LAND REFORMS OF 1959 The Land Reforms of 1959, introduced by the military government of General Muhammad Ayub Khan in the form of a martial-law regulation (Martial Law Regulation [MLR]64) prescribed two ceilings on land holdings: 500 acres for irrigated and 1,000 acres for non-irrigated (barani) land The owners of confiscated land were to be compensated through the issue of long-term (20 years) interest-bearing (3 percent a year) bonds The confiscated area was to be distributed to peasants against payment stretched over several years MLR 64 departed from Ayub Khan’s original thinking on land reforms in two ways These concerned jagirs (land grants), and the relationship between owners and cultivators All jagirs were abolished without compensation to their owners And all tenants were to be provided with legal protection against eviction At the same time, the owners were prohibited from levying any other charge, except rent, on the cultivators Begar or forced labor extracted from cultivators by owners was made illegalSlightly more than one million hectares of land were confiscated under the Land Reforms of 1959

Of this land, 896,000 hectares were allotted to 183,266 persons The beneficiaries, on average, received49 hectares of confiscated land A significant proportion of the land confiscated came from Punjab; the province provided 503,000 hectares or slightly more than one-half of the total Sindh provided93 percent; the Northwest Frontier Province 24 percent; and Balochistan 13 percent The Land Reforms of 1959 affected only 5 percent of the total farm area in Pakistan

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