivated by anmus dominandi, that is, through the aggrandizement of his own power, he wanted to control every major class or interest by weakening its power base and by making it subservient to his will and policies. He nationalized a number of major industries with the purpose of setting up not socialism but a kind of state capitalism. In this way he thought that he had weakened the power base of the industrialists. Explaining the objectives of the first major nationalization of basic industries in 1972, Bhutto declared: "My government is committed to eliminate the concentration of economic power in order that no single entrepreneur or a group of entrepreneurs should obtain control of the strategic heights of the economy and use this dominant position against the public interest. It was significant that Bhutto's declaration was couched in negative terms, that is, he was thinking mainly in terms of denying to the private sector the control of the strategic heights of the economy. He was not thinking in terms of the public sector occupying the commanding heights of the economy along certain developmental lines.
Through labor reforms, he granted certain benefits to labor but virtually took away their right to strike or any form of industrial action by setting up a police force like the Federal Security Force. He introduced what he termed radical land reforms and conferred other benefits on the tenants and poorer peasants so that all the agricultural interests like the landowners, the small peasants, the tenants and landless laborers might look up to him as the source of all benefits.
On March 1, 1972, Bhutto introduced, through the Martial Law Regulation No. 115, his land reforms with a bitter attack on Ayub khan's 1959 reforms which he described as "a subterfuge," designed" to fool the people in the name of reform" with "all manner of concessions" to "buttress and pamper the landed aristocracy and fatten the favored few."  In Bhutto's view, the 1959 reforms had eradicated neither feudalism nor oppression because of the concessions made to landed elites.
Like the Ayub reforms which they so resemble, the Bhutto reforms did not either in theory or in practice alter the character of the agrarian system of Pakistan. More land was seized and distributed, more tenants were benefited, but the legislation merely nibbled at the margins of the rural distribution of power and privilege. The tenancy provisions in particular were left without effective enforcement mechanisms and were of importance mainly to those tenants already conscious enough and strong enough to question landlord prerogatives. As the 1977 elections approached, Bhutto dusted off the anti-feudal rhetoric and again promised to "flay" the privileged and powerful lords of the land. The result was, predictably, yet another ceiling reform, with a lower ceiling.
The "second round" of ceilings was announced by Bhutto on January 7, 1977. The ordinance significantly reduced the ceiling by one-third to 100 acres of irrigated land or 200 acres of unirrigated land. Unlike MLR 115, however, the new ceiling legislation provided for compensation at the rate of Rs. 30 per Produce Index Unit for land acquired by the state. The motive behind the second round was clearly tactical and political. The reforms were pushed through the National Assembly on the final day before dissolution for the elections. Bhutto's People Party had played on the symbolism of land reformsas evidence of the party's commitment to "socialism."
Agrarian reforms worthy of the name transform rural society through alternations in the property structure and production relations, redistributing power and privilege. Such transformations have never been the objectives of regimes in Pakistan, but only stirring rhetoric to the contrary. The power and influence of the big and medium-sized landlords did not undergo any drastic change because of these land reforms. The limits were fixed in terms of the individual and not for family holdings, with the result that many landlords managed to get around the limitations on ceilings by transferring land to relatives. According to one of the charges framed by General Zia's government against Bhutto, he and his family owned 2,200 acres of agricultural land. This became possible because Bhutto transferred part of his land to some trusted and dependable persons, making sure that the transfer remained no more than a paper transaction.
Under his land reforms, big and medium sized landowners had been allowed to get around the matter of land ceilings in order to maintain their support. Bhutto was also shrewd enough to realize that because a large number of small peasants and tenants, particularly in Sindh, continued to look up to their landlords as their political leaders, it was not in his interest to enforce the land reforms rigorously. The second land reforms were shelved by the military regime of General Zia and were ignored by the subsequent governments.
Bhutto's attempts to exploit Islamic sentiment were scarcely different from those of his predecessors. As with the previous constitutions, the 1973 document cites "all existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah....and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to injunctions of Islam." Article one of the 1973 constitution describes Pakistan as an Islamic Republic. The same phrase was utilized in the 1956 document, although initially Ayub omitted references to an Islamic Republic in his 1962 constitution and only relented under great pressure to reconsider his position. Article Two of the 1973 constitution declares: "Islam shall be the state religion of Pakistan." The phrase did not appear in the 1956 or 1962 constitutions and the implications of its inclusion are only being realized since the removal and execution of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Bhutto hosted the Second Islamic Summit in Lahore from February 22 to 24, 1974. The summit was attended by thirty five member states of the Organization of Islamic Conference and Palestine represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization. The summit helped him the recognition of Bangladesh when Sheikh Mujib was invited to attend the meeting. The Islamic summit was followed by an invitation to the Imams of the mosques at Madina and Ka'aba to visit Pakistan. Later the government sponsored an international conference on the life and work of the Prophet. International Seerat Congress was held in Pakistan in March 1976. The Congress was attended among others by Imam of Ka'aba and more than hundred prominent scholars and Ulema drawn from all over the Muslim world, America and Europe. This catering to Islamic sentiments was expected to generate support for the government.
On March 31, 1972 Bhutto asked his people to 'make this beautiful country an Islamic state, the biggest Islamic state, the bravest Islamic state and the most solid Islamic state." More than 90,000 Pakistanis performed Haj in 1972. The National Assembly passed an Act in July, 1973 to ensure "Error Free Publication of the Holy Quran." Adequate steps were taken against the desecration of the torn pages of the Holy Quran. A Ministry of Religious Affairs was set up for the first time. Religious education was made compulsory from primary upto Matriculation.
Bhutto's strategy was both to placate and outwit the religious and conservative opposition. He defeated it handsomely in the general election in 1970 but by 1974, unlike Khawaja Nazimuddin, a weak man, Bhutto, the strong man, was not able to meet the challenge posed by the anti-Ahmadi agitation. The demonstrations in Lahore and Lyallpur in June 1974 resulted in widespread rioting, destruction of property and army units being called to quell the disturbances. Bhutto surrendered to the opposition demand to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslim minority. The constitution was suitably amended  to placate the Ulema. But that did not stop the Ulema to use the religious appeal against him. In 1970 election, religious and conservative parties like Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Islam, the Muslim League were divided but in March 1977 elections these parties had formed a common alliance -- Pakistan National Alliance (PNA). Bhutto did not see the danger in the Alliance for he called it a "cat with nine tails."
In the aftermath of violence erupted by the "fraudulent' election results, Bhutto announced a ban on liquor, night clubs and horse races in May 1977. Friday was declared as a closed weekly holiday in lieu of Sunday from 1st July, 1977 "in deference to the wishes of the Muslim community." These measures were taken during the last days of Bhutto's regime. The motive behind these measures was not the enforcement of the injunctions of Islam in the country but to out-wit the mounting opposition, which gathered on a religious platform.
However, an important external factor in Bhutto's ultimate downfall is the known US concern at his growing prestige in the Muslim world and his preoccupation with the nuclear program. He told the National Assembly that a conspiracy had been hatched, under American leadership to de-stabilize his government. But his plea was rejected as an attempt "to find a scapegoat."
It is interesting to observe that Bhutto assumed authority during a state of acute crisis after the tragic dismemberment of Pakistan and was ultimately forced to quit the seat of power, leaving the country in a still more acute crisis. Another common element in the dramatic appearance and still more grotesque exit of Bhutto from the Pakistani political scene was the fact that he assumed power from one General and finally lost to another. Bhutto was the immediate beneficiary of the only two general elections that Pakistan has yet experienced. But the one prompted a civil war and the other ultimately cost Bhutto his life and plunged the country into deeper problems. Bhutto did not live up to the standards of his own constitution, nor could the document protect his administration, his policies or his person.