International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Working Relationship between Central and Provincial Governments in Pakistan (1971-77)
Somia Tasneem

This paper explores the working relationship between the centre and the provinces during Z. A. Bhutto’s period from 1971 to 1977. This era was full of political turmoil at the domestic level. The issues like formation of central government and provincial governments, transfer and sharing of power, provincial autonomy, Balochistan insurgency, political assassinations, Urdu-Sindhi conflict, Ahmedia controversy, framing the constitution and the demand of national elections had disturbed the center-provinces relations. The confrontation between the PPP and NAP confirmed that the period was characterized by politics of power and personal interests. Balochistan experienced the worse kind of repression than any other province during Bhutto’s rule. A military campaign was started against them leading to worse clashes between the local forces and the military troops by federal government. The ban on NAP resulted in the formation of UDF which aimed at restoration of the democracy. Bhutto saw it as a threat to his office and ordered the Federal Security Force (FSF) to stifle it. Insurgency in Balochistan, assassination of Sherpao in Khayber Pakhtunkhwah (Former NWFP), Language riots in Sindh and the Ahmedia controversy in Punjab made the position of PPP weak not only at the center but also at the provincial level. The series of bomb blasts, killing of people and assassinations became the routine matter which paved the way for the opposition to establish PNA, an alliance against Bhutto. This was enough to illustrate that Bhutto did not adopt conciliatory policy towards the opposition rather he tried every possible mean to curb them.

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