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Ayub Khan
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World Leader
    (May 14, 1907-April 19, 1974)
    Born in Rehana, Pakistan
    Birth name was Muhammad Ayub Khan
    Chief of Staff of the Pakistani Army (1951-55)
    Minister of Defense (1954-55)
    President of Pakistan (1958-69)
    He was named Chief of Staff over several more senior generals, reportedly because he was considered less ambitious and more committed to a civilian government than other candidates.
    He took power in a military coup.
    He kept the presidency through a rigged election (1965).
    During his presidency, his family raked in $10-20 million through nepotism and corruption.
    Income inequality grew during his reign, with five million people falling below the poverty line.
    As president, he awarded himself Pakistan's highest civilian medal and promoted himself from general to field marshal.
    He launched an attack in the disputed territory of Kashmir, expecting the Kashmiri people to revolt against India and produce a swift victory (August 5, 1965).
    When that did not happen, the war ended with a bloody stalemate.
    In the wake of widespread protests over increasing food prices, he tried to declare martial law, only to discover the military no longer supported him, forcing his resignation (March 25, 1969).
    He fought with the British Army in Burma during World War II.
    He pursued close relations with the US, including allowing American U-2 spy planes to operate from bases in Pakistan.
    He promoted industrialization, resulting in rapid growth in the Gross National Product.
    He reformed the nation's Islamic-based family laws, abolishing unlimited polygamy, requiring a wife's consent before a second marriage, and ending instant divorce, where a man could end a marriage by saying 'I divorce you' three times.
    He promoted birth control, saying that without family planning, a time would come when 'Pakistanis eat Pakistanis.'
    He survived an assassination attempt in East Pakistan (Bangladesh).

Credit: C. Fishel


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