This is the study of a decade that completes a cycle, from late 1958 when the army under General Mohammad Ayub Khan took control of Pakistan amidst turmoil and apprehension to early 1969 when Ayub was finally pressured into passing his authority to General Yahya Khan. It is an examination of the character of Ayub Khan’s rule, of his dreams of a new Pakistan, and of the reasons for his failure to effect them—reasons that range from his own errors and inconsistencies in policy and performance to the weight of Pakistan’s historic legacies that resisted change.
The book is divided into two parts. Part I provides a political survey of the events, personalities, and relationships of the Ayub Khan era. Part II links the political events with aspects of the traditional political environment in Pakistan—the bureaucratic legacy, the rural power structure, the urban intelligentsia—that actually shape politics and that thus far have been largely unaltered by periodic changes in Pakistan’s political elites.
Pakistan cannot afford another failure in its government, the author asserts. He believes that current leaders must not repeat Ayub Khan’s errors. They must initiate radical innovations or give way to those who will.
Lawrence Ziring is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Western Michigan University. He is the author of several books, including Pakistan in the Twentieth Century: A Political History.
6 x 9, 248 pages, 2 maps