GENERAL MUHAMMAD ZIA-UL-HAQ
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
was born on August 12 1924 at Jalundhar. After receiving
his early education from Government High School Simla,
he did his B.A Honors from St. Stephen College, Delhi.
He was commissioned in the British Army in 1943 and
served in Burma, Malaya and Indonesia during the Second
World War. When the war was over, he decided to join
armored core. At the time of Independence, like most
of the Muslims officers in the British Army, Zia-ul-Haq
opted to join Pakistan Army. As a Major he got an opportunity
to do a training course in the Commander and Staff College
of United States of America in 1963-64. During the war
of 1965, he acted as the Assistant Quarter Master of
101 Infantry Division, which was posted at Kiran sector.
He remained posted at Jordon from 1967-70, where he
trained military men of the country. He was appointed
as Core Commander of Multan in 1975.
On April 1 1976,
in a surprise move, the then Prime Minister of
Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, appointed Zia-ul-Haq
as the Chief of the Army Staff. It is interesting
to note that five senior Generals were superseded.
Bhutto probably wanted somebody as the head of
the armed forces, who would not prove to be a
threat for him and the best available option was
the simple General, who apparently was interested
only in offering prayers and playing golf. However,
history proved Bhutto wrong, and Zia-ul-Haq proved
to be much smarter than he looked. When the political
unsuitability reached its climax due to the deadlock
between Bhutto and the leadership of Pakistan
National Alliance (PNA) on the issue of general
elections, Zia-ul-Haq took advantage of the situation.
On July 5, 1977, he carried out a bloodless coup
overthrowing Bhuttos government and enforced
Marshal Law in the country.