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Pakistan Timeline: 1957-1966

Jun 30, 1957

Awami League’s provincial president Maulana Bhashani resigns, accusing Suharwardy of preferential dealing with West Pakistan and for his stance on Suez Canal against party’s charter, favouring colonial powers.

Jul 26, 1957

Maulana Bhashani forms National Awami Party

Oct 12, 1957

Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy loses support of Rupublican Party and resigns. I. I. Chundrigar becomes the new Prime Minister.

Dec 1957

I. I. Chundrigar resigns and Malik Feroz Khan Noon becomes the new Prime Minister

Jun 18, 1958

Awami Leagues coalition government falls after losing support in the East Pakistan Assembly. Krishak Sramik Party forms new cabinet that doesn’t last more than 3 days. Governor’s Rule is reestablished in the province.

Aug 26, 1958

Governor’s Rule is lifted and Awami League comes to power again

Sep 21, 1958

During an assembly session in East Pakistan, members get agitated on the partiality of the Speaker, a few members get seriously injured while the Deputy Speaker, Shahid Ali Jan gets killed.

Oct 7, 1958

Sikander Mirza the President of Pakistan, with the support of General Ayub Khan, dissolves the assemblies, suspends the Constitution, and imposes Martial Law in the Country.

Oct 27, 1958

General Ayub Khan “dismisses” Sikander Mirza and exiles him to UK, himself assuming power as Field Marshall. The Bengalis have limited representation in the Pakistan Army and thus feel political deprivation. The rift between the East and the West heightens.

Oct 26, 1959

Ayub Khan introduces “Basic Democracy” (BD) System for local government. The 80, 000 BD representatives are soon given the right/power to elect the President and members of the Parliament.

Feb 15, 1960

Ayub Khan seeks vote of confidence from 80,000 BD representatives, out of which 75,283 vote in his favour. Ayub Khan thus sworns in as the first “elected” President of Pakistan.

Apr 1960

Lieutenant General Azam Khan is appointed as the Governor of East Pakistan. He works hard to gain support of the Bengali people but in the process loses support of Ayub Khan and has to resign

Jun 8, 1962

General Ayub Khan imposes a new Constitution in the country, introducing a Presidential form of government, with BD System being the basis of presidential election. The constitution fails to gain popular support of the people.

Oct 26, 1962

Munim Khan of East Pakistan is appointed as Governor, East Pakistan. Due to his loyalty with the General, he becomes unpopular in East Pakistan and is viewed as a West Pakistan “agent” by many Bengalis. University students refuse to receive their degrees from the Governor.

May 29, 1963

A Bengali member of parliament delivers an aggressive speech in the National Assembly, intensely representing the sentiments of the Bengali people, highlighting the divide, exploitation and prejudice against Bengalis by West Pakistan.

Jan 6, 1964

Presidential elections are held under BD System. Miss Fatima Jinnah contests against General Ayub Khan. All opposition parties, including the ones in East Pakistan support Miss Jinnah. Though the General “wins” the overall elections, he loses against Miss Jinnah in Dhaka.

Sep 6, 1965

War breaks out between India and Pakistan over the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.

Jan 11, 1966

General Ayub Khan sings the Tashkent Declaration. The Declaration includes agreement of both sides to withdraw from occupied land. The agreement is generally perceived in Pakistan as a defeat on talks table.

Feb 6, 1966

Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman presents his “6-points”. The demand highlights the perceived exploitation of East Pakistan by the West Pakistani “rulers”. The six points are:
  1. The constitution should provide for a Federation of Pakistan in its true sense on the Lahore Resolution and the parliamentary form of government with supremacy of a Legislature directly elected on the basis of universal adult franchise.
  2. The federal government should deal with only two subjects: Defence and Foreign Affairs, and all other residuary subjects shall be vested in the federating states.
  3. Two separate, but freely convertible currencies for two wings should be introduced ; or if this is not feasible, there should be one currency for the whole country, but effective constitutional provisions should be introduced to stop the flight of capital from East to West Pakistan. Furthermore, a separate Banking Reserve should be established and separate fiscal and monetary policy be adopted for East Pakistan.
  4. The power of taxation and revenue collection shall be vested in the federating units and the federal centre will have no such power. The federation will be entitled to a share in the state taxes to meet its expenditures.
  5. There should be two separate accounts for the foreign exchange earnings of the two wings; the foreign exchange requirements of the federal government should be met by the two wings equally or in a ratio to be fixed; indigenous products should move free of duty between the two wings, and the constitution should empower the units to establish trade links with foreign countries.
  6. East Pakistan should have a separate militia or paramilitary force.

While Mujib presents his demands as advocacy of provincial autonomy, it is widely taken in West Pakistan as a separatist move.


  1. Main Nay Dhaka Doobtay Daikha by Siddique Salik

1947-1956 1957-1966 1967-1976 1977-1986 1987-1996

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"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

[George Santayana]