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The Chronicle of Pakistan
Compiled by Khurram Ali Shafique
with special thanks to Aqeel Abbas Jafferi
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Jan 1 Ayub regime claims to have identified Rs. 100 crore black money and 4.5 crore illicit foreign exchange since the “Revolution” (October last)

Jan 2 Prices for Pakistani bicycles are fixed: Sohrab Rs. 196

Jan 4 An Ordinance passed regarding claim of evacuated land (by refugees from India)

Jan 11 Haneef Muhammad establishes world record for first class cricket individual total scoring 499 runs for Karachi against Bahawalpur

Jan 20 Land Reforms Commission submits its report

Jan 21 Location of Federal Capital Commission appointed to decide whether Karachi is suitable to be federal capital; headed by Lt. Gen. Yahya Khan

Feb 24 Credit Enquiry Commission appointed

Feb Justice M.R.Kiyani orders PPL editors to be set free

Mar 14 Speaking in the Indian Parliament, Mr. Nehru claims that he has received assurance from Washington that the latest alliance between Pakistan and America will not be used against India. According to this alliance signed earlier this year the United States, under circumstances, is required to assist Pakistan in case of foreign aggression.

Mar Azam Khan wins British Open Squash tournament for the first time

Apr 8 Maritime Commission submits its report

Apr 18 PPL newspapers taken over by the military regime

May 4 Press Commission submits report

Jun 12 Location of Federal Capital Commission submits its report; a new capital recommended on the Potohar Plateau

Jul 8 Food and Agriculture Commission appointed

Jul 15 Scientific Commission appointed

Aug 8 Sugar Commission submits report

Aug 26 Commission on National Education submits its report; among other measures, it pleads the case for introducing television in Pakistan for promoting education

Aug 31 Pay and Service Commission appointed

Sep 10 Credit Enquiry Commission submits its report

Oct 15 Company Law Commission appointed

Nov 19 Medical reforms Commission appointed

Dec 10 Sports, Culture and Youth Committees appointed

Dec 12 The Central Committee of the Quaid-e-Azam Memorial Fund approves the mausoleum design prepared by Yahya Merchant, much to the pleasure of Miss Jinnah who had dismissed other plans approved by the Committee


film actor (Sep 24)

Masoom Ludhyanvi:
song writer (Dec 18)


Land reforms announced

The most important of these measures is the imposition of a low ceiling on individual ownership. This is aimed to break the concentration of landed wealth, which is presently retained among some 6,000 landlords throughout West Pakistan. It is also hoped that the area of inequality will be reduced and more intensive use of land and productive investment in agriculture by the actual tiller of the soil will be encouraged.

January 24 Land reforms announced: "no person to hold more than 500 acres of irrigated or 1000 acres of unirrigated, with minor exceptions relating to existing land-owners, and the land thus released would be distributed to tenants and other deserving claimants; landlords would be paid compensations for resumed land in the form of heritable and transferable 4 per cent bonds, redeemable in twenty-five years, on a fixed scale according to the number of unit owned; existing tenants on such land would be given the opportunity to buy it on installments spread over twenty-five years, and special consideration would be given to tenants in congested areas. All tenants would have security of tenure: compensation would be paid for legal ejectment and an embargo placed on rent increases and illegal exactions in the shape of fees, free labor or services. The division of holdings below an economic level would be forbidden and provision made for the compulsory consolidation of already fragmented holdings…"

Why New Capital?

July. Not everyone favours the Army regime’s decision to shift the federal capital to the Pothowar Plateau, as recommded by the Federal Capital Commission's Report approved by the Cabinet on June 12, and issued to the press on the 15th of this month. The decision seems to have been motivated by the Army’s desire to keep a close contact with its own headquarters in Rawalpindi. Some also accuse the President of having chosen a place near his own native town – not only creating new job opportunities in the area but also hiking land prices. There are yet some others who raise this basic question: should a poor country like ours spend so much money on building a new capital? The funds would have been better spent on agriculture and industry, they say.

Meanwhile, the government offices have been directed to start shifting to provisional capital Rawalpindi.

Focus on development?

2nd 5-Year Plan prepared by the Planning Commission of the military regime has allocated Rs 23 billions target for development outlay

Independence Day present?

August 14. On the eve of the 22nd anniversary of freedom, the military ruler has called a session of selected experts for discussing the future constitution of the country. The presence of Justice M. Munir, who is remembered for his judgement on Tameezuddin Case (1955) among the invitees raises many eyebrows.

Basic democracy or pseudo-democracy?

October 27. On the eve of the first anniversary of the "Revolution," President Ayub Khan has promulgated an ordinance for setting up "basic democracies," or small units of local self-government in the country. There will be around 120000 such units, each representing from 1000 to 15000 citizens. "Democracy has been brought to the very doorstep of the people," claims President Ayub in his speech today, "making it possible for them to know its real meaning in terms of managing and developing their village or mohalla as they would manage and develop their own home or family. Indeed for the first time in the history of Pakistan, our people will be able to elect as their representatives men and women whom they know from personal knowledge to be good, honest and competent." The military regime has not shown any inclination of lifting ban from the political parties, and the elections for the basic democracies will be held on a non-party basis.

Eisenhower visits Pakistan

December 8. Today was the second day of President Eisenhower's 40-hour stop in Pakistan on his 19-day world. This was the first visit by an American President and was adequately celebrated right from the grand reception at the Mauripur Airport (the giant Presidential Boeing 707 was too large for the Karachi International Airport) yesterday, to a cricket match between Pakistan and Australia (which the American President watched wearing the Pakistani team's green blazer), to the spectacular Citizens' Reception in the Old Polo Ground of the capital city, Karachi.

President Eisenhower's address to the people of Pakistan (written by his biographer and speech writer Kevin McCann) was warm even though somewhat patronizing: "Military assistance is provided to help you build and participate in the collective security of the free world while your economy is developing and expanding to promote progress in your nation." He reminded them that the world has entered the nuclear age but the "atom" must be used for the benefit rather than the destruction of humanity.

Writers’ Guild

Karachi, January 29-31. Pakistan Writers’ Guild was founded here in a convention of 212 writers from both wings of the country. Kavi Jaseemuddin, Shahid Ahmad Dehlvi, Mirza Muhammad Saeed, Maulvi Abdul Haque among forerunners.

Ayub proposes joint defense for India, Pakistan

April 24 President Ayub proposes joint defense for India and Pakistan, saying that in the case of external aggression both India and Pakistan should come together to defend the sub-continent.

A blow to politicians or the politics?

Continuing its efforts to cast the country in a fresh mould, the military regime has passed new ordinances for debarring politicians from politics. Commonly called PODO and EBDO, these laws provide justification for a witch hunt of politicians which has resulted in disqualification of 5,000 to 6000 politicians on various charges.

Television comes to India

September. Television has been introduced on experimental basis under the name of Doordarshan in the neighboring state of India.

Korangi: big mistake?

The planned colony of Korangi (Karachi), which was inaugurated by Aub Khan on Aug 1, seems to be less than a succes. The colony of 15,000 small houses for refugees and workers was built at the cost of Rs 12 crores under the supervision of Rehabilitation Minister Lt Gen Azam Khan, who bags credit for carrying out construction plans of the Greek firm Doxiadus inless than a year. However, it is observed that the people who were supposed to be the target residents are reluctant to occupy the houses and the colony lies vacant months after the inauguration. 

Cold response to film with literary claims

Jago Hua Savera released May 25 gets cold response at box office inspite of script and lyrics from popular poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz. The film has music from Timer Burnn, produced by Noman Tasees for Century Films and directed by A.J.Kardar

December 5. New bowler Intikhab Alam has taken wicket on 1st ball, in Pak-Australia test at Karachi.

Khwaja Mueen’s Lal Qilay Say Lalookhet, staged again this year in Karachi, features a young actor-director Zia Mohiyuddin with promising talent while Sigrid Kahle runs the production.

Songs remembered
Mussarat Nazeer and Bahar in Kartar Singh.

Veer mera ghodi chadya (Kartar Singh)

Ambva ki daliyon mein (Nagin)

Teray der per sanam chalay aye (Neend)

Challi ray… badi aas laga kay (Jhoomer)

Rim jhim… paday phowar (Koel)

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