Pakistan's First Military Coup: Why Did the First Pakistani Coup Occur and Why Does it Matter?
Khan, Feroz H.
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The first military coup of Pakistan in 1958 set up a pattern that continues to show itself four decades later and dominate the government either directly or indirectly. The first military coup of Pakistan also created an institutional path for the subsequent three military coups. The first military coup was due to various factors, not just one that civil military theorists neglect to explain. The British recruitment policy during the pre-partition period had as large a role in creating the setting for the coup as did unequal distribution of resources and geographical location. Pakistani military at the time of partition was professional while the other institutions were weak, which challenges the notion that professional military do not cause coups. The Pakistani military also gained prominence because of the all-around external and internal threats. The powerful military and bureaucratic alliance further delayed the enactment of a constitution and changed seven prime ministers within first eleven years of independence by further discrediting the politicians before the people. All these events provided occasion, opportunity and disposition to the Pakistan army to affect the first coup by General Ayub Khan in 1958. The thesis also evaluates the effects of the first military coup on the present civil-military relations in Pakistan.
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