Muhammad Ayub Khan was born on May 14, 1907, in the village of Rehana near Haripur, in Hazara District. He was the first child of the second wife of Mir Dad Khan, who was a Risaldar Major in Hodson’s Horse. According to Ayub, his father had the greatest influence on his character, outlook, and attitude towards life. For his basic education, he was enrolled in a school in Sarai Saleh, which was about 4 miles from his village. He used to go to school on a mule’s back. Later he was shifted to a school in Haripur, where he started living with his grandmother. As a child he was interested in playing kabaddi, gulli danda, marbles and hockey. After passing his Matriculation Examination in 1922, Ayub was sent to Aligarh University where he spent four years. However, before appearing in his B. A. exams, he was selected for the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He sailed for England in 1926.
Ayub’s performance in Sandhurst was exemplary and he won several scholarships. After the completion of training, he got commissioned in the Indian Army in 1928. He fought at different fronts during World War II, first as a Major and then Colonel. During the communal riots of 1947, he was assigned to assist General Pete Rees in the Punjab Boundary Force. At the time of Independence, Ayub Khan opted to join the Pakistan Army, where as a Brigadier, he was the senior-most Muslim officer. In 1951, he was raised to the status of a four-star General and was appointed as the first local Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army.
Early years and personal life
Ayub Khan was born on 14 May 1907, in Haripur British India, in the village of Rehana in the Haripur District in the Hazara region of the North-West Frontier Province . He was ethnically a Pashtun of the Tareen tribe, although a Hindko speaker. He was the first child of the second wife of Mir Dad Khan Tareen, who was a Risaldar-Major (senior regimental non-commissioned officer) in Hodson’s Horse, a cavalry regiment of the pre-independence Indian Army.
For his basic education, Ayub was enrolled in a school in Sarai Saleh, which was about four miles from his village and he commuted to school on a mule’s back. Later he was moved to a school in Haripur, where lived with his grandmother. He enrolled at Aligarh Muslim University in 1922, but did not complete his studies there, as he was accepted into the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
Ayub Khan did well at Sandhurst and was given an officer’s commission in the Indian Army on 2 February 1928 and then joined the 1st Battalion of the 14th Punjab Regiment (Sherdils), later known as 5th Punjab Regiment. During the Second World War, he served as a Lieutenant Colonel on the Burma front, commanding the 1st Battalion of 14th Punjab Regiment. Following the war, he joined the fledgling Pakistani Army as the 10th ranking senior officer (his Pakistan Army number was 10). He was promoted to Brigadier and commanded a brigade in Waziristan and then in 1948 was sent with the local rank of Major General to East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh) as General Officer Commanding of 14th Infantry division responsible for the whole East Wing of Pakistan, for which non-combatant service he was awarded the Hilal-i-Jurat (HJ). He returned to West Pakistan in November 1949 as Adjutant General of the Army and then was briefly Deputy Commander-in-Chief.
The first time military was directly involved in politics of the country was when Ayub Khan, a serving Commander-in-Chief, was inducted into Muhammad Ali Bogra’s Federal Cabinet in 1954, and was given the portfolio of Defense. As Commander-in-Chief and Defense Minister, Ayub Khan played a key role in negotiations concerning Pakistan’s entry into United States’ sponsored military alliances, C. E. N. T. O. and S. E. A. T. O. On October 7, 1958, Iskander Mirza enforced the first Martial Law in Pakistan with the help of Ayub Khan. Ayub Khan was designated as the Chief Martial Law Administrator. However, the two leaders couldn’t work together for long. Ayub Khan snatched away Mirzas’ powers and assumed charge as the President of Pakistan, in addition to his role as Chief Martial Law Administrator. Later on he gave himself the rank of Field Marshal.
He would later go on to serve in the second cabinet (1954) of Muhammad Ali Bogra as Defence Minister, and when Iskander Mirza declared martial law on 7 October 1958, Ayub Khan was made its chief martial law administrator. Azam Khan (general), Nawab Amir Mohammad Khan and Sandhurst trained General Wajid Ali Khan Burki were instrumental in Ayub Khan’s Rise to power. This would be the first of many instances in the history of Pakistan of the military becoming directly involved in politics.
Military and Domestic affairs
Khan’s domestic policies had heavy impact on Pakistan Armed Forces, and initially reduced the funding of military forces. His Chief of Army Staff had little interest in the military advancement and was seen lenient towards friendly India. His policies forced to halt the nuclear deterrence and the nuclear energy projects established under the Government of Prime Minister Suhrawardy. The Prime minister established the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) and launched the effective nuclear deterrence under the auspices of Dr. Nazir Ahmad, an experimental physicist. In 1958, when General Ayub Khan seized the office and imposed martial law in Pakistan, he had limited the research facilities of PAEC based on economic grounds. Overall, the nuclear deterrence remained a low priority to Khan and his government repeatedly vetoed the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission’s proposal to lead the establishment of national laboratories and the growth of nuclear power plants. Because of Abdus Salam’s influence on Ayub Khan, Salam had succeeded into convincing him to personally approve a nuclear power plant— against the wishes of his own military government. However, despite Abdus Salam’s efforts, Ayub Khan rejected further proposals made by the Abdus Salam, and the PAEC to set up a nuclear reprocessing plant in 1968.
In 1965, after India-Pakistan war in 1965, and became scientists in Pakistan are working in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) informed the Indian nuclear program because they had visited the Indian nuclear facilities as part of the inspection teams of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Scientists APP reported quickly to the development of Indian and Pakistani Foreign Ministry. On December 11, 1965, Munir Ahmed Khan, met personally with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in the Dorchester Hotel in London, where he was Munir Ahmed Khan Bhutto came to be acknowledged about the Indian nuclear programme.Bhutto then able to quickly meet with the president on the same night. Hotel in Dorchester, and Ayub Khan was a short meeting with Munir Ahmad Khan.The 2 had met in private and alone, lock remote sensing of the sensitivity of this discussion, and remained the doors. At this meeting, Munir Ahmed Khan said clearly Ayub Khan that Pakistan must obtain the necessary facilities that would give the country the ability to nuclear deterrence, which was available free of safeguards, and at a reasonable cost. Munir Ahmad Khan as President Ayub Khan said that there were not restrictions on nuclear technology, which was freely available, and that India and Israel is moving ahead with the publication of that.
Estimated Munir Ahmed Khan in response to a question about the economics of these programs, and the cost of nuclear technology at that time as the dollar more than 150 million do not. He listened patiently to him Ayub Khan too, but at the end of the meeting is still not convinced. Ayub Khan refused to supply Munir Ahmed Khan, said that Pakistan was very poor to spend a lot of money. Moreover, if we are in need than ever to a bomb, we will buy it off the shelf.
In 1961 Abdus Salam succeeded in convincing Khan to lead the establishment of Pakistan’s National Space Agency, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) on 16 September 1961. Ayub Khan appointed Abdus Salam as its director, and due to Salam’s efforts the National Aeronautics and Space Administration began training Pakistani scientists and engineers in NASA headquarters. Abdus Salam had appointed a noted aeronautical engineer and military scientist, General W. J. M. Turowicz, as Pakistan’s Rocket Programme head. General Turowicz’s work led Pakistan to develop its own ballistic missile series in the future. General Turowicz had led a series of Rehbar Sounding Rockets fired from Pakistani soil. The military government of Ayub Khan had restricted the space activities in the country, and further denied the proposals of establishing space centers all over the country. Even the Flight Test Center was financed and built by the United States’ NASA when Khan had declined to set up the funding programme for SUPARCO.
Ayub Khan in close alliance with the United States and its allies, while publicly criticized the Soviet Union. Took his first visit to the United States a place because he was the Minister of Defence as part of the delegation of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, to convince the United States with side by side with the Prime Minister to provide military aide to the country. Was obsessed with the new defense secretary Ayub Khan with modernizing the armed forces in the shortest possible time and saw the relationship with the United States is the only way to achieve organizational and personal objectives.
In April 1958, The Ayub Khan that the armed forces is the most powerful element, to persuade the United States that left the field and gained influence in the elections if the view that if elections were held under the prevailing circumstances, which will not destabilize Pakistan only, but will affect U.S. strategic interests .
Ayub Khan’s legacy is mixed. He was opposed to democracy believing like any other dictator that parliamentary democracy was not suited for the people of his country. Like many subsequent military dictators he was contemptuous of politicians and political parties.However, during his early years in office, he sided with the Americans against the Soviets, and in return received aid, which resulted in enormous economic growth.
He subsidized fertilizers and modernized agriculture through irrigation development, spurred industrial growth with liberal tax benefits. In the decade of his rule, gross national product rose by 45% and manufactured goods began to overtake such traditional exports as jute and cotton. It is alleged that his policies were tailored to reward the elite families and the feudal lords.During the fall of his dictatorship, just when the government was celebrating the so-called “Decade of Development”, mass protests erupted due an increasingly greater divide between the rich and the poor.
He shunned prestige projects and stressed birth control in a country that has the seventh largest population in the world: 115 million. He dismissed criticism with the comment that if there was no family planning, the time would surely come when “Pakistanis eat Pakistanis.” In foreign affairs, he retained his ties to the West and to the United States in particular, allowing the United States to use the Badaber and Peshawar airbase for U-2 flights over the then Soviet Union.
In 1971 when war broke out, Ayub Khan was in West Pakistan. He presented himself for fighting in war but government turned him down on account of his age and ill-health. He did not comment on the events of the war. He died in 1974.
Ayub Khan’s eldest son Gohar Ayub Khan was Pakistan’s Foreign Minister in the Nawaz Sharif government and his grandson Omar Ayub Khan was briefly Pakistan’s Minister of State for Finance. His daughter Begum Nasim Aurangzeb was married to Miangul Aurangzeb, the Wali of Swat.
Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan Pictures