Zia-ul-Haq was a four-star Pakistani general and politician who became the 6th president of Pakistan following a coup and declaration of martial law in 1977. He remained in office until his death on 17th August 1988. He is the longest-serving de-facto head of the state of Pakistan and Chief of Army Staff. He was the architect of the US proxy war against the Soviet Union from 1979 to 1989. Zia single-handedly managed the whole operation against USSR. The US, Saudi Arabia, China, and Iran were behind the intel gathering, accumulation of advanced weapons, and distribution of money. But the weapon distribution was on the shoulder of the Pakistani Army. Pakistan used funding from the USA and Saudi Arabia to build 50000 madrassas along Afghanistan's border even inside the Afghanistan territory in order to generate mujahideen who had been spiritually radicalized.
The 11-year-long political and military career of the US blue-eyed boy was full of controversy, from judicial murder to the Islamization of Pakistan. In his glorious days, Zia elevated ploys and chicanery to do his trade to a devilish art. He uses his carcenegious thoughts to radicalize Pakistan and create a society where people are forced to hate one another in the name of religion. He used Islam to cement its dictatorship over Pakistan. Islam is deeply rooted in Pakistani society, but through power politics, the militarization of Islam accelerated when Zia introduced the Wahabi form of Islam which beliefs in extremism. His rigid and dogmatic interpretation of Islam led to the birth of extremism, intellectual obscurantism, and fundamentalism in Pakistani society. Pakistan experiences the worst law and order situation, incongruity, and insecurity mainly, as a result of extremism initiated by Zia-ul-Haq. According to his disciples, Zia was not a very religious man but his introduction of an extreme form of Islam turned Pakistan into a global hub of terrorism, starting from Al-Qaeda-al-Sulbah to Jaish-e- Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Zia-ul-Haq was committed to establishing the rule of Nizam-e-Mustafa which means the rule of the prophet Muhammad. He wanted to establish Pakistan as an Islamic state and enforce sharia law. His ideology was to turn the piece of land from Karachi to Ankara into a proper Islamic state.
To make Pakistan an Islamic state Zia first took some radical measures, the "Hudood Ordinance" was among them. That ordinance was introduced in 1979 in the place of Pakistan Penal Code (PCC). Hudood means limits of restrictions as acceptable in Islamic law. The ordinance added some medieval punishment procedures like whipping, amputation, and stoning to death. According to the new ordinance, those extreme measures were not according to the rule base society of the west but still west especially the USA supported those extreme measures only to thwart communism or socialistic ideas in Pakistani society. The rule severely infringed on women's rights and freedom however the USA disregarded its moral obligation to enact genuine democracy in Pakistan. For USA Zia-ul-Haq was their hero and Pakistan was their front-line defense against communism.
To firmly establish his authority over Pakistan, Zia also made some contentious political choices. The Judicial Murder of Zulficar-Ali-Bhutto was among them. Zia was appointed as chief of army staff by the Bhutto government but later he overthrew the government and declared martial law in Pakistan. Later He arrested Bhutto to perpetrate political conspiracy against his political opponents. He was tried by the Supreme court of Pakistan and later executed in Rawalpindi on April 4, 1979, for allegedly authorizing the murder of his political opponent Nawab Muhammed Ahmed Khan Kasuri. He also accelerated Pakistan's atomic bomb project along with decentralizing Pakistan's economy with meaningful deregulation. Zia lifted Martial law in 1985 and allowed a nonpartisan election, in that election he created a new political leader Nawaz Sharif under a new political party named Pakistan Muslim League (N). Although he picked "Muhammad Khan Junejo" as the country's Prime Minister but Junejo was removed from his office because of his decisions which spooked Jia's regime. He signed the Geneva accords against the wishes of Zia and also called for an inquiry into the disaster of the Ojhri camp, which was the main weapon distribution weapon center for Afghan Jihadis after Soviet withdrawal.
Zia took some miserable decisions that marred his image in the Islamic world and that decision was regarding Palestinians those who were living in Jordan. The day is popularly known as Black September on that day Pakistani army was deployed in Jordan to save the rule of the tyranny of King Hussein. Zia was the tank commander during Pakistan's invasion of India. He showed the seed of terrorism and extremism in J&K and he was also in charge of the Khalistani movement in Indian Punjab.
Zia was therefore at the mercy of the USA since the UK and the USA generally supported the rise of all Pakistani dictators. Even today the political and military scenario of Pakistan is being outlined by western countries. The reason behind this argument is very simple, every outgoing army chief always visits the USA to meet the deep state to select its predecessor. Another example is the Pakistani political regime change, In Pakistan's 75 years of rule the country witnessed 22 Prime Ministers but non of them ever completed their full term. The last PM Imran Khan was removed from office of Prime Minister when Baiden came into power & the USA involved itself in Ukraine, his removal was based on a botched investigation and some corruption claims. In Pakistan, corruption is a very pervasive phenomenon. Every prime minister and army leader owns multimillion-dollar properties in Canada or Dubai or invest in American securities.
In his controversial life, his own death was also a mystery. Zia was killed in a Plane crash near the central Punjab city of Bahawalpur on August 17, 1988. The cause of the crash was investigated by the Pakistani government and the FBI of the USA but the investigation report never went public. The motives for Zia's assassination remained shrouded in mystery like the way the black box of the C-130B went missing from the crashed site. He was a man of mystery and he was rewarded mysterious death by an invisible hand.
Zia transformed Pakistan into a fanatical, radicalized country, plunging it into a dark, ignorant, bigoted era. In this digital and fast-moving world Pakistan have to embrace education over religion to make their country progressive on the economical and political front.