Muhammad Ayub Khan

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Ayub Khan, Muhammad

(məhăm`ĭd ä`yo͝ob kän), 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. After 1947, when the state of Pakistan was created, he assumed command of military forces in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), and in 1951 he became commander in chief of the Pakistan army. He served (1954–56) as defense minister. In 1958, after a military coup, Ayub Khan became president; he was confirmed in office by a referendum (Feb., 1960). He launched a vigorous program of land reform and economic development and also inaugurated a system of what he called "basic democracies," tiers of local government councils that also served as electoral colleges. Martial law was lifted in 1962, and a new constitution that year gave the executive enormous powers. Ayub Khan was returned to office in 1965, defeating Fatimah Jinnah, sister of the founder of Pakistan. In the same year, he led the nation in a war with India, but the conflict was ended by the Tashkent Declaration of Jan., 1966. Despite economic growth, continuing economic and social inequalities, the disadvantaged position of East Pakistan, and limitation of civil liberties provoked increasing discontent with his regime. Early in 1969, Ayub Khan announced that he would not seek reelection in 1970, but unrest continued and in March he resigned power to a martial-law government headed by Gen. Muhammad Yahya KhanYahya Khan, Agha Muhammad
, 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
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See his Speeches and Statements (8 vol., 1959–66) and Friends, Not Masters: A Political Autobiography (1967); study by L. Ziring (1971).

Ayub Khan, Muhammad


Born May 14, 1907, in West Pakistan; Pathan by nationality. Statesman; political and military figure.

Ayub was graduated from Aligarh University in India and from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, England. Commissioned in 1928, he served as a battalion commander in World War II (1939–45). He was commander in chief of the Pakistani army in 1951–54 and 1956–58 and minister of defense in 1954–55. In October 1958, after a coup d’état, Ayub moved to govern the country as both administrative and executive head. In 1959 he was named field marshal and in 1960 was elected president. On his initiative Pakistan ended martial law in 1962, introduced a new constitution, elected the National Assembly (parliament), began to introduce measures for agrarian reform, and allowed the political parties that had been outlawed in October 1958 to resume their activity. In January 1965, Ayub was reelected president.

According to the constitution of 1962, Ayub at the same time headed the president’s cabinet of ministers (the government) and was commander in chief of the country’s armed forces. In 1963 he headed the ruling party, the Muslim League. In 1965 and 1967, Ayub visited the Soviet Union and in January 1966 took part in the Tashkent meeting of the heads of the governments of Pakistan and India. In March 1969 he resigned from the presidency and handed over his full powers to Yahya Khan, who was commander of the army.

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