Highlights

President Iskander Mirza overthrown in 1958

Army chief Zia-ul-Haq ousts PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1977

PM Nawaz Sharif deposed by Army chief Pervez Musharraf in 1999

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Explained: Pakistan Army and its role in making or breaking govts

Support of Pakistan’s Army goes a long away in making or breaking of govt’s in a country where no Prime Minister has ever completed a full five-year term.

Pakistan’s govt and its military establishment have an enmeshed history.

Support of Pakistan’s Army goes a long away in making or breaking of govt’s in a country where no Prime Minister has ever completed a full five-year term.

And Pakistanis are no strangers to military coups.

On October 7, 1958, Pakistan’s first President Iskander Mirza declared martial law and dismissed the govt of Prime Minister Feroz Khan Noon. He appointed Ayub Khan, the chief commander of Pakistan’s army as the Chief Martial Law Administrator and nominated him as PM. Days later Ayub Khan forced Mirza to resign and assumed presidency .

On July 4, 1977, Pakistan Army Chief Zia-ul-Haq arrested Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in a military coup. He dissolved the national and provincial assemblies, suspended the Constitution and declared martial law.

In October 1999, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his ministers were arrested by army officers led by their chief Pervez Musharraf. Pakistan’s Constitution was again suspended, martial law declared with Musharraf appointing himself as president.

Also watch: What went wrong between Pakistan PM Imran Khan and the army?

There were also unsuccessful attempts at a coup by Pakistan Army to overthrow Zia-ul-Haq in 1980 and PM Benazir Bhutto in 1995

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