There has been little sign of major military force in Pakistan following this week's army take-over.
There has been little sign of major military force in Pakistan following this week's army take-over. The nation's new leader, General Zia-Ul Haque who led Tuesday"s (4 July) coup against the government of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, has already broadcast to the nation to announce general elections in October while the situation throughout the country has remained calm.
SYNOPSIS: The lack of apparent tension was in contrast to the previous months of strife and curfews under Mr. Bhutto. The streets of the nation's major cities did not appear anything but normal. One interested reader looking for information was Mr Sardar Abdul Qaiyum, a now-redundant negotiator involved in the peace talks between Mr. Bhutto and the opposition parties, following four months of strife in which at least 350 people were killed after claims that the government had rigged the results of the March general elections. But within hours after the down coup, in which both Mr. Bhutto and the major opposition party leaders were arrested, a casual observer might not have even noticed that the nation's government had been overthrown at all. Shops were open as usual; there was little obvious excitement; and there was no sign of military activity enforcing the new regime.
The only obvious public interest came when General Zia broadcast on Wednesday (6 July). The army had taken over, he said, because Mr. Bhutto and his opposition had failed to resolve their differences, and because of the bloodshed caused by these differences. But Pakistan was still to be a democracy, he said. He'd suspended the constitution in part, but only until he could organise general elections in October to decide the nation's government.