Pakistani Military Seizes Government in Coup Hot

Pakistani Military Seizes Government in Coup

General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq

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The Pakistani military seizes control of the government in a bloodless coup, removing Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from power. Bhutto had rigged the elections in March to ensure his own power, leading to a crisis of legitimacy which the army has decided to end.

The new military leader of Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, promises that the military control of Pakistan would be temporary and that free elections will be held in October.

In reality, he's been planning a coup since 1976 when he became chief of army staff, and he's been misleading Bhutto in ways that weaken him.

In October he postpones elections, saying that he can't trust the politicians. Zia ul-Haq will remain in power with American financial and military support until he dies in a plane crash in 1988.

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General Zia ul-Haq declaring Marshal Law

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