Yahya Khan, Agha Muhammad

Yahya Khan, Agha Muhammad

(ä`gä mo͞ohäm`mäd yä`yä khän), 1917–80, Pakistani general and president (1969–71). He fought with the British in World War II, and rose through the Pakistan army following independence, becoming chief of the general staff (1957–62) and helping to bring General Ayub KhanAyub Khan, Muhammad
, 1907–74, military leader and president (1958–69) of Pakistan. He was commissioned in the British Indian army in 1928 and saw active service as a battalion commander in World War II.
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 to power. Yahya Khan performed well during the 1965 war with India, and in 1966 became commander in chief of the army. Economic problems and disputes between East and West Pakistan led to Ayub Khan's resignation and his replacement as president by Yahya Khan in 1969. The imposition of martial law failed to curb domestic unrest, and civil war between East and West Pakistan broke out in 1971. The defeat of Pakistan's army and the ultimate independence of the east as BangladeshBangladesh
[Bengali,=Bengal nation], officially People's Republic of Bangladesh, republic (2005 est. pop. 144,320,000), 55,126 sq mi (142,776 sq km), S Asia. Bangladesh borders on the Bay of Bengal in the south; on the Indian states of West Bengal in the west and north, Assam
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 (see also India-Pakistan WarsIndia-Pakistan Wars,
name given to the series of conflicts between India and Pakistan since 1947, when the Indian subcontinent was partitioned and the two countries became independent of Great Britain. The most violent outbreaks came in 1947–48, 1965, and 1971.
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) caused him to resign in late 1971. He was succeeded by Zulfikar Ali BhuttoBhutto, Zulfikar Ali
, 1928–79, Pakistani political leader. Member of a wealthy landowning family, he entered politics as the protégé of General Ayub Khan. Bhutto joined the cabinet in 1958, becoming foreign minister in 1963.
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.