Despotism to Civil War

  • Kalim Siddiqui


The ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ had long been little more than what Marx had contemptuously called the ‘executive committee of the bourgeoisie’. In October 1958 Ayub Khan became chairman of the committee. The officer who did not expect to reach the rank of Brigadier in the British Army now promoted himself Field-Marshal. Neither was Ayub Khan’s self-propelled meteoric career the exceptional case of an ambitious individual making good through hard work. His rise typified the rise of the whole of his class in Pakistan since independence. He did not accept Iskandar Mirza’s invitation to become chairman in order to dismiss the executive committee. His coup was meant only to eliminate personal rivalries that gave the bourgeoisie a bad name. Some leading politicians — the ‘bad men’ of democracy — were put into cold storage for a number of years through being ‘disqualified’ from ‘public life’. That was no hardship to the individuals involved because in fact Ayub Khan had effectively disqualified the whole nation from politics. His American friends were so delighted at having an undisputed baron to deal with, that U.S. economic aid to Pakistan trebled in one year — going up from 61 million dollars in 1958 to 184 million dollars in 1959.


Security Council Land Reform Islamic Republic Electoral College Elitist Rule 


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    Brecher, Michael India in World Politics: Krishna Menon’s View of the World (Oxford University Press, 1968).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kalim Siddiqui 1972

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  • Kalim Siddiqui

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