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DEMOCRATIC ACTION COMMITTEE (DAC)

DEMOCRATIC ACTION COMMITTEE (DAC) The Democratic Action Committee was formed in December 1968 by eight political parties to coordinate and guide the movement against the government of Ayub Khan The parties that gathered under the DAC umbrella included: the Awami League (Mujibur Rahman group), the Awami League (Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan group), the Council Muslim League, National Awami Party (Requisionists), the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Jamiatul-Ulemai-Islam, and the Jamiatul-Ulemai The Pakistan People’s Party and the National Awami Party (Bhashani Group) did not join the DAC In a meeting held on 8 January 1969, the DAC put forward demands including the replacement of the constitution of 1962 by a federal parliamentary system of government; full restoration of all civil liberties; and repeal of such “black laws” as the University Ordinance, the Press Act, and various public security laws that allowed the government to detain politicians; the withdrawal of all orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code; and the return to their original owners of all newspapers nationalized by the governmentAyub Khan’s response to these demands was to invite the DAC to a round-table meeting with himself and his associates The consensus that had developed among the constituent parties quickly disappeared, however, once the discussions got underway The main issue was the type of federal structure the opposition wanted in place once Ayub Khan’s constitution was abrogated The parties from West Pakistan were not prepared to accept some of the demands pushed by the representatives from East Pakistan The Awami League of East Pakistan wanted much greater political autonomy for the country’s eastern wing than West Pakistan was prepared to grant Ayub Khan was not able to capitalize on these differences among the DAC leaders, however



By the time the round-table discussions got seriously underway, the military had become restive It decided to move in and imposed martial law on 25 March 1969 As was the case with other political umbrella groups in Pakistan’s political history, the DAC did not survive the achievement of its immediate purpose: the removal from office of President Ayub Khan It disappeared from the political scene following the imposition of martial law by General Yahya Khan See also OPPOSITION GROUPS

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