Agha Mohammed Yahya Khan

(1917—1980) president of Pakistan

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(b. 4 Feb. 1917, d. 8 Aug. 1980). President of Pakistan 1969–71 Born in Peshawar, he was educated at Punjab University and the Indian Military Academy, whereupon he served in the Indian army on the North-West Frontier, in the Middle East, and in Italy. He returned to create the Pakistan Staff College in 1947. A protégé of Ayub Kahn, he assisted in the 1958 coup, commanded the Pakistan army in the 1965 war with India, and in 1966 he became Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan army. In 1969 he used his mentor's unpopularity to replace him as President. In response to growing protests in East Pakistan, he reversed his predecessor's 1962 constitution and offered elections with an equal vote in both parts of Pakistan. This backfired, however, and led to an overall majority for the East Pakistan Awami League, and ultimately for independence for East Pakistan as Bangladesh, after a bloody civil war. This made his position untenable, and forced him to resign in favour of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

From A Dictionary of Contemporary World History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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