From the Simla Summit to Zia's Coup

Stanley Wolpert

in India and Pakistan

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780520266773
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948006 | DOI:
From the Simla Summit to Zia's Coup

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Zulfikar Ali Bhutto knew that Pakistan had been badly beaten by India. But he also knew that the fortunes and destinies of nations often change quickly, and that in some respects losing Bangladesh was a great advantage for Pakistan. Bhutto started to work on building atomic bombs and trying to acquire the technology needed to deliver them with Pakistan's own missiles. At the Summit Peace Conference in Simla, scheduled for June 1972, Bhutto and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi agreed to “settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations” in the future, and the United Nations ceasefire line in Kashmir was renamed the “Line of Control.” In 1974, Bhutto was at the peak of his power. His fatal mistake was his promotion of a seemingly unambitious junior lieutenant general to serve as Pakistan's chief of army staff: General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq. Zia would overthrow Bhutto in a bloodless coup d'état in July 1977, becoming Pakistan's president and promptly imposing martial law.

Keywords: India; Pakistan; Bangladesh; Zulfikar Ali Bhutto; Indira Gandhi; Muhammad Zia ul-Haq; Kashmir; coup d'état; martial law; atomic bombs

Chapter.  2360 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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