MARTIAL LAW OF 1953 In 1953, a number of religious leaders decided to take advantage of the political turmoil in Pakistan to press their campaign against the Ahmadiya community Their aim was to persuade the government of Prime Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin to declare the Ahmadiyas to be outside the pale of Islam Nazimuddin’s government had already been weakened by its inability to control the province of Punjab The religious leaders-in particular, those active in the Jamaat-e-Islami-decided that the conflict between the central government and the government in Punjab provided them with a good opportunity to mount an agitation against the Ahmadiyas Once the agitation was started, however, it got out of hand, particularly in the large cities of Punjab, where the crowds turned violent The mounting violence in the cities of Punjab persuaded Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad to call in the army to restore law and order Punjab was put under martial law, with Lieutenant General Azam Khan as the martial-law administrator The proclamation introducing martial law in Punjab was issued by the governorgeneral on 6 March 1953 Punjab was to stay under martial law for 69 days-until 14 May 1953

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