4 April 1979

Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan is executed.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
ذوالفقار علي ڀٽو  (Sindhi)
ذوالفقار علی بھٹو  (Urdu)
Zulfiqar ali bhutto.jpg
9th Prime Minister of Pakistan
In office
14 August 1973 – 5 July 1977
PresidentFazal Ilahi Chaudhry
Preceded byNurul Amin
Succeeded byMuhammad Khan Junejo
4th President of Pakistan
In office
20 December 1971 – 13 August 1973
Vice PresidentNurul Amin (1971–72)
None (1972–73)
Preceded byYahya Khan
Succeeded byFazal Ilahi Chaudhry
7th Speaker of the National Assembly
In office
14 April 1972 – 15 August 1972
DeputyMuhammad Hanif Khan
Preceded byAbdul Jabbar Khan
Succeeded byFazal Ilahi Chaudhry
8th and 12th Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
15 June 1963 – 31 August 1966
PresidentAyub Khan
Preceded byMuhammad Ali Bogra
Succeeded bySharifuddin Pirzada
In office
20 December 1971 – 28 March 1977
PresidentFazal Ilahi Chaudhry
Preceded byYahya Khan
Succeeded byAziz Ahmed
Personal details
Born(1928-01-05)5 January 1928
Ratodero Taluka, Bombay Presidency, British India (present-day Sindh, Pakistan)
Died4 April 1979(1979-04-04) (aged 51)
Central Jail Rawalpindi, Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
Cause of deathExecution by hanging
Resting placeBhutto family mausoleum, Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, Sindh, Pakistan
NationalityBritish Indian (1928–1947)
Pakistani (1947–1979)
Political partyPakistan People's Party
Spouse(s)
Shireen Amir Begum (m. 1943)
[1]
Nusrat Ispahani (m. 1951)
[2]
RelationsBhutto family
Zardari family
ChildrenBenazir
Murtaza
Sanam
Shahnawaz
FatherShah Nawaz Bhutto
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley, (BA)
Christ Church, Oxford, (LLB), (LLM), (M.S.)
ProfessionLawyer, politician

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Sindhi: ذوالفقار علي ڀٽو‎; Urdu: ذوالفقار علی بھٹو‎‎; 5 January 1928 – 4 April 1979) was a Pakistani barrister and politician who served as the 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that as the fourth President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. He was also the founder of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and served as its chairman until his execution in 1979.[3]

Born in modern-day Sindh and educated at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Oxford, Bhutto trained as a barrister at Lincoln's Inn, before entering politics as one of President Iskander Mirza's cabinet members, and was assigned several ministries during President Ayub Khan's military rule from 1958. Appointed Foreign Minister in 1963, Bhutto was a proponent of Operation Gibraltar in Kashmir, leading to war with India in 1965. After the Tashkent Agreement ended hostilities, Bhutto fell out with Ayub Khan and was sacked from government.

Bhutto founded the PPP in 1967 on a socialist platform, and contested general elections held by President Yahya Khan in 1970. While the Awami League won a majority of seats overall, the PPP won a majority of seats in West Pakistan; the two parties were unable to agree on a new constitution in particular on the issue of Six Point Movement which many in West Pakistan saw as a way to break up the country.[4] Subsequent uprisings led to the secession of Bangladesh, and Pakistan losing the war against Bangladesh-allied India in 1971. Bhutto was handed over the presidency in December 1971 and emergency rule was imposed. When Bhutto set about rebuilding Pakistan, he stated his intention was to "rebuild confidence and rebuild hope for the future".[5]

By July 1972, Bhutto recovered 43,600 prisoners of war and 5,000 sq mi of Indian-held territory after signing the Simla Agreement.[6][7] He strengthened ties with China and Saudi Arabia, recognised Bangladesh, and hosted the second Organisation of the Islamic Conference in Lahore in 1974.[6] Domestically, Bhutto's reign saw parliament unanimously approve a new constitution in 1973, upon which he appointed Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry President and switched to the newly empowered office of Prime Minister. He also played an integral role in initiating the country's nuclear programme.[8] However, Bhutto's nationalisation of much of Pakistan's fledgling industries, healthcare, and educational institutions led to economic stagnation. After dissolving provincial feudal governments in Balochistan was met with unrest, Bhutto also ordered an army operation in the province in 1973, causing thousands of civilian casualties.[9]

Despite civil disorder, the PPP won parliamentary elections in 1977 by a wide margin. However, the opposition alleged widespread vote rigging, and violence escalated across the country. On 5 July that same year, Bhutto was deposed in a military coup by his appointed army chief Zia-ul-Haq, before being controversially tried and executed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1979 for authorising the murder of a political opponent.[7][10][11]

Bhutto remains a contentious figure, being hailed for his nationalism and secular internationalist agenda, yet, is criticized for intimidating his political opponents and for human rights violations. He is often considered one of Pakistan's greatest leaders,[12] and his party, the PPP, remains among Pakistan's largest, with his daughter Benazir Bhutto being twice elected Prime Minister,[3] while his son-in-law and Benazir's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, served as President.

Early life

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto belonged to a Sindhi Bhutto Muslim Rajput family, he was born to Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto and Khursheed Begum near Larkana. Zulfikar was their third child—their first one, Sikandar Ali, had died from pneumonia at age seven in 1914, and the second, Imdad Ali, died of cirrhosis at age 39 in 1953.[13][failed verification] His father was the dewan of the princely state of Junagadh, and enjoyed an influential relationship with the officials of the British Raj. As a young boy, Bhutto moved to Worli Seaface in Bombay to study at the Cathedral and John Connon School. He then also became an activist in the Pakistan Movement. In 1943, his marriage was arranged with Shireen Amir Begum.[2] In 1947, Bhutto was admitted to the University of Southern California to study political science.[14]

In 1949, as a sophomore, Bhutto transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned a B.A. (honours) degree in political science in 1950.[3] There, Bhutto became interested in the theories of socialism, delivering a series of lectures on their feasibility in Islamic countries. During this time, Bhutto's father played a controversial role in the affairs of Junagadh. Coming to power in a palace coup, he secured the accession of his state to Pakistan, which was ultimately negated by Indian intervention in December 1947.[15] In June 1950, Bhutto travelled to the United Kingdom to study law at Christ Church, Oxford and received an LLB, followed by an LLM degree in law and an M.Sc. (honours) degree in political science.[3] Upon finishing his studies, he was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1953.[3] He was fellow of Barrister Ijaz Hussain Batalvi who later appeared in his case as prosecutor.

Bhutto married his second wife, Nusrat Ispahani, an Iranian-Kurdish woman,[16] in Karachi on 8 September 1951. Their first child, Benazir, was born in 1953. She was followed by Murtaza in 1954, Sanam in 1957 and Shahnawaz in 1958.

Political career

In 1957, Bhutto became the youngest member of Pakistan's delegation to the United Nations. He addressed the UN Sixth Committee on Aggression that October and led Pakistan's delegation to the first UN Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1958. That year, Bhutto became Pakistan's youngest cabinet minister, taking up the reins of the Ministry of Commerce by President Iskander Mirza, pre-coup d'état government.[3] In 1960, he was promoted to Minister of Water and Power, Communications and Industry. Bhutto became trusted ally and advisor of Ayub Khan, rising in influence and power despite his youth and relative inexperience. Bhutto aided his president in negotiating the Indus Water Treaty in India in 1960 and next year negotiated an oil-exploration agreement with the Soviet Union, which agreed to provide economic and technical aid to Pakistan.[citation needed]

Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister Bhutto meets West German officials in Bonn, 1965.
Meeting between Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and John F. Kennedy.

Bhutto was a Pakistani nationalist and socialist,[17] with particular views on the type of democracy needed in Pakistan. On becoming foreign minister in 1963, his socialist viewpoint influenced him to embark on a close relationship with neighbouring China. At the time, many other countries accepted Taiwan as the legitimate single government of China, at a time when two governments each claimed to be "China".[18] In 1964, the Soviet Union and its satellite states broke off relations with Beijing over ideological differences, and only Albania and Pakistan supported the People's Republic of China. Bhutto staunchly supported Beijing in the UN, and in the UNSC, while also continuing to build bridges to the United States.[19] Bhutto's strong advocacy of developing ties with China came under criticism from the United States. President Lyndon B. Johnson wrote to Bhutto, warning him that further overtures to China would jeopardize congressional support for aid to Pakistan.[20] Bhutto addressed his speeches in a demagogic style and headed the foreign ministry aggressively. His leadership style and his swift rise to power brought him national prominence and popularity. Bhutto and his staff visited Beijing and were warmly received by the Chinese, and Bhutto greeted Mao Zedong with great respect.[21] There, Bhutto helped Ayub negotiate trade and military agreements with the Chinese regime, which agreed to help Pakistan in several military and industrial projects.[21]

Bhutto signed the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement on 2 March 1963 that transferred 750 square kilometres of territory from Pakistan-administered Kashmir to Chinese control. Bhutto asserted his belief in non-alignment, making Pakistan an influential member in non-aligned organisations. Believing in pan-Islamic unity, Bhutto developed closer relations with the likes of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Bhutto significantly transformed Pakistan's hitherto pro-West foreign policy. While maintaining a prominent role for Pakistan within the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization and the Central Treaty Organization, Bhutto began asserting a foreign policy course for Pakistan that was independent of U.S. influence. Meanwhile, Bhutto visited both East and West Germany and established a strong link between two countries. Bhutto proceeded economical, technological, industrial and military agreements with Germany. Bhutto strengthened Pakistan's strategic alliance with Germany. Bhutto addressed a farewell speech at the University of Munich, where he cited the importance of Pakistan and German relations.[citation needed] Bhutto then visited Poland and established diplomatic relations in 1962.[22] Bhutto used Pakistan Air Force's Brigadier-General Władysław Turowicz to establish the military and economical link between Pakistan and Poland.[23] Bhutto sought and reached to the Polish community in Pakistan and made a tremendous effort for a fresh avenues for mutual cooperation.

In 1962, as territorial differences increased between India and China, Beijing was planning to stage an invasion in northern territories of India. Premier Zhou Enlai and Mao invited Pakistan to join the raid to illegally rest the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from India. Bhutto advocated for the plan, but Ayub opposed the plan: he was afraid of retaliation by Indian troops.[18] Instead Ayub proposed a "joint defence union" with India. Bhutto was shocked by such statements and felt Ayub Khan was unlettered in international affairs. Bhutto was conscious that despite Pakistan's membership of anti-communist western alliances, China had refrained from criticising Pakistan. In 1962, the U.S. assured Pakistan that “Kashmir issues” will be resolved according to the wishes of Pakistanis and the “Kashmiris”. Therefore, Ayub did not participate in the Chinese plans.[18] Bhutto criticised the U.S. for providing military aid to India during and after the 1962 Sino-Indian War, which was seen as an abrogation of Pakistan's alliance with the United States.[24]

Meanwhile, Ayub Khan, on Bhutto's counsel, launched Operation Gibraltar in a bid to "liberate" Kashmir. It ended in a fiasco and the Indian Armed Forces launched a successful counter-attack on West Pakistan (Indo-Pakistani War of 1965).[18] This war was an aftermath of brief skirmishes that took place between March and August 1965 on the international boundaries in the Rann of Kutch, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. Bhutto joined Ayub in Uzbekistan to negotiate a peace treaty with the Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Ayub and Shastri agreed to exchange prisoners of war and withdraw respective forces to pre-war boundaries. This agreement was deeply unpopular in Pakistan, causing major political unrest against Ayub's regime. Bhutto's criticism of the final agreement caused a major rift between him and Ayub. Initially denying the rumours, Bhutto resigned in June 1966 and expressed strong opposition to Ayub's regime.[24]

During his term, Bhutto was known to be formulating aggressive geostrategic and foreign policies against India.[25] In 1965, Bhutto's friend Munir Ahmad Khan informed him of the status of India's nuclear programme. Bhutto reportedly said, "Pakistan will fight, fight for a thousand years. If.. India builds the (atom) bomb.... (Pakistan) will eat grass or (leaves), even go hungry, but we (Pakistan) will get one of our own (atom bomb).... We (Pakistan) have no other Choice!". In his 1969 book The Myth of Independence Bhutto argued that it was the “necessity” for Pakistan to acquire the fission weapon, and start a so-called deterrence programme to be able to stand up to the industrialised states, and against a nuclear armed India. Bhutto obtained a manifesto and made a future policy on how the programme would be developed and which individual scientists would start the program. Bhutto selected Munir Ahmad Khan and Abdus Salam (a Nobel laureate and Ahmadi Muslim and despite Bhutto's constitutional designation in Pakistan of Ahmadis as "non-Muslim") that Ahmaan Ahmadiyuaas the first and main basis of the programme.[25][26]

Pakistan Peoples Party

Following his resignation as foreign minister, large crowds gathered to listen to Bhutto's speech upon his arrival in Lahore on 21 June 1967. Tapping a wave of anger against Ayub, Bhutto traveled across Pakistan to deliver political speeches. In October 1966 Bhutto made explicit the beliefs of his new party, "Islam is our faith, democracy is our policy, socialism is our economy. All power to the people."[27] On 30 November 1967, at the Lahore residence of Mubashir Hassan, a gathering that included Bhutto, Bengali communist J. A. Rahim and Basit Jehangir Sheikh founded the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), establishing a strong base in Punjab, Sindh and amongst the Muhajirs.[28]

Mubashir Hassan, an engineering professor at UET Lahore, was the main brain and hidden hand behind the success and the rise of Bhutto. Under Hassan's guidance and Bhutto's leadership, the PPP became a part of the pro-democracy movement involving diverse political parties from all across Pakistan. The PPP activists staged large protests and strikes in different parts of the country, increasing pressure on Ayub to resign. Dr. Hassan and Bhutto's arrest on 12 November 1969, sparked greater political unrest. After his release, Bhutto, joined by key leaders of PPP, attended the Round Table Conference called by Ayub Khan in Rawalpindi, but refused to accept Ayub's continuation in office and the East-Pakistani politician Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Six point movement for regional autonomy.[28]

Following Ayub's resignation, his successor, General Yahya Khan promised to hold parliamentary elections on 7 December 1970. Under Bhutto's leadership the democratic socialists, leftists, and marxist-communists gathered and united into one party platform for the first time in Pakistan's history. The Socialist-Communist bloc, under Bhutto's leadership, intensified its support in Muhajir and poor farming communities in West Pakistan, working through educating people to cast their vote for their better future.[28] Gathering and uniting the scattered socialist-communist groups in one single center was considered Bhutto's greatest political achievement and as a result, Bhutto's party and other leftists won a large number of seats from constituencies in West-Pakistan.[27] However, Sheikh Mujib's Awami League won an absolute majority in the legislature, receiving more than twice as many votes as Bhutto's PPP. Bhutto refused to accept an Awami League government and famously promised to "break the legs" of any elected PPP member who dared to attend the inaugural session of the National Assembly. Capitalising on West Pakistani fears of East Pakistani separatism, Bhutto demanded that Sheikh Mujib form a coalition with the PPP. Amidst popular outrage in East Pakistan, Sheikh Mujib declared the independence of "Bangladesh". According to historical references and a report published by leading Pakistani newspaper The Nation, "Mujib no longer believed in Pakistan and is determined to make Bangladesh".[29]

Bhutto in 1971.

On 26 March 1971, just after he declared independence, Sheikh Mujib was arrested by the Pakistan Army, which had been ordered by Yahya Khan to suppress political activities.[30] While supportive of the army's actions and working to rally international support, Bhutto distanced himself from the Yahya Khan regime and began to criticise Yahya Khan for mishandling the situation.[31] He refused to accept Yahya Khan's scheme to appoint Bengali politician Nurul Amin as Prime Minister, with Bhutto as deputy prime minister.[31] Soon after Bhutto's refusal and continuous resentment toward General Yahya Khan's mishandling of situation, Khan ordered Military Police to arrest Bhutto on charges of treason, quite similar to Mujib.[31] Bhutto was imprisoned in the Adiala Jail along with Mujib, where he was set to face the charges.[31] The Indian intervention in East Pakistan led to the very bitter defeat of Pakistani forces, who surrendered on 16 December 1971. Bhutto and others condemned Yahya Khan for failing to protect Pakistan's unity.[31] Isolated, Yahya Khan resigned on 20 December and transferred power to Bhutto, who became president, commander-in-chief and the first civilian chief martial law administrator.[27]

Bhutto was the country's first civilian chief martial law administrator since 1958, as well as the country's first civilian president.[27] With Bhutto assuming the control, the leftists and democratic socialists entered the country's politics, and later emerged as power players in the country's politics. And, for the first time in the country's history, the leftists and democratic socialists had a chance to administer the country with the popular vote and widely approved exclusive mandate, given to them by the West's population in the 1970s elections.[27]

In a reference written by Kuldip Nayar in his book "Scoop! Inside Stories from the Partition to the Present", Nayar noted that "Bhutto's releasing of Mujib did not mean anything to Pakistan's policy as in if there was no liberation war.[32] Bhutto's policy, and even as of today, the policy of Pakistan continues to state that "she will continue to fight for the honor and integrity of Pakistan. East Pakistan is an inseparable and unseverable part of Pakistan".[32]

President of Pakistan

A Pakistan International Airlines flight was sent to fetch Bhutto from New York, who at that time was presenting Pakistan's case before the United Nations Security Council on the East Pakistan Crises. Bhutto returned home on 18 December 1971. On 20 December, he was taken to the President House in Rawalpindi, where he took over two positions from Yahya Khan, one as president and the other as first civilian Chief Martial Law Administrator. Thus, he was the first civilian Chief Martial Law Administrator of the dismembered Pakistan. By the time Bhutto had assumed control of what remained of Pakistan, the nation was completely isolated, angered, and demoralized.[citation needed]

President Bhutto addressing the nation via radio and television saying 'My dear countrymen, my dear friends, my dear students, labourers, peasants... those who fought for Pakistan... We are facing the worst crisis in our country's life, a deadly crisis. We have to pick up the pieces, very small pieces, but we will make a new Pakistan, a prosperous and progressive Pakistan, a Pakistan free of exploitation, a Pakistan envisaged by the Quaid-e-Azam'.

— Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, 1971[33]

Richard Nixon and Bhutto in 1973

As president, Bhutto faced mounting challenges on both internal and foreign fronts. The trauma was severe in Pakistan, a psychological setback and emotional breakdown for Pakistan. The two-nation theory—the theoretical basis for the creation of Pakistan—lay discredited, and Pakistan's foreign policy collapsed when no moral support was found anywhere, including long-standing allies such as the U.S. and China. Since her creation, the physical and moral existence of Pakistan was in great danger. On the internal front, Baloch, Sindhi, Punjabi, and Pashtun nationalisms were at their peak, calling for their independence from Pakistan. Finding it difficult to keep Pakistan united, Bhutto launched full-fledged intelligence and military operations to stamp out any separatist movements. By the end of 1978, these nationalist organizations were brutally quelled by Pakistan Armed Forces.[34]

Bhutto immediately placed Yahya Khan under house arrest, brokered a ceasefire and ordered the release of Sheikh Mujib, who was held prisoner by the Pakistan Army. To implement this, Bhutto reversed the verdict of Mujib's earlier court-martial trial, in which Brigadier-General Rahimuddin Khan had sentenced Mujib to death. Appointing a new cabinet, Bhutto appointed Lieutenant-General Gul Hasan as Chief of Army Staff. On 2 January 1972 Bhutto announced the nationalisation of all major industries, including iron and steel, heavy engineering, heavy electricals, petrochemicals, cement and public utilities.[35] A new labour policy was announced increasing workers' rights and the power of trade unions. Although he came from a feudal background himself, Bhutto announced reforms limiting land ownership and a government take-over of over a million acres to distribute to landless peasants. More than 2,000 civil servants were dismissed on charges of corruption.[35] Bhutto also dismissed the military chiefs on 3 March after they refused orders to suppress a major police strike in Punjab. He appointed General Tikka Khan as the new Chief of the Army Staff in March 1972 as he felt the general would not interfere in political matters and would concentrate on rehabilitating the Pakistan Army. Bhutto convened the National Assembly on 14 April, rescinded martial law on 21 April and charged the legislators with writing a new constitution.[citation needed]

Bhutto visited India to meet Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and negotiated a formal peace agreement and the release of 93,000 Pakistani prisoners of war. The two leaders signed the Simla Agreement, which committed both nations to establish a new-yet-temporary Line of Control in Kashmir and obligated them to resolve disputes peacefully through bilateral talks.[35] Bhutto also promised to hold a future summit for the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute and pledged to recognise Bangladesh. Although he secured the release of Pakistani soldiers held by India, Bhutto was criticised by many in Pakistan for allegedly making too many concessions to India. It is theorised that Bhutto feared his downfall if he could not secure the release of Pakistani soldiers and the return of territory occupied by Indian forces.[36] Bhutto established an atomic power development programme and inaugurated the first Pakistani atomic reactor, built in collaboration with Canada in Karachi on 28 November. On 30 March 59 military officers were arrested by army troops for allegedly plotting a coup against Bhutto, who appointed then-Brigadier Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq to head a military tribunal to investigate and try the suspects. The National Assembly approved the new 1973 Constitution, which Bhutto signed into effect on 12 April. The constitution proclaimed an "Islamic Republic" in Pakistan with a parliamentary form of government.[37] On 10 August, Bhutto turned over the post of president to Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry, assuming the office of prime minister instead.[35]

Nuclear weapons program

Bhutto meeting with Iranian Empress Farah Pahlavi, 1972

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the founder of Pakistan's atomic bomb programme, and due to his administrative and aggressive leadership to lead this nuclear deterrence programme, Bhutto is often known as Father of Nuclear deterrence programme.[34][38][39] Bhutto's interest in nuclear technology was said to have begun during his college years in the United States when Bhutto attended a course in political science, discussing political impact of U.S.'s first nuclear test, Trinity, on Global politics.[40] While at Berkeley, Bhutto witnessed the public panic when the Soviet Union first exploded the bomb, codename First Lightning in 1949, prompting the U.S. government to famously launch the research on Hydrogen bombs.[40] However, in 1958 when long before as Minister for Fuel, Power, and National Resources, Bhutto played a key role in setting up the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) administrative research bodies and institutes.[41] Soon, Bhutto offered a technical post to Munir Ahmad Khan in PAEC in 1958, and lobbied for Abdus Salam as being appointed as Science Adviser in 1960.[41] Before being elevated as Foreign minister, Bhutto directed the funds for key research in nuclear weapons and related science.[41]

In October 1965, as Foreign Minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto visited Vienna, where nuclear engineer Munir Ahmad Khan working at a senior technical post at the IAEA, informed him of the status of Indian nuclear programme and the options Pakistan had to develop its own nuclear capability.[citation needed] Both agreed on the need for Pakistan to develop a nuclear deterrent to meet India's nuclear capacity.[citation needed] While, Munir Ahmad Khan had failed to convince Ayub Khan, Bhutto had said to Munir Ahmad Khan: Don't worry, our turn will come.[citation needed] Shortly, after the 1965 war, Bhutto in a press conference, famously declared that "even if we have to eat grass, we will make nuclear bomb. We have no other choice." as he saw India was making its way to develop the bomb.[25] In 1965, Bhutto lobbied for Salam and succeeded to appoint Salam as the head of Pakistan's delegation at IAEA, and helped Salam to lobby for acquiring of the nuclear power plants.[41] In November 1972, Bhutto advised Salam to travel to United States to evade the war, and advised him to return with the key literature on nuclear history. By the end week of December 1972, Salam returned to Pakistan, loaded with literature on the Manhattan Project, in his huge suitcases. In 1974, Bhutto launched a more aggressive and serious diplomatic offensive on the United States and the Western world over the nuclear issues. Writing to the world and Western leaders, Bhutto made it clear and maintained:

Pakistan was exposed to a kind of "nuclear threat and blackmail" unparalleled elsewhere.... If the world's community failed to provide political insurance to Pakistan and other countries against the nuclear blackmail, these countries would be constraint to launch atomic bomb programs of their own!... [A]ssurances provided by the United Nations were not "Enough!"...

— Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, statement written in Eating Grass, source[42]

Shortly, roughly two weeks past after experiencing the 1971 winter war, on 20 January 1972, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto rallied a conference of nuclear scientists and at Multan.[citation needed] While at the Multan meeting, arranged by Bhutto's Science Advisor Abdus Salam, scientists were wondering why the President who had so much on his hands in those trying days was paying so much attention to the scientists and engineers in the nuclear field.[citation needed] At the meeting Bhutto slowly talked about the recent war and country's future, pointing out the existence of the country was in great moral danger.[citation needed] While the academicians listened to Bhutto carefully, Bhutto said: "Look, we're going to have the bomb". Bhutto asked them: "Can you give it to me? And how long will it take it to make a bomb?".[citation needed] Many of senior scientists had witnessed the war, and were emotionally and psychologically disturbed, therefore, the response was positive when the senior academic scientists replied: "Oh...Yes.. Yes... You can have it."[citation needed] There was a lively debate on the time needed to make the bomb, and finally one scientist dared to say that maybe it could be done in five years.[citation needed] Prime Minister Bhutto smiled, lifted his hand, and dramatically thrust forward three fingers and said: "Three years, I want it in three years". The atmosphere suddenly became electric.[citation needed] It was then that one of the junior scientist Siddique Ahmad Butt (a theoretical physicist), who under Munir Ahmad Khan's guiding hand would come to play a major role in making the fission weapon possible – jumped to his feet and clamoured for his leader's attention.[citation needed] Siddique Ahmad Butt replied: "It can be done in three years". When Bhutto heard Butt's reply, Bhutto was very much amused and said: "Well.... Much as I appreciate your enthusiasm, this is a very serious political decision, which Pakistan must make, and perhaps all Third World countries must make one day, because it is coming. So can you boys do it?". Nearly all senior scientists replied in one tone: Yes... We can do it, given the resources and given the facilities". Bhutto ended the meeting by simply saying: "I shall find you the resources and I shall find you the facilities".[citation needed]

Before the 1970s, the nuclear deterrence was long established under the government of Suhrawardy, but was completely peaceful and devoted for civil power. Bhutto, in his book The Myth of Independence in 1969 wrote that:

If Pakistan restricts or suspends her nuclear deterrence, it would not only enable India to blackmail Pakistan with her nuclear advantage, but would impose a crippling limitation on the development of Pakistan's science and technology.... Our problem in its essence, is how to obtain such a weapon in time before the crisis begin...

— Zulfikar Ali Bhutto[43]

After India's nuclear test – codename Smiling Buddha—in May 1974, Bhutto sensed and saw this test as final anticipation for Pakistan's death.[34] In a press conference, held shortly after India's nuclear test, Bhutto said, "India's nuclear program is designed to intimidate Pakistan and establish "hegemony in the subcontinent".[44] Despite Pakistan limited financial resources, Bhutto was so enthusiastic about Pakistan nuclear energy project, that he is reported to have said "Pakistanis will eat grass but make a nuclear bomb."[45]

Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission's militarisation was initiated on 20 January 1972 and, in its initial years, was implemented by Pakistan Army's Chief of Army Staff General Tikka Khan. The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant (KANUPP-I) was inaugurated by Bhutto during his role as President of Pakistan at the end of 1972.[41] The nuclear weapons programme was set up loosely based on Manhattan Project of the 1940s under the administrative control of Bhutto.[40] And, senior academic scientists had a direct access to Bhutto, who kept him informed about every inch of the development. Bhutto's Science Advisor, Abdus Salam's office was also sat up in Bhutto's Prime minister Secretariat.[40] On Bhutto's request, Salam had established and led the Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) that marked the beginning of the nuclear deterrent programme. The TPG designed and developed the nuclear weapons as well as the entire programme.[40] Later, Munir Ahmad Khan had him personally approved the budget for the development of the programme.[40]

Wanting a capable administrator, Bhutto sought Lieutenant-General Rahimuddin Khan to chair the commission, which Rahimuddin declined, in 1971.[46] Instead, in January 1972, Bhutto chose a U.S.-trained nuclear engineer, Munir Ahmad Khan, as chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) as Bhutto realised that he wanted an administrator who understood the scientific and economical needs of this such technologically giant and ambitious programme. Since 1965, Khan had developed an extremely close and trusted relationship with Bhutto, and even after his death, Benazir and Murtaza Bhutto were instructed by their father to keep in touch with Munir Ahmad Khan. In spring of 1976, Kahuta Research Facility, then known as Engineering Research Laboratories (ERL), as part of codename Project-706, was also established by Bhutto, and brought under nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan and the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers' Lieutenant-General Zahid Ali Akbar.[40]

Because Pakistan, under Bhutto, was not a signatory or party of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA), and British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL) had immediately cancelled fuel reprocessing plant projects with PAEC. And, according to Causar Nyäzie, the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission officials had misled Bhutto and he sought on a long journey to try to get nuclear fuel reprocessing plant from France.[47] It was on the advice of A. Q. Khan that no fuel existed to reprocess and urged Bhutto to follow his pursuit of uranium enrichment.[47] Bhutto tried to show he was still interested in that expensive route and was relieved when Kissinger persuaded the French to cancel the deal.[47] Bhutto had trusted Munir Ahmad Khan's plans to develop the programme ingeniously, and the mainstream goal of showing such interest in French reprocessing plant was to give time to PAEC scientists to gain expertise in building its own reprocessing plants. By the time France's CEA cancelled the project, the PAEC had acquired 95% of the detailed plans of the plant and materials.[34]

Munir Ahmad Khan and Ishfaq Ahmad believed that since PAEC had acquired most of the detailed plans, work, plans, and materials, the PAEC, based on that 95% work, could build the plutonium reprocessing reactors on its own, Pakistan should stick to its original plan, the plutonium route.[34] Bhutto did not disagree but saw an advantage in establishing another parallel programme, the uranium enrichment programme under Abdul Qadeer Khan.[34] Both Munir Khan and Ahmed had shown their concern over on Abdul Qadeer Khan's suspected activities but Bhutto backed Khan when Bhutto maintained that: "No less than any other nation did what Abdul Qadeer Khan (is) doing; the Soviets and Chinese; the British and the French; the Indians and the Israelis; stole the nuclear weapons designs previously in the past and no one questioned them but rather tend to be quiet. We are not stealing what they (illegally) stole in the past (as referring the nuclear weapon designs) but we're taking a small machine which is not useful for making the atomic bomb but for a fuel".[40] International pressure was difficult to counter at that time, and Bhutto, with the help of Munir Ahmad Khan and Aziz Ahmed, tackled the intense heated criticism and diplomatic war with the United States at numerous fronts—while the progress on nuclear weapons remained highly classified.[40][48] During this pressure, Aziz Ahmed played a significant role by convincing the consortium industries to sell and export sensitive electronic components before the United States could approach to them and try and prevent the consortium industries to export such equipments and components.[40] Bhutto slowly reversed and thwarted United States' any attempt to infiltrate the programme as he had expelled many of the American diplomatic officials in the country, under Operation Sun Rise, authorised by Bhutto under ISI.[40] On the other hand, Bhutto intensified his staunch support and eye-blindly backed Abdul Qadeer Khan to quietly bring the Urenco's weapon-grade technology to Pakistan, keeping the Kahuta Laboratories hidden from the outside world.[40] Regional rivals such as India and Soviet Union, had no basic intelligence on Pakistan's nuclear energy project during the 1970s, and Bhutto's intensified clandestine efforts seemed to be paid off in 1978 when the programme was fully matured.[40]

In a thesis written in The Myth of Independence, Bhutto argued that nuclear weapons would allow India to use its Air Force warplanes that with the use of small battlefield nuclear devices against the Pakistan Army cantonments, armoured and infantry columns and PAF bases and nuclear and military industrial facilities.[49] The Indian Air Force would not meet with an adverse reaction from the world community as long as civilian casualties could be kept to a minimum.[49] This way, India would defeat Pakistan, force its armed forces into a humiliating surrender and occupy and annexe the Northern Areas of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. India would then carve up Pakistan into tiny states based on ethnic divisions and that would be the end of the "Pakistan problem" once and for all.[49]

By the time Bhutto was ousted, this crash programme had fully matured in terms of technical development as well as scientific efforts.[40] By the 1977, PAEC and KRL had built their uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing plants, and selection for test sites, at Chagai Hills, was done by the PAEC.[9] The feasibility reports were submitted by both organisations on their works.[9] In 1977, the PAEC's Theoretical Physics Group had finished the designing of the first fission weapon, and KRL scientists succeeded in electromagnetic isotope separation of Uranium fissile isotopes.[9] In spite of this, still little had been done in the development of weapons, and Pakistan's nuclear arsenal were actually made by General Zia-ul-Haq's military regime, under the watchful eyes of several Naval admirals, Army and Air Force's generals including Ghulam Ishaq Khan.[47] In 1983, Bhutto's decision later proved to be right, when PAEC had conducted a cold test, near Kirana Hills, evidently made from non-fissioned plutonium. It has been speculated recently in the press that Dr. Khan's uranium enrichment designs were used by the Chinese in exchange for (UF6) and some highly enriched weapons grade uranium.[47] Later on this weapons grade uranium was offered back to the Chinese as the Pakistanis used their own materials.[47] In all, Bhutto knew that Pakistan had become a nuclear weapon state in 1978 when his friend Munir Ahmad Khan paid a visit to him in his jail cell.[citation needed] There, Munir Ahmad Khan told Bhutto that the process of weapon designing is finished and a milestone in the complex and difficult enrichment of weapon-grade fuel has been achieved by the PAEC and dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan of ERL.[citation needed] Bhutto called for an immediate nuclear test to be conducted, no response was issued by General Zia or any member of his government.[citation needed]

We (Pakistan)...know that (Israel) and (South Africa) have full nuclear capability—a Christian, Jewish and Hindu civilization have this [nuclear] capability ... the Islamic civilization is without it, but the situation (is) about to change!...

— Zulfikar Ali Bhutto—called for a test from his jail cell, 1978[50]

Prime Minister of Pakistan

Bhutto was sworn in as the prime minister of the country on 14 August 1973, after he had secured 108 votes in a house of 146 members. Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was elected as the president under the new constitution.[51] During his five years of government, the Bhutto government made extensive reforms at every level of government.[52] Pakistan's capital and Western reforms that were begun and built in 1947 throughout the 1970s, were transformed and replaced with Socialist system.[52] His policies were seen people friendly, but it did not produce long-lasting effects as the civil disorder against Bhutto began to take place in 1977.[52]

Constitutional reforms

Bhutto is considered the main architect of 1973 constitution as part of his vision to put Pakistan to road to parliamentary democracy.[53] One of the major achievements in Bhutto's life was drafting of Pakistan's first ever consensus constitution to the country.[53] Bhutto supervised the promulgation of 1973 constitution that triggered an unstoppable constitutional revolution through his politics wedded to the emancipation of the downtrodden masses, by first giving people a voice in the Parliament, and introducing radical changes in the economic sphere for their benefit .[53]

During his period in office the government carried out seven major amendments to the 1973 Constitution.[54] The First Amendment led to Pakistan's recognition of and diplomatic ties with Bangladesh.[51] The Second Amendment in the constitution declared the Ahmadis as non-Muslims, and defined the term non-Muslim.[51][55] The rights of the detained were limited under the Third Amendment while the powers and jurisdiction of the courts for providing relief to political opponents were curtailed under the Fourth Amendment.[51] The Fifth Amendment passed on 15 September 1976, focused on curtailing the power and jurisdiction of the Judiciary.[51] This amendment was highly criticised by lawyers and political leaders.[51] The main provision of the Sixth Amendment extended the term of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court and the High Courts beyond the age of retirement.[51] This Amendment was made in the Constitution to favour the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who was supposed to be a friend of Bhutto.[51]

Industrial reforms

The Bhutto government carried out a number of reforms in the industrial sector. His reforms were twofold: nationalization, and the improvement of workers' rights.[56] In the first phase, basic industries like steel, chemical and cement were nationalized. This was done in 1972.[56] The next major step in nationalization took place on 1 January 1974, when Bhutto nationalised all banks.[56] The last step in the series was the nationalization of all flour, rice and cotton mills throughout the country.[56] This nationalisation process was not as successful as Bhutto expected.[56] Most of the nationalized units were small businesses that could not be described as industrial units, hence making no sense for the step that was taken.[56] Consequently, a considerable number of small businessmen and traders were ruined, displaced or rendered unemployed. In the concluding analysis, nationalisation caused colossal loss not only to the national treasury but also to the people of Pakistan.[56]

The Bhutto government established a large number of rural and urban schools, including around 6,500 elementary schools, 900 middle schools, 407 high schools, 51 intermediate colleges and 21 junior colleges.[52] Bhutto also abandoned the Western education system and most of the literature was sent back to Western world; instead his government encouraged the local academicians to publish books on their respected fields. Though the local books were made cheaper to the public, these reforms came with controversy. His government made Islamic and Pakistan studies compulsory in schools. Book banks were created in most institutions and over 400,000 copies of text-books were supplied to students.[57]

Bhutto is credited for establishing the world class Quaid-e-Azam University and Allama Iqbal Open University in Islamabad in 1974, as well as establishing Gomal University Dera Ismail Khan in 1973. In his role as Foreign Minister, and in 1967 with the help of Abdus Salam, established the Institute of Theoretical Physics. As Prime Minister, Bhutto made revolutionary efforts to expand the web of education. Bhutto established the Allama Iqbal Medical College in 1975.[58] In 1974, with the help of Abdus Salam, Bhutto gave authorisation of the International Nathiagali Summer College on Contemporary Physics (INSC) at the Nathiagali and as even as of today, INSC conference is still held on Pakistan, where thousands of scientists from all over the world are delegated to Pakistan to interact with Pakistan's academic scientists. In 1976, Bhutto established the Engineering Council, Institute of Theoretical Physics, Pakistan Academy of Letters and Cadet college Razmak in North Waziristan. A further four new Universities which have been established at Multan, Bahawalpur, and Khairpur. The People's Open University is another innovative venture which has started functioning from Islamabad. The Government's Education Policy provides for the remission of fees and the grant of a number of scholarships for higher education to the children of low-paid employees[57]

Seven thousand new hostel seats were planned to be added to the existing accommodation after the 1977 election. Bhutto said in 1975 he was aware "of the difficulties and deficiencies faced by college students in many of the existing hostels. Directions have, therefore, been issued that fans, water-coolers and pay-telephones must be provided in each and every hostel in as short a time as physically possible."[57]

Land, flood and agriculture reforms

During his period as prime minister, a number of land reforms were also introduced.[56] The important land reforms included the reduction of land ceilings and introducing the security of tenancy to tenant farmers.[56] The land ceiling was fixed to 150 acres (0.61 km2) of irrigated land and 300 acres (1.2 km2) of non-irrigated land. Another step that Bhutto took was to democratise Pakistan's Civil Service.[56] In Balochistan, the pernicious practice of Shishak and Sardari System was abolished. In 1976, the Bhutto government carried out the establishment of Federal Flood Commission (FFC), and was tasked to prepare national flood protection plans, and flood forecasting and research to harness floodwater.[59][60] Bhutto later went on to upgrade a number of dams and barrages built in Sindh Province.

Bhutto was a strong advocate of empowering small farmers. He argued that if farmers were weak and demoralised then Pakistan's agricultural strength would be fragile, believing that farmers would not feel psychologically safe unless the country achieved self-sufficiency in food.[61] Therefore, the Bhutto government launched programs to put the country on road to self-sufficiency in rice hulling, sugar-milling and wheat husking industries.[61] Bhutto's government intensified the control of rice hulling, sugar and wheat husking factories, initially believing that public sector involvement would reduce the influence of multi-national corporations creating monopolies.[61] The Government initiated schemes for combating water logging and salinity.[61] Tax exceptions were also introduced for small landowners to encourage the growth of agriculture.[61] His nationalisation of Sindh-based industries heavily benefited the poor, but badly upset the influential feudal lords.

Economic policy

Bhutto introduced socialist economics policies while working to prevent any further division of the country. Major heavy mechanical, chemical, and electrical engineering industries were immediately nationalised by Bhutto, and all of the industries came under direct control of government. Industries, such as KESC were under complete government control with no private influence in KESC decision. Bhutto abandoned Ayub Khan's state capitalism policies, and introduced socialist policies in a move to reduce the rich get richer and poor get poorer ratio. Bhutto also established the Port Qasim, Pakistan Steel Mills, the Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) and several cement factories.[56][62] However, the growth rate of economy relative to that of the 1960s when East Pakistan was still part of Pakistan and large generous aid from the United States declined, after the global oil crises in 1973, which also had a negative impact on the economy.[63] Despite the initiatives undertaken by Bhutto's government to boost the country's economy, the economical growth remained at equilibrium level.[56] But Bhutto's policy largely benefited the poor and working class when the level of absolute poverty was sharply reduced, with the percentage of the population estimated to be living in absolute poverty falling from 46.50% by the end of 1979–80, under the General Zia-ul-Haq's military rule, to 30.78%.[56][64] The land reform programme provided increased economic support to landless tenants, and development spending was substantially increased, particularly on health and education, in both rural and urban areas, and provided "material support" to rural wage workers, landless peasants, and urban wage workers.[56][65]

Bhutto's nationalisation policies were initiated with an aim to put workers in control of the tools of production and to protect workers and small businesses.[66] However, economical historians argued that the nationalisation program initially effected the small industries and had devastating effects on Pakistan's economy shrunk Bhutto's credibility.[66] Conservative critics believed the nationalisation policies had damaged investor's confidence and government corruption in nationalised industries grew, although no serious corruption cases were ever proved against Bhutto by the military junta.[66] In 1974, Bhutto maintained that foreign companies and industries in Pakistan were except from nationalisation policies and his government would be willing to receive foreign investment to put up factories.[67] While commenting on his policies in 1973, Bhutto told the group of investors that belonged to the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) that "activity of public sector or state sector prevents the concentration of economic power in few hands, and protects the small and medium entrepreneurs from the clutches of giant enterprises and vested interests".[63]

Bhutto's shift away from some socialist policies badly upset his democratic socialist alliance and many in the Pakistan Peoples Party, many of his colleagues, most notable Malik Mirage left Bhutto and departed to Soviet Union after resigning from Law Minister.[68] Continuous disagreement led the government's socialist alliance to collapse and further uniting with secular Independence Movement led by Asghar Khan.[68]

As part of his investment policies, Bhutto founded the National Development Finance Corporation (NDFC). In July 1973, this financial institute began operation with an initial government investment of 100 million PRs. It aim was finance public sector industrial enterprises but, later on, its charter was modified to provide finance to the private sector as well. The NDFC is currently the largest development finance institution of Pakistan performing diversified activities in the field of industrial financing and investment banking. 42 projects financed by NDFC have contributed Rs. 10,761 million to Pakistan's GDP and generated Rs. 690 million after-tax profits and 40,465 jobs. By the mid-1990s NDFC had a pool of resources amounting to US$878 million The Bhutto government increased the level of investment, private and public, in the economy from less than Rs. 7,000 million in 1971–72 to more than Rs. 17,000 million in 1974–75.

Banking and Export expansion

Banking reforms were introduced to provide more opportunities to small farmers and business such as forcing banks to ensure 70% of institutional lending should be for small land holders of 12.5 acres or less, which was a revolutionary idea at a time when banks only clients were the privileged classes.[63] The number of bank branches rose by 75% from December 1971 to November 1976, from 3,295 to 5,727.[62] It was one of the most radical move made by Bhutto, and the Bank infrastructure was expanded covering all towns and villages with a population of 5,000 in accordance with targets set after the nationalisation of banks.[62]

By end of the Bhutto government concentration of wealth had declined compared to height of the Ayub Khan era when 22 families owned 66% of industrial capital, and also controlled banking and 97% of insurance.[63]

Measures taken in the first few months of 1972 set a new framework for the revival of the economy. The diversion of trade from East Pakistan to international markets was completed within a short period. By 1974, exports exceeded one billion dollars, showing a 60% increase over the combined exports of East and West Pakistan before separation, it was achieved and benefited with world was in the midst of the major 1973 oil crisis and in the middle of global recession the national income of Pakistan increased by 15% and industrial production by as much as 20% in four years. [57]

Balochistan

Military operation

Following the secession of East Pakistan, calls for the independence of Balochistan by Baloch nationalists grew immensely. Surveying the political instability, Bhutto's central government sacked two provincial governments within six months, arrested the two chief ministers, two governors and forty-four MNAs and MPAs, obtained an order from the Supreme Court banning the National People's Party on the recommendation of Akbar Bugti, and charged everyone with high treason to be tried by a specially constituted Hyderabad tribunal of hand-picked judges.

In January 1973, Bhutto ordered the Pakistan Armed Forces to suppress a rising insurgency in the province of Balochistan. He dismissed the governments in Balochistan and the North-West Frontier Province once more.[35] Following the alleged discovery of Iraqi arms in Islamabad in February 1973, Bhutto dissolved the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan. The operation, under General Tikka Khan, soon took shape in a five-year conflict with the Baloch separatists. The sporadic fighting between the insurgency and the army started in 1973 with the largest confrontation taking place in September 1974. Later on, Pakistan Navy, under Vice-Admiral Patrick Julius Simpson, also jumped in the conflict as it had applied naval blockades to Balochistan's port. The Navy began its separate operations to seized the shipments sent to aid Baloch separatists. Pakistan Air Force also launched air operations, and with the support of navy and army, the air force had pounded the mountainous hidden heavens of the Separatists. The Iranian military, also fearing a spread of the greater Baloch resistance in Iran, aided the Pakistani military as well.[69] Among Iran's contribution were 30 Huey cobra attack helicopters and $200 million in aid.[70]

Iraqi intervention

Iraq under Sunni President Saddam Hussein sent Iraqi made weapons to Pakistan's warm water ports.[71] Pakistan's navy mounted an effective blockade.[72] Saddam's government provided support for Baluchi separatists in Pakistan, hoping their conflict would spread to rival Iran.[71] In 1973, Iraq provided the Baluchis with conventional arms, and it opened an office for the Baluchistan Liberation Front (BLF) in Baghdad. This operation was supposed to be covert, but in 1973, the operation was exposed by M.I. when senior separatist leader Akbar Bugti defected to Bhutto, revealing a series of arms stored in the Iraqi Embassy.[71] On the midnight of 9 February 1973, Bhutto launched an operation to seize control of the Iraqi Embassy, and preparation for siege was hastily prepared. The operation was highly risky and a wrong step could have started a war between the two countries. The operation was carefully analysed and at 0:00hrs (12:00 am), the SSG Division accompanied by Army Rangers stormed the Embassy. Military Police arrested the Iraqi Ambassador, the military attaché, and Iraq's diplomatic staff.[71] Following the incident, authorities discovered 300 Soviet sub-machine guns with 50,000 rounds of ammunition and a large amount of money that was to be distributed amongst Baluchi separatist groups.[71] Bhutto was angered and frustrated. Without demanding an explanation, he ordered the Military Police to immediately expel the Iraqi Ambassador and his staff as persona non grata on the first available flight.[71]

The government announced the Iraqi plan to further dismember the country, and Bhutto's successful diplomatic offensive against Iraq isolated Saddam internationally with global condemnation.[71] This incident caused Pakistan to support Iran during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s and the U.S. invasion of Iraq against Saddam Hussein in 2003.[71]

Aftermath

In order to avoid a replay of the East-Pakistan war, Bhutto launched economic and political reforms in the midst of the conflict. Bhutto government abolished the feudal system, the feudal lords continued to appropriate to themselves a generous share of government developmental funds whilst at the same time, they opposed and blackmailed the government whenever they could.[9] Gradually the tribesmen started coming out of the Sardars' quarantine.[9] Modern amenities, for instance medical aid, automobiles for passenger transport and schooling of children became available in the interior of Baluchistan for the first time, since 1947.[9] The Bhutto government also constructed 564 miles of new roads, including the key link between Sibi and Maiwand creating new trade and commerce centres.[9]

Passport reforms

Bhutto government gave the right of a passport to every citizen of Pakistan and facilitated millions of skilled and non-skilled Pakistanis to seek employment in the Middle Eastern countries through a signing a number combination of bilateral agreements.[73] From Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, alone 35,000 workers were given the opportunity to work in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.[53] Bhutto used the Pakistani community of London to lobby and influence European governments to improve the rights of expatriate Pakistani communities in Europe.[74] The remittances from overseas Pakistanis, which now total around $US25 billion per annum, constitute a dependable source of foreign exchange for Pakistan.[53]

Labour policy and social security

The labour policy was among one of the most important cornerstone of Bhutto's government and a comprehensive labour reforms initiated by the Bhutto government.[52] Shortly after assuming control, Bhutto's government imposed some conditions on the dismissal of workers. In 1973, the government instituted Labour Courts for the speedy redress of workers' grievances and the government also introduced a scheme for workers' participation in management, through the nationalisation policy.[52] This scheme provided for 20% participation by workers in management committees set up at factory level. The Government abolished the workers' contribution to the Social Security Fund; instead, the employers were made to increase their contribution from 4 to 6%. The government enhanced compensation rates under the Worker's Compensation Act.[52]

In 1972 the Bhutto government initially provided for some old age benefits for workers through group insurance, increased rates of compensation and higher rates of gratuity.[52] However, the policy did not benefited immediately, therefore, the government introduced a pension scheme of old age benefits which would provide a payment of Rs.75 a month to workers after retirement at the age of 55 for men and 50 for women, on condition that the worker had completed a minimum of 15 years insurable employment.[52] This applied to all factories, industries, and establishments employing ten or more workers drawing monthly wages up to Rs. 1,000.[52] Skilled workers who become invalid after five years of insurable employment were also made entitled to benefits under this scheme.[52]

Bhutto did not want to go for the western model where workers generally contribute along with the employers towards their old age benefits.[52] In view of Pakistan's conditions, Bhutto's government did not wish the financial burden of this scheme to fall even partly on the worker.[52] It was decided that the scheme be founded through a contribution from employers to the extent of 5% of the wage bill.[52]

Foreign policy

After assuming power, Bhutto sought to diversify Pakistan's relations away from the United States and, soon Pakistan left CENTO and SEATO. Bhutto developed close and strengthened the Arab relations, and Sino-Pak relations.[75] Bhutto in believed an independent Foreign Policy which had hitherto been the hand maiden of the Western Power, particularly independent from the United States' sphere of influence.[76] With Bhutto as Foreign minister, and Prime minister, Pakistan and Iran had cemented a special relationship, as Iran had provided military assistance to Pakistan.[76] The Sino-Pak relations were immensely improved, and Pakistan, under Bhutto, had built a strategic relationship with People's Republic of China, when PRC was isolated.[75] In 1974, Bhutto hosted the second Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1974 where he delegated and invited leaders from the Muslim world to Lahore, Punjab Province of Pakistan.[6] Bhutto was a strong advocate of Afro-Asian Solidarity and had cemented ties with Afro-Asian and Islamic countries and by 1976 had emerged as the Leader of the Third World .[77]

Bhutto with Nixon in the Oval Office, 1971.

Bhutto sought a peace agreement—Simla Agreement—with Indira Gandhi, Premier of India, and brought back 93,000 P.O.Ws to Pakistan and secured 5,000 sq mi (13,000 km2) held by India without compromising on Kashmir stance or recognising Bangladesh which were the key Indian demands.[6] Negotiating with a power that has dismembered the country was an open-challenge to Bhutto who smoothly convinced India to return the territory and the POWs back to Pakistan.[78] Before this conference, Bhutto and his colleagues did the comprehensive homework as Bhutto had realised that Arabs had still not succeeded in regaining territory lost in the 1967 war with Israel.[78] Therefore, capturing of land does not cry out for international attention the same way as the prisoners do.[78] According to Benazir Bhutto, Bhutto demanded the control of the territory in the first stage of the Agreement which surprised and shocked the Indian delegation.[78] In Bhutto's point of view, the POW problem was more of a humanitarian problem that could be tackled at any time, but the territorial problem was something that could be integrated in India as time elapses.[78] Indian Premier Gandhi was stunned and astonished at Bhutto's demand and reacted immediately by refusing Bhutto's demand.[78] However, Bhutto calmed her and negotiated with economic packages dealt with Gandhi.[78] Bhutto's knowledge and his intellectualism impressed Gandhi personally that Gandhi agreed to give the territory back to Bhutto in a first stage of the agreement. Signing of this agreement with Pakistan paying small price is still considered Bhutto's one of the huge diplomatic success.[78]

His vast knowledge, intelligence, and keen awareness of post-World War II, and the nuclear history, enabled him to craft the foreign policy which brought unmatched undivideds in Pakistan's foreign policy history.[79] Elements of his policy were continued by the successive governments to play a vital role in world's politics.[79] In 1974, Bhutto and his Foreign minister Aziz Ahmed brought a U.N. resolution, recommending and calling for the establishment of nuclear-weapon free zone in South Asia, whilst he and Aziz Ahmed aggressively attacked the Indian nuclear programme.[79] While Abdul Qadeer Khan was tasked with bringing the gas-centrifuge technology through the means of atomic proliferation, the goal of the resolution was achieved when Bhutto put India on the defensive position and promoted Pakistan as a non-proliferationist.[79]

East Asia

Since the 1960s, Bhutto had been an anti-SEATO and preferred a non-aligned policy.[80] Soon after assuming the office, Bhutto took a lengthy foreign trip to South East Asia, seeking closer and tighter relations with Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Burma, and North Korea.[80] His policy largely followed a tight and closer relations with China, normalised relationships with Soviet Union, built an Islamic bloc, and advocated a creation of new economical alliance largely benefiting the third and second world countries.[80]

All of these initiations and implications had disastrous effects on Japan, prompting Japan to oppose Bhutto, although Bhutto was a great admirer of Japan even though Japan was not a constituent part of Bhutto's foreign policy.[80] In the 1970s, Japan made several attempts to get close to Bhutto, sending its military officials, scientists, and parliamentary delegations to Pakistan.[80] Hence Japan went far by condemning India for carrying out a nuclear test, Smiling Buddha, in 1974, and publicly supported Pakistan's non-nuclear weapon policy and pledged to build several new nuclear power plants.[80] In 1970, Bhutto advised Japan not to be party of NPT, but Japan signed it but later regretted for not being properly progressed.[81]

In Bhutto's view, Japan had been under the United States' influence, and much bigger role of Japan in Asia would only benefit American interests in the region.[80] By the 1970s, Japan completely lost its momentum in Pakistan as Pakistan followed a strict independent policy.[80] Bhutto envisioned Pakistan's new policy as benefiting the economic relations rather than the military alliance which also affected Japan's impact on Pakistan.[80] However, much of the foreign policy efforts were reverted by General Zia-ul-Haq and ties were finally restored after Bhutto's execution.[80]

Arab world and Israel

Bhutto sought to improve Pakistan's ties with the Arab world, and sided with the Arab world during the Arab-Israeli conflict.[79] Colonel Gaddafi of former Socialist Libya considered Bhutto as one of his greatest inspirations and was said to be very fond of Bhutto's intellectualism.[79] In 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, Pakistan's relations with the Arab world represented a watershed.[79] In both Pakistan and the Arab world, Pakistan's swift, unconditional and forthright offer of assistance to the Arab states was deeply appreciated.[79] In 1974, pressured by other Muslim nations, Pakistan eventually recognised Bangladesh as Mujib stated he would only go to the OIC conference in Lahore if Pakistan recognised Bangladesh.[79][82] Pakistan established full diplomatic relations with Bangladesh on 18 January 1976 and relations improved in the following decades.[76] Bhutto aided the Syrian and Egyptian Air Force by sending the Pakistan Air Force and Navy's top fighter pilots where they flew combat missions against Israel. However, Iraq was not benefited with Bhutto policies.

In early 1977, Bhutto decided to use ISI to provide the credible intelligence on Iraqi nuclear program that Pakistan and the ISI had secretly gained.[71] The government passed intel that identified Iraqi nuclear program and the Osirak Nuclear Reactor at Osirak to Israel's Mossad.[71] Helping Israel to infiltrate Iraqi nuclear program was also continued by General Zia-ul-Haq as their policy to teach Iraq and Saddam Hussein a lesson for supporting the Baloch liberation fronts and movements.[71]

United States and Soviet Union

In 1974, India carried out a nuclear test, codenamed Smiling Buddha, near Pakistan's eastern border. Bhutto unsuccessfully lobbied for the United States to impose economic sanctions on India.[83] However, at the request of Bhutto, Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States convened a meeting with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Kissinger told Pakistan's ambassador to Washington that the test is "a fait accompli and that Pakistan would have to learn to live with it," although he was aware this was a "little rough" on the Pakistanis.[83] In 1976, the ties were further severed with Bhutto as Bhutto had continued to administer the research on weapons, and in 1976, in a meeting with Bhutto and Kissinger, Kissinger had told to Bhutto, "that if you [Bhutto] do not cancel, modify or postpone the Reprocessing Plant Agreement, we will make a horrible example from you".[84] The meeting was ended by Bhutto as he had replied: For my country's sake, for the sake of people of Pakistan, I did not succumb to that black-mailing and threats.[84]

After this meeting, Bhutto intensified Pakistan's foreign policy towards more onto Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, and sought to developed relations with both Soviet Union and the United States. Bhutto was keenly aware of Great Britain's policy of "divide and rule", and American policy of "unite and rule".[75] In 1974, Bhutto, as Prime minister, visited Soviet Union.[85] Prime Minister Bhutto deliberately undertook to improve relations with the Soviet Union and the Communist bloc.[85] Bhutto sought to developed and alleviated the Soviet–Pakistani relations, with Soviet Union established Pakistan Steel Mills in 1972.[86][clarification needed] The foundation stone for this gigantic project was laid on 30 December 1973 by Bhutto. Facing inexperience for the erection work of the integrated steel mill, Bhutto requested Soviet Union to send its experts.[86] Soviet Union sends dozens of advisors and experts, under Russian scientist Mikhail Koltokof, who supervised the construction of this integrated Steel Mills, with a number of industrial and consortium companies financing this mega-project.[86][failed verification]

The relationship with United States was at low point and severed as United States was opposing Pakistan's nuclear detterrence programme.[75] Although, Richard Nixon enjoyed firmly strong relations with Bhutto and was a close friend of Bhutto, the graph of relation significantly went down under the Presidency of Jimmy Carter.[87] Carter tightened the embargo placed on Pakistan and placed a pressure through the United States Ambassador to Pakistan, Brigadier-General Henry Byroade.[87] The socialist orientation, and Bhutto's proposed left-wing theories, had badly upset the United States, further ringing bells of alarm in the United States as fearing Pakistan's loss as an ally in the Cold war.[87] The leftists and Bhutto's policy towards Soviet Union was seen sympathetic and had built a bridge for Soviet Union to have gain access in Pakistan's warm water ports, that something both United States and Soviet Union had lacked.[87] During the course of 1976 presidential election, Carter was elected as U.S. President, and his very inaugural speech Carter announced the determination to seek the ban of nuclear weapons.[87] With Carter's election, Bhutto lost all links to United States administration he had through President Nixon.[87] Bhutto had to face the embargo and pressure from the American President who was totally against the political objectives which Bhutto had set forth for his upcoming future plans. Carter indirectly announced his opposition to Bhutto, his ambition and the elections.[87]

Although, Carter placed an embargo on Pakistan, Bhutto under the technical guidance and diplomatic though Aziz Ahmed, succeeded to buy sensitive equipments, common metal materials, and electronic components, marked as "common items", hide the true nature of the intentions, greatly enhance the atomic bomb project, though a complete failure for Carter's embargo.[87] In a thesis written by historian Abdul Ghafoor Buhgari, Carter keenly sabotaged Bhutto credibility, but did not wanted favoured his execution as Carter made a call to General Zia-ul-Haq to stop the act.[87] Therefore, senior leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party reached out to different country's ambassadors and high commissioners but did not meet with the U.S. ambassador, as the leadership knew the "noble" part played by Carter and his administration.[87] When Carter administration discovered Bhutto's act, the programme was reached to a well advanced level, and furthermore, had disastrous effect on SALT I Treaty which was soon collapse, a failure of President Carter to stop the atomic proliferation and arm race between Soviet Union and United States heightened.[87]

Afghanistan and Central Asia

Zulfiqar with Afghan King Zahir Shah

In 1972, Bhutto initially tried to build friendly ties with Afghanistan but such attempts where rebuffed in 1973.[88] In 1974, Afghanistan began covert involvement in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which became increasingly disturbing for Bhutto's government.[89] Afghan President Dawood Khan's controversial Pashtunisation policies resulted in Pakistan with gruesome violence and civil disturbances.[89] The ISI quickly pointed out that President Daud was providing safe havens and training camps to anti-Pakistan militants and its intelligence agency had been a main arm of supporting the actions inside Pakistan, including providing support to Baloch separatists.[90] Therefore, Bhutto's government decided to retaliate, and Bhutto launched a covert counter-operation in 1974 under the command of Major-General Naseerullah Babar, who was then Director-General of the M.I. Directorate-General for Western Fronts (DGWI).[89] According to General Baber, it was an excellent idea and it had hard-hitting impact on Afghanistan.[89] The aim of this operation was to arm the Islamic fundamentalists and to instigate an attack in different parts of Afghanistan.[89] In 1974, Bhutto authorised a covert operation in Kabul and the Pakistan Air Force and the members of AI and the ISI successfully extradited Burhanuddin Rabbani, Jan Mohammad Khan, Gulbadin Hekmatyar, and Ahmad Shah Massoud to Peshawar, amid fear that Rabbani may be assassinated.[91] By the end of 1974, Bhutto gave final authorisation of covert operation to train Afghan mujaheddin to take on Daoud Khan's government. This operation was an ultimate success.[92]

By 1976 Daud had become concerned about his country's over dependence on the Soviet Union and the rising insurgency. On 7 June 1976, Bhutto paid a three-day state visit to Afghanistan, followed by a five-day visit of Daud Khan to Pakistan in August 1976. On 2 March 1977, an agreement on the resumption of air communications between Afghanistan and Pakistan was reached, as relations continued to improve.[93] Bhutto and Daud made an exchange of official visits to force Afghanistan to accept the Durand Line as the permanent border.[88][90] However, these developments were interrupted as Bhutto was removed and Daud Khan was also overthrown in a military coup shortly after.[88] Western experts viewed Bhutto's policy as "astute policy" in regards to the border question, as it increased pressure on Afghanistan and very likely helped stimulate Afghan government's move towards accommodation. The Deputy Afghan Foreign Minister Abdul Samad Ghaus also admitted that before the compromise Afghanistan had been heavily involved inside Pakistan.[88]

Decline

Popular unrest

Bhutto began facing considerable criticism and increasing unpopularity as his term progressed. Initially targeting the opposition leader Abdul Wali Khan and his National Awami Party (NAP), a democratic socialist party, the socialist and communist mass who gathered under Bhutto's leadership began to disintegrate, thus dividing and allying with secular fronts. Despite the ideological similarity of the two parties, clashes between them became increasingly fierce. This started with the federal government's ousting of the NAP provincial government in Balochistan for alleged secessionist activities,[94] and ended with the ban on the NAP. Subsequently, much of the NAP top leadership was arrested, after Bhutto's confidant Hyatt Scherpaoi was killed in a Peshawar bomb blast. Another notable figure, Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman died due to a cardiac arrest while in the office. Between the 1974 and 1976, many of Bhutto's original members had left Bhutto due to political differences or natural death causes. In 1974, Bhutto's trusted Science Advisor Abdus Salam also left Pakistan when Parliament declared Ahmadiyyah Muslims as non-Muslims. With Salam's departure, the research on nuclear weapons slowed down the progress as Dr. Mubashir Hassan, now Bhutto's appointed Science Advisor, would focus on politics more than the science research. Many civil bureaucrats and military officers loyal to Bhutto were replaced by new faces. Bhutto found himself with new advisers and collaborators.[95]

Dissidence also increased within the PPP and the murder of dissident leader Ahmad Raza Casuri's father led to public outrage and intra-party hostility as Bhutto was accused of masterminding the crime. Powerful PPP leaders such as Ghulam Mustafa Khar, former Governor of Punjab, openly condemned Bhutto and called for protests against his regime.[95] The political crisis in the North-West Frontier Province and Balochistan intensified as civil liberties remained suspended and an estimated 100,000 troops deployed there were accused of human rights abuses and killing large numbers of civilians.[35]

On 8 January 1977, the opposition organized into the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA).,[35] a nine-party coalition against the government of Bhutto and his allies. Bhutto called fresh elections, but the PNA did not obtain a clear majority. The PNA faced defeat but did not accept the results, accusing their opponents of rigging the election. The dissidents ultimately claimed that 40 seats in the national assembly were rigged, and boycotted the provincial elections. In the face of the resulting low voter turnout, the PNA declared the newly elected Bhutto government as illegitimate. Hard-line Islamist leaders such as Maulana Maududi called for the overthrow of Bhutto's regime.[95] Mubashir Hassan, Science Advisor of Bhutto, feared a possible coup against Bhutto.[96] Hassan entered the dispute and made an unsuccessful attempt to reach an agreement with PNA. Most Islamists refused to meet with Hassan as they saw him as the architect of Bhutto's success. The same year, an intensive crackdown was initiated on the Pakistan Muslim League, a conservative front.[97] The People's National Party's President and former Leader of the Opposition Khan Vali Khan saw Bhutto's actions as his last stand against PNA, the Armed Forces and Bhutto, including his colleagues, were isolated.[98][failed verification] In an open public seminar, Vali Khan quoted that "There is one possible grave for two people ... let us see who gets in first".[98] The Federal Security Force allegedly either arrested or extrajudicially killed members of the Muslim League.[97] Following this, amid protest and civil distress felt in Lahore, and People's Party lost the administrative control over the city.[97]

Military coup

On 3 July 1977, then-Major-General K.M. Arif secretly met Bhutto, revealing that the planning of a coup had been taking place in the General Combatant Headquarters (GHQ).[68] At this secret meeting, General Arif encouraged Bhutto to "rush the negotiation with the PNA, before its too late".[68] Intensifying political and civil disorder prompted Bhutto to hold talks with PNA leaders, which culminated in an agreement for the dissolution of the assemblies and fresh elections under a government of national unity.[99] However, on 5 July 1977 Bhutto and members of his cabinet were arrested by troops under the order of General Zia.[35] It is generally believed that the coup took place on the pretext of unrest despite Bhutto having reached an agreement with the opposition.[97]

Bhutto had good intelligence within the Army, and officers such as Major-General Tajamül Hussain Malik were loyal to him until the end.[97] However, General Zia-ul-Haq ordered a training programme with the officers from Special Air Service (SAS).[97] General Zia-ul-Haq ordered many of Bhutto's loyal officers to attend the first course.[97] However, classes for senior officers were delayed until the midnight.[97] None of the officers were allowed to leave until late in the evening before the coup. During this time, arrangements for the coup was made.[97]

General Zia announced that martial law had been imposed, the constitution suspended and all assemblies dissolved and promised elections within ninety days. Zia also ordered the arrest of senior PPP and PNA leaders but promised elections in October. Bhutto was released on 29 July and was received by a large crowd of supporters in his hometown of Larkana. He immediately began touring across Pakistan, delivering speeches to very large crowds and planning his political comeback. Bhutto was arrested again on 3 September before being released on bail on 13 September. Fearing yet another arrest, Bhutto named his wife, Nusrat, president of the Pakistan People's Party. Bhutto was imprisoned on 16 September and a large number of PPP leaders, notably Dr. Mubashir Hassan and activists were arrested and disqualified from contesting the elections. Observers noted that when Bhutto was removed from power in July 1977, thousands of Pakistanis cheered and were delighted.[100]

Arrests and trial

On 5 July 1977 the military, led by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, staged a coup. Zia relieved prime minister Bhutto of power, holding him in detention for a month. Zia pledged that new elections would be held in 90 days. He kept postponing the elections and publicly retorted during successive press conferences that if the elections were held in the presence of Bhutto his party would not return to power again.

Upon his release, Bhutto travelled around the country amid adulatory crowds of PPP supporters. He used to take the train from the south to the north, and en route would address public meetings at different stations. Several of these trains were late, some by days, in reaching their respective destinations and as a result Bhutto was banned from traveling by train. The last visit he made to the city of Multan in the province of Punjab marked the turning point in Bhutto's political career and ultimately, his life. In spite of the administration's efforts to block the gathering, the crowd was so large that it became disorderly, providing an opportunity for the administration to declare that Bhutto, along with Dr. Hassan, had been taken into custody because the people were against him and it had become necessary to protect him from the masses for his own safety.

On 3 September, the Army arrested Bhutto again on charges of authorising the murder of a political opponent in March 1974.[101] A 35-year-old politician Ahmed Raza Kasuri and his family had been ambushed, leaving Kasuri's father, Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan Kasuri, dead. Kasuri claimed that he was the actual target, accusing Bhutto of orchestrating the attack. Kasuri later claimed that he had been the target of 15 assassination attempts. Bhutto's wife Nusrat Bhutto assembled a team of top Pakistani lawyers for Bhutto's defence, led by Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, Yahya Bakhtiar and Abdulhafiz Pirzada. Bhutto was released 10 days after his arrest after a judge, Justice KMA Samdani, found the evidence to be "contradictory and incomplete." As a result, Justice Samdani was immediately removed from the bench and placed at the disposal of the law ministry. Three days later Zia arrested Bhutto again on the same charges, this time under "martial law." When the PPP organised demonstrations among Bhutto's supporters, Zia cancelled the upcoming elections.

Bhutto was arraigned before the High Court of Lahore instead of in a lower court, thus depriving him of one level of appeal. The judge who had granted him bail had been removed. Five new judges were appointed, headed by Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Maulvi Mushtaq Hussain.[102] Hussain had previously served as Bhutto's Foreign secretary in 1965, and was alleged to have strongly disliked and distrusted Bhutto.[102] Hussain was a not only a Zia appointee but hailed from his home Jullundur district.[103]

The trial lasted five months, and Bhutto appeared in court in a dock specially built for the trial. Proceedings began on 24 October 1977. Masood Mahmood, the director general of the Federal Security Force (since renamed the Federal Investigation Agency), testified against Bhutto. Mahmood had been arrested immediately after Zia's coup and had been imprisoned for two months prior to taking the stand. In his testimony, he claimed Bhutto had ordered Kasuri's assassination and that four members of the Federal Security Force had organised the ambush on Bhutto's orders. The four alleged assassins were arrested and later confessed. They were brought into court as "co-accused" but one of them recanted his testimony, declaring that it had been extracted from him under torture. The following day, the witness was not present in court and the prosecution claimed that he had suddenly "fallen ill".

Bhutto's defence team fought the case efficiently and challenged the prosecution with evidence from an army logbook the prosecution had submitted.[citation needed] It showed that the jeep allegedly driven during the attack on Kasuri was not even in Lahore at the time. The prosecution had the logbook disregarded as "incorrect". During the cross-examination by the defence of witnesses, the bench often interrupted questioning. The 706-page official transcript contained none of the objections or inconsistencies in the evidence pointed out by the defence.[citation needed] Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark called it a mock trial fought in a Kangaroo court.[citation needed] Having witnessed the trial, Clark later wrote:

The prosecution's case was based entirely on several witnesses who were detained until they confessed, who changed and expanded their confessions and testimony with each reiteration, who contradicted themselves and each other, who, except for Masood Mahmood... were relating what others said, whose testimony led to four different theories of what happened, absolutely uncorroborated by an eyewitness, direct evidence, or physical evidence.[104]

When Bhutto began his testimony on 25 January 1978, Chief Justice Maulvi Mushtaq closed the courtroom to all observers. Bhutto responded by refusing to say any more. Bhutto demanded a retrial, accusing the Chief Justice of bias, after Mushtaq allegedly insulted Bhutto's home province. The court refused his demand.[102]

Death sentence and appeal

Mausoleum of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and other Bhutto family members in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, Sindh

On 18 March 1978, Bhutto was declared not guilty of murder, but was sentenced to death.[105][106] On 12 March 1978, Bhutto's former Legal Minister, Abdul Hafiz Pirzada petitioned the Supreme Court for the release of Bhutto's Science Adviser, Mubashir Hassan, and to review Bhutto's death sentence based on the split decision.[106] The Supreme Court denied Hassan's release because he was held by Military Police, but the court agreed to hear the arguments.[106] After 12 days of proceedings, the Supreme Court concluded that the President of Pakistan can change a death sentence into life imprisonment.[106] Pirzada filed an application to then-Chief Martial Law Administrator.[106] However, General Zia-ul-Haq did not act immediately and claimed that the application had gone missing.[106]

Emotionally shattered, Pirzada informed Bhutto about the development and General Zia-ul-Haq's intention.[106] Therefore, Bhutto did not seek an appeal.[106] While he was transferred to a cell in Rawalpindi central jail, his family appealed on his behalf, and a hearing before the Supreme Court commenced in May. Bhutto was given one week to prepare. Bhutto issued a thorough rejoinder to the charges, although Zia blocked its publication. Chief Justice S. Anwarul Haq adjourned the court until the end of July 1978, supposedly because five of the nine appeal court judges were willing to overrule the Lahore verdict. One of the pro-Bhutto judges was due to retire in July.

Chief Justice S. Anwarul Haq presided over the trial, despite being close to Zia, even serving as Acting President when Zia was out of the country. Bhutto's lawyers managed to secure Bhutto the right to conduct his own defence before the Supreme Court. On 18 December 1978, Bhutto made his appearance in public before a packed courtroom in Rawalpindi. By this time he had been on death row for 9 months and had gone without fresh water for the previous 25 days.[citation needed] He addressed the court for four days, speaking without notes.

I did not kill that man. My God is aware of it. I am big enough to admit if I had done it, that admission would have been less of an ordeal and humiliation than this barbarous trial which no self respecting man can endure. I am a Muslim. A Muslim's fate is in the hands of God Almighty. I can face Him with a clear conscience and tell Him that I rebuilt His Islamic State of Pakistan from ashes into a respectable Nation. I am entirely at peace with my conscience in this black hole of Kot Lakhpat. I am not afraid of death. You have seen what fires I have passed through.

— Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, My Dearest Daughter: A letter from Death Cell., [107]

The appeal was completed on 23 December 1978. On 6 February 1979, the Supreme Court issued a guilty verdict,[108] a decision reached by a bare 4-to-3 majority. The Bhutto family had seven days in which to appeal. The court granted a stay of execution while it studied the petition. By 24 February 1979 when the next court hearing began, appeals for clemency arrived from many heads of state. Zia said that the appeals amounted to "trade union activity" among politicians.

On 24 March 1979 the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal. Zia upheld the death sentence. Bhutto was hanged at Central Jail Rawalpindi, on 4 April 1979, and was buried in Village Cemetery at Garhi Khuda Baksh.[109]

During his imprisonment, Bhutto's children Murtaza and Benazir worked on rallying the international support for the release of their father.[110] Libya's Colonel Gaddafi sent his Prime Minister Abdus Salam Jalloud on an emergency trip to Pakistan to hold talks with Pakistan's military establishment for the release of Bhutto.[110] In a press conference, Jalloud told the journalists that Gaddafi had offered General Zia to exile him to Libya, and Prime Minister Jalloud stayed in the Islamabad International Airport where the specially designated Presidential aircraft waited for Bhutto.[110] However, after a week of staying at the airport, General Zia rejected Prime Minister Jalloud's request and upheld the death sentence.[110] Much of the Muslim world was shocked at Bhutto's execution.[110] Before being hanged, Bhutto made a final speech and his last words were: "Oh Lord, help me for... I am innocent."[111]

Re-opening of the Bhutto trial

On 2 April 2011, 32 years after Bhutto's trial and execution, the PPP (the ruling party at that time) filed a petition at the Supreme Court to reopen Bhutto's trial. At the Geo News, senior journalist Iftikhar Ahmad aired a series of televised interviews with those who played a major and often controversial role in Bhutto's death. A legal team was organized by the Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani's cabinet seeking to reopen the trial.[112] President Asif Ali Zardari gave his consent to the resulting presidential order named Article 186 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court taking up the petition on 13 April 2011.[113] Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry eventually presided the three-judge-bench (although it was expanded with law experts from four provinces of Pakistan), while Minister of Law Babar Awan counseled Bhutto's case.[114]

With immediate effect, Babar Awan resigned as Law Minister, even leaving the Justice Ministry entirely in order to legally counsel Bhutto's case completely independently. In his noting remarks, Chief Justice Chaudhry praised and appreciated the move by the senior PPP leadership and remarked the gesture as "historic".[115] In a crucial advancement, the Supreme Court ordered the decision on the legal status of Bhutto's execution to a to-be-formed larger bench.[116]

After a series of hearings at the Supreme Court, the case was adjourned and dismissed after the PPP approved the suspension of Babar Awan on 2 May 2012.[117]

Personal life

Bhutto was a Shia Muslim[118] who married three times. His first marriage took place in 1943, when he married his cousin and first wife Shireen Amir Begum. In 1951, he married Begum Nusrat Ispahani on 8 September 1951. The couple had four children: Benazir, Murtaza, Sanam, and Shahnawaz. His third marriage was to Husna Sheikh, whose divorce from her husband was forced by Bhutto.[citation needed] Husna has one son, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Jr. They both live in Dubai.

Legacy

The foundation stone is built by the Gomal University in the honour of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan.

Bhutto remains a controversial and largely discussed figure in Pakistan. While he was hailed for his nationalism, Bhutto was roundly criticized for intimidating his political opponents. By the time Bhutto was given the control of his country in 1971, Pakistan was torn apart, isolated, demoralized, and emotionally shattered after a psychological and bitter defeat at the hands of its bitter rival India.[119] His political rivals had blamed his socialist policies for slowing down Pakistan's economic progress, as they caused poor productivity and high costs. However Bhutto and co[who?] countered that they were merely addressing the massive inequality built up over the Ayub Khan years.[28]

Bhutto is blamed by some quarters for causing the Bangladesh Liberation War. In 1977, General Zia-ul-Haq released former general Yahya Khan from prison and his Lieutenant-General Fazle Haq gave him the honorary guard of honor when the former general died in 1980.[28] After being released from house arrest after the 1977 coup Yahya said, "It was Bhutto, not Mujib, who broke Pakistan. Bhutto's stance in 1971 and his stubbornness harmed Pakistan's solidarity much more than Sheikh Mujib's six-point demand. It was his high ambitions and rigid stance that led to rebellion in East Pakistan. He riled up the Bengalis and brought an end to Pakistan's solidarity. East Pakistan broke away."[120] Other army men who lay blame for 1971 on Bhutto include future President Pervez Musharraf and East Pakistan's former Martial Law Administrator Syed Mohammad Ahsan.[121] Bhutto is also often criticised for human-rights abuses in Baluchistan by hardline Islamists as well as conservatives.[35] Bhutto's actions during the 1970s operation in Balochistan are also criticised for failing to bring about a lasting peace in the region.[citation needed]

Bhutto's international image is more positive, casting him as a secular internationalist. Domestically, despite the criticism, Bhutto still remains Pakistan's most popular leader.[35] During his premiership, Bhutto succeeded in uniting all the parties in getting the 1973 constitution enacted.[119] His determined and aggressive embrace of nuclear weapons for Pakistan has made him regarded as the father of Pakistan's nuclear-deterrence programme, which he pursued in spite of Pakistan's limited financial resources and strong opposition from the United States.[38][41][119] In 2006, The Atlantic described Bhutto as demagogic and extremely populist, but still Pakistan's greatest civilian leader.[34] Even though Henry Kissinger developed differences with Bhutto, in his 1979 memoir White House Years he conceded that Bhutto was "brilliant, charming, of global stature in his perception, a man of extraordinary abilities, capable of drawing close to any country that served Pakistan`s national interests".[122]

While, Bhutto's former Law Minister Mairaj Muhammad Khan described Bhutto as "a great man but cruel".[123] His family remained active and influential in politics, with first his wife[citation needed] and then his daughter becoming leader of the PPP political party.[124] His eldest daughter, Benazir Bhutto, was twice Prime Minister of Pakistan, and was assassinated on 27 December 2007, while campaigning for 2008 elections.[124][failed verification] While his son, Murtaza Bhutto, served as the Member Parliament of Pakistan, and was also assassinated in a controversial police encounter.[124][failed verification]

Roedad Khan, former statesman who served under Bhutto, further wrote in his book, Pakistan—A dream gone sour, that after 1971, Bhutto started extremely well, bringing the isolated, angered, apprehended, and dismembered nation back into her feet and gave the respectable place in the world, in a shortest period... With a gift of giving the nation a parliamentary system and furthermore the ambitious successful development of atomic bomb programme in a record time, are his greatest achievements in his life, for Pakistan and her people, but sadly deteriorated at the end".[125] Bhutto remains highly influential in country's public, scientific, and political circles; his name yet continues to resonate in Pakistan's collective memory.[100]

With all the criticism and opposition, Bhutto remained highly influential and respected figure even after his death. Bhutto is widely regarded as being among the most influential men in the history of Pakistan.[12] His supporters gave him the title Quaid-e-Awam (Leader of the people).[124][failed verification]

Eponyms

Books

  • Peace-Keeping by the United Nations, Pakistan Publishing House, Karachi, 1967
  • Political Situation in Pakistan, Veshasher Prakashan, New Delhi, 1968
  • The Myth of Independence, Oxford University Press, Karachi and Lahore, 1969
  • The Great Tragedy, Pakistan People's Party, Karachi, 1971
  • Marching Towards Democracy, (collections of speeches), 1972
  • Politics of the People (speeches, statements and articles), 1948–1971
  • The Third World: New Directions, Quartet Books, London, 1977
  • My Pakistan, Biswin Sadi Publications, New Delhi, 1979
  • If I am Assassinated, Vikas, New Delhi, 1979 on-line
  • My Execution, Musawaat Weekly International, London, 1980
  • New Directions, Narmara Publishers, London, 1980

See also

References

  1. ^ Shirin Amir Begum, the widow of former prime minister late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, died of cardiac arrest here on Sunday-DAWN
  2. ^ a b Chitkara, M.G. (1996). Benazir – a profile. New Delhi: APH Publ. Corp. p. 69. ISBN 978-8170247524. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Pakistan Peoples Party (2011). "Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)". PPP. PPP medial Cell. Archived from the original on 28 October 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2001. .
  4. ^ http://en.banglapedia.org/index.php?title=Six-point_Programme
  5. ^ Jalal, Ayesha (16 September 2014). The Struggle for Pakistan: A Muslim Homeland and Global Politics. ISBN 9780674744998.
  6. ^ a b c d Sharmila Farooqi, Member of PAS (2011). "ZA Bhutto – architect of a new Pakistan". Sharmila Farooqi, member of Sindh Provincial Assembly of Pakistan. Sharmila Faruqui. Retrieved 15 April 2001. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the maker of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the architect of Pakistan.
  7. ^ a b "Deposed Pakistani PM is executed". BBC On This Day. British Broadcasting Corporation. 4 April 1979. Retrieved 28 December 2007. sentenced to death for the murder of a political opponent
  8. ^ Hoodbhoy, Pervez Amerali (23 January 2011). "Pakistan's nuclear bayonet". The Herald. Dawn Group of Newspapers. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Global Security.org (2011). "Balochistan Insurgency – Fourth conflict 1973–77". Global Security.org. Global Security.org. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  10. ^ Pakistan, Zia and after. Abhinav Publications. 1989. pp. 20–35. ISBN 978-81-7017-253-6.
  11. ^ Blood, Peter (1994). "Pakistan – Zia-ul-Haq". Pakistan: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. Retrieved 28 December 2007. ... hanging ... Bhutto for complicity in the murder of a political opponent...
  12. ^ a b Hassan, Nadir (14 April 2011). "In memorian: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto". The Dawn News Group. The Dawn Media Group. Retrieved 8 August 2011. The one person in Pakistan's recent history whose death transcends symbolism is Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Bhutto gave the country its last and best constitution and by inspiring millions through force of rhetoric....Dawn
  13. ^ "Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali". Retrieved 7 November 2006.
  14. ^ "Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)". Pakistan Peoples Party. 2011. Archived from the original on 28 October 2013.
  15. ^ Gandhi, Rajmohan (1991). Patel: A Life. India: Navajivan. pp. 291–93. ASIN B0006EYQ0A.
  16. ^ "Interview with Vali Nasr". Resetdoc.org. Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  17. ^ Willey, Fay & Jenkins, Loren (16 April 1979). "The Ghost of Bhutto".
  18. ^ a b c d Suraiya, Jug (14 May 2011). "Dealing with a Superpower by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto". Bombay Times. The Times Group of India. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  19. ^ Government Officials (1962). Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto speaks in support of China for membership of United Nations (Television Production). Beijing, People's Republic of China: Government of China and Pakistan Government.
  20. ^ H. W. Brands, The Foreign Policies of Lyndon Johnson: Beyond Vietnam, Texas A&M University Press (1999), p.171 ISBN 089096873X
  21. ^ a b Government Officials (1962). Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's historic visit to China (Television Production). Beijing, People's Republic of China: Government of China and Pakistan.
  22. ^ Hancock, Ewa (21 March 2007). "Friendly Relations: Pakistan and Poland" (JPG). Eva Hancock. Warsaw Voice. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  23. ^ "Pakistan in Europe" (JPG). Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 21 March 2007. Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  24. ^ a b US Country Studies. "Ayub Khan" (PHP). Retrieved 7 November 2006.
  25. ^ a b c Sublettle, Carey (15 October 1965). "Historical Background: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto". Nuclear weapons archives. Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Retrieved 25 June 2011.
  26. ^ Bhutto, pp. 196–399
  27. ^ a b c d e US Country Studies. "Yahya Khan and Bangladesh" (PHP). Retrieved 7 November 2006.
  28. ^ a b c d e Hassan, Mubashir (2000). The Mirage of Power: An Inquiry into the Bhutto Years, 1971–1977. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-579300-5.
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Bibliography

  • Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali (1969). The Myth of Independence. Oxford University Press.
  • Raza, Syed Rasul (2008). Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto; The Architect of New Pakistan. Karachi, Sindh Province, Pakistan: Printwise publication. ISBN 978-969-8500-00-9.

External links

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30 November 1979

Pink Floyd’s rock opera, The Wall is released.

The Wall

The Wall
An image of a plain white brick wall.
Studio album by
Released30 November 1979 (1979-11-30)
RecordedDecember 1978 – November 1979
Studio
Genre
Length80:42
Label
Producer
Pink Floyd chronology
Animals
(1977)
The Wall
(1979)
A Collection of Great Dance Songs
(1981)
Singles from The Wall
  1. "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2"
    Released: 23 November 1979
  2. "Run Like Hell"
    Released: 17 April 1980
  3. "Comfortably Numb"
    Released: 23 June 1980

The Wall is the eleventh studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released 30 November 1979 on Harvest and Columbia Records. It is a rock opera that explores Pink, a jaded rockstar whose eventual self-imposed isolation from society is symbolized by a wall. The album was a commercial success, topping the US charts for 15 weeks, and reaching number three in the UK. It initially received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom found it overblown and pretentious, but later came to be considered one of the greatest albums of all time.

Bassist Roger Waters conceived The Wall during Pink Floyd's 1977 In The Flesh tour, modeling the character of Pink after himself and former bandmate Syd Barrett. Recording spanned from December 1978 to November 1979. Producer Bob Ezrin helped to refine the concept and bridge tensions during recording, as the band were struggling with personal and financial issues at the time. The Wall is the last album to feature Pink Floyd as a quartet; keyboardist Richard Wright was fired by Waters during production, but stayed on as a salaried musician. Three singles were issued from the album: "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" (the band's only US number-one single), "Run Like Hell", and "Comfortably Numb". From 1980 to 1981, Pink Floyd performed the full album on a tour that featured elaborate theatrical effects.

The Wall was adapted into a 1982 feature film of the same name and remains one of the best-known concept albums.[4]. The album has sold more than 24 million copies, is the second best-selling in the band's catalog, and is one of the best-selling of all time. Some of the outtakes from the recording sessions were later used on the group's next album, The Final Cut (1983). In 2000 it was voted number 30 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums.[5] In 2003, Rolling Stone listed The Wall at number 87 on its list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". From 2010 to 2013, Waters staged a new Wall live tour that became the highest-grossing tour by a solo musician.

Background

Pink Floyd's In the Flesh Tour was their first playing in large stadiums. Bassist and songwriter Roger Waters recalled: "I disliked it intensely because it became a social event rather than a more controlled and ordinary relationship between musicians and an audience ... The front sixty rows seemed to be screaming and shouting and rocking and swaying and not really listening to anything. And those further back could see bugger-all anyway."[6] Some audience members set off firecrackers, leading Waters to stop playing and scold them. In July 1977, on the final date at the Montreal Olympic Stadium, a group of noisy and excited fans near the stage irritated Waters so much that he spat at one of them.[7] Guitarist David Gilmour refused to perform a final encore and sat at the soundboard,[8] leaving the band, with backup guitarist Snowy White, to improvise a slow, sad 12-bar blues, which Waters announced to the audience as "some music to go home to".[9][10] That night, Waters spoke with music producer Bob Ezrin and Ezrin's psychiatrist friend about the alienation he was experiencing. He articulated his desire to isolate himself by constructing a wall across the stage between the performers and the audience.[11] He said, "I kept saying to people on that tour, 'I'm not really enjoying this ... there is something very wrong with this.'"[12]

While Gilmour and Wright were in France recording solo albums, and drummer Nick Mason was busy producing Steve Hillage's Green, Waters began to write material.[13] The spitting incident became the starting point for a new concept, which explored the protagonist's self-imposed isolation after years of traumatic interactions with authority figures and the loss of his father as a child. The Wall would study the performer's psychological separation from the audience, using a physical structure as a metaphorical and theatrical device.[10]

In July 1978, Pink Floyd reconvened at Britannia Row Studios, where Waters presented two new ideas for concept albums. The first was a 90-minute demo with the working title Bricks in the Wall.[14] The second was about a man's dreams across one night, and dealt with marriage, sex, and the pros and cons of monogamy and family life versus promiscuity.[15] The band chose the first option. The second option eventually became Waters's first solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking.[14]

By September, Pink Floyd was experiencing financial difficulties and urgently needed to produce an album to make money.[16] Financial planners Norton Warburg Group (NWG) had invested £1.3–3.3 million, up to £19.1 million in contemporary value,[17] of the group's money in high-risk venture capital to reduce their tax liabilities. The strategy failed when many of the businesses NWG invested in lost money, leaving the band facing tax rates potentially as high as 83 percent. "We made Dark Side and it looked as if we'd cracked it," recalled Waters. "Then suddenly these bastards had stolen it all. It looked as if we might be faced with huge tax bills for the money that had been lost. Eighty-three per cent was a lot of money in those days and we didn't have it."[18] Pink Floyd terminated their relationship with NWG, demanding the return of uninvested funds.[19][nb 1] "By force of necessity, I had to become closely involved in the business side," remarked Gilmour, "because no one around us has shown themselves sufficiently capable or honest to cope with it, and I saw with Norton Warburg that the shit was heading inexorably towards the fan. They weren't the first crooks we stupidly allied ourselves with. Ever since then, there's not a penny that I haven't signed for. I sign every cheque and examine everything."[18]

To help manage the project's 26 tracks, Waters decided to bring in a producer and collaborator,[14] feeling he needed "a collaborator who was musically and intellectually in a similar place to where I was."[20] At the suggestion of Waters's then-girlfriend Carolyne Christie, who had worked as the secretary to producer and musician Bob Ezrin, the band hired him on.[16] Ezrin had worked with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss, and Peter Gabriel.[21] From the start, Waters made it clear who was in charge, telling him: "You can write anything you want. Just don't expect any credit."[22]

Ezrin and Gilmour reviewed Waters's concept, discarding what they thought was not good enough. Waters and Ezrin worked mostly on the story, improving the concept.[23] Ezrin presented a 40-page script to the rest of the band, with positive results. He recalled: "The next day at the studio, we had a table read, like you would with a play, but with the whole of the band, and their eyes all twinkled, because then they could see the album."[20] Ezrin broadened the storyline, distancing it from the autobiographical work Waters had written, and instead basing it on a composite character named Pink.[24] Engineer Nick Griffiths later said: "Ezrin was very good in The Wall, because he did manage to pull the whole thing together. He's a very forceful guy. There was a lot of argument about how it should sound between Roger and Dave, and he bridged the gap between them."[25] Waters wrote most of the album, with Gilmour co-writing "Comfortably Numb", "Run Like Hell", and "Young Lust",[26] and Ezrin co-writing "The Trial".[23]

Concept and storyline

The Wall is a rock opera[27] that explores abandonment and isolation, symbolized by a wall. The songs create an approximate storyline of events in the life of the protagonist, Pink, a character based on Syd Barrett[28] as well as Roger Waters,[29] whose father was killed during WWII. Pink's father also dies in a war, which is where Pink starts to build a metaphorical wall around himself. The album includes several references to former band member Syd Barrett, including "Nobody Home", which hints at his condition during Pink Floyd's abortive US tour of 1967, with lyrics such as "wild, staring eyes", "the obligatory Hendrix perm" and "elastic bands keeping my shoes on". "Comfortably Numb" was inspired by Waters' injection with a muscle relaxant to combat the effects of hepatitis during the In the Flesh Tour, while in Philadelphia.[30]

Plot summary

Pink is a rock star, one of the many reasons which have left him depressed. Pink imagines a crowd of fans entering one of his concerts, and we begin a flashback on his life, and it is revealed that his father was killed defending the Anzio bridgehead during World War II, in Pink's infancy ("In the Flesh?"). Pink's mother raises him alone ("The Thin Ice"), and with the death of his father, Pink starts to build a metaphorical wall around himself ("Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1").

Growing older, Pink is tormented at school by tyrannical, abusive teachers ("The Happiest Days of Our Lives"), and memories of these traumas become metaphorical "bricks in the wall" ("Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2"). As an adult now, Pink remembers his oppressive and overprotective mother ("Mother") and his upbringing during the Blitz ("Goodbye Blue Sky"). Pink soon marries, is about to complete his "wall" ("Empty Spaces"). While touring in America, he turns to a willing groupie ("Young Lust"). After learning of his wife's infidelity, he brings the groupie back to his hotel room, only to trash it in a violent fit of rage, terrifying the groupie out of the room ("One of My Turns"). Pink, depressed, thinks about his wife, and feels trapped in his room ("Don't Leave Me Now"), and dismisses every traumatic experience he has ever had as a "brick" in the metaphorical wall ("Another Brick in the Wall, Part 3"), Pink's wall is now finished, completing his total isolation from human contact ("Goodbye Cruel World").

Immediately after the wall's completion, Pink questions his decisions, ("Hey You"), and locks himself in his hotel room ("Is There Anybody Out There?"). Beginning to feel depressed, Pink turns to his possessions for comfort ("Nobody Home"), and yearns for the idea of reconnecting with his personal roots ("Vera"), Pink's mind flashes back to World War II, with the people demanding that the soldiers return home ("Bring the Boys Back Home"). Returning to the present, Pink's manager and roadies have busted into his hotel room, where they find him drugged and unresponsive. A paramedic injects him with drugs to enable him to perform ("Comfortably Numb").

This results in a hallucinatory on-stage performance ("The Show Must Go On") where he believes that he is a fascist dictator, and that his concert is a Neo-Nazi rally, at which he sets brownshirt-like men on fans he considers unworthy ("In the Flesh"). He proceeds to attack ethnic minorities ("Run Like Hell"), and then holds a rally in suburban London, symbolizing his descent into insanity ("Waiting for the Worms"). Pink's hallucination then ceases, and he begs for everything to stop ("Stop"). Showing human emotion, he is tormented with guilt and places himself on trial ("The Trial"), his inner judge ordering him to "tear down the wall", opening Pink to the outside world ("Outside the Wall"). The album turns full circle with its closing words "Isn't this where ...", the first words of the phrase that begins the album, "... we came in?", with a continuation of the melody of the last song hinting at the cyclical nature of Waters' theme.[31]

Production

Recording

The album was recorded in several locations. In France, Super Bear Studios was used between January and July 1979, with Waters recording his vocals at the nearby Studio Miraval. Michael Kamen supervised the orchestral arrangements at CBS Studios in New York, in September.[32] Over the next two months the band used Cherokee Studios, Producers Workshop and The Village Recorder in Los Angeles. A plan to work with the Beach Boys at the Sundance Productions studio in Los Angeles was cancelled.[33][34]

James Guthrie, recommended by previous Floyd collaborator Alan Parsons, arrived early in the production process.[35] He replaced engineer Brian Humphries, emotionally drained by his five years with the band.[36] Guthrie was hired as a co-producer, but was initially unaware of Ezrin's role: "I saw myself as a hot young producer ... When we arrived, I think we both felt we'd been booked to do the same job."[37] The early sessions at Britannia Row were emotionally charged, as Ezrin, Guthrie and Waters each had strong ideas about the direction the album would take. Relations within the band were at a low ebb, and Ezrin's role expanded to that of an intermediary between Waters and the rest of the band.[38] As Britannia Row was initially regarded as inadequate for The Wall the band upgraded much of its equipment,[39] and by March another set of demos were complete. However, their former relationship with NWG placed them at risk of bankruptcy, and they were advised to leave the UK by no later than 6 April 1979, for a minimum of one year. As non-residents they would pay no UK taxes during that time, and within a month all four members and their families had left. Waters moved to Switzerland, Mason to France, and Gilmour and Wright to the Greek Islands. Some equipment from Britannia Row was relocated in Super Bear Studios near Nice.[25][40] Gilmour and Wright were each familiar with the studio and enjoyed its atmosphere, having recorded solo albums there. While Wright and Mason lived at the studio, Waters and Gilmour stayed in nearby houses. Mason later moved into Waters's villa near Vence, while Ezrin stayed in Nice.[41]

The rest of the band's children were young enough to stay with them in France but mine were older and had to go to school. I was missing my children terribly.

Richard Wright[42]

Ezrin's poor punctuality caused problems with the tight schedule dictated by Waters.[43] Mason found the producer's behaviour "erratic", but used his elaborate and unlikely excuses for his lateness as ammunition for "tongue-in-cheek resentment".[41] Ezrin's share of the royalties was less than the rest of the band and he viewed Waters as a bully, especially when Waters mocked him by having badges made that read NOPE (No Points Ezrin), alluding to his lesser share.[43] Ezrin later said he had marital problems and was not "in the best shape emotionally".[43]

More problems became apparent when Waters's relationship with Wright broke down. The band were rarely in the studio together. Ezrin and Guthrie spliced Mason's previously recorded drum tracks together, and Guthrie also worked with Waters and Gilmour during the day, returning at night to record Wright's contributions. Wright, worried about the effect that the introduction of Ezrin would have on the band's internal relationships, was keen to have a producer's credit on the album (their albums up to that point had always stated "Produced by Pink Floyd").[44] Waters agreed to a trial period with Wright producing, after which he was to be given a producer's credit, but after a few weeks he and Ezrin expressed dissatisfaction with the keyboardist's methods. A confrontation with Ezrin led to Wright working only at nights. Gilmour also expressed his annoyance, complaining that Wright's lack of input was "driving us all mad",[45] and Ezrin later reflected: "it sometimes felt that Roger was setting him up to fail. Rick gets performance anxiety. You have to leave him alone to freeform, to create ..."[45] Wright had his own problems, a failing marriage and the onset of depression, exacerbated by his non-residency. The band's holidays were booked for August, after which they were to reconvene at Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, but Columbia offered the band a better deal in exchange for a Christmas release of the album. Waters therefore increased the band's workload accordingly, booking time at the nearby Studio Miraval.[46] He also suggested recording in Los Angeles ten days earlier than agreed, and hiring another keyboardist to work alongside Wright, whose keyboard parts had not yet been recorded. Wright, however, refused to cut short his family holiday in Rhodes.[47]

Accounts of Wright's subsequent departure from the band differ. In his autobiography, Inside Out, Mason says that Waters called O'Rourke, who was travelling to the US on the QE2, and told him to have Wright out of the band by the time Waters arrived in LA to mix the album.[48] In another version recorded by a later historian of the band, Waters called O'Rourke and asked him to tell Wright about the new recording arrangements, to which Wright allegedly responded: "Tell Roger to fuck off ..."[42] Wright disagreed with this recollection, stating that the band had agreed to record only through the spring and early summer, and that he had no idea they were so far behind schedule. Mason later wrote that Waters was "stunned and furious",[46] and felt that Wright was not doing enough to help complete the album.[46] Gilmour was on holiday in Dublin when he learnt of Waters's ultimatum, and tried to calm the situation. He later spoke with Wright and gave him his support, but reminded him about his minimal contribution to the album.[49] Waters, however, insisted that Wright leave, or he would refuse to release The Wall. Several days later, worried about their financial situation, and the failing interpersonal relationships within the band, Wright quit. News of his departure was kept from the music press.[50] Although his name did not appear anywhere on the original album,[51][52] he was employed as a session musician on the band's subsequent The Wall tour.[53]

By August 1979 the running order was largely complete. Wright completed his duties at Cherokee Studios aided by session musicians Peter Wood and Fred Mandel, and Jeff Porcaro played drums in Mason's stead on "Mother".[52] His duties complete, Mason left the final mix to Waters, Gilmour, Ezrin and Guthrie, and travelled to New York to record his début solo album, Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports.[54] In advance of its release, technical constraints led to some changes being made to the running order and content of The Wall, with "What Shall We Do Now?" being replaced by the similar but shorter "Empty Spaces", and "Hey You" being moved from its original place at the end of side three, to the beginning. With the November 1979 deadline approaching, the band left the now-incorrect inner sleeves of the album unchanged.[55]

Instrumentation

Mason's early drum sessions were performed in an open space on the top floor of Britannia Row Studios. The 16-track recordings from these sessions were mixed down and copied onto a 24-track master, as guide tracks for the rest of the band to play to. This gave the engineers greater flexibility,[nb 2] but also improved the audio quality of the final mix as the original 16-track drum recordings were finally synced to the 24-track master, and the duplicated guide tracks removed.[57] Ezrin later related the band's alarm at this method of working – they apparently viewed the erasure of material from the 24-track master as "witchcraft".[38]

While at Super Bear studios Waters agreed to Ezrin's suggestion that several tracks, including "Nobody Home", "The Trial" and "Comfortably Numb", should have an orchestral accompaniment. Michael Kamen, who had previously worked with David Bowie, was booked to oversee these arrangements, which were performed by musicians from the New York Philharmonic and New York Symphony Orchestras, and a choir from the New York City Opera.[58] Their sessions were recorded at CBS Studios in New York, although Pink Floyd were not present. Kamen eventually met the band once recording was complete.[59]

I think things like 'Comfortably Numb' were the last embers of mine and Roger's ability to work collaboratively together.

David Gilmour[60]

"Comfortably Numb" has its origins in Gilmour's debut solo album, and was the source of much argument between Waters and Gilmour.[25] Ezrin claimed that the song initially started life as "Roger's record, about Roger, for Roger", although he thought that it needed further work. Waters changed the key of the verse of the song and added more lyrics for the chorus with Gilmour adding some extra bars for the line "I have become Comfortably Numb", but his "stripped-down and harder" recording was not to Gilmour's liking. Gilmour preferred Ezrin's "grander Technicolor, orchestral version", although Ezrin preferred Waters's version. Following a full-scale argument in a North Hollywood restaurant, the two compromised; the song's body eventually included the orchestral arrangement, with Gilmour's second and final guitar solo standing alone.[60]

Sound design

Ezrin and Waters oversaw the capture of the sound effects used on the album. Waters recorded the phone call used on the original demo for "Young Lust", but neglected to inform its recipient, Mason, who assumed it was a prank call and angrily hung up.[61] A real telephone operator was also an unwitting participant.[62] The call references Waters' viewpoint of his bitter 1975 divorce from first wife Judy.[63] Waters also recorded ambient sounds along Hollywood Boulevard by hanging a microphone from a studio window. Engineer Phil Taylor recorded some of the screeching tyre noises on "Run Like Hell" from a studio car park, and a television set being destroyed was used on "One of My Turns". At Britannia Row Studios, Nick Griffiths recorded the smashing of crockery for the same song.[64] Television broadcasts were used, and one actor, recognising his voice, accepted a financial settlement from the group in lieu of legal action against them.[65]

The maniacal schoolmaster was voiced by Waters, and actress Trudy Young supplied the groupie's voice.[64] Backing vocals were performed by a range of artists, although a planned appearance by the Beach Boys on "The Show Must Go On" and "Waiting for the Worms" was cancelled by Waters, who instead settled for Beach Boy Bruce Johnston and Toni Tennille.[66]

Ezrin's suggestion to release "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" as a single with a disco-style beat did not initially find favour with Gilmour, although Mason and Waters were more enthusiastic. Waters was opposed to the idea of releasing a single at all, but became receptive once he listened to Ezrin and Guthrie's mix of the song. With two identical verses the song was felt to be lacking, and so a copy was sent to Griffiths in London with a request to find children to perform several versions of the lyrics.[58] Griffiths contacted Alun Renshaw, head of music at the nearby Islington Green school, who was enthusiastic about the idea, saying: "I wanted to make music relevant to the kids – not just sitting around listening to Tchaikovsky. I thought the lyrics were great – "We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control ..." I just thought it would be a wonderful experience for the kids."[67]

Griffiths first recorded small groups of pupils and then invited more, telling them to affect a Cockney accent and shout rather than sing. He multitracked the voices, making the groups sound larger, before sending his recordings back to Los Angeles. The result delighted Waters, and the song was released as a single, becoming a Christmas number one.[68] There was some controversy when the British press reported that the children had not been paid for their efforts; they were eventually given copies of the album, and the school received a £1,000 donation (£4,000 in contemporary value[17]).[69]

Artwork and packaging

The album's cover art is one of Pink Floyd's most minimal – a white brick wall and no text. Waters had a falling out with Hipgnosis designer Storm Thorgerson a few years earlier when Thorgerson had included the cover of Animals in his book The Work Of Hipgnosis: 'Walk Away René'. The Wall is therefore the first album cover of the band since The Piper at the Gates of Dawn not to be created by the design group.[70] Issues of the album would include the lettering of the artist name and album title by cartoonist Gerald Scarfe, either as a sticker on sleeve wrapping or printed onto the cover itself, in either black or red. Scarfe, who had previously created animations for the band's "In the Flesh" tour, also created the LP's inside sleeve art and labels of both vinyl records of the album, showing the eponymous wall in various stages of construction, accompanied by characters from the story. The drawings would be translated into dolls for The Wall Tour, as well as into Scarfe's animated segments shown during the tour and the film based on the album.[71][72]

Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[73]
Christgau's Record GuideB–[74]
The Daily Telegraph3/5 stars[75]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[76]
The Great Rock Discography9/10[76]
MusicHound Rock5/5 stars[77]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3/5 stars[78]
Smash Hits8/10[79]
Sputnikmusic5/5[80]

When the completed album was played for an assembled group of executives at Columbia's headquarters in California, several were reportedly unimpressed by what they heard.[81] Matters had not been helped when Columbia Records offered Waters smaller publishing rights on the grounds that The Wall was a double album, a position he did not accept. When one executive offered to settle the dispute with a coin toss, Waters asked why he should gamble on something he owned. He eventually prevailed.[54] The record company's concerns were alleviated when "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" reached number one in the UK, US, Norway, Portugal, West Germany and South Africa.[81] It was certified platinum in the UK in December 1979, and platinum in the US three months later.[82]

The Wall was released in the UK and in the US on 30 November 1979.[nb 3] Coinciding with its release, Waters was interviewed by veteran DJ Tommy Vance, who played the album in its entirety on BBC Radio 1.[70] Critical opinion of its content was mixed,[83] ranging from The Village Voice critic Robert Christgau's "a dumb tribulations-of-a-rock-star epic" backed by "kitschy minimal maximalism with sound effects and speech fragments" which he later recalled had "three worthwhile songs",[84][85] and Rolling Stone writer Kurt Loder's "a stunning synthesis of Waters's by now familiar thematic obsessions",[86] to Melody Maker's "I'm not sure whether it's brilliant or terrible, but I find it utterly compelling."[87] Nevertheless, the album topped the Billboard charts for 15 weeks,[88] selling over a million copies in its first two months of sales[83] and in 1999 was certified 23x platinum.[nb 4][89] It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time in the US,[82][89] between 1979 and 1990 selling over 19 million copies worldwide.[90] The Wall is Pink Floyd's second best selling album after 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon. Engineer James Guthrie's efforts were rewarded in 1980 with a Grammy award for Best Engineered Recording (non-classical).[91] According to Acclaimed Music, The Wall is the 145th most ranked record on critics' all-time lists.[92] Rolling Stone placed it at number 87 on its 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list in 2003,[93] maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list.[94]

Reissues

A 1994 digitally remastered CD version manufactured in China omits "Young Lust", but retains a composition credit for Waters/Gilmour in the booklet.[95] The album was reissued in three versions as part of the Why Pink Floyd...? campaign, which featured a massive restoration of the band's catalogue with remasterings by producer James Guthrie: in 2011, a "Discovery" edition, featuring the remastered version with no extras; and in 2012, both the "Experience" edition, which adds a bonus disc of unreleased material and other supplementary items, and the "Immersion" version, a seven-disc collection that also adds video materials.[96][97] The album was reissued under the Pink Floyd Records label on 26 August 2016 along with The Division Bell.

Tour

A concert stage in front of a wall with 2 levels. Five men stand on a balcony, including Roger Waters, who is saluting with his arm. On the lower level is a drum kit and a man playing guitar.
Waters (in spotlight), dressed in military attire, performing at The Wall – Live in Berlin, 1990

The Wall Tour opened at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena on 7 February 1980. As the band played, a 40-foot (12 m) wall of cardboard bricks was gradually built between them and the audience. Several characters were realised as giant inflatables, including a pig, replete with a crossed hammers logo.[98] Scarfe was employed to produce a series of animations to be projected onto the wall.[98] At his London studio, he employed a team of 40 animators to create nightmarish visions of the future, including a dove of peace, a schoolmaster, and Pink's mother.[99]

For "Comfortably Numb", while Waters sang his opening verse, Gilmour waited in darkness at the top of the wall, standing on a flight case on casters, held steady by a technician, both precariously balanced atop a hydraulic platform. On cue, bright blue and white lights would suddenly illuminate him.[100] At the end of the concert, the wall collapsed, revealing the band.[101] Along with the songs on the album, the tour featured an instrumental medley, "The Last Few Bricks", played before "Goodbye Cruel World" to allow the construction crew to complete the wall.[102]

During the tour, band relationships dropped to an all-time low; four Winnebagos were parked in a circle, with the doors facing away from the centre. Waters used his own vehicle to arrive at the venue, and stayed in separate hotels from the rest of the band. Wright, returning to perform his duties as a salaried musician, was the only member of the band to profit from the tour, which lost about £400,000.[53]

Adaptations

A film adaptation, Pink Floyd – The Wall, was released in July 1982.[38] It was written by Waters and directed by Alan Parker, with Bob Geldof as Pink. It used Scarfe's animation alongside actors, with little conventional dialogue.[103] A modified soundtrack was created for some of the film's songs.[104]

In 1990, Waters and producer Tony Hollingsworth created The Wall – Live in Berlin, staged for charity at a site once occupied by part of the Berlin Wall.[105] Beginning in 2010[106] and with dates lasting into 2013, Waters performed the album worldwide on his tour, The Wall Live.[107] This had a much wider wall, updated higher quality projected content and leading-edge projection technology. Gilmour and Mason played at one show in London at The O2 Arena.[108] A film of the live concert, Roger Waters: The Wall, was released in 2015.[109] In 2000, Pink Floyd released Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81, which contains portions of various live shows from the Wall Tour.[110]

In 2016, Waters adapted The Wall into an opera, Another Brick in the Wall: The Opera with contemporary classical composer Julien Bilodeau. It premiered at Opéra de Montréal in March 2017, and was produced by Cincinnati Opera in July 2018.[111] It is orchestrated for a score of eight soloists, 48 chorus members, and a standard 70-piece operatic orchestra.[112]

In 2018, a tribute album The Wall [Redux] was released, with individual artists covering the entire album. This included Melvins' version of "In The Flesh?",[113] Pallbearer covering "Run Like Hell", former Screaming Trees' singer Mark Lanegan covering "Nobody Home" and Church of the Cosmic Skull reworking "The Trial".[114][115]

Track listing

All tracks written by Roger Waters, except where noted.

Side one/Disc one
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."In the Flesh?"Waters3:16
2."The Thin Ice"Waters, Gilmour2:27
3."Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1"Waters3:11
4."The Happiest Days of Our Lives"Waters1:46
5."Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2"Waters, Gilmour3:59
6."Mother"Waters, Gilmour5:32
Total length:20:11
Side two/Disc one
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."Goodbye Blue Sky"Gilmour2:45
2."Empty Spaces"Waters2:10
3."Young Lust" (writers: Waters, Gilmour)Gilmour3:25
4."One of My Turns"Waters3:41
5."Don't Leave Me Now"Waters4:08
6."Another Brick in the Wall, Part 3"Waters1:18
7."Goodbye Cruel World"Waters1:16
Total length:18:43
Side three/Disc two
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."Hey You"Gilmour, Waters4:40
2."Is There Anybody Out There?"Waters, Gilmour2:44
3."Nobody Home"Waters3:26
4."Vera"Waters1:35
5."Bring the Boys Back Home"Waters1:21
6."Comfortably Numb" (writers: Gilmour, Waters)Gilmour, Waters6:23
Total length:20:09
Side four/Disc two
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."The Show Must Go On"Gilmour1:36
2."In the Flesh"Waters4:15
3."Run Like Hell" (writers: Gilmour, Waters)Waters, Gilmour4:20
4."Waiting for the Worms"Waters, Gilmour4:04
5."Stop"Waters0:30
6."The Trial" (writers: Waters, Ezrin)Waters5:13
7."Outside the Wall"Waters1:41
Total length:21:39

Personnel

Pink Floyd[116]

Additional musicians

  • Bruce Johnston – backing vocals[118]
  • Toni Tennille – backing vocals on "The Show Must Go On" and "Waiting For The Worms"
  • Joe Chemay – backing vocals
  • Jon Joyce – backing vocals
  • Stan Farber – backing vocals
  • Jim Haas – backing vocals
  • Bob Ezrin – piano, Hammond organ, synthesizer, reed organ, backing vocals
  • James Guthrie – percussion, synthesizer, sound effects
  • Jeff Porcaro – drums on "Mother"
  • Children of Islington Green School – vocals on "Another Brick in the Wall Part II"
  • Joe Porcaro[119] – snare drums on "Bring the Boys Back Home"
  • Lee Ritenour – rhythm guitar on "One of My Turns", additional acoustic guitar on "Comfortably Numb"
  • Joe (Ron) di Blasi – classical guitar on "Is There Anybody Out There?"
  • Fred Mandel – Hammond organ on "In The Flesh?" and "In the Flesh"
  • Bobbye Hall – congas and bongos on "Run Like Hell"
  • Frank Marocco – concertina on "Outside the Wall"
  • Larry Williams – clarinet on "Outside the Wall"
  • Trevor Veitch – mandolin on "Outside the Wall"
  • New York Orchestra – orchestra
  • New York Opera – choral vocals
  • Vicki Brown and Clare Torry (credited simply as "Vicki & Clare") – backing vocals on "The Trial"
  • Harry Waters – child's voice on "Goodbye Blue Sky"
  • Chris Fitzmorris – male telephone voice
  • Trudy Young – voice of the groupie
  • Phil Taylor – sound effects

Production

  • David Gilmour – co-producer
  • Roger Waters – co-producer
  • Bob Ezrin – production, orchestral arrangement, music on "The Trial"
  • Michael Kamen – orchestral arrangement
  • James Guthrie – co-producer, engineer
  • Nick Griffiths – engineer
  • Patrice Quef – engineer
  • Brian Christian – engineer
  • Rick Hart – engineer
  • Doug Sax – mastering
  • John McClure - engineer
  • Phil Taylor – sound equipment
  • Gerald Scarfe – sleeve design
  • Roger Waters – sleeve design
  • Joel Plante – mastering[118]

Charts and certifications

Album

Chart (1979–80) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[120] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[121] 1
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[122] 1
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[123] 1
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[124] 1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[125] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[126] 1
Spanish Albums (AFE)[127] 1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[128] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[129] 3
US Billboard 200[130] 1
Chart (1990) Peak
position
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[131] 19
Chart (2005–06) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[132] 11
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[133] 85
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[134] 81
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[135] 19
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[136] 21
Italian Albums (FIMI)[137] 13
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[138] 9
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[139] 29
Chart (2011–12) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[140] 20
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[141] 15
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[142] 44
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[143] 20
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[144] 7
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[145] 10
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[146] 15
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[147] 17
French Albums (SNEP)[148] 12
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[124] 4
Irish Albums (IRMA)[149] 38
Italian Albums (FIMI)[150] 4
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[151] 14
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[152] 10
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[153] 30
Portuguese Albums (AFP)[154] 10
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[155] 15
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[156] 13
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[157] 8
UK Albums (OCC)[158] 22
US Billboard 200[159] 17

Singles

Date Single Chart Position Source
23 November 1979 "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" UK Top 40 1 [nb 5][160]
7 January 1980 "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" US Billboard Pop Singles 1 [nb 6][82]
9 June 1980 "Run Like Hell" US Billboard Pop Singles 53 [nb 7][82]
March 1980 "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)" Norway's single chart 1 [161]

Certifications

Country Certification Sales Last certification date Comment Source(s)
Argentina Platinum 200,000 23 August 1999 [162]
Australia 11× Platinum 770,000 2011 [163]
Brazil Platinum 80,000 [164]
Canada 2× Diamond 2,000,000 31 August 1995 [165]
France Diamond 1,576,100 1991 [166]
Germany 4× Platinum 2,000,000 1994 [167]
Greece 100,000 [168]
Italy 4× Platinum 200,000 2019 sales of Parlophone edition [169]
Italy 1× Platinum 50,000 2016 sales of EMI MKTG edition [170]
New Zealand RMNZ 14× Platinum 210,000 29 January 2011 [171]
Poland Platinum 100,000 29 October 2003 [172][173]
Spain Platinum 100,000 1980 [174]
United Kingdom 2x Platinum 600,000 22 July 2013 [175]
United States RIAA 23× Platinum 11,500,000 29 January 1999 [176]
United States Soundscan   5,381,000 29 August 2008 Since March 1991 – August 2008 [177][178]

References

Notes

  1. ^ Pink Floyd eventually sued NWG for £1 million, accusing them of fraud and negligence. NWG collapsed in 1981. fled to Spain, Norton Warburg Investments (a part of NWG) was renamed to Waterbrook, and many of its holdings were sold at a loss. Andrew Warburg was jailed for three years upon his return to the UK in 1987.[19]
  2. ^ As well as being more flexible, repeated replay of magnetic tape can, over time, reduce the quality of the recorded material.
  3. ^ EMI Harvest SHDW 411 (double album)[82]
  4. ^ As a double album 23x platinum signifies sales of 11.5 million.
  5. ^ EMI Harvest HAR 5194 (7" single)
  6. ^ Columbia 1-11187 (7" single)
  7. ^ Columbia 1-11265 (7" single)

Footnotes

  1. ^ Brown, Jake (2011). Jane's Addiction: In the Studio. SCB Distributors. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-9834716-2-2.
  2. ^ Murphy, Sean (17 November 2015). "The 25 Best Classic Progressive Rock Albums". PopMatters. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  3. ^ Breithaupt, Don; Breithaupt, Jeff (2000), Night Moves: Pop Music in the Late '70s, St. Martin's Press, p. 71, ISBN 978-0-312-19821-3
  4. ^ Barker, Emily (8 July 2015). "23 Of The Maddest And Most Memorable Concept Albums". NME. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  5. ^ Colin Larkin (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 48. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  6. ^ Turner, Steve: "Roger Waters: The Wall in Berlin"; Radio Times, 25 May 1990; reprinted in Classic Rock #148, August 2010, p76
  7. ^ Scarfe 2010, p. 51
  8. ^ Schaffner, p 329
  9. ^ Schaffner, pp 219–220
  10. ^ a b Mason 2005, pp. 235–236
  11. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 256–257
  12. ^ Blake 2008, p. 257
  13. ^ Blake 2008, p. 258
  14. ^ a b c Blake 2008, p. 259
  15. ^ Blake 2008, p. 305
  16. ^ a b Blake 2008, pp. 258–259
  17. ^ a b UK Retail Price Index inflation figures are based on data from Clark, Gregory (2017). "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  18. ^ a b Gwyther, Matthew (7 March 1993). "The dark side of success". Observer magazine. p. 37.
  19. ^ a b Schaffner 1991, pp. 206–208
  20. ^ a b Blake 2008, p. 260
  21. ^ Fitch & Mahon 2006, p. 25
  22. ^ Schaffner 1991, p. 212
  23. ^ a b Schaffner 1991, pp. 211–213
  24. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 260–261
  25. ^ a b c Schaffner 1991, p. 213
  26. ^ Blake 2008, p. 278
  27. ^ "Rock Milestones: Pink Floyd – The Wall", The New York Times, retrieved 30 May 2010; Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Announces The Wall Tour, MTV, retrieved 30 May 2010; Top 14 Greatest Rock Operas/Concept Albums Of All Time, ign.com, retrieved 30 May 2010
  28. ^ Schaffner 1991, pp. 225–226
  29. ^ Scarfe 2010, p. 57
  30. ^ Blake 2008, p. 274
  31. ^ Fitch & Mahon 2006, pp. 71, 113
  32. ^ "Pink Floyd news :: Brain Damage - Michael Kamen". Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  33. ^ Fitch & Mahon 2006, pp. 50–59, 71–113
  34. ^ Povey 2007, p. 232
  35. ^ Fitch & Mahon 2006, p. 26
  36. ^ Mason 2005, p. 238
  37. ^ Blake 2008, p. 262
  38. ^ a b c Blake 2008, p. 263
  39. ^ Mason 2005, p. 240
  40. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 262–263
  41. ^ a b Mason 2005, pp. 243–244
  42. ^ a b Blake 2008, p. 267
  43. ^ a b c Blake 2008, p. 264
  44. ^ Blake 2008, p. 265
  45. ^ a b Blake 2008, p. 266
  46. ^ a b c Mason 2005, p. 245
  47. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 264–267
  48. ^ Mason 2005, p. 246
  49. ^ Simmons 1999, p. 88
  50. ^ Blake 2008, pp. 267–268
  51. ^ Schaffner 1991, p. 219
  52. ^ a b Blake 2008, p. 269
  53. ^ a b Blake 2008, pp. 285–286
  54. ^ a b Mason 2005, p. 249
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Bibliography

Further reading

  • Di Perna, Alan (2002), Guitar World Presents Pink Floyd, Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation, ISBN 978-0-634-03286-8
  • Fitch, Vernon (2001), Pink Floyd: The Press Reports 1966–1983, Ontario: Collector's Guide Publishing Inc, ISBN 978-1-896522-72-2
  • Fricke, David (December 2009), "Roger Waters: Welcome to My Nightmare ... Behind The Wall", Mojo, London: Emap Metro, 193: 68–84
  • Hiatt, Brian (September 2010), "Back to The Wall", Rolling Stone, 1114: 50–57
  • MacDonald, Bruno (1997), Pink Floyd: through the eyes of ... the band, its fans, friends, and foes, New York: Da Capo Press, ISBN 978-0-306-80780-0
  • Mabbett, Andy (2010), Pink Floyd The Music and the Mystery, London: Omnibus Press, ISBN 978-1-84938-370-7

External links

28 November 1979

Air New Zealand Flight 901, a DC-10 sightseeing flight over Antarctica, crashes into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 people on board.

Mount Erebus disaster

Mount Erebus disaster
Air New Zealand Flight 901.jpg
Debris from the DC-10's fuselage photographed in 2004. Most of the wreckage of Flight 901 remains at the accident site.
Accident
Date28 November 1979
SummaryControlled flight into terrain
SiteMount Erebus, Antarctica
77°25′30″S 167°27′30″E / 77.42500°S 167.45833°E / -77.42500; 167.45833Coordinates: 77°25′30″S 167°27′30″E / 77.42500°S 167.45833°E / -77.42500; 167.45833
Aircraft
Aircraft typeMcDonnell Douglas DC-10-30
OperatorAir New Zealand
RegistrationZK-NZP
Flight originAuckland International Airport
StopoverChristchurch International Airport
DestinationNonstop sightseeing flight to and from Antarctica
Occupants257
Passengers237
Crew20
Fatalities257
Survivors0

The Mount Erebus disaster occurred on 28 November 1979 when Air New Zealand Flight 901 (TE-901)[nb 1] flew into Mount Erebus on Ross Island, Antarctica, killing all 237 passengers and 20 crew on board.[1][2] Scheduled Air New Zealand Antarctic sightseeing flight had been operating between 1977 and 1979. This flight was supposed to leave Auckland Airport in the morning and spend a few hours flying over the Antarctic continent, before returning to Auckland in the evening via Christchurch.

The initial investigation concluded the accident was caused by pilot error, but public outcry led to the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the crash. The commission, presided over by Justice Peter Mahon QC, concluded that the accident was caused by a correction made to the coordinates of the flight path the night before the disaster, coupled with a failure to inform the flight crew of the change, with the result that the aircraft, instead of being directed by computer down McMurdo Sound (as the crew had been led to believe), was instead re-routed to a path toward Mount Erebus. Justice Mahon's report accused Air New Zealand of presenting "an orchestrated litany of lies" and this led to changes in senior management at the airline. The Privy Council later ruled that the finding of a conspiracy was a breach of natural justice and not supported by the evidence.

The accident is New Zealand's deadliest peacetime disaster, as well as the deadliest accident in the history of Air New Zealand.

Flight and aircraft

The flight was designed and marketed as a unique sightseeing experience, carrying an experienced Antarctic guide who pointed out scenic features and landmarks using the aircraft public-address system, while passengers enjoyed a low-flying sweep of McMurdo Sound.[3] The flights left and returned to New Zealand the same day.

ZK-NZP, the aircraft involved in the accident, photographed in 1977

Flight 901 would leave Auckland International Airport at 8:00 am for Antarctica, and arrive back at Christchurch International Airport at 7:00 pm after flying a total of 5,360 miles (8,630 km). The aircraft would make a 45-minute stop at Christchurch for refuelling and crew change, before flying the remaining 464 miles (747 km) to Auckland, arriving at 9:00 pm. Tickets for the November 1979 flights cost NZ$359 per person (NZ$1,279 in December 2016 with transport-related inflation).[4][5]

Dignitaries including Sir Edmund Hillary had acted as guides on previous flights. Hillary was scheduled to act as the guide for the fatal flight of 28 November 1979, but had to cancel owing to other commitments. His long-time friend and climbing companion, Peter Mulgrew, stood in as guide.[6]

The flights usually operated at about 85% of capacity; the empty seats, usually the ones in the centre row, allowed passengers to move more easily about the cabin to look out of the windows.[citation needed]

The aircraft used on the Antarctic flights were Air New Zealand's eight McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 trijets. The aircraft on 28 November was registered ZK-NZP. The 182nd DC-10 to be built, and the fourth DC-10 to be introduced by Air New Zealand, ZK-NZP was handed over to the airline on 12 December 1974 at McDonnell Douglas's Long Beach plant. It was the first Air New Zealand DC-10 to be fitted with General Electric CF6-50C engines as built, and had logged more than 20,700 flight hours prior to the crash.[1][7]

Accident

Circumstances surrounding the accident

Captain Jim Collins and co-pilot Greg Cassin had never flown to Antarctica before (while flight engineer Gordon Brooks had flown to Antarctica only once previously), but they were experienced pilots and were considered qualified for the flight. On 9 November 1979, 19 days before departure, the two pilots attended a briefing in which they were given a copy of the previous flight's flight plan.[3]

The flight plan that had been approved in 1977 by the Civil Aviation Division of the New Zealand Department of Transport was along a track directly from Cape Hallett to the McMurdo non-directional beacon (NDB), which, coincidentally, entailed flying almost directly over the 12,448-foot (3,794 m) peak of Mount Erebus. However, because of a typing error in the coordinates when the route was computerised, the printout from Air New Zealand's ground computer system presented at the 9 November briefing corresponded to a southerly flight path down the middle of the wide McMurdo Sound, approximately 27 miles (43 km) to the west of Mount Erebus.[8] The majority of the previous 13 flights had also entered this flight plan's coordinates into their aircraft navigational systems and flown the McMurdo Sound route, unaware that the route flown did not correspond with the approved route.[9]

Captain Leslie Simpson, the pilot of a flight on 14 November and also present at the 9 November briefing,[10] compared the coordinates of the McMurdo TACAN navigation beacon (approximately 5 kilometres [3 mi] east of McMurdo NDB), and the McMurdo waypoint that his flight crew had entered into the INS (Inertial Navigation System), and was surprised to find a large distance between the two. After his flight, Captain Simpson advised Air New Zealand's Navigation section of the difference in positions. For reasons that were disputed, this triggered Air New Zealand's Navigation section to resolve to update the McMurdo waypoint coordinates stored in the ground computer to correspond with the coordinates of the McMurdo TACAN beacon, despite this also not corresponding with the approved route.[8]

The Navigation section changed the McMurdo waypoint co-ordinate stored in the ground computer system at approximately 1:40 am on the morning of the flight. Crucially, the flight crew of Flight 901 was not notified of the change. The flight plan printout given to the crew on the morning of the flight, which was subsequently entered by them into the aircraft's INS, differed from the flight plan presented at the 9 November briefing and from Captain Collins' map mark-ups which he had prepared the night before the fatal flight. The key difference was that the flight plan presented at the briefing corresponded to a track down McMurdo Sound, giving Mount Erebus a wide berth to the east, whereas the flight plan printed on the morning of the flight corresponded to a track that coincided with Mount Erebus, which would result in a collision with Mount Erebus if this leg was flown at an altitude of less than 13,000 feet (4,000 m).[9]

The computer program was altered such that the standard telex forwarded to US Air Traffic Controllers at the United States Antarctic science facility at McMurdo Station displayed the word "McMurdo", rather than the coordinates of latitude and longitude, for the final waypoint. During the subsequent inquiry Justice Mahon concluded that this was a deliberate attempt to conceal from the United States authorities that the flight plan had been changed, and probably because it was known that US Air Traffic Control would lodge an objection to the new flight path.[11]

The flight had earlier paused during the approach to McMurdo Sound to carry out a descent, via a figure-eight manoeuvre, through a gap in the low cloud base (later estimated to be at approximately 2,000 to 3,000 feet (610 to 910 m)) while over water to establish visual contact with surface landmarks and give the passengers a better view.[12] It was established that the flight crew either was unaware of or ignored the approved route's minimum safe altitude (MSA) of 16,000 feet (4,900 m) for the approach to Mount Erebus, and 6,000 feet (1,800 m) in the sector south of Mount Erebus (and then only when the cloud base was at 7,000 feet (2,100 m) or better). Photographs and news stories from previous flights showed that many of these had also been flown at levels substantially below the route's MSA. In addition, pre-flight briefings for previous flights had approved descents to any altitude authorised by the US Air Traffic Controller (ATC) at McMurdo Station. As the US ATC expected Flight 901 to follow the same route as previous flights down McMurdo Sound, and in accordance with the route waypoints previously advised by Air New Zealand to them, the ATC advised Flight 901 that it had a radar that could let them down to 1,500 feet (460 m). However, the radar equipment did not pick up the aircraft, and the crew also experienced difficulty establishing VHF communications. The distance measuring equipment (DME) did not lock onto the McMurdo Tactical Air Navigation System (TACAN) for any useful period.[13]

Cockpit voice recorder transcripts from the last minutes of the flight before impact with Mount Erebus indicated that the flight crew believed they were flying over McMurdo Sound, well to the west of Mount Erebus and with the Ross Ice Shelf visible on the horizon, when in reality they were flying directly toward the mountain. Despite most of the crew being engaged in identifying visual landmarks at the time, they never perceived the mountain directly in front of them. Approximately six minutes after completing a descent in Visual Meteorological Conditions, Flight 901 collided with the mountain at an altitude of approximately 1,500 feet (460 m), on the lower slopes of the 12,448-foot (3,794 m) tall mountain. Passenger photographs taken seconds before the collision removed all doubt of a "flying in cloud" theory, showing perfectly clear visibility well beneath the cloud base, with landmarks 13 miles (21 km) to the left and 10 miles (16 km) to the right of the aircraft visible.[14]

Changes to the coordinates and departure

The crew input the coordinates into the plane's computer before they departed at 7:21 am from Auckland International Airport. Unknown to them, the coordinates had been modified earlier that morning to correct the error introduced previously and undetected until then. The crew evidently did not check the destination waypoint against a topographical map (as did Captain Simpson on the flight of 14 November) or they would have noticed the change. Charts for the Antarctic were not available to the pilot for planning purposes, being withheld[why?] until the flight was about to depart. The charts eventually provided, which were carried on the aircraft, were neither comprehensive enough nor large enough in scale to support detailed plotting.[15] Such cross checks (and more crucially, real-time monitoring of the aircraft's actual position over the ground) was neither supported nor required, nor even encouraged, by the Navigation Section of Air New Zealand.[citation needed]

These new coordinates changed the flight plan to track 27 miles (43 km) east of their understanding. The coordinates programmed the plane to overfly Mount Erebus, a 12,448-foot-high (3,794 m) volcano, instead of down McMurdo Sound.[3]

About four hours after a smooth take-off, the flight was 42 miles (68 km) away from McMurdo Station. The radio communications centre there allowed the pilots to descend to 10,000 ft (3,000 m) and to continue "visually." Air safety regulations at the time did not allow flights to descend to lower than 6,000 ft (1,800 m), even in good weather, although Air New Zealand's own travel magazine showed photographs of previous flights clearly operating below 6,000 ft (1,800 m). Collins believed the plane was over open water.[3]

Crash into Mount Erebus

Flight path of Flight 901

Collins told McMurdo Station that he would be dropping to 2,000 feet (610 m), at which point he switched control of the aircraft to the automated computer system. Outside there was a layer of clouds that blended with the white of the snow-covered volcano, forming a sector whiteout – there was no contrast between the two to warn the pilots. The effect deceived everyone on the flight deck, making them believe that the white mountainside was the Ross Ice Shelf, a huge expanse of floating ice derived from the great ice sheets of Antarctica, which was in fact now behind the mountain. As it was little understood, even by experienced polar pilots, Air New Zealand had provided no training for the flight crew on the sector whiteout phenomenon. Consequently, the crew thought they were flying along McMurdo Sound, when they were actually flying over Lewis Bay in front of Mt. Erebus.[3]

At 12:49 pm, the ground proximity warning system (GPWS) began sounding a series of "whoop whoop pull up" alarms, warning that the plane was dangerously close to terrain. The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) recorded the following:[nb 2]

  • GPWS: "Whoop whoop. Pull up. Whoop whoop..."
  • F/E: "500 feet"
  • GPWS: "...Pull up."
  • F/E: "400 feet"
  • GPWS: "Whoop, whoop. Pull up. Whoop whoop. Pull up."
  • CA: "Go-around power please."
  • GPWS: "Whoop, whoop. Pull-"
  • CAM: [Sound of impact]

The go-around power was immediately applied, but it was too late.[16][17] There was no time to divert the aircraft, and six seconds later the plane crashed into the side of Mount Erebus and exploded, instantly killing everyone on board. The accident occurred at 12:50 pm at a position of 77°25′30″S 167°27′30″E / 77.42500°S 167.45833°E / -77.42500; 167.45833 (accident site) and an elevation of 1,467 feet (447 m) AMSL.[18]

McMurdo Station attempted to contact the flight after the crash, and informed Air New Zealand headquarters in Auckland that communication with the aircraft had been lost. United States search and rescue personnel were placed on standby.[3]

Nationalities of passengers and crew

Air New Zealand had not lost any passengers to an accident or incident until this event took place.[19] The nationalities of the passengers and crew included:[3][20]

Country Passengers Crew Total
New Zealand 180 20 200
Japan 24 - 24
United States 22 - 22
United Kingdom 6 - 6
Canada 2 - 2
Australia 1 - 1
France 1 - 1
Switzerland 1 - 1
Total 237 20 257

Rescue and recovery

Initial search and discovery

At 2:00 pm the United States Navy released a situation report stating:

Air New Zealand Flight 901 has failed to acknowledge radio transmissions. ... One LC-130 fixed-wing aircraft and two UH-1N rotary wing aircraft are preparing to launch for SAR effort.[21]:1

Data gathered at 3:43 pm was added to the situation report, stating that the visibility was 40 miles (64 km). It also stated that six aircraft had been launched to find the flight.[21]:2

Flight 901 was due to arrive back at Christchurch at 6:05 pm for a stopover including refuelling and a crew change before completing the journey back to Auckland. Around 50 passengers were also supposed to disembark at Christchurch. Airport staff initially told the waiting families that it was usual for the flight to be slightly late but, as time went on, it became clear that something was wrong.[22]

At 9:00 pm, about half an hour after the plane would have run out of fuel, Air New Zealand informed the press that it believed the aircraft to be lost. Rescue teams searched along the assumed flight path but found nothing. At 12:55 am the crew of a United States Navy aircraft discovered unidentified debris along the side of Mount Erebus.[21]:4 No survivors could be seen. At around 9:00 am, twenty hours after the crash, helicopters with search parties managed to land on the side of the mountain. They confirmed that the wreckage was that of Flight 901 and that all 237 passengers and 20 crew members had been killed. The DC-10's altitude at the time of the collision was 1,465 feet (447 m).

The vertical stabiliser section of the plane, with the koru logo clearly visible, was found in the snow.[23] Bodies and fragments of the aircraft were flown back to Auckland for identification.[24] The remains of 44 of the victims were not individually identified. A funeral was held for them on 22 February 1980.

Operation Overdue

The recovery effort of Flight 901 was called "Operation Overdue".

Efforts for recovery were extensive, owing in part to the pressure from Japan, as 24 passengers had been Japanese. The operation lasted until 9 December 1979, with up to 60 recovery workers on site at a time. A team of New Zealand Police officers and a Mountain Face Rescue team were dispatched on a No. 40 Squadron C-130 Hercules aircraft.[citation needed]

The job of individual identification took many weeks, and was largely done by teams of pathologists, dentists, and police. The mortuary team was led by Inspector Jim Morgan, who collated and edited a report on the recovery operation. Record keeping had to be meticulous because of the number and fragmented state of the human remains that had to be identified to the satisfaction of the coroner. The exercise resulted in 83% of the deceased eventually being identified, sometimes from evidence such as a finger capable of yielding a print, or keys in a pocket.[citation needed]

The fact that we all spent about a week camped in polar tents amid the wreckage and dead bodies, maintaining a 24-hour work schedule says it all. We split the men into two shifts (12 hours on and 12 off), and recovered with great effort all the human remains at the site. Many bodies were trapped under tons of fuselage and wings and much physical effort was required to dig them out and extract them.

Initially, there was very little water at the site and we had only one bowl between all of us to wash our hands in before eating. The water was black. In the first days on site we did not wash plates and utensils after eating but handed them on to the next shift because we were unable to wash them. I could not eat my first meal on site because it was a meat stew. Our polar clothing became covered in black human grease (a result of burns on the bodies).

We felt relieved when the first resupply of woollen gloves arrived because ours had become saturated in human grease, however, we needed the finger movement that wool gloves afforded, i.e., writing down the details of what we saw and assigning body and grid numbers to all body parts and labelling them. All bodies and body parts were photographed in situ by U.S. Navy photographers who worked with us. Also, U.S. Navy personnel helped us to lift and pack bodies into body bags which was very exhausting work.

Later, the Skua gulls were eating the bodies in front of us, causing us much mental anguish as well as destroying the chances of identifying the corpses. We tried to shoo them away but to no avail, we then threw flares, also to no avail. Because of this we had to pick up all the bodies/parts that had been bagged and create 11 large piles of human remains around the crash site in order to bury them under snow to keep the birds off. To do this we had to scoop up the top layer of snow over the crash site and bury them, only later to uncover them when the weather cleared and the helos were able to get back on the site. It was immensely exhausting work.

After we had almost completed the mission, we were trapped by bad weather and isolated. At that point, NZPO2 and I allowed the liquor that had survived the crash to be given out and we had a party (macabre, but we had to let off steam).

We ran out of cigarettes, a catastrophe that caused all persons, civilians and Police on site, to hand in their personal supplies so we could dish them out equally and spin out the supply we had. As the weather cleared, the helos were able to get back and we then were able to hook the piles of bodies in cargo nets under the helicopters and they were taken to McMurdo. This was doubly exhausting because we also had to wind down the personnel numbers with each helo load and that left the remaining people with more work to do. It was exhausting uncovering the bodies and loading them and dangerous too as debris from the crash site was whipped up by the helo rotors. Risks were taken by all those involved in this work. The civilians from McDonnell Douglas, MOT and U.S. Navy personnel were first to leave and then the Police and DSIR followed. I am proud of my service and those of my colleagues on Mount Erebus.[25]

— Jim Morgan

In 2006, the New Zealand Special Service Medal (Erebus) was instituted to recognise the service of New Zealanders, and citizens of the United States of America and other countries, who were involved in the body recovery, identification, and crash investigation phases of Operation Overdue. On 5 June 2009 the New Zealand government recognised some of the Americans who assisted in Operation Overdue during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. A total of 40 Americans, mostly Navy personnel, are eligible to receive the medal.[26]

Accident inquiries

The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder of Air New Zealand Flight 901, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (2015)

Despite Flight 901 crashing in one of the most isolated parts of the world, evidence from the crash site was extensive. Both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder were in working order and able to be deciphered. Extensive photographic footage from the moments before the crash was available: being a sightseeing flight, most passengers were carrying cameras, from which the majority of the film could be developed.[27][28]

Official accident report

The accident report compiled by New Zealand's chief inspector of air accidents, Ron Chippindale, was released on 12 June 1980. It cited pilot error as the principal cause of the accident and attributed blame to the decision of Collins to descend below the customary minimum altitude level, and to continue at that altitude when the crew was unsure of the plane's position. The customary minimum altitude prohibited descent below 6,000 feet (1,800 m) even under good weather conditions, but a combination of factors led the captain to believe the plane was over the sea (the middle of McMurdo Sound and few small low islands), and previous flight 901 pilots had regularly flown low over the area to give passengers a better view, as evidenced by photographs in Air New Zealand's own travel magazine and by first-hand accounts of personnel based on the ground at NZ's Scott Base.[citation needed]

Mahon Inquiry

In response to public demand, the New Zealand Government announced a further one-man Royal Commission of Inquiry into the accident, to be performed by judge Justice Peter Mahon. This Royal Commission was 'handicapped' in that the deadline was extremely short; originally set for 31 October 1980, it was later extended four times.[29]

Mahon's report, released on 27 April 1981, cleared the crew of blame for the disaster. Mahon said the single, dominant and effective cause of the crash was Air New Zealand's alteration of the flight plan waypoint coordinates in the ground navigation computer without advising the crew. The new flight plan took the aircraft directly over the mountain, rather than along its flank. Due to whiteout conditions, "a malevolent trick of the polar light", the crew were unable to visually identify the mountain in front of them. Furthermore, they may have experienced a rare meteorological phenomenon called sector whiteout, which creates the visual illusion of a flat horizon far in the distance. (It appeared to be a very broad gap between cloud layers allowing a view of the distant Ross Ice Shelf and beyond.) Mahon noted that the flight crew, with many thousands of hours of flight time between them, had considerable experience with the extreme accuracy of the aircraft's inertial navigation system. Mahon also found that the pre-flight briefings for previous flights had approved descents to any altitude authorised by the US Air Traffic Controller (ATC) at McMurdo Station, and that the radio communications centre at McMurdo Station had indeed authorised Collins to descend to 1,500 feet (460 m), below the minimum safe level of 6,000 feet (1,800 m).[citation needed]

In his report, Mahon found that airline executives and senior pilots had engaged in a conspiracy to whitewash the inquiry, accusing them of "an orchestrated litany of lies" by covering up evidence and lying to investigators.[30]:¶377[31] Mahon found that in the original report Chippindale had a poor grasp of the flying involved in jet airline operation, as he (and the New Zealand CAA in general) was typically involved in investigating simple light aircraft crashes. Chippindale's investigation techniques were revealed as lacking in rigour, which allowed errors and avoidable gaps in knowledge to appear in reports. Consequently, Chippindale entirely missed the importance of the flight plan change and the rare meteorological conditions of Antarctica. Had the pilots been informed of the flight plan change, the crash would have been avoided.

Court proceedings

Judicial review

On 20 May 1981, Air New Zealand applied to the High Court of New Zealand for judicial review of Mahon's order that it pay more than half the costs of the Mahon Inquiry, and for judicial review of some of the findings of fact Mahon had made in his report. The application was referred to the Court of Appeal, which unanimously set aside the costs order. However, the Court of Appeal, by majority, declined to go any further, and, in particular, declined to set aside Mahon's finding that members of the management of Air New Zealand had conspired to commit perjury before the Inquiry to cover up the errors of the ground staff.[29]

Privy Council appeal

Mahon then appealed to the Privy Council in London against the Court of Appeal's decision. His findings as to the cause of the accident, namely reprogramming of the aircraft's flight plan by the ground crew who then failed to inform the flight crew, had not been challenged before the Court of Appeal, and so were not challenged before the Privy Council. His conclusion that the crash was the result of the aircrew being misdirected as to their flight path, not due to pilot error, therefore remained.

Regarding the issue of Air New Zealand stating a minimum altitude of 6,000 feet for pilots in the vicinity of McMurdo Base, the Privy Council stated "Their Lordships accept unreservedly that ... the evidence given by several of the executive pilots at the inquiry was false. But, even though false ... it cannot have formed part of a predetermined plan of deception. Those witnesses whom the Judge disbelieved on this issue were, as their Lordships must accept, being untruthful ... they were also being singularly naive. [Q]uite apart from the mass of evidence of flights at low altitudes and the publicity given to them ... it is not conceivable that individual witnesses falsely disclaimed knowledge of low flying on previous Antarctic flights in a concerted attempt to deceive anybody".[32]

But the Law Lords of the Privy Council under the chair of Lord Diplock effectively agreed with some of the views of the minority in the Court of Appeal in concluding that Mahon had acted in breach of natural justice in making his finding of a conspiracy by Air New Zealand management and it was not supported by the evidence. In its judgment, delivered on 20 October 1983, the Privy Council therefore dismissed Mahon's appeal.[33][34] Aviation researcher John King wrote in his book New Zealand Tragedies, Aviation:

They demolished his case (Mahon's case for a cover-up) item by item, including Exhibit 164 which they said could not "be understood by any experienced pilot to be intended for the purposes of navigation" and went even further, saying there was no clear proof on which to base a finding that a plan of deception, led by the company's chief executive, had ever existed.

"Exhibit 164" was a photocopied diagram of McMurdo Sound showing a southbound flight path passing west of Ross Island and a northbound path passing the island on the east. The diagram did not extend sufficiently far south to show where, how, or even if they joined, and left the two paths disconnected. Evidence had been given to the effect that the diagram had been included in the flight crew's briefing documentation.

Legacy of the disaster

The crash of Flight 901 is one of New Zealand's three deadliest disasters – the others being the 1874 Cospatrick sailing ship disaster in which 470[35][36] people died, and the 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people.[37] At the time of the disaster, it was the fourth-deadliest air crash of all time.[38] As of January 2020 (2020-01), the crash remains Air New Zealand's deadliest accident, as well as New Zealand's deadliest peacetime disaster.[39][40]

Flight 901, in conjunction with the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 in Chicago six months earlier (25 May), severely hurt the reputation of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Following the Chicago crash, the FAA withdrew the DC-10's type certificate on 6 June, which grounded all U.S.-registered DC-10s and forbade any foreign government which had a bilateral agreement with the United States regarding aircraft certifications from flying their DC-10s, which included Air New Zealand's seven DC-10s.[41] The Air New Zealand DC-10 fleet was grounded until the FAA measures were rescinded five weeks later, on 13 July, after all carriers had completed modifications that responded to issues discovered from the American Airlines Flight 191 incident.[42]

Flight 901 was the third deadliest accident involving a DC-10, following Turkish Airlines Flight 981 and American Airlines Flight 191. The event marked the beginning of the end for Air New Zealand's DC-10 fleet, although there had been talk before the accident of replacing the aircraft; DC-10s were replaced by Boeing 747s from mid-1981, and the last Air New Zealand DC-10 flew in December 1982. The occurrence also spelled the end of commercially operated Antarctic sightseeing flights – Air New Zealand cancelled all its Antarctic flights after Flight 901, and Qantas suspended its Antarctic flights in February 1980, only returning on a limited basis again in 1994.

Almost all of the aircraft's wreckage still lies where it came to rest on the slopes of Mount Erebus, as both its remote location and its weather conditions can hamper any further recovery operations. During the cold periods, the wreckage is buried under a layer of snow and ice. During warm periods, when snow recedes, it is visible from the air.[43]

A television miniseries, Erebus: The Aftermath, focusing on the investigation and the Royal Commission of Inquiry, was broadcast in New Zealand and Australia in 1988.[citation needed]

The phrase "an orchestrated litany of lies" entered New Zealand popular culture for some years.[44][45][46]

Following the incident, all charter flights to Antarctica from New Zealand ceased, and were not resumed until 2013, when a Boeing 747-400 chartered from Qantas set off from Auckland for a sightseeing flight over the continent.[47]

Justice Mahon's report was finally tabled in Parliament by the then Minister of Transport, Maurice Williamson, in 1999.[citation needed]

In the New Zealand Queen's Birthday Honours list in June 2007 Captain Gordon Vette was awarded the ONZM (Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit), recognising his services in assisting Justice Mahon during the Erebus Inquiry. Vette's book, Impact Erebus, provides a commentary of the flight, its crash and the subsequent investigations.[citation needed]

In 2008, Justice Mahon was posthumously awarded the Jim Collins Memorial Award by the New Zealand Airline Pilots Association for exceptional contributions to air safety, "in forever changing the general approach used in transport accidents investigations world wide."[48]

In 2009, Air New Zealand's CEO Rob Fyfe apologised to all those affected who did not receive appropriate support and compassion from the company following the incident, and unveiled a commemorative sculpture at its headquarters.[49][50]

On 28 November 2019, the 40 year anniversary of the disaster, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, along with the national government, issued a formal apology to the families of the victims. Ardern "[expressed] regret on behalf of Air New Zealand for the accident", and "[apologised] on behalf of the airline which 40 years ago failed in its duty of care to its passengers and staff."[51][52]

The registration of the crashed aircraft, ZK-NZP, has not been reissued.

Memorials

Photograph of the Erebus Memorial at Waikumete Cemetery, Glen Eden, Auckland. January 2014.

A wooden cross was erected on the mountain above Scott Base to commemorate the accident. It was replaced in 1986 with an aluminium cross after the original was eroded by low temperatures, wind, and moisture.[citation needed]

The memorial for the 16 passengers who were unidentifiable and the 28 whose bodies were never found is at Waikumete Cemetery in Glen Eden, Auckland. Beside the memorial is a Japanese cherry tree, planted as a memorial to the 24 Japanese passengers who died on board Flight 901.[53]

A memorial to the crew members of Flight 901 is located adjacent to Auckland Airport, on Tom Pearce Drive at the eastern end of the airport zone.[54]

In January 2010, a 26-kilogram (57 lb) sculpted koru containing letters written by the loved ones of those who died was placed next to the Antarctic cross.[55] It was originally to have been placed at the site by six relatives of the victims on the 30th anniversary of the crash, 28 November 2009, but this was delayed for two months due to bad weather. It was planned for a second koru capsule, mirroring the first capsule, to be placed at Scott Base in 2011.[56]

The book-length poem "Erebus" by American writer Jane Summer (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015) memorialises a close friend who died in the tragedy, and in a feat of 'investigative poetry,’ explores the chain of flawed decisions that caused the crash.[57]

In 2019, it was announced that a national memorial is to be installed in Parnell Rose Gardens, with relative of one of the crash victims stating that it was the right place.[58][59] However local residents criticised the memorial's location, saying that it would "destroy the ambiance of the park".[60]

See also

Similar aircraft incidents

Footnotes

Notes

  1. ^ At the time of the crash, Air New Zealand had two IATA codes, TE for international flights (a relic from Air New Zealand's predecessor, Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL)) and NZ for domestic flights (acquired from the merger with the National Airways Corporation in April 1978). Despite being domestic flights from an immigration point-of-view, the Antarctic flights used the TE code for logistical reasons.
  2. ^ GPWS = Ground Proximity Warning System, CA = Captain, FE = Flight Engineer, CAM = Cockpit Area Micophone.

References

  1. ^ a b Accident description for ZK-NZP at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 24 August 2011.
  2. ^ "DC-10 playbacks awaited". Flight International: 1987. 15 December 1979. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. At press time no information had been released concerning the flightdata and cockpit-voice recorder of Air New Zealand McDonnell Douglas DC-10 ZK-NZP which crashed on Mount Erebus on 28 November.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Mt Erebus Plane Crash: DC-10 ZK-NZP, Flight 901". Christchurch City Libraries. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "RBNZ – New Zealand Inflation Calculator".
  6. ^ "Erebus disaster". NZ History. 9 June 2009.
  7. ^ Hickson, Ken (1980). Flight 901 to Erebus. Whitcoulls Publishers. ISBN 978-0-7233-0641-2.
  8. ^ a b "Erebus crash site map". New Zealand History online – archived from nzhistory.net.nz. Archived from the original on 2 November 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2017.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  9. ^ a b Mahon, Peter (1984). Verdict on Erebus. Collins. ISBN 0-00-636976-6.
  10. ^ "Erebus flight briefing". New Zealand History online. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013.
  11. ^ Royal Commission Report, para 255(e)
  12. ^ "Erebus crash site map – NZhistory.net.nz". Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  13. ^ Chippendale report, para 1.1.5
  14. ^ Royal Commission Report, para 28
  15. ^ "2. Analysis" (PDF). Chippindale Report. p. 29.
  16. ^ "cvr 791128". planecrashinfo.com. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  17. ^ CVR transcript from aviation-safety.net. Retrieved 6 February 2008
  18. ^ Transport Accident Investigation Commission (1980). "AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT REPORT No. 79-139: Air New Zealand McDonnell-Douglas DC10-30 ZK-NZP, Ross Island, Antarctica, 28 November 1979". Wellington, New Zealand: Office of Air Accidents Investigation, Ministry of Transport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2013.
  19. ^ Robertson, David. Air NZ likely to switch to 747s. The Sydney Morning Herald: 30 November 1979, p. 2.
  20. ^ "Erebus Roll of Remembrance". Retrieved 5 November 2009.
  21. ^ a b c
  22. ^ "Erebus flight overdue = NZHistory.net.nz". Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  23. ^ Tail of Air New Zealand plane at Mt Erebus
  24. ^ Bill Spindler. "Air New Zealand DC-10 crash into Mt. Erebus". Retrieved 11 July 2006.
  25. ^ NZPO1 NZAVA–see Bibliography.
  26. ^ Rejcek, Peter (2 July 2009). "Erebus Medals". The Antarctic Sun. Archived from the original on 7 February 2011. 
  27. ^ "Captain Vette's Research". Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  28. ^ "A dark passage in NZ history – tvnz.co.nz". 23 October 2009. Archived from the original on 21 November 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  29. ^ a b "The Honourable Peter Thomas Mahon (Appeal No. 12 of 1983) v Air New Zealand Limited and Others (New Zealand) 1983 UKPC 29 (20 October 1983)" (PDF). BAILII. 20 October 1983.
  30. ^ "The Mahon Report". The Erebus Story. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  31. ^ Ministry for Culture and Heritage. "Erebus disaster Page 6 – Finding the cause". New Zealand History. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  32. ^ "The Honourable Peter Thomas Mahon (Appeal No. 12 of 1983) v Air New Zealand Limited and Others (New Zealand) 1983 UKPC 29 (20 October 1983)" (PDF). BAILII. 20 October 1983.
  33. ^ "The Honourable Peter Thomas Mahon (Appeal No. 12 of 1983) v Air New Zealand Limited and Others (New Zealand) 1983 UKPC 29 (20 October 1983)" (PDF). BAILII. 20 October 1983.
  34. ^ "1981, Peter Mahon: A lesson learned". 18 October 1981. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  35. ^ "Fire on the Cospatrick". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  36. ^ John Wilson, The voyage out – Fire on the Cospatrick, from Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Updated 2007-09-21. Accessed 2008-05-20.
  37. ^ "Quake will rank among worst disasters".
  38. ^ Spitzer, Aaron (28 November 1999). "Antarctica's darkest day" (PDF). The Antarctic Sun. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. 
  39. ^ "Erebus disaster Page 1 – Introduction". New Zealand History. New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
  40. ^ "Air NZ apologises for Mt Erebus crash". The Age. Wellington. 24 October 2009. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. 
  41. ^ North, David M. (12 June 1979). "DC-10 Type Certificate Lifted". Aviation Week & Space Technology. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  42. ^ Endres, Günter (1998). McDonnell Douglas DC-10. Saint Paul: MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7603-0617-6.
  43. ^ "TE901 debris reappears on icy slopes of Erebus". The New Zealand Herald. 2 June 2005. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  44. ^ "Banshee Reel". Archived from the original on 30 May 2001. Retrieved 19 November 2007. "a famous quote from NZs recent political past"
  45. ^ "BREAKING NEWS – FEBRUARY 2004". Citizens for Health Choices. February 2004. Archived from the original on 22 November 2007. Retrieved 19 November 2007. "To quote a well-known phrase, there has been 'An orchestrated litany of lies'"
  46. ^ "Background Comments on the Stent Report". PSA. April 1998. Archived from the original (DOC) on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 19 November 2007. "...a phrase that is likely to resound as did 'an orchestrated litany of lies' in another investigation"
  47. ^ "NZ to resume commercial flights to Antarctica". Traveller Online. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  48. ^ "Mahon posthumously awarded". stuff.co.nz. 1 December 2008. Archived from the original on 12 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  49. ^ Address from Rob Fyfe, Air New Zealand CEO, at Unveiling of Momentum Sculpture Archived 1 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine, Air New Zealand press release, 23 October 2009.
  50. ^ Fox, Michael (23 October 2009). "Air New Zealand apology 30 years after Erebus tragedy". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 15 November 2009.
  51. ^ Fyfe, James; Vezich, Dianna; Quinlivan, Mark (28 November 2019). "Families of Erebus victims receive an apology from the Government 40 years on". Newshub. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  52. ^ Roy, Eleanor Ainge (28 November 2019). "'The time has come': Ardern apologises for New Zealand's worst air disaster". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  53. ^ "Waikumete Cemetery Public Memorial". Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  54. ^ "Crew Memorial at Auckland Airport". Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  55. ^ "Memorial placed at Mt Erebus crash site". Television New Zealand. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  56. ^ "Ballot drawn for Remembrance flight to Antarctica". Air New Zealand. 30 September 2010. Archived from the original on 6 December 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  57. ^ "Book Review: "Erebus" - A Brilliant Hybrid That Bears Witness to Tragedy". The Arts Fuse. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  58. ^ "Erebus losses 'neglected' for too long - victim's family member". Newshub. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  59. ^ "Erebus memorial: Hundreds expected to remember the 257 lives lost". Newshub. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  60. ^ "Strong opposition from residents near site of proposed Mt Erebus national memorial". Newshub. Retrieved 28 November 2019.

Further reading

External links

28 March 1979

A coolant leak at the Three Mile Island’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania leads to the core overheating and a partial meltdown.

After the cooling water began to drain out of the broken pressure valve on the morning of March 28, 1979, emergency cooling pumps automatically went into operation. Left alone, these safety devices would have prevented the development of a larger crisis. However, human operators in the control room misread confusing and contradictory readings and shut off the emergency water system. The reactor was also shut down, but residual heat from the fission process was still being released. By early morning, the core had heated to over 4,000 degrees, just 1,000 degrees short of meltdown. In the meltdown scenario, the core melts, and deadly radiation drifts across the countryside, fatally sickening a potentially great number of people.

As the plant operators struggled to understand what had happened, the contaminated water was releasing radioactive gases throughout the plant. The radiation levels, though not immediately life-threatening, were dangerous, and the core cooked further as the contaminated water was contained and precautions were taken to protect the operators. Shortly after 8 a.m., word of the accident leaked to the outside world. The plant’s parent company, Metropolitan Edison, downplayed the crisis and claimed that no radiation had been detected off plant grounds, but the same day inspectors detected slightly increased levels of radiation nearby as a result of the contaminated water leak. Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh considered calling an evacuation.

Finally, at about 8 p.m., plant operators realized they needed to get water moving through the core again and restarted the pumps. The temperature began to drop, and pressure in the reactor was reduced. The reactor had come within less than an hour of a complete meltdown. More than half the core was destroyed or molten, but it had not broken its protective shell, and no radiation was escaping. The crisis was apparently over.

Two days later, however, on March 30, a bubble of highly flammable hydrogen gas was discovered within the reactor building. The bubble of gas was created two days before when exposed core materials reacted with super-heated steam. On March 28, some of this gas had exploded, releasing a small amount of radiation into the atmosphere. At that time, plant operators had not registered the explosion, which sounded like a ventilation door closing. After the radiation leak was discovered on March 30, residents were advised to stay indoors. Experts were uncertain if the hydrogen bubble would create further meltdown or possibly a giant explosion, and as a precaution Governor Thornburgh advised “pregnant women and pre-school age children to leave the area within a five-mile radius of the Three Mile Island facility until further notice.” This led to the panic the governor had hoped to avoid; within days, more than 100,000 people had fled surrounding towns.

On April 1, President Jimmy Carter arrived at Three Mile Island to inspect the plant. Carter, a trained nuclear engineer, had helped dismantle a damaged Canadian nuclear reactor while serving in the U.S. Navy. His visit achieved its aim of calming local residents and the nation. That afternoon, experts agreed that the hydrogen bubble was not in danger of exploding. Slowly, the hydrogen was bled from the system as the reactor cooled.

At the height of the crisis, plant workers were exposed to unhealthy levels of radiation, but no one outside Three Mile Island had their health adversely affected by the accident. Nonetheless, the incident greatly eroded the public’s faith in nuclear power. The unharmed Unit-1 reactor at Three Mile Island, which was shut down during the crisis, did not resume operation until 1985. Cleanup continued on Unit-2 until 1990, but it was too damaged to be rendered usable again. In the four decades since the accident at Three Mile Island, not a single new nuclear power plant has been ordered in the United States.

27 December 1979

The Soviet Union invades Afghanistan.

Prague, 23 December 2004 — The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is generally thought to have begun on 24 December 1979, when three Soviet divisions took control of airfields in and around the capital, Kabul.

On 26 December, additional Soviet regiments moved south toward the Afghan border.

Finally, on 27 December, 700 Soviet special troops stormed the presidential palace in Kabul, killing President Hafizullah Amin, who had come to power only three months earlier.

In a recent interview with RFE/RL’s Afghan Service, Amin’s widow, Patmana, recalled the events of that day. She said she became separated from her husband, and that the attackers kept her and children on the second floor of the palace during the night.

She said that when she went upstairs in the morning, she saw the bodies of some of those killed in the assault.

“They kept us on the second floor during the night,” Amin said. “In the morning, I went upstairs. There was a big salon full of martyred bodies. I searched for my husband’s body, but I couldn’t find it.”

Afghan radio announced that Amin had been sentenced to death at a revolutionary trial for “crimes against the state” and that he had been executed.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Babrak Karmal, who had been living in exile in Eastern Europe and was seen as more compliant by Moscow, became the new president and secretary-general of the ruling People’s Democratic Party.

Historians believe several reasons were behind the invasion. The Soviet Union, seeking to maintain or expand its influence in Asia, wanted to preserve the Marxist regime that had taken power in Afghanistan in 1978 but which was collapsing due to civil war and anticommunist sentiment in the country.

On 27 December, 700 Soviet special troops stormed the presidential palace in Kabul, killing President Hafizullah Amin.

The Kremlin also wanted to secure its interests in Afghanistan from Iran, which was engulfed in the Islamic Revolution, and also from the West.

The invasion wrecked Soviet relations with the West. In a speech on 4 January 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter called the invasion an “extremely serious threat to peace.”

“Massive Soviet military forces have invaded the small, nonaligned sovereign nation of Afghanistan, which had hitherto not been an occupied satellite of the Soviet Union,” Carter said. “Fifty thousand heavily armed Soviet troops have crossed the border and are now dispersed throughout Afghanistan, attempting to conquer the fiercely independent Muslim people of that country.”

The United States recalled its ambassador from Moscow and together with many other Western countries boycotted the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.

But that was the least of Moscow’s concerns. A fierce guerrilla war ensued, and Soviet troops found themselves unable to control the countryside or even the smaller cities. Within a few years, the Soviets’ inability to seal Afghanistan’s borders enabled the mujahedin to create a pipeline for weapons and recruits from abroad. The Soviets initially deployed an estimated 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Ultimately, the occupation force was boosted to 100,000 soldiers, but it did not help.

Lieutenant General Aleksandr Mayorov was a senior Soviet military adviser to the Afghan regime in 1980 and 1981 and is the author of the book “The Truth About The Afghan War.” In an interview with RFE/RL, Mayorov said that after the success of the initial invasion, Soviet troops in Afghanistan became desperate.

“Months had passed, the troops had been there, a lot of garrisons, battles were going on, but there was no success,” Mayorov said. “And someone had to take responsibility. And then the Politburo set up a commission of four people. Well, a commission is a commission, but all depended on the success of the war.”

The Afghan resistance was supported for different reasons by the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia, with weapons and fighters channeled through Pakistan. As the war progressed, the rebels improved their organization and tactics and began using imported and captured weapons, including U.S. Stinger antiaircraft missiles.

Mayorov said Soviet troops became increasingly demoralized. Some 22,000 had been killed by the end of the war.

“Every war should have an aim,” Mayorov said. “Both politicians and the military need to be capable of finding a line not allowed to be crossed. Because then [the war] will turn against them. There might be some isolated success stories, but as a whole it leads to failure.”

Kirill Koktysh of the Moscow Institute of International Relations said that, looking from a historical perspective, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was the last gasp of the Cold War.

“Essentially, it was the last war and the last event of a bipolar world, when the world was understood as the place where Soviet and American ideologies had to compete,” Koktysh said.

Koktysh said that the war turned out to be destructive for both Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. Half of Afghanistan’s agriculture sector was wiped out and 70 percent of its paved roads destroyed. Some 5,000 of the country’s 15,000 villages were destroyed or economically ruined due to damage to roads and wells. Moscow finally withdrew its troops in February 1989, only to see the Soviet Union itself collapse a few years later.

The Soviet withdrawal began a long period of instability in Afghanistan. After Soviet forces left, a number of Afghan factions continued to fight for control of the country. The radical Taliban Islamic militia came to power in 1994. It was ousted by U.S. troops in late 2001 in the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks. Those attacks were blamed on the Al-Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden, who was being sheltered in Afghanistan by the Taliban.

The Soviet invasion is also blamed for the rise of Islamic militancy. Foreign fighters who came to fight Soviet troops perceived their eventual withdrawal as their victory. The war created a class of hard-line Islamic fighters, such as bin Laden, ready to fight for what they perceived as the interests of Islam around the world.

3 December 1979

Ruhollah Khomeini becomes the first Supreme Leader of Iran.

Sayyid Ruhollah M?savi Khomeini 24 September 1902 – 3 June 1989, known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian politician and marja. He was the founder of the Islamic republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country’s Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei on 4 June 1989.

Khomeini was born in 1902 in Khomeyn, in what is now Iran’s Markazi Province. His father was murdered in 1903 when Khomeini was six months old. He began studying the Quran and the Persian language from a young age and was assisted in his religious studies by his relatives, including his mother’s cousin and older brother.

Khomeini was a marja in Twelver Shia Islam, a Mujtahid or faqih and author of more than 40 books, but he is primarily known for his political activities. He spent more than 15 years in exile for his opposition to the last Shah. In his writings and preachings he expanded the theory of welayat-el faqih, the “Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist”, to include theocratic political rule by Islamic jurists. This principle was appended to the new Iranian constitution after being put to a referendum. According to The New York Times, Khomeini called democracy the equivalent of prostitution. Whether Khomeini’s ideas are compatible with democracy and whether he intended the Islamic Republic to be democratic is disputed. He was Time magazine’s Man of the Year in 1979 for his international influence, and Khomeini has been described as the “virtual face of Shia Islam in Western popular culture”. In 1982, he survived one military coup attempt. Khomeini was known for his support of the hostage takers during the Iran hostage crisis, his fatwa calling for the murder of British Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, and for referring to the United States as the “Great Satan” and Soviet Union as the “Lesser Satan.” Khomeini has been criticized for these acts and for human rights violations of Iranians.

He has also been lauded as a “charismatic leader of immense popularity”, a “champion of Islamic revival” by Shia scholars, who attempted to establish good relations between Sunnis and Shias, and a major innovator in political theory and religious-oriented populist political strategy. Khomeini held the title of Grand Ayatollah and is officially known as Imam Khomeini inside Iran and by his supporters internationally. He is generally referred to as Ayatollah Khomeini by others. In Iran, his gold-domed tomb in Tehr?n’s Behesht-e Zahr?? cemetery has become a shrine for his adherents, and he is legally considered “inviolable”, with Iranians regularly punished for insulting him.

In March 1979, shortly after Ruhollah Khomeini’s return from exile and the overthrow of Iran’s monarchy, a national referendum was held throughout Iran with the question “Islamic Republic, yes or no?”. Although some groups objected to the wording and choice and boycotted the referendum, 98% of those voting voted “yes”. Following this landslide victory, the constitution of Iran of 1906 was declared invalid and a new constitution for an Islamic state was created and ratified by referendum during the first week of December in 1979. According to Francis Fukuyama, the 1979 constitution is a “hybrid” of “theocratic and democratic elements” with much of it based on the ideas Khomeini presented in his work Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist. In the work, Khomeini argued that government must be run in accordance with traditional Islamic sharia, and for this to happen a leading Islamic jurist must provide political “guardianship” over the people. The leading jurist were known as Marja’.

The Constitution stresses the importance of the clergy in government, with Article 4 stating that

“all civil, criminal, financial, economic, administrative, cultural, military, political, and all other statutes and regulations be keeping with Islamic measures;…the Islamic legal scholars of the watch council will keep watch over this.”

and the importance of the Supreme Leader. Article 5 states

“during the absence of the removed Twelfth Imam government and leadership of the community in the Islamic Republic of Iran belong to the rightful God fearing… legal scholar who is recognized and acknowledged as the Islamic leader by the majority of the population.”

Article 107 in the constitution mentions Imam Khomeini by name and praises him as the most learned and talented leader for emulation. The responsibilities of the Supreme Leader are vaguely stated in the constitution, thus any ‘violation’ by the Supreme Leader would be dismissed almost immediately. As the rest of the clergy governed affairs on a daily basis, the Supreme Leader is capable of mandating a new decision as per the concept of Vilayat-e Faqih.