General Zia Ul Haq

General Zia Ul Haq Biography:

zia ul haq
zia ul haq —General Zia Ul Haq

Zia ul Haq was a complex figure in Pakistani history, known for her authoritarian rule. He is  support for Islamic fundamentalism, and close ties with the United States during the Cold War. Despite her controversial heritage, Zia remains an important figure in Pakistan’s history and her influence is still  felt today.

 Early Life of Zia ul Haq :

General Zia ul Haq was born in 1924 in Jalandhar, Punjab, British India. He was the second son of Muhammad Akbar, who worked as an educator, and his wife Ayesha Begum. Zia-ul-Haq had six siblings, four brothers and two sisters.His older brother, Muhammad Shabir, became a three-star general in the Pakistan Army.

Zia-ul-Haq married Shafiq Jahan in 1950 and the couple had six children together: three boys and three girls. His eldest son, Ijaz ul Haq, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a politician who served in the Pakistan National Assembly. Other two sons, Anwar ul Haq and Khalid ul Haq, served in the Pakistan Army. His daughters are named Rubina, Naseem and Uzma.

Zia-ul-Haq was known as a family-oriented man and had close ties to his siblings and extended family. His son Ijaz ul Haq spoke of his father’s love for his family and his devotion to  work.

Zia-ul-Haq’s family suffered tragedy in 1977 when their eldest daughter Rubina died in a plane crash. The incident deeply affected the general and  a main street in Islamabad was named after him in his memory. General Zia Ul Haq.


Zia ul Haq, who  later became a key figure in the history of Pakistan, was born on August 12, 1924 in Jalandhar, Punjab, British India.He comes from a middle-class family and his father was a teacher. Zia had his early education at a local school in Jalandhar and later attended St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, where he studied art.

After graduating, Zia joined the British Indian Army in 1943 and served in the Burma Campaign of World War II. After the partition of India in 1947, he was appointed as an officer in the new Pakistani army.

Zia rose quickly in the ranks of the Pakistan Army and was promoted to  Major General in 1965. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Zia served as Chief of Operations at  Army Headquarters, where he was responsible for planning and coordinating military operations.

In 1971, Zia was appointed commander of the 1st Armored Division deployed to East Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Despite its best efforts, the division failed to prevent the fall of Dhaka and the eventual surrender of Pakistan.

Zia ul Haq’s rise to power in Pakistan began with a military coup that overthrew  Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s government. The  July 5, 1977 coup ushered in a new era in Pakistani politics, which for many years was dominated by the military.


The period leading up to the coup was one of political instability and economic turmoil. Bhutto’s government faced widespread protests and strikes, and  dissatisfaction with his policies grew.

In this regard, Zia, who was serving as the Army Chief of  Staff, saw an opportunity to intervene.He believed that the army was the only institution capable of restoring stability and order to the country.

 Murder Attempt:

Ziaja’s attack was quick and decisive. The military  quickly seized control of key government institutions, including the country’s radio and television stations. Bhutto and his cabinet were arrested and taken into custody.

During a radio broadcast, Zia announced that the army had taken over the government and declared martial law.He promised to hold free and fair elections within 90 days and  restore democracy in Pakistan.

However, it soon became clear that Zia had no intention of relinquishing power. He dissolved the National Assembly, suspended the constitution and imposed strict media censorship.

 Consolidation of Power:


Zia’s first priority was consolidation of power. He purged the army of officers  loyal to Bhutto and replaced them with his own supporters.He also appointed a new civilian government of people loyal to him.

To further consolidate his control, Zia introduced a series of measures to curb political opposition. It banned political parties and imposed severe restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly.

 Impact on Pakistani Society:

Zia’s assassination had a profound impact on Pakistani society. His policies, particularly his support for Islamic fundamentalism, had a far-reaching impact on the country.

Zia called for “Islamization”; Pakistani society by enacting Sharia-based laws  and promoting a more conservative interpretation of Islam. He also instituted the Hudood Ordinances, which criminalized extramarital sex and adultery with stoning and amputation. These laws have been widely criticized for discriminating against women and  remain a source of controversy to this day.

Zia’s policies have also influenced Pakistan’s relations with the United States. It strengthened ties with the United States during the Cold War and received significant military aid in return for supporting American efforts to counter Soviet influence in the region.This aid has allowed Pakistan to strengthen its military capabilities, but it has also contributed to the emergence of militant groups that  later became a source of instability in the country.


General Zia-ul-Haq came to power in Pakistan on July 5, 1977 after a military coup ousted the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Zia-ul-Haq became the sixth president of Pakistan and the country’s chief martial law administrator.

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Zia-ul-Haq’s presidency was marked by his efforts to Islamize the country and promote Islamic values ​​in all sectors of society. He instituted a series of policies and programs to achieve this, including the establishment of Islamic courts, the implementation of Sharia law, and the promotion of Islamic education.

Under the leadership of Zia-ul-Haq, Pakistan also became a key figure in the global struggle against communism. The general received significant aid from the United States and other Western countries, which viewed Pakistan as a strategic ally during the Cold War. The country played a key role in supporting the Afghan mujahideen  against the Soviet Union in 80.

However, Zia-ul-Haq’s presidency was also marked by allegations of human rights abuses and the suppression of political dissent. Many opposition politicians, activists and journalists were imprisoned or silenced during his rule.The general was also criticized for his controversial decision to execute Prime Minister Bhutto in 1979 after a contentious trial.  Despite these controversies, Zia-ul-Haq remained in power until his death in a plane crash on August 17, 1988. His presidency had a significant impact on Pakistani society and politics and shaped the  direction of the country’s development for many years to come. .

 Changes brought about by Zia ul Haq:

The 1977-1988 presidency of General Zia ul Haq in Pakistan brought about significant changes and reforms in various areas of social life. Some of the notable changes introduced by Zia-ul-Haq during his tenure are:

Islamization of Society: One of the most significant changes introduced by Zia-ul-Haq was the Islamization of Pakistani society.The General presented a set of policies and programs aimed at promoting Islamic values ​​and practices in all aspects of community life. These included the establishment of Islamic courts, the implementation of Sharia law, and the promotion of Islamic education.

Education Reforms: Zia-ul-Haq also introduced a series of reforms in the education sector. He increased funding for education and introduced new policies to increase access to education for all. The general also introduced the concept of madrasas, or Islamic schools, which offered free education to poor students.

Foreign Policy: Zia-ul-Haq’s presidency was marked by a significant change in Pakistan’s foreign policy. It allied Pakistan with the US and other western countries and played a key role in the global fight against communism. The general also supported the Afghan mujahideen  against the Soviet Union in the 1980s

Economy: Zia-ul-Haq introduced several economic reforms to boost the country’s economy. He instituted a new tax system and instituted policies to encourage foreign investment in the country.The general also introduced a range of measures to support small businesses and farmers.

Military Reforms: Zia-ul-Haq also implemented significant reforms in the Pakistan Army. He expanded the army’s role in the administration of the country and introduced a policy of modernizing the military.

While Zia-ul-Haq’s changes have led to significant changes in Pakistani society, his presidency has also been plagued by allegations of human rights abuses and the suppression of political dissent. Many opposition politicians, activists and journalists were imprisoned or silenced during his rule.

 Negative Effects:

Suppression of Political Dissent: During Zia-ul-Haq’s rule, political dissent was suppressed and many opposition politicians, activists and journalists were arrested, tortured and sometimes killed. The general enacted strict laws to ban any criticism of his regime and restricted the freedom of the press.

Human rights violations: The Zia-ul-Haq regime has been marked by allegations of human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and torture. Many citizens, including religious minorities and women, have been victims of discrimination and violence.

Religious Violence: Zia-ul-Haq’s policy of promoting Islamic values ​​has also led to an increase in sectarian violence in Pakistan.His regime has supported Sunni Islamist groups and encouraged the spread of their ideology, leading to an increase in violence against Shia Muslims and other religious minorities.

Economic Inequality: Although Zia-ul-Haq introduced several economic reforms, the benefits of these policies were not shared equally. The gap between rich and poor has widened during his presidency and many people, particularly those living in rural areas, have not benefited from  economic reforms.

Militarization of Society: Zia-ul-Haq expanded the role of the military in Pakistani society, resulting in a culture of militarism and a lack of civilian control over  government. This has contributed to political instability and the weakening of democracy in Pakistan.

In summary, while Zia-ul-Haq’s presidency brought about significant changes and reforms in Pakistan, it was also marked by allegations of human rights abuses, the suppression of political dissent and economic inequalities. The impact of his policies on Pakistani society can still be felt today.

 Relations with other countries:

Under the rule of General Zia-ul-Haq in Pakistan from 1977 to 1988, the country’s foreign policy underwent significant changes. Here are some  highlights of Pakistan’s foreign relations during Zia-ul-Haq’s presidency:

 Soviet-Afghan War:

The Soviet-Afghan War was a major conflict that took place in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. The war was fought between Soviets and rebels Afghan forces confront the Soviet-backed government in Kabul.The conflict was brutal and resulted in the deaths of millions of people, including civilians and soldiers.

The war began in December 1979 when Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan to support the pro-Soviet government in Kabul. The Soviet Union thought it could quickly crush the uprising and take control of the country. However, the Soviet military met fierce resistance from the Afghan mujahideen, supported by the United States, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

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The war quickly turned into a swamp for the Soviet Union.The mujahideen used guerrilla tactics and improvised explosive devices to inflict heavy casualties on the Soviet military. The Soviet Union responded with indiscriminate bombing, causing extensive damage to Afghan  cities and killing many civilians.

The war has taken a heavy toll on the Afghan people, with  over a million Afghan civilians estimated to have lost their lives in the conflict. The war also caused significant damage to Afghanistan’s infrastructure and economy. The country’s agricultural and industrial sectors have been destroyed and millions of Afghans have been displaced from their homes.

In 1989:

In 1989, the Soviet Union permanently withdrew its forces from Afghanistan. The withdrawal dealt a severe blow to the Soviet Union’s reputation and heralded the end of the Cold War.

Despite the end of the war, Afghanistan continued to face major challenges in the post-Soviet era. The country descended into  civil war in the 1990s,  followed by the rise of the Taliban in the late 1990s. The Taliban regime was characterized by extreme human rights abuses, including the repression of women and religious minorities.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks and the Taliban regime was overthrown. However, the country still faces major challenges, including political instability, corruption and ongoing conflicts.

 Improved relations with the United States:

Zia-ul-Haq’s pro-Western policies led to improved relations with the United States. Pakistan received significant economic and military aid from the United States during this period in exchange for assistance in combating Soviet expansionism.

 Connections with China:

Zia-ul-Haq’s interest in improving relations with China began shortly after he came to power in the 1977 military coup.Zia saw in China  a valuable ally who could provide  economic and military aid to Pakistan at a time when the country was facing great challenges.

One of the most significant achievements in improving Pakistan-China relations was the construction of the Karakorum Highway. Completed in 1979, the highway connects northern Pakistan to western China and is an important trade route between the two countries.

In addition to the Karakoram Highway, China provided military aid to Pakistan  during the reign of Zia-ul-Haq. China has supplied Pakistan with fighter jets, tanks and other military equipment, which has helped  strengthen Pakistan’s armed forces.

Improved relations with China have also brought significant economic benefits to Pakistan. China has provided  loans and soft aids to Pakistan, which has helped  fund the construction of infrastructure projects such as dams and power plants.

The strategic partnership between Pakistan and China was solidified in 1982 when the two countries signed a bilateral treaty of friendship. The treaty called on the two countries to assist each other on matters of mutual interest and to cooperate on economic and military matters. Zia-ul-Haq’s efforts to improve relations with China were motivated by a desire to reduce Pakistan’s dependence on the United States, which had been a key Pakistan ally  since  independence in 1947.Zia saw in China  a valuable alternative partner that could offer Pakistan  the support it needs to pursue its strategic interests.

 Tensions with India:

Zia-ul-Haq’s rule in Pakistan is marked by several periods of tension with India. Relations between the two countries were strained, and  several incidents  threatened to escalate into full-blown conflict.

One of the most important incidents in Zia-ul-Haq’s reign was the Siachen conflict, which began in 1984. The conflict began when India seized the Siachen Glacier, located in the disputed region between India and Pakistan.Pakistan responded with a military operation to seize the area. The conflict lasted  several years and claimed many victims.

Another incident that created tensions between India and Pakistan during Zia-ul-Haq’s rule was the Indian military exercise Operation Brasstacks in 1986. The exercise was conducted near the Pakistani border and was seen as a provocation by Pakistan. Pakistan responded by moving its troops closer to the border, leading to a tense confrontation between the two countries.

Aside from these incidents, there were many other factors that contributed to the tension in Indo-Pakistani relations  during the reign of Zia-ul-Haq. One of the key issues was the dispute over the Kashmir region, which had been a source of conflict between the two countries since the partition of India in 1947. Both India and Pakistan claim sovereignty over the region, and the dispute  led to several wars and periods of tension between the two countries. Zia-ul-Haq’s policy towards India was confrontational and he saw India as a serious security threat to Pakistan. Zia has sought to build Pakistan’s military strength to counter India’s growing military capabilities, and has also sought  closer ties with other countries in the region that share Pakistan’s concerns about India, such as China.

 Gulf Cooperation Council:

Zia-ul-Haq’s rule in Pakistan coincided with the establishment of the Middle East Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Established in 1981, the GCC was a political and economic alliance of six Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Zia-ul-Haq’s policy towards the GCC was to strengthen Pakistan’s relations with the member states of the alliance. One of the main reasons for this policy was the economic benefits  Pakistan could derive from increased trade with the GCC countries. The GCC countries were among Pakistan’s largest export markets, and Pakistan viewed the alliance as a vital partner in  efforts to revitalize its economy.

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Zia-ul-Haq also sought to deepen Pakistan’s strategic partnership with the GCC countries. The alliance has been seen as an important force for regional stability, and Pakistan has sought to play a role in promoting  security and stability in the region. Zia-ul-Haq firmly believed in Muslim unity and saw the GCC as a tool to promote that unity.

One of Zia-ul-Haq’s key initiatives  to strengthen Pakistan’s ties with the GCC was the establishment of the Pakistan-GCC Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) in 1983. The JMC was established to promote trade, investment and economic cooperation between Pakistan and the GCC countries.The Commission met regularly to discuss issues of common interest and to explore new areas of cooperation.

Zia-ul-Haq has also sought to strengthen Pakistan’s defense ties with the GCC countries. Pakistan had a long history of providing military assistance to the GCC countries and Zia-ul-Haq sought to further develop this cooperation. Pakistan has provided military training to soldiers from the GCC countries, and Pakistani military personnel have been deployed to the region to assist in training and other military activities.

 Industrial Growth:

Zia ul Haq implemented a number of policies and initiatives to stimulate industrial development in Pakistan.He established the Industrial Development Bank of Pakistan to provide loans and financial support to industrialists and lowered tariffs on imported machinery to make it easier for companies to acquire the necessary equipment. Zia ul Haq also encouraged the establishment of Export Processing Zones, which were special zones for export-oriented industries and offered various incentives and benefits to the companies operating there.

These policies and initiatives have spawned several important industries in Pakistan, including steel mills, fertilizers and petrochemicals. Zia ul Haq’s emphasis on industrial growth played an important role in Pakistan’s economic development during his tenure as President.

 State of the country under Zia ul Haq:

When Zia ul Haq came to power in 1978, Pakistan faced major political and economic challenges.The country was still recovering from the loss of its eastern flank in the 1971 Indian War, and there was widespread corruption and instability in government. In addition, the economy struggled with high inflation and unemployment rates.

Zia ul Haq has taken several measures to address these challenges. He instituted an Islamization program aimed at creating a more Islamic society in Pakistan. He also implemented several economic reforms, including deregulation of industry and privatization of state-owned companies.These policies have helped  improve the economy and attract foreign investment.

However, the regime of Zia ul Haq was also characterized by political repression and human rights abuses. He imposed strict censorship laws and cracked down on political opposition, leading to the imprisonment and torture of thousands of people. In addition, his Islamization policies have been criticized for discriminating against religious minorities and undermining women’s rights.


In summary, Zia ul Haq was a visionary leader influential in transforming Pakistan. Its policies and initiatives have led to significant economic growth and modernization. Its emphasis on Islamization has helped  create a more cohesive and united society. However, his rule was also marked by political repression and human rights abuses. His  concerns have been raised about the impact of her policies on religious minorities and women’s rights.

Despite these challenges, Zia ul Haq’s legacy lives on in Pakistan today. His contributions to the country’s economic development and infrastructure are still being felt. His efforts to create a more Islamic society are having a lasting impact. As Pakistan continues on its path, it is important to remember the achievements and challenges of leaders like Zia ul Haq.

He became  President of Pakistan in  a coup in 1978. He served as President of the country until his death in 1988. .


Q: What was his legacy?

The legacy of Zia ul Haq is complex and controversial. Some see him as a strong leader who modernized Pakistan’s military and Islamized  society. Others see him as a dictator who suppressed political opposition and undermined democracy. He is also known for his close ties with the United States. His support for the mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan War.

Q: What was his policy?

During his reign, Zia ul Haq implemented several policies that had a significant impact on Pakistan. He introduced Sharia  and Islamic banking and  strengthened Pakistan’s ties with the United States. He also launched a campaign to Islamize Pakistani society, banning alcohol and nightclubs.

Q:  How did he die?

Zia ul Haq died in a plane crash on August 17, 1988. The crash occurred near Bahawalpur, Pakistan, killing everyone on board including several senior Pakistani officials. The cause of the crash is still a matter of debate and conspiracy theories abound.

Q:What does it have to do with the war in Afghanistan?

Zia ul Haq was a key US ally  during the Soviet-Afghan War. It allowed the CIA to use Pakistan as a base to arm and train the mujahideen. The Afghan resistance fighters  fighting the Soviet-backed government in Kabul. The war had a profound impact on Pakistan.

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Muhammad Ehsan

Hi, This is Muhammad Ehsan Content Writer and Building a Blog for LegendsLog.

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