“I will tell you what Islam and Pakistan means to me. It is a vision

of my mother struggling on, tired, with all her worldly possessions

in her hands when she crossed the border into Pakistan.”

–General Zia-ul-Haqin 1983, according to

Shahid Javed Burki, author of Pakistan Under Zia.

The partition left a devastating impact on millions of people on both sides of the border. But for General Zia it distorted the way he viewed religion and religious freedom. His views were shaped by personal and national traumas: the violent partition of British India in 1947, two agonizing wars with bigger rival India over disputed Kashmir, and the breaking away of its eastern province, now Bangladesh, in 1971. His own hometown, Jallander, was left in India after Partition. But the notorious Hudood Ordinances enforced by him restored medieval punishments such as floggings, amputations for theft and demands that a rape victim had to produce four Muslim witnesses or risk being charged with adultery. Zia also expanded the blasphemy laws. Clauses were added to the penal code that made insulting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) a crime punishable by death, setting the base for minority prosecution we know today.