Muhammad Zia ul Haq
- Category : Politics-Heads-of-state
- Type : GE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Small (12,14,34,46)
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Masks 2
Pakistan military leader, sixth President of Pakistan from 1978 until his death in 1988, having declared martial law for the third time in the country's history in 1977. He was Pakistan's longest-serving head of state, ruling eleven years.
In 1970, he led the Pakistani training mission in Jordan, proving instrumental to putting down the Black September insurgency against King Hussein. In recognition, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto approved Zia's appointment to four-star tier, as Chief of Army Staff in 1976, over several senior officers. Following increasing civil disorder, Zia deposed Bhutto and declared martial law over the country in 1977. Bhutto was controversially tried and executed by the Supreme Court less than two years later, for authorising the murder of a political opponent.
Assuming the presidency in 1978, Zia played a major role in the Soviet war in neighboring Afghanistan while playing an ambiguous role, in favor of Iran, during the Iran–Iraq War. Aided by the United States and Saudi Arabia, Zia systematically coordinated the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet occupation throughout the 1980s. This culminated in the Soviet Union's defeat and withdrawal in 1989, but also led to the proliferation of millions of refugees, with heroin and weaponry into Pakistan's frontier province. On the foreign front, Zia also bolstered ties with China, the European Union, the United States, and emphasised Pakistan's role in the Islamic world.
After lifting martial law and holding non-partisan elections in 1985, Zia appointed Muhammad Junejo as the Prime Minister but accumulated even more presidential powers via the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. After Junejo signed the Geneva Accords in 1988 against Zia's wishes, and called for an inquiry into the Ojhri Camp disaster, Zia dismissed Junejo's government and announced fresh elections in November 1988. But he was killed along with several of his top military officials and two American diplomats in a mysterious plane crash near Bahawalpur on 17 August 1988. To this day, Zia remains a polarizing figure in Pakistan's history, credited by some for preventing wider Soviet incursions into the region as well as economic prosperity, but decried for weakening democratic institutions and passing laws encouraging Islamic fundamentalism.