Ayub Khan's actions against politicians under EBDO or how to wipe out an entire political class

Facts about Elected Bodies Disqualification Order (EBDO) of 1959, compiled from “The Separation of East Pakistan” by Hasan Zaheer and “Bangladesh Past and Present” by Salahuddin Ahmed

When Ayub Khan took power in 1958 one of his main priorities was the destruction of the existing political order. In this connection, he abolished political parties on 7 October 1958. Politicians who were especially targetted and charged under security laws and martial law regulations were from the National Awami Party and the East Pakistan Awami League since both these parties were opposed to One Unit.

In August 1959, Ayub Khan passed the Elected Bodies Disqualification Order (EBDO). Under this, 75 leaders were disqualified for participating in political activities for 8 years (until December 1966). Under the EBDO, Ayub Khan primarily targetted East Pakistani politicians from the Awami League while leaving the Muslim League largely untouched.

Under Article 5 of EBDO:

a) public servants who had been removed from service on any charge other than inffeciency;
(b) persons who had ever been served with an order underr the Secuity of Pakistan Act or a similar law relating to an act prejudicial to the defence, external affairs, or the security of Pakistan;
(c) persons found guilty by the Federal Court or High Court or a tribunal under PRODA; and
(d) persons convicted of any offence, and sentenced to more than two years imprisonment stood debarred from being candidates or members of an elective body, until 31 December 1966

It was estimated that about 6,000 persons, half of them from East Pakistan, were disqualified under Article 5 of EBDO.

Article 7 or 8 of EBDO was used to go after senior party leadership who escaped disqualification via Article 5:

Under Article 7, any person served with a notice could opt to retire from politics until 31 Dec 1966, in which case further proceedings against him were dropped. In case this option was not exercised by the respondent, an inquiry would be instituted under Article 8 and if found guilty, he would be disqualified up to December 1966. (from Separation of East Pakistan)

A further 78 politicians were disqualified under article 7 and 8.

Prominent politicians disqualified under these three articles of EBDO were the top leaders of the East Pakistan Awami League including Sheikh Mujib ur Rehman and Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy. Maulana Bhashani was also arrested.

On 30 January 1962 Suhrawardy was arrested in Karachi under the Security of Pakistan Act which authorized his detention without trial for a year. It was an irony that a politician who was the Prime Minister of the country was accused of activities “fraught with such danger to the security and safety of Pakistan that one could fairly describe them as treasonable” which was [obviously] the biggest shock of his life” (from Bangladesh: Past and Present)

When a habeas corpus petition was filed in Lahore High Court challenging his illegal detention, Ayub Khan conveniently promulgated an Ordinance suspending the habeas corpus rights of those detained under the Security of Pakistan Act.

See also, A Corrupted Debate by I.A. Rehman in Dawn, Dec 10, 2009.

3 responses to “Ayub Khan's actions against politicians under EBDO or how to wipe out an entire political class

  1. IZ

    You won’t learn about this in your pak studies course…

  2. NRO Phobia!

    There is great noise in media about NRO. The real issue is NOR or Asif Ali Zardari (The Elected Democratic President of Pakistan). After recent activities any sensible human being can understand that this NRO phobia is due to the presence of PPP’s man in president house.

    The Following persons who were with IFTIKHAR CHAUDHARY in the movement to restore judged including Chief Justice are also against the decision against the decision taken by the Supreme Court on NRO’s constitutional place.




    The Chief Minister of Sind Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that Media should remain in its limits. Media have no right to destroy democracy. Further Qaim shah said that propaganda against Democratic Government should be stopped.


    The most wonderful thing is that the first ever NRO in Pakistan history was the Supreme Court decision about MAULANA MODOODI in 1954, and that decision was to forgive the Maulana Modoodi and to take back the Death Sentence of Maulana Modoodi.


    (Why this NRO is not challenged in court and why IFTIKHAR CH. Didn’t take any ACTION against it.

    And from that there are number of real NROs in our history and which are not concerned by the IFTIKHAR CH. Court.

    The real problem is Asif Ali Zardari.

    The media campaign against Zardari is showing no result to establishment and political actors.
    The proof of PPP’s popularity is that recently the candidate of PPP Tahir Mehmood won the elections in PP1 Quetta.

    He got 6818 votes against his competitive AMANULLAH SAWANZAI who got only 287 votes.

    The FATA leader Munir Khan Orakzai confirmed total confidence in Asif Ali Zardari with his FATA members of parliaments.

    ASIF ALI ZARDARI is determined that every challenge will be faced against PPP and democracy.

  3. takhalus

    PRODA deserved a mention as well, the establishment has always trialed its future plans before it tries..ehtesab commission, national security council PRODA, Anti terror courts. etc

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