Pakistan's new military ruler General Zia ul Haq has assured his countrymen that he is anxious to see a swift return of democracy to Pakistan.
Pakistan's new military ruler General Zia ul Haq has assured his countrymen that he is anxious to see a swift return of democracy to Pakistan. He said he had been flooded with congratulatory messages after deposing Prime Minister Bhutto in a bloodless coup on Tuesday (5 July). In a broadcast to the nation the same day he said the army had taken the step to put an end to political unrest which followed the March general election in which Mr Bhutto had been accused of ballot rigging. The 52-year-old general also said he would uphold the country's judiciary and refrain from doing anything which could restrict the power of courts and judges.
SYNOPSIS: In his broadcast General Zia said it had read in the morning papers that the Armed forces had taken control of Pakistan. It gave them no pleasure at all to do so. The army wanted the day-to-day running of the country to remain in the hands of the people. The new administration firmly believed this to be their right.
The people exercised their democratic right through their elected representatives. This was common practice in every country of the world where democracy existed and where general elections were held. In Pakistan such elections were held last March, but the result was not acceptable to all concerned.
There were accusations of dishonesty and ballot rigging, and demands for fresh elections. A campaign was started and it was claimed that democracy was not for Pakistan. General Zia said he believed Pakistan's well-being lay in democracy alone. It would probably be agreed that Pakistan's politicians had failed to get the country out of political turmoil.
Therefore the army could not remain a spectator. Indeed, it became its duty to interfere. Failure to do so could be deemed an unforgivable crime. General Zia said the armed forces felt there was no alternative but to do their duty and take control of the country.