The Third Islamic Republic
The loss of East Pakistan forced General Yahya Khan and his military junta to quit power. On December 20, 1971, General Yahya Khan handed over power to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, whose Pakistan People's Party had won a land-slide victory in the 1970 elections in the western and only remaining wing of the country.
Generally, Bhutto has been blamed for having forced the secession of Bangladesh. The advocates of this view argue that Bhutto commanded only 80 seats out of more than 300 seats in the National Assembly representing only the Punjab and Sindh, whereas Sheikh Mujib received an absolute majority of 169 seats. Therefore, in accordance with the theory and practice of parliamentary government, the Sheikh and his Awami League had the legitimate right of forming a government and framing a constitution. Neither the junta nor Bhutto could dispute Mujib's claim, but they were not prepared to accept Bengali rule. An agreement with Mujib could not help Bhutto's cause, even if it might have served Pakistan's larger interests. ....... Bhutto apparently did not mind sacrificing the country's tenuous unity on the alter of his own ambition.
According to General Yahya's statement published in the daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore, on December 28, 1978, the responsibility for the separation of East Pakistan rested solely with Bhutto. He was responsible for not allowing the National Assembly to meet at Dacca, as he publicly said he would break the legs of anyone from West Pakistan if he dared to go to Dacca, to attend a meeting of the National assembly.  However, the Hamoudur Rehman Commission, which probed the debacle of East Pakistan, apparently absolved Bhutto from any responsibility because "if the report had held him responsible for the breakup of Pakistan then General Zia, would have tried and executed him for treason rather than for alleged murder." Nevertheless, while Yahya cannot escape responsibility for the tragic events in East Pakistan, it is also on the record that he did not act alone.  Similarly though Bhutto would appear to be the primary beneficiary of the debacle of East Pakistan, not even he can be singled out for blame.
With the secession of Bangladesh, the situation in West Pakistan was simplified for Bhutto since his Pakistan People's Party (PPP) had emerged as the single largest party. Therefore, as the majority party leader, Bhutto was in a position to form his own government at the center. However, Bhutto's PPP majorities were confined to only two provinces -- the Punjab and Sindh while in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and in Baluchistan, the National Awami Party (NAP) leader, Abdul Wali Khanand the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) leader, Maulana Mufti Mahmood, had clear majorities.
Upon assuming power, as the President and the Chief Martial Law Administrator, Bhutto did not restore democracy. Pakistan, for the first time, had a civilian as the martial law chief. The country continued to be governed under martial law till August 1972. Under the provisional constitutional order, the 1962 constitution became the interim constitution of Pakistan till a new constitution was adopted in 1973.
The 1973 constitution provided for a parliamentary system with all powers concentrated in the prime minister. He was also elected as the president of the national assembly. So there was total concentration of both executive and legislative powers in the office of the prime minister. Under article 48 of the original 1973 constitution the president of the country was bound by the advice of the prime minister, and it was mandatory that every order issued by the president must be countersigned by the prime minister and unless the prime minister had signed it, no order or decision of the president would have any legal sanction. What he wanted was absolute power and the 1973 constitution does not obscure Bhutto's efforts in forming a totalitarian system, something his predecessors considered but rejected as unsound.
Equipped with all the executive and legislative powers, Bhutto became a civilian dictator under the facade of a democratic government. His rule as the all-powerful prime minister from 1973 to 1977 was more undemocratic, more oppressive and more intolerable than the two martial law regimes, which preceded his government.
The leaders of the opposition parties were persecuted and prosecuted to an extent unknown even during the previous regimes in Pakistan. A prominent Muslim League leader, Khawaja Khairuddin told G.W. Chawdhry, the author of Pakistan: Transition from Military to Civilian Rule, in 1979 that one evening he was picked up by Bhutto's para-military force; he was forcibly taken by a boat to the sea and thrown out on an island along the Indo-Pakistan sea border. He was almost drowned by the tide of water but fortunately he was rescued by some fishermen who saw his helpless situation.
Bhutto and his associates from Sindh in the central government gradually initiated policies which ultimately led to creating fissures between his home province and the Punjab. The government of Sindh adopted the Sindhi as the official language of the province. This occasioned language disturbances and ethnic tensions between Sindhis and non Sindhis, including Indian migrants, and the Punjabi settlers in the province. As might have been expected, the language bill was introduced in the province with the active backing of the Bhutto government. However, the PPP Chief Minister of the Punjab, Mustafa Khar, took serious note of the language disturbances and sent a provincial delegation to Sindh to assess the extent of losses to the Punjabi settlers.
The provinces complained that they were not permitted to exercise their rights which had been given to them by the constitution. The proclamation of emergency was made when Bhutto acquired power and continued throughout his regime. Thus the center acquired power over the provinces and the center meant Bhutto.
Bhutto sought to consolidate his power by reducing the influence of the military and by again purging and drastically modifying the bureaucracy. He retired a number of top military officers and promoted individuals who he believed would show absolute loyalty to him and the civilian government. As a result, many senior officers of the Army, Navy and the Air Force were retired and replaced by hand-picked junior offices. Lt. General Ziaul Haq was promoted to become C-in-C after superseding several senior Generals. He accused a number of members of the defunct junta of "Bonapartism" and sent some of them abroad in ambassadorial posts. He endeavored to develop a PPP para-military force as well as a special police agency which became known as the Federal Security Force (FSF). These latter bodies were to police political matters for the PPP leadership and hence avoid the use of the regular armed forces. The central idea in these undertakings was to maintain the neutrality of the armed forces and to prevent it from interfering again in, or taking advantage of, the political in-fighting. The military was none too pleased with these developments but in the immediate circumstances following the loss of East Pakistan it was unable to prevent them from going forward.
The Federal Security Force was the most visible instrument of Bhutto's terror and oppression. Its victims were both individuals and political parties. Bhutto organized the Federal Security Force not only to suppress the rightists and Islamic forces which attacked the government through language and religious movements, but also reduce his reliance on the army. During a national assembly session in November 1975, when a constitutional amendment limiting dissent, was being pushed through, the FSF was brought in. Several protesting opposition members of the House were beaten up and physically thrown out of the assembly.
he expenditure on the FSF went up from Rs. 36.4 million in 1973-74 to Rs. 107.7 million in 1976-77. This expenditure did not include the Intelligence Bureau, which was under the Prime Minister's cabinet division and for which Rs. 25.8 million was spent in 1976-77.  It should be noted that the total expenditures on police and security by the central government amounted to Rs. 521.8 million for 1976-77. This expenditure did not include expenditures on police and security incurred by the various provinces. As compared to the central government expenditure of Rs 521.8 million on police and security for 1976-77, the entire allocation on education (which included both federal and provincial allocations) in the annual plan for 1976-77 was only Rs 617.7 million. The allocation for both federal and provincial health program in the annual plan for 1976-77 was Rs. 771.9 million.
A popularly elected government committed to the rapid improvement of public well-being was spending only Rs. 95.9 million more on education than on police and only Rs 250.1 million more on health than on police. This gives credence to the argument that Bhutto was more an opportunist than a committed ideologue. His doctrine of Islamic socialism was a means toward gaining, holding and wielding power; it was not holy writ, unchangeable and super eminent.
With the military removed from the decision-making process, Bhutto attacked Central Service of Pakistan (CSP) and ordered the privileged service dissolved. Personnel were either to be retired or integrated into a new All Pakistan Civil Service which was graded as two levels of work and seniority, but whose members owed allegiance to only one organization, namely the Pakistan People's Party. Through greater control over the civil services, the expansion of the police forces, and the political management of the army, Bhutto had mobilized more effective and coercive power.
Bhutto sensed the need to build a mystique around himself and this meant no one could question his actions, particularly in public and among his devoted subordinates. He was not only the key decision-maker, he insisted on being the only decision-maker in the country. His imperial style replicated his Sindhi landlord experience, and Pakistan was to be governed much like his ancestral estate in Larkana. Fear, intimidation, repression, constraint surveillance permeated Pakistani society as Bhutto's special forces inflicted their brand of punishment on the population.
Bhutto did not tolerate any dissenting voices even within his own party. Within the PPP, Bhutto consistently discouraged the democratic process and stifled dissent in order to consolidate his personal, autocratic leadership. He did not pay attention to the problems of reorganization within the PPP, and during the past years no party elections were ever held. Many sincere and devoted workers left the party in utter disgust and frustration. New, opportunistic elements were allowed to join the party ranks and were given key positions. Thus, the party organization remained in disarray. At all levels, factionalism became rampant. The core of party leadership at all levels -- provincial, district and local -- were engaged in a tussle for power. As party leader, Bhutto failed to mediate intra-party feuds. He also failed to hold together ideologically disparate segments of his party, particularly the left and the right wings. Initially, perhaps, he was able to preserve the balance between the left and the right, but gradually he came to lean towards the right wing for support. As a result, he alienated the left wing.
Confidently, from his place in the saddle of power, Bhutto did not hesitate to humiliate somewhat critical left wing leaders from the party ranks and consistently pursued a ruthless policy of persecuting them. The party's Secretary General, J.A. Rahim, one of the founding fathers of the PPP was subjected to humiliating treatment; Mairaj Mohammed Khan, a young labor leader from Karachi, whom Bhutto had acclaimed as his right-hand man, was imprisoned and tortured. Mukhtar Rana, a labor and peasant leader from Faisalabad [Lyallpur] remained in prison during most of Bhutto's tenure. At a later stage, Khurshid Hasan Mir, Hanif Ramay, Dr. Mubashir Hasan,, and Mustafa Khar of the Punjab PPP were forced out of the party. In his own province of Sindh, he mistreated, humiliated and threw out his Sindhi colleagues asul Bukhsh Talpur and Ahmed Ali Talpur.