SINDH AGAINST THE MILITARY DICTATORSHIP OF GEN. ZIAUL HAQ REGIME: A STUDY OF MRD MOVEMENT 1981-88

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Zahid Ali Mangi

Abstract

On 5th July 1977 Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Ziaul Haq overthrew an
elected government of Z.A. Bhutto imposed martial law and assumed the post of
Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA), dissolved national and provincial
assemblies, arrested the political leadership of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP)
and Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) and promised to nation that elections will be
held within 90 days but he deviated from his promise and continued military rule.
This research article will investigate how democratic political forces united under
one umbrella for restoring democracy and ending military rule. All democratic
political parties allied and formed a Movement for the Restoration of Democracy
(MRD) in February 1981. The alliance started the civil disobedience movement in
two phases 1981 and 1983 unfortunately, the movement was restricted only to Sindh.
The movement forced the landed gentry to participate in the agitation if they had not
participated they would have lost the elections, this fear dragged them into agitation
which was against the wishes of rulers. The democratic movement constrained
military authorities to restore democracy, and people avenged dictatorship through
balloting and defeated pro-military candidates in general elections. The struggle
successfully restored democracy

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