In a democracy, it is your vote that is count. In feudalism, it is your count that votes. Moreover, in a dictatorship, nobody votes at all. We know that politicians like high buildings because they seek high offices. So, what had been the high office General Zia desired? A politician with a bad back needs a lot of support. Apparently, General Zia had no bad back, and did not get any support either. History is a proof of how unsatisfactory and unwelcome is any nation’s acceptance for a dictator. Dictators are, as a rule, perceived as nasty, brutal tyrants. Hitler is only one of the rotten examples from History. Why then, would General Zia choose to earn an ill-reputed fame?
Politicians tend to double cross bridges when they come to any. So, what was the bridge that had stood in General Zia’s way? A bridge strong enough to compel him into becoming a dictator and imposing a martial law? Zia was Pakistan’s longest serving head of state, ruling for eleven years. How did Zia, went from being the Chief of Army Staff to the longest serving head in Pakistan? How indeed!
To start with the scratch, it was Prime Minister Bhutto who had appointed Zia in this position, unfortunately for him, followed an overabundance of ill luck. The incessantly welling criticism and unpopularity of Bhutto gave birth to dissidence within the people’s party. The bereavement of a principal rebel, moreover, was fire to Bhutto’s wounds, resulting in Bhutto being accused of being the instigator behind the scene.
Amidst all this chaos, Zia saw his golden chance to strike while the iron was red-hot. Therefore, he struck, quick, lightening and deafening as thunder in the eventful year of 1977. Fakhruddin Ebrahimin this manner describes the overthrow staged by Zia:
General Zia and his military government rendered the coup as a “spontaneous response to a difficult situation.” The entire thing was planned with a keen and witty hindsight, for Zia knew well how loyal some of the political heads were to Bhutto. Thenceforth, In the July of 1977, Bhutto was arrested by orders of General Zia.
One has to say, Zia’s design was foolproof and well planned. He knew what he was doing and why it has to be done. He knew the public outrage and PPP’s dispute with Bhutto had brought him in a crucial situation and he knew that that was the best time to strike. He struck like a cobra, for deadly he definitely was. Bhutto was ultimately executed two years from then and so ended his chapter, and gave rise to General Zia’s rule.
Such were the matters of how and when Zia rose to power and imposed martial law for the third time in the country’s history.