See his Speeches and Statements (8 vol., 1959-66) and Friends, Not Masters: A Political Autobiography (1967); study by L. Ziring (1971).
Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan (Urdu/Pashto: محمد ايوب خان), GCMG, MBE, HJ, NPk, (May 14, 1907 – April 19, 1974) was a Field Marshal during the mid-1960s, and the President of Pakistan from 1958 to 1969. He became Pakistan's first native Commander in Chief in 1951, and was the youngest full-rank general and self-appointed field marshal in Pakistan's military history. He was also the first Pakistani military general to seize power through a coup.
In 1960, he held an indirect referendum of his term in power, Functioning as a kind of electoral college, close to 80,000 recently elected village councilmen were allowed to vote yes or no to the question: "Have you confidence in the President, Field Marshal Mohammed Ayub Khan?" Winning 95.6% of the vote, he used the confirmation as impetus to formalise his new system.
Ayub moved to have a constitution created, and this was completed in 1961. A fairly secular person by nature, Ayub Khan's constitution reflected his personal views of politicians and the use of religion in politics.
In 1962, he pushed through a new constitution that while it did give due respect to Islam, it did not declare Islam the state religion of the country. It also provided for election of the President by 80,000 (later raised to 120,000) basic democrats—men who could theoretically make their own choice but who were essentially under his control. The government "guided" the press and, while Ayub permitted a national assembly, it had only limited powers.
In 1964, Ayub confident in his apparent popularity and seeing deep divisions within the political opposition, called for Presidential elections.
He was however taken by surprise when despite a brief disagreement between the five main opposition parties (a preference for a former close associate of Ayub Khan General Azam Khan as candidate was dropped), the joint opposition agreed on supporting the respected and popular Fatima Jinnah, the sister of the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Despite Jinnah's considerable popularity and public disaffection with Ayub's government, Ayub won with 64% of the vote in a bitterly contested election on January 2, 1965. The election did not conform to international standards and journalists. It is widely held, as subsequent historians and analysts, almost uniformly say, that the elections were rigged in favour of Ayub Khan.
Despite the Indus Waters Treaty, Ayub maintained icy relations with India. He established close political and military ties with Communist China, exploiting its differences with Soviet Russia and its 1962 war with India. To this day, China remains a strong economic, political and military ally of Pakistan.
The turning point in his rule was the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Despite many repulsed Indian attacks, the war adversely affected Pakistan's then rapidly developing economy and it ended in a settlement reached by Ayub at Tashkent, called the Tashkent Declaration. The settlement was perceived negatively by many Pakistanis and led Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to resign his post and take up opposition to Khan. According to Morrice James, "For them [Pakistanis] Ayub had betrayed the nation and had inexcusably lost face before the Indians."The war also increased opposition in East Pakistan [Now Bangladesh] where the Awami League headed by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman sought more autonomy for the province.
General Ayub Khan who had assumed office of the commander in chief in 1951 dismissed the first constituent assembly on the grounds "The constituent assembly being power hungry and having a tendency of being corrupt." Molvi Tammizudin the first speaker of the assembly challenged the dismissal (he had to take a rickshaw, wear a burka and go through Sindh court backdoor to seek for justice for a nation). Sindh court accepted the appeal but the Federal Court dismisses the Sindh court judgment as the "Doctrine of necessity", Later on the decision has been the basis of all autocratic adjustments in Pakistan. The real power broker Ayub Khan as the commander in chief had come to the foreground. The rankers in Pakistan could not refuse the price offered by their “friends not masters”. Ayub Khan who writes in his biography that he used to go to school on a donkey back; his immediate generation became the owners of the Pan Asian group in Pakistan. This was the autocrat defeated the mother of the nation in a referendum. The constitution of Pakistan during this phase was constantly molded to validate the illegitimate power and ulterior motives of a single family consequently no grooming of the access of justice to the common people was allowed.
These were the years when Pakistan in 1963 imprudently allowed US to camp near Peshawar at Badaber and use its air space and air bases. It was then when that infamous bata bair U2 incident took place, the Red Circle on Pakistan’s map placed by Nikita Khrushev predestined Pakistan into an open conflict with the USSR. While the 1965 conflict with India had to defer the referendum’s public vent, the ceasefire served the vested interests of at least two parties, the US till then was heavily occupied in Vietnam could not spare resources itself, an increased Communist China Influence could have shifted the power influences in this critical region of that time, Vietnam was not a completely lost war till then. The causes of conflict were to be left unresolved, but Gen Ayub sanctioned himself to decorate to the Rank of Field Marshal instead of passing on credits to Gen Musa Khan the then commander in chief of the army.
Ayub Khan's legacy is mixed, he was opposed to democracy believing like any other dictator that parliamentary democracy was not suited for the people of his country. Like many subsequent military dictators he was contemptuous of politicians and political parties. However, during his early years in office, he sided with the Americans against the Soviets, and in return received billions of dollars in aid, which resulted in enormous economic growth.
He subsidized fertilizers and modernized agriculture through irrigation development, spurred industrial growth with liberal tax benefits. In the decade of his rule, gross national product rose by 45% and manufactured goods began to overtake such traditional exports as jute and cotton. It is alleged that his policies were tailored to reward the elite families and the feudal lords. During the fall of his dictatorship, just when the government was celebrating the so-called "Decade of Development", mass protests erupted due an increasingly greater divide between the rich and the poor.
He shunned prestige projects and stressed birth control in a country that has the seventh largest population in the world: 115 million. He dismissed criticism with the comment that if there was no family planning, the time would surely come when "Pakistanis eat Pakistanis." In foreign affairs, he retained his ties to the West and to the United States in particular, allowing the United States to use the Badaber and Peshawar airbase for U-2 flights over the then Soviet Union.
Ayub began to lose both power and popularity. On one occasion, while visiting East Pakistan, there was a failed attempt to assassinate him, though this was not reported in the press of the day.
Ayub was persuaded by underlings to award himself the Nishan-e-Pakistan, Pakistan's highest civil award, on the grounds that to award it to other heads of state he should have it himself and also promoted himself to the rank of Field Marshal. He was to be Pakistan's second Field Marshal, if the first is regarded as Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck (1884-1981), supreme commander of military forces in India and Pakistan in the lead-up to independence in 1947.
Aggravating an already bad situation, with increasing economic disparity in the country under his rule, hoarding and manipulation by major sugar manufacturers resulted in the controlled price of 1 kg sugar to be increased by 1 rupee and the whole population took to the streets. As Ayub's popularity plummeted, he decided to give up rule.
In 1971 when war broke out, Ayub Khan was in West Pakistan and did not comment on the events of the war. He died in 1974.
Oxford University Press