ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Confused View

In its last years the military regime stood on a stilt on four and a half pillars: the military, the bureaucracy, the land-owning rich, the business-cum- industrial houses and the fragile constitutional facade hewn out of the highly perishable quarries of basic democracy and the 1962 constitution. The 'retired military officers' became a visible segment of the ruling elite1 further strengthening the principal pillar of the regime; the military. Rizvi shows how the Ayub Khan military regime collapsed as a result of its weaknesses and contradictions. It was felled by the people and not by the organised political forces, that is, the political parties. They could not restore representative civil government. Ayub handed over power to the Commander-in-Chief of the army. Some Pakistanis realised during the crisis of 1968 that a decisive military defeat alone could bring an end to military rule in Pakistan. Rizv's study of Bhutto frames the man in his tragic and almost inevitable failure to build a strong civilian regime in Pakistan in five years. Had Bhutto continued for another five years he might have succeeded in breaking the political back of the military. In his last two years, however, he succeeded only in strengthening the military's political clout. The military realised that it had to remove Bhutto from the political scene if it were to return to power in Pakistan. Hence the coup of July 1977 and hence the hanging of Bhutto.

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