You can read: ‘The Pakistan Coup detat of 1958: Part I on by clicking the link: https://pakpotpourri2.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/the-pakistan-coup-detat-of-1958-part-i/
You can read: ‘The Pakistan Coup detat of 1958: Part II on by clicking the link: https://pakpotpourri2.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/the-pakistan-coup-detat-of-1958-part-ii/
You can read: ‘The Pakistan Coup detat of 1958: Part IV by clicking the link: https://pakpotpourri2.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/the-pakistan-coup-detat-of-1958-part-iii/
You can read: ‘The Pakistan Coup detat of 1958: Part V by clicking the link: https://pakpotpourri2.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/the-pakistan-coup-detat-of-1958-part-iv/
Like the other two later dictators, who survived due to the Americans, interests in our region, the luck of Ayub Khan too changed as the need by the Americans arose to put him on the saddle, on 4th of Oct 1957,the Soviet union had launched its first satellite, ‘Sputnik’, and followed it with yet another on 3rd November-1957.A new frontier was born and the soviets were regarded world over as the first to have entered it-The reaction in USA was sheer panic, after the first American satellite, exploded on the launch pad-U.S prestige hit the rock bottom. It was the ‘Sputnik Crisis’ which led to the creation of NASA by USA and it was the start point of the ‘Space Race’ A term coined by the US president, Eisenhower .This phobia reached the climax starting 1958-When ‘Khrushchev, declared that U.S.S.R was about launch, ‘Intercontinental ballistic missiles'[ICBM]and produce them like ‘Sausages’, the result of this Soviet bravado was that amongst the American’s -a strong perception grew ,that, if U.S.S.R won the race in ICBM they would gain a decisive military edge over USA-which led to a urgent need to step up the surveillance of Soviet missile sites-Suddenly Pakistan’s importance as the next door neighbor with ideal location for Airbases-
The Government under Feroze khan noon was not willing to give these concessions to the Americans-Ayub Khan seeing it as a opportunity, took a trip to USA in April 1958 and sought an appointment with Director of CIA Allen Dules & General Twining [Air force Vice Chief of Staff] without the knowledge of Iskandar Mirza-To the Americans, Ayub khan showed his desire to take over and meet the American demands of setting up the CIA base for keeping an eye on the affairs in U.S.S.R. According to the book-”From Plessey to Pakistan’- by Humayun Mirza the son of Iskandar Mirza-”Ayub Khan after he took over on 28th Oct 1958-signed a 10 years lease agreement with the Americans for a base station at Badaber-Peshawar-so that U2 could fly from Lahore & Peshawar to spy on the Soviet Union.
This is further corroborated by Sultan Muhammad Khan[He was a former Army Officer of the British Indian Army & Commissioned during the war in 4th Indian Grenadiers, saw action in Malaysia and Indonesia, joined Indian Political service in 1946 and opted for Pakistan Foreign Service in 1947-he was the Foreign Secretary between July 1971 to March 1972],He writes in his book’, ‘Memories & Reflections’1997.It was in May 1959 that he returned back to the F.O.and relates that, ‘A few days after I had rejoined the Foreign Office, I was given the final Draft of the Agreement by USA and Pakistan on the Acquisition of Badaber by the USA for the establishment of a secret base [CIA station] for monitoring Soviet activities in the development of Atomic weapons. Sultan M. Khan observes that, ‘given the total dependence of Ayub Khan’s Government on the USA by then’ ‘the conclusion of such an agreement was not a surprise, but what was surprising was the ”Extra-Territorial Rights which Pakistan was Conceding to USA, at Badaber. Pakistanis were totally excluded from the operations there and could not enter the base without U.S approval”. Sultan, reading the text and terms, writes in his book, that he approached Manzoor Qadir who was the Foreign Minister, and requested for re-drafting of better terms for Pakistan-Manzoor Qadir said he was aware of the flaws but here the President and the Ministry of Defence had given full approval to all these terms, so I had better finalize it !
Ayub Khan really knew how to sell his country to extend his rule!! But he was not the only one, Air Marshal Asghar Khan remained the Favorite blue eyed from 1957 to 1965 and a American die-heart to the boot-Read his book ,”We’ve Learnt Nothing From History’ Oxford press-2005.He blames everybody under the sun,-But Not a word will you find on Badaber in his book, my question is? was-it not related to the Air force Matters and the Peshawar Airbase was the transit point- no? Where was the Nationalist within him then?? He should have resigned, and exposed the designs of Ayub Khan-however, like all the rest of the minions’ he served his master[Ayub khan] and his mentor’s[Americans] to the best of his ability- Eight years of service as C IN C Air force, had its share of extensions- No ? and he beats Ayub in his[Ayub would have completed his 8 years on 17 Jan 1959]-I am sure Pakistan Air force had many officers to fill his shoes-had he put in his papers and said, yes I have done my Tenure let XYZ take on ? but then would the new Air chief been a willing tool to coordinate with the Americans in the U2 project, since its inception and its related teething problems ??
The main reason why Americans were dying to have a Spy station in Peshawar was that-the largest Soviet space launching facility was at Baikonur on the Syr Darya [river] south of Kazakhstan the distance between Islamabad and Astana the capital of Kazakhstan remains 1217 miles and Astana is to the north whereas Baikonur touches the southern border with Uzbekistan, and the range of a U2 was 6405 miles with a top speed of 500 MPH, flying at 70,000 plus feet.
Humayun Mirza referring to other declassified documents in his book-quotes American Ambassador at Karachi-M. Langley-with reference to Ayub Khan’s April 1958 Visit and request to see the CIA director-‘This is a story of the dreams of the Empire of two of the stronger men in Pakistan, President Mirza and General Ayub Khan, and something of their friendship and rivalry and their estimates of each other, It is a story developed in search of an answer why Ayub, who is being sent by his government to the U.S to plead the case of Pakistan for a gift of bombers, should seek an appointment with Allen Dulles[Director CIA] without the knowledge of Mirza”.
Alexander Symons the British High Commissioner in his DO/35/8943 dt-27th September 1958 to Sir Gilbert Laithwaite [ref :The British Papers’1958-1969′-states-”I would add by the way of comment that as far as the President’s ability to pull of a coup is concerned, there have been, as I mentioned in my letter of 23rd August, indications that his standing with the Army is not quite as high as it was. But he is obviously very confident and told me that both General Ayub,and General Umrao Khan the G.O.C East Pakistan, had been urging that Army intervention was essential. There is no real evidence that his claim that the Army would back him is unjustified. Now that he has started talking so frankly about his intentions (though he assured me that, besides myself, only the Army C in C Ayub Khan and the Chief of Staff -Gen Musa knew what he had in mind)….”As events unfolded it was Iskandar Mirza who was being duped in a situation whereby he was being cajoled to take a course of action, what the three Ayub,Musa and Yahya wanted, and had planned to the last detail step by step, of course with the American guidance.
Iskandar Mirza had been so convinced by Ayub Khan and his group, as one gleans from these reports, in the ”ANNEX- A’ of the same letter [DO] quoted above, Symon states, ‘The President now believes that disaffection has spread to the middle ranks of the Army and unless effective action is taken soon they may take law into their own hands. He is satisfied that the Army would support him in a change such as he has in mind. He believes that to delay action will be fatal to the integrity of Pakistan. He is, therefore now considering how to bring about the conditions described above. He has not given any indication as regards timing.”
Now to link up all-in my first part I had given extracts from M. B. Khalid’s book- ‘ Khalid, further states that it was in early afternoon of 07 Oct 1958 that the personal servant [Abdul Sattar]of Iskander Mirza came with a urgent message for him and Nusrat- ud-din, as they both shared the same office that Sahibjee says that both of you be back in office by 5 pm as some urgent matters are in offing and need to be typed. Khalid adds that on reaching at 5 pm they both had tea and discussed normal issues and at around 6.30 pm walked in Major Gen. Sher Bhadaur with a brief case which he opened and started giving out drafts of the letters to be typed by both him and Nusrat[who was the Principle secretary of Iskander Mirza]and Gen. Sher Bhadaur sat on a chair not allowing any one to enter or receive any phone calls. To the extent that even carbon papers were supplied from his brief case. Meanwhile outside in the long corridor Iskander Mirza paced to and fro and chain-smoked and it was by 9.30 pm that typing ceased. The first paper was a proclamation’ in which the constitution stood abrogated National and Provincial Assemblies stood dissolved and the Cabinet dismissed. The second paper was the appointment of General Ayub Khan as the Chief Martial Law Administrator. The third paper dealt with personal messages to the vital Head of States. The Fourth was urgent Letters to Ambassadors of vital countries to visit on receipt of these letters immediately the President House [old Gov. Gen House].
About these letters being typed the drafts had been made-by DMO Brig S.G.M. Peerzada & VCGS Brig. Attique ur Rahman much earlier and vetted by CGS Maj Gen Yahya Khan and Chief of Staff Gen.Musa Khan, what General M.Attiqur Rahman has to say on this [ref; Back to Pavilion’-1989/2005.pg-98-101] That in 1958-[keeping in view Ayub Khan was only given his third extension in June 1958,By Malik Feroze Khan Noon, and this time for just Two years]A future plan of action by the stake holders or a contingency plan for the Army to act upon, if a legal authority called upon it do so-was made-and Attiqur Rahman as the VCGS, Brig. S.G.M Peerzada DMO including Yahya Khan the CGS were involved in the making-Under the guide lines of General Ayub Khan-the plan was worked out on a ‘D’ Day basis-the key plan was a chronological order of actions that had to be taken-issue of instructions, movement of troops, organizations of HQ’s at Karachi, announcements that had to be made, speeches for the radio, security of key installations-A security plan had also been made for the movement of key personnel to Karachi and elsewhere under cover of normal conferences.
Unknown to Iskandar Mirza he was being cornered in this game of being guilty of abrogating the constitution and in the same stroke appointing Ayub khan as the chief martial law administrator thereby cutting off his own source of power-
As stated in the previous above Para-”The Fourth was urgent Letters to Ambassadors of vital countries to visit on receipt of these letters immediately the President House’ on this the British High Commissioner, states in his ‘Inward Telegram to the Commonwealth officer’ no 1680-Karachi 02.23 hours 08 Oct 1958-”when I went to see the President tonight I found my American, Iranian, Turkish, and Afghan colleagues were also present-the crux of this lengthy telegram was-[a]’ On the Administrative side-The president informed the audience that, the present system of justice and administration would continue, except when, Gen.Ayub in his capacity of as chief martial law administrator ordered to the contrary-Aziz Ahmad would be appointed as the Secretary- General of the central administration, and Ayub would operate through Chief commissioner in Karachi and Governor East Pakistan. The Tribal areas would continue to be under West Pakistan Administration.[b] on the subject of a New Constitution-Iskandar mirza had this to say -” that the Armed forces would remain the ultimate sanction of the new administration and would continue till a new constitution was drawn up-From what Ayub had said, he and president expect this period will be fairly long one i.e 3 to 5 years. The President said that the new constitution would be based on democratic principles, but would not, provide adult franchise or female franchise. He favored a unitary form of government for Pakistan. He believed in one unit but that this would have to be considered when the new constitution was drawn.[c] General Ayub has issued a statement that he has taken over as Chief Martial Law Administrator.
In the next Telegram no.1688 dt.17.20 hours 9th Oct 1958,on the subject of post-coup situation.[Political Changes]a].The Army is firmly in saddle. Martial law regulations have been issued country wide, and for purpose of Administration of Martial Law, Pakistan has been divided into three divisions-Karachi under General.Sher Bahadur, West Pakistan under Gen. Azam and East Pakistan under Gen.. Umrao.[b] Ayub khan will act as the ‘de facto’ Prime Minister and under him will be Aziz Ahmed.[c] a de facto Cabinet of Federal Secretaries of all vital ministries will form the council, including three army generals.[d] The president and Ayub, relationship between two is an aspect to be watched very closely, at present President is the leader and Ayub frankly admits his inexperience and leans heavily on the president. But in reality Ayub as the supreme commander is in effective control of the armed forces which are regimes only sanction. Presently Ayub is finding his feet but when he does so and understands rather more clearly the power at his command and the opportunities before him, the strain on his loyalty to the President might be put to test, especially if two differed sharply on matters of importance.
Now we must watch the role of our Media in those days-according to the same British papers-being quoted above, vide DO 35/8943 dt-10th Oct 1958-in which the High Commissioner suggests to the common wealth officer to destroy all records which indicate prior knowledge of president Mirza’a Coup plan-”Wheeler who is a Daily Mail man, has been sent by BBC,he along with two American correspondents met President and Ayub at my initiative over tea yesterday. The local press is steadily climbing aboard the Bandwagon. Both ‘Dawn’ and the ‘Morning News’ today carry leading articles expressing strong support of the new regime. ‘Dawn’ goes so far as to say that there is ”No Need To Hurry’ the restoration of democratic forms of government…’.
But like it is said, ‘There are No permanent friends. Only permanent interests”. When the Time for exit of Iskandar Mirza came there was nobody to save him-as his own protégé [Ayub[ had turned hostile, in all the years from 1951 to 1958 Ayub had survived because of Iskandar, as all the extensions given to Ayub came with the concurrence of Iskandar- Had Ayub not been given these three Extensions our History might have been different-and the Army much better led in 1965 and 1971 wars or maybe the wars would not have come-And Yahya Khan, later in 1969 did to Ayub what Ayub had done to Iskandar in 1958.
With all adoration given by sycophants to Ayub, seeing him the man in uniform and the Chief Martial Law Administrator and Ayub inwardly hard pressed to give the Americans the bases required for the Surveillance U2’s over U.S.S.R ,he was pressed for time, and as we see from days following 08 Oct 1958 he started showing his own mind-his ‘Innuendo’s countering Statements given by Iskandar were fast driving Iskandar up against the wall-Though Iskandar had played safe with appointing Aziz Ahmed as the Deputy Martial Law Administrator however Aziz Ahmed had no mettle within to stand against the Hawks at the back of Ayub Khan who had engineered and plotted the whole Coup to the last Details-covering all contingency plans-
On 19th October 1958- Ayub khan had invited Iskandar Mirza to a joint meeting which was also attended by the Chief Justice. M. Munir, under discussion was the subject of defining the respective powers of President and the Chief Martial Law Administrator. As Chief Justice Munir tried to build the argument to establish a fact that the writ of Iskandar as the President over the CMLA,was still supreme. The Judge Advocate-General. Colonel Kazi-sitting next to Ayub intervened and gave the Military point of the view as they saw it-which was ‘Since the Abrogation of the Constitution on the night- 07/08 Oct 1958-the President had lost all the powers he enjoyed under the constitution, wherein he had also willfully passed the baton to Ayub Khan, and as of now the CMLA was the sole lawful authority in the country-on this, the meeting came to an sudden end-a jubilant Ayub and a ashen Iskandar left the room.
On the 20th Oct 1958 Ayub left for a tour of East Pakistan-he was well received by the public and large crowds came to the hear him speak on the public forums, the Speeches of Ayub were projecting him alone as the Master and not a word about his Mentor was mentioned-Iskandar, hearing of these speeches, was seeing the writing on the wall and so he made desperate moves.
[To be continued…..]