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Pakistan Ayub Khan, 1958-69
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Although Ayub Khan viewed himself as a reformer, he was predisposed to the benevolent authoritarianism of the Mughal and viceregal traditions. He also relied heavily on the country's civilian bureaucrats, who formed the majority of his advisers and cabinet ministers. Ayub Khan initiated a plan for Basic Democracies, a measure to create a system of local government from the grass roots (see Basic Democracies , ch. 1). The Basic Democracies system consisted of a mulitiered pyramidal hierarchy of interlocking tiers of legislative councils from the village to the provincial level. The lowest but most important tier was composed of union councils, one each for groups of villages having an approximate population of 10,000. The members of these union councils were called Basic Democrats. The union councils were responsible for local government, including agricultural and community development, maintaining law and order through rural police, and trying minor cases in conciliation courts.

    In 1960 the Basic Democrats were asked to endorse Ayub Khan's presidency and to give him a mandate to frame a new constitution. Ayub's constitution, promulgated in 1962, ended martial law, established a presidential form of government with a weak legislature (now called the National Assembly) and gave the president augmented executive, legislative, and financial powers. Adult franchise was limited to the election of Basic Democrats, who constituted an electoral college for the president and members of the national and provincial assemblies. This constitution was abrogated in 1969 when Ayub, who by then had lost the people's confidence, resigned, handing over the responsibility for governing to the army commander in chief General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan (see The Ayub Khan Era , ch. 1). Yahya Khan assumed the title of president and also became chief martial law administrator.

    Data as of April 1994

    NOTE: The information regarding Pakistan on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Pakistan Ayub Khan, 1958-69 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Pakistan Ayub Khan, 1958-69 should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 27-Mar-05
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