Mohammad Ayub Khan was born on May 14, 1907 in Hazra, India. After the partition, he was made commander-in-chief of the army of Pakistan. When President Mirza abrogated the constitution, Ayub had himself declared president and introduced a system of basic democracies. He was confirmed as president and reelected in 1965. Political turmoil caused Ayub to resign in 1969. He died in 1974.
(born May 14, 1907, Hazra, India—died April 19, 1974, near Islmbd, Pak.) president of Pakistan from 1958 to 1969, whose rule marked a critical period in the modern development of his nation.
After studying at Algarh Muslim University, in Uttar Pradesh, India, and at the British Royal Military College, at Sandhurst, Ayub Khan was commissioned an officer in the Indian army (1928). In World War II he was second-in-command of a regiment in Burma (Myanmar) and commanded a battalion in India. After the 1947 partition of British India he was rapidly promoted in the army of the new Muslim state of Pakistan: from major general (1948) to commander in chief (1951). In addition, Ayub became minister of defense (1954) for a brief period.
After several years of political turmoil in Pakistan, in 1958 President Iskander Mirza, with army support, abrogated the constitution and appointed Ayub as chief martial law administrator. Soon after, Ayub had himself declared president, and Mirza was exiled. Ayub reorganized the administration and acted to restore the economy through agrarian reforms and stimulation of industry. Foreign investment was also encouraged.
Ayub introduced the system of “basic democracies” in 1960. It consisted of a network of local self-governing bodies to provide a link between the government and the people. Primary governing units were set up to conduct local affairs; their members were elected by constituencies of 800–1,000 adults. A national referendum among all those elected confirmed Ayub as president. He was reelected under this...