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Post Partition Pakistan #18 Historical Developments 1960-1965

Pakistan's Political History (1960-1965): A Decade of Transition and Tensions


The period from 1960 to 1965 in Pakistan’s political history was marked by significant developments, including shifts in leadership, constitutional changes, regional tensions, and economic progress. This article explores key events, constitutional progress, political dynamics, social changes, religious issues, and economic developments during this transformative period.


  • Introduction of the Ayub Constitution (March 1960): President Ayub Khan introduced the Ayub Constitution, which replaced the 1956 constitution suspended during martial law. The new constitution established a presidential system and a Basic Democracy system of governance.


  • China-Pakistan Border Agreement (March 1963): Pakistan and China signed a border agreement that resolved long-standing border disputes and strengthened diplomatic ties between the two nations.


  • First Presidential Election (January 1962): Under the Ayub Constitution, President Ayub Khan was elected as the first President of Pakistan in indirect elections held by the Electoral College.


  • Pakistan Television (PTV) Launch (November 1964): Pakistan Television (PTV) was launched, becoming the country’s first television channel and a significant medium for information and entertainment.


  • Tashkent Agreement (January 1966): Although technically falling outside the specified period, the Tashkent Agreement between India and Pakistan marked the conclusion of the Second Indo-Pakistani War (1965) and aimed to restore peace and diplomatic relations.
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Constitutional Developments:

The most significant constitutional development during this period was the introduction of the Ayub Constitution in 1960. This constitution replaced the 1956 constitution and established a presidential system, consolidating power in the hands of President Ayub Khan. The Ayub Constitution also introduced the Basic Democracy system, where local leaders were elected to serve as intermediaries between the central government and the people.

Political Movements:

The era was characterized by the consolidation of power under President Ayub Khan’s rule. The presidential system and the Basic Democracy system were central to this political landscape.

Social and Religious Developments:

Social changes included the expansion of television broadcasting with the launch of PTV, which had a profound impact on media and cultural dynamics. The period also witnessed ongoing debates about the role of Islam in the country’s governance.

Economic Progress:

Economic development was a priority during this period, with the government implementing policies to promote industrialization, infrastructure development, and economic growth. The era saw the Green Revolution, which aimed to increase agricultural productivity.

Leadership and Key Figures:

  • President Ayub Khan (1958-1969): President Ayub Khan was the dominant figure in Pakistan’s politics during this period. His presidency marked a shift towards centralized rule and the consolidation of power in the executive branch.
  • Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: Although not in power during this specific period, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a rising political figure and would go on to play a significant role in Pakistan’s politics in the years that followed.


The period from 1960 to 1965 in Pakistan’s political history witnessed a shift towards centralized presidential rule under President Ayub Khan. The introduction of the Ayub Constitution and the Basic Democracy system restructured the country’s governance. While there were efforts to promote economic development, including the Green Revolution, political tensions with neighboring India and regional dynamics would soon lead to the Second Indo-Pakistani War (1965). Despite these challenges, Pakistan continued to evolve politically, socially, and economically during this transformative decade.

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