On July 5, 1977, a civilian government was toppled by a chief marshal law administrator. General Ziaul Haq declared Martial Law and ordered the arrest of an elected prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The latter had achieved much as the head of the government but, he wanted to achieve more. The achievements, however, were directed towards consolidating a nation that was torn apart by the 1971 war. Bhutto was a visionary who wanted to realise the dream of a sovereign Pakistan. He was the chief architect of the Constitution of 1973 and the Islamic bloc. The military coup of 1977, however, proved to be a disaster for Pakistan, both as a government and as a state; the civilian government was replaced by military rule and the state saw its involvement in proxy wars between the United States and Russia. Bhutto, however, wasn’t the only elected leader that Zia had problems with. Muhammad Khan Junejo, who served as the prime minister from 1985-1988, also found it extremely difficult to work closely with a paranoid Zia. The latter wanted absolute control over everything, and he achieved it through the controversial 8th Amendment. Zia had a total disregard for whatever Bhutto achieved during his tenure as the prime minister. The former even considered the Constitution of 1973, the supreme law of the land, to be nothing more than a piece of paper. Bhutto’s economic, social and educational reforms were replaced by the Zia regime. Pakistan of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s was the second largest recipient of US aid, the first being Israel, and the new generation was being taught the ‘art of fighting for another country’. Islamic bloc was forgotten and an Islamisation policy was introduced in educational institutes. All the mentioned events took place after the ‘judicial murder’ of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It seems that Zia didn’t have the courage to pursue his schemes in the years when Bhutto was still alive. Zia wanted Bhutto removed at any cost. The PPP chief was popular among the masses and this added to Zia’s fears and insecurities. Not only was Bhutto popular amongst Pakistanis, he was also cherished and revered abroad. This is evident from the fact that the Islamic Summit of 1974 was attended by leaders of Muslim countries from all over the world. Zia came to power through unconstitutional means. It is an extremely disastrous act to topple an elected government. It is even more wrong to name the coup Operation Fair Play. A second Martial law was imposed and Bhutto was arrested by Zia forces on July 5, 1977. He was hanged on April 4, 1979, two years after the Martial Law. This is, perhaps, best summed up in the words of Bilawal Bhutto: “Bhutto walked to the gallows proudly instead of bowing down to a tinpot dictator who ruined this country with dictatorship, heroine and the kalashnikov culture and bred extremism and terrorism in motherland Pakistan.” One cannot simply replace civilian rule with a dictatorial regime and get away with it. Ayub Khan, the first army chief to declare Martial Law in 1956, was forced to hand over his authority after political crisis of the 1960s. Zia was killed in a plane crash. Musharraf, well he has gone abroad for medical treatment. In the words of PPP Senator Sherry Rehman: “39 years ago Zia murdered democracy in his coup against SZAB. Pakistan has still not recovered since. Today’s terrorist was spawned then.” July 5 will live in infamy. It cannot be forgotten. It shouldn’t be forgotten.