“What is a constitution? It is a booklet with twelve or ten pages. I can tear them away and say that tomorrow we shall

live under a different system. Today, the people will follow wherever I lead. All the politicians including the once mighty

Mr. Bhutto will follow me with tails wagging.”

–Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, speaking to an Iranian Newspaper in September, 1977.

For many in Pakistan General Zia-ul-Haq was the one who created sectarianism, propped up the MQM for political purposes, introduced the sinister culture of ‘King’s party politics’, and above all relegated the constitution to a piece of paper with no sanctity. For others, he was a true Muslim ruler who made sincere efforts to enforce the Shariah in Pakistan, defeated the USSR in Afghanistan, and placed Pakistan in an enviable position in the Muslim world.

The tyranny of Zia-ul-Haq cannot be forgotten and has been written down in history. His Islamisation of the nation at the cost of human life, Hudood Ordinance and the hardening the laws against Ahmedis… he damaged the fabric of the nation.

The impact of Zia’s era has been profound and devastating; a political culture of cronyism was created in order to have a subservient parliament, a tamed judiciary, and a frightened bureaucracy. A brand new culture of hypocrisy came into being when dissenting voices were punished and fawning was rewarded.