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Published by: hamidcu on Apr 06, 2011
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Martial Law Under Field Marshal Ayub Khan [1958-62]
On October 7, 1958, President Iskander Mirza abrogated the Constitution anddeclared Martial Law in the country. This was the first of many military regimesto mar Pakistan's history. With this step, the Constitution of 1956 wasabrogated, ministers were dismissed, Central and Provincial Assemblies weredissolved and all political activities were banned. General Muhammad AyubKhan, the then Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, became the Chief Martial Law Administrator. The parliamentary system in Pakistan came to end.Within three weeks of assuming charge on October 27, 1958, Iskander Mirzawas ousted by General Ayub Khan, who then declared himself President.General Ayub Khan gave himself the rank of Field Marshal. Corruption hadbecome so widespread within the national and civic systems of administrationthat Ayub Khan was welcomed as a national hero by the people. Soon aftercoming to power, the new military government promised that they would carryout reforms in the entire government structure and would cleanse theadministration of the rampant corruption. A thorough screening process of allgovernment servants was conducted and service records were closelyscrutinized. Public servants were tried for misconduct by tribunals consisting of retired judges of the Supreme Court or High Court.
Hanayya Iftikhar 2
If charges were proven, disciplinary action such as dismissal or compulsoryretirement of the public servant could take place. A public servant could alsobe disqualified from holding any public office for 15 years. About 3,000officials were dismissed and many others were reduced in rank as a result of these measures. The rest of the government servants were provided with anincentive to working hard. Similarly, a law called the Elective BodiesDisqualification Order, popularly known as E. B. D. O., was promulgated forthe disqualification of politicians. Under this law, a person could bedisqualified from being a member of any elective body till December 31,1966. Under this harsh law, several politicians like Suhrawardy and QayyumKhan were disqualified. The E. B. D. O., particularly its application, wasseverely criticized in the legal and political circles throughout Pakistan.After taking over, Ayub Khan focused on the long-standing question of landreforms in West Pakistan. The land reforms included the reduction of landceiling to 1,000 acres for non-irrigated land and 500 acres for irrigated landand with ownership rights granted to the tenants. The land in excess of theselimits was taken over by the government to be distributed amongst thedeserving persons.
Hanayya Iftikhar 3

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