Ayub on Bhutto

Well before the military action in East Pakistan, both President General Yahya Khan and Z.A. Bhutto had virtually agreed in principle to the break-up of the country. “Diaries of Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan” edited by Craig Baxter testify to this tragic truth.
Following are the excerpts:
Before proceeding to Dhaka in March, Yahya and Bhutto had agreed that it was no longer possible to retain East Pakistan. Separation was unavoidable. Bhutto did not want to say that openly. He wanted Yahya to take the responsibility. Yahya desisted at the last moment and fell out with Mujibur Rahman. Previous to that there was an understanding between Mujibur Rahman and Yahya. But Mujibur Rahman would only offer him a presidency of the Indian type, Yahya refused. It was then that he started hobnobbing with Bhutto again with a view to securing his position.
Yahya was anxious to hand over power to the public representatives provided he could retain his position with considerable powers.
Whilst the situation in East Pakistan is deteriorating nobody amongst the junta seems to be concerned. In fact, they seemed very confident.
The thinking is that Yahya will remain the president, Nurul Amin as the prime minister and Bhutto is demanding to be appointed as the vice prime minister. He does not like the word deputy.
Bhutto will not hesitate to remove Yahya as soon as he gets the chance. They have very little faith in each other.

Lt General Peerzada is with Bhutto
His ambition was to replace Yahya or become commander-in-chief of the army with the help of Bhutto. Lt. General Peerzada keeps Bhutto well posted with secret information.

Victimisation of Ayub’s family:
A reliable friend confirmed today that a team of special police had been set up to go into my, and even my distant relatives’ financial transactions under orders from Bhutto. The Central Board of Revenue had been told to tax us at least one crore. If we paid it up it would break our backs. If we did not then we should be put in jail. In this connection, I was told that the IG Special Police, who was recently appointed, has been transferred because he called on me for Eid greetings.

Gatecrashes into Gen Gul Hassan’s house
Hassan Amin said that the other night Bhutto gate-crashed into Lt. General Gul Hassan’s house, against his protestations through the assistance of Qureshi, and stayed on till after midnight. Lt. General Gul Hassan wanted to talk to him on serious matters but he kept on cutting jokes, mimicking and laughing, keeping everyone amused. I call this a strategy of indirect approach. Win the man’s confidence first, find out his complaints against the seniors and then use him for nefarious ends at an appropriate moment.
In doing this Bhutto is looking ahead. He has judged Lt. General Gul Hassan correctly. He is a strong headed man, devoted to his profession with considerable influence with younger people and has strong likes and dislikes. He could be worked up on any serious issue.
Hassan Amin said on one occasion Bhutto told him to look after Lt. General Gul Hassan as he would come in useful one day. I am sure Bhutto’s objective was to get Hassan Amin to pass this on to Lt. General Gul Hassan so that he felt obliged to Bhutto. Hassan Amin said that Lt. General Gul Hassan was no fool. He would not allow himself to be made use of. At the same time, he said that Lt. General Gul Hassan regarded Lt. General Hamid, the COAS, completely ineffective, as the man was under the influence of alcohol the best part of the day and night. Besides, he had no power of decision.
Lt. General Gul Hassan had also complained against General Yahya for having promoted some useless people to the rank of General. He, that is Lt. General Gul Hassan, said that Musa had one useless Maj. General Nazir, who did so much damage around him whereas Yahya had so many. I told Hassan Amin that this was exactly the sort of thinking that Bhutto will exploit in order to involve and make use of Lt. General Gul Hassan. Hassan Amin said that Mujibur Rahman was no match for Bhutto. Bhutto would twist him around his little finger. I have also heard people say Mujibur Rahman regards himself no smaller goonda than Bhutto. Lt us see who twists whom. But one thing is certain: several of Bhutto’s elected members have already given their allegiance to Mujibur Rahman. Bhutto, too, is aware of this, so Mujibur Rahman is not sitting idle.

ZAB proposed division of Kashmir
A confidant of Bhutto, who is the Chairman of the Press Trust, which is completely under government control, is going about selling the idea that in Kashmir, India should get Jammu, Pakistan Azad Kashmir, and the valley to become independent. Then the valley, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, should form confederation. He might well be voicing Bhutto’s views.

Political murders through Gen. Akbar
Several political murders have taken place during the last month or so. The victims are leading political figures in the Jama’at-e-Islami. The suspicion is that General Akbar’s cutthroats have done this at Bhutto’s behest. The Jamaat, though non-violent, considers that Kasaas is permitted by Islam. They think that if revenge has to be taken then the man to go for is Bhutto. They have fanatics amongst them. They are quite capable of carrying out such an operation and sacrifice themselves. Besides, Bhutto is seeking a violent end the way he is going. I am told that his arrogance and behavior with people is atrocious and abominable.

ZAB accuses Tikka Khan of coup against Bhutto
Apparently Bhutto is well assured of the loyalty of the army which is how it should be. He could not, of course, find a better goof than General Tikka Khan. But the army has never been a threat to any politician until they make a mess of the country. Then it becomes a survival and rescue operation, and if the survivors are incapable of carrying it out some junior will take the jump. This is the common experience of most new countries.
I understand that Bhutto sent for General Tikka Khan and told him that he had concrete evidence that he was planning to overthrow him. General Tikka Khan said before he, Bhutto, went any further he would give him the true story. Some politicians had approached him with the proposal to remove Bhutto. His answer was that the army was not interested in any such thing but he wanted also to make it clear that the army would not shoot down peaceful demonstrators.
I understand General Tikka Khan flew to Nawabshah to receive Bhutto. On arrival the crowd showered him with flower petals. They must have been Urdu-speakers.
I am told that former Major General Akbar Khan of the Rawalpindi conspiracy fame sees the Russian ambassador every other day. I am sure he must be seeking their assistance for his plans. He has also caused a lengthy proforma to be filled by every army officer to ascertain his connections and political reliability. Why the Army chief is allowing this, I cannot understand. Intelligence anticipates that the country would almost be in a state of civil war by the end of the year.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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