“Maangraha Hai Har Insaan,

Roti Kapraa Aur Makaan”

(everyone is asking for bread,

clothing and shelter)

–Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (1928 – 1979)

On 20 Dec 1971, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became President and Chief Martial Law Administrator of Pakistan. The 1970 elections had given the PPP an overwhelming majority in the National Assembly which he intended to use to introduce radical reforms in the country. Bhutto regime made efforts to co-opt the religious parties into the coalition government. However, this unity was short lived due to Mengal, the CM of Baluchistan’s repressive policies which led to the dismissal of his government. Bhutto was determined to bring Pakistan back to parliamentary democracy and hence lifted the martial law in April 1972 and a new assembly was called that reflected the 1970 elections. A committee was set up to formulate a new constitution, which formulated a new constitution in August 1973. Bhutto’s slogan of ‘Roti, Kapra and Makan’ meant he had to take extreme steps for the realization of those slogans. His biggest reforms were the nationalization of the industry and the education sectors. The nationalisation policy however faced many problems. Capable factory owners were replaced by civil service officials with very little knowledge and understanding of commerce, and hence the once burgeoning industrial sector started to suffer. The system also got slowed down due to bureaucratic muddle as the Finance Ministry had a huge job to do. Nationalisation took place at a time of world recession and so the international demand was quite low, which worsened economic performance of the industries. However, the nationalisation achieved success in reducing inflation from above 20% to 6%.