List of Martial Law in Pakistan – Fully Explained

After attaining independence from the British government on August 14, 1947, Pakistan remained under army authority for nearly half of its existence. The complete history of martial law in Pakistan dates back to 1958. This concise guide covers the list of martial laws in Pakistan, as well as their dates, specifics, and other pertinent information.


  • First Martial Law: October 7, 1958, by Iskandar Mirza
  • 2nd Martial Law: March 25, 1969, by General Yahya Khan
  • 3rd Martial Law: July 25, 1977, by General Zia ul Haq
  • 4th Martial Law: October 12, 1999, by General Pervaiz Musharraf


After completing the tenure of Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad, Major General Iskander Mirza was the next authority figure. His tenure as Governor-General began on August 7, 1955. At that time, he was unable to comply with coordination rules and establish relationships with the premiers.

Iskandar Mirza was in charge of Muhammad Ali Bogra, but on September 12, 1957, he resigned due to deteriorating circumstances and Chaudhry Muhammad Ali took his place. Need more information about Pakistan’s martial law and legal counsel in Pakistan? Consult this lawyer in Islamabad. Numerous proficient lawyers in Pakistan offer their services to the public.

During Mirza’s rule, the assembly authorized several laws based on a resolution that had been adopted on March 12, 1949. In October 1958, Pakistan’s president, Mirza, appointed a 12-member cabinet that included notable figures such as General Azam Khan, Manzoor Qadir, and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

After one year, General Ayub was appointed the first Marshal of Pakistan and assumed power for approximately four years. In 1962, after four years of martial law, he reinstated the presidential form of government.

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General Yahya Khan, the army chief, enacted the second period of martial law. His full name was General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan, who dissolved the assemblies and became president on March 25, 1969. He assumed all authority and power and chose three individuals to serve as chairman. He issued provisional constitution orders to become Pakistan’s supreme leader. In 1971, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto assumed control of martial law and was appointed administrator.


General Zia Ul Haq instituted the third period of martial law following Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s reign. It was one of the most tragic events for the people of Pakistan when all political parties were prohibited and all national and provincial assemblies were dissolved.

The court canceled the elections and declared martial law on October 1, 1971. After their discussion, General Zia Ul Haq was required to lift martial law and transfer power to the appropriate individuals. Thus, martial law ultimately ended.


In October 1999, the Pakistani government was again placed under military or martial law. At that time, the well-known general Pervez Musharraf instituted martial law and disbanded all legislative bodies. It was a tragic time for the Pakistani public because they were confronting their fourth martial law, which was the worst and longest in history.

He governed Pakistan as an army officer until 2002 and as president until 2008. During his reign, three individuals served as Pakistan’s prime minister. It is said that Pakistan had to endure the worst of times and attributes, such as the establishment of a corruption load and numerous other dreadful characteristics in his government. After 2008, Pakistanis were no longer subject to army rule.


Pakistan has experienced several periods of martial law throughout its history, with General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq’s imposition of martial law in 1977 being the most notable. The imposition of martial law entails the suspension of civilian government and the military’s assumption of control over the country, which frequently has significant political and social repercussions.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What is martial law in Pakistan?

    Martial law is the replacement of civilian government by military rule and the suspension of civilian legal processes for military powers. Martial law can continue for a specified amount of time or indefinitely, and standard civil liberties may be suspended for as long as martial law continues.

  2. What happens in martial law? 

    Martial law involves the temporary substitution of military authority for civilian rule and is usually invoked in times of war, rebellion, or natural disaster. When martial law is in effect, the military commander of an area or country has unlimited authority to make and enforce laws.

  3. Did Musharraf impose martial law? 

    In 2007, President Musharraf eventually imposed another martial law by suspending populist Chief Justice IM Chaudhry, leveling charges of corruption and misconduct.

Ali Hassan

Ali Hassan is a passionate advocate for the Pakistan Army, a true patriot, and a dedicated source of information, As an author, Ali's expertise extends to the realm of Pakistan's military affairs, where he offers valuable insights into the latest army jobs, recruitment tests, and news. His comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of the Pakistani military landscape has made him a trusted voice among those seeking career opportunities within the armed forces.

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