West Pakistan

West Pakistan (Urdu: مغر بى پاکستان Məghrābī Pākistān) refers to the state or region on which the modern and current state of Pakistan is based.

After gaining independence from British colonialism in 1947, the Federation of Pakistan was in two pieces: West Pakistan was physically separated from East Pakistan by the Republic of India. The western state was politically dominant and composed of three Governor's provinces (North-West Frontier, West-Punjab and Sindh Province), one Chief Commissioner's province (Baluchistan Province), the Baluchistan States Union, several other princely states (notably Bahawalpur, Chitral, Dir, Hunza, Khairpur and Swat), the Federal Capital Territory (around Karachi) and the tribal areas. The eastern wing of the new country – East Pakistan – formed the single province of East Bengal (including the former Assam district of Sylhet), which, despite having over half of the population, had a disproportionately small number of seats in the Constituent Assembly. This inequality of the two wings and the geographical distance between them was believed to be holding up the adoption of a new constitution. To diminish the differences between the two regions, the government decided to reorganize the country into two distinct provinces under the One Unit policy announced by Prime Minister Chaudhry Muhammad Ali on November 22, 1954.

After the onset of the Cold War, Pakistan was a close ally of the United States, having an influential membership in Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), and at same time was also an influential member of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (NAM). Pakistan was geographically divided into two wings, separated by the Republic of India, and, claiming the exclusive mandate for all of Pakistan, considered itself to be the reorganized continuation of the country in the United Nations. It adopted the stance that East Pakistan was indeed a client province and its satellite state, with the belief that West Pakistan was the true Pakistan. West Pakistan emerged as one of South Asia's largest economies and military powers. West Pakistan's economy boomed and at its highest peak it was called the "West Germany of East." East Pakistan did not enjoy the benefits that came with the economical progress and the majority of promised funds for East Pakistan were never issued. Pakistan's first Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA) Field Marshal Ayub Khan, who remained in office from 1958 until 1969, worked for a full alignment with the West rather than neutrality. He not only secured membership in SEATO but was also a proponent of agreements that developed CENTO.

In 1970, a serious of reforms – both constitutional and military – were brought up by President General Yahya Khan. The provincial assemblies, state parliament, and current provisional borders of four provinces of Pakistan gained their current status. Finally on 1 July 1970, West Pakistan was devolved and renamed as "Pakistan" under an executive order (see LFO Order No. 1970), which dissolved the "One Unit" and removed the term "West", simply establishing the country as "Pakistan". The order had no effect on East Pakistan, which retained the geographical position established in 1955 (although civil war the next year would result in the secession of East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh).


Read more about West Pakistan:  Domestic Affairs, Government

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