General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
General Zia-ul-Haq was born in Jalundhar on August 12, 1924. He was commissioned in the British Army in 1945, serving in Burma, Malaya and Indonesia during the Second World War. In 1976 he was appointed Chief of the Army Staff by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

In July 1977, he carried out a bloodless coup overthrowing the Bhutto government and assumed power as Chief Martial Law Administrator. He assumed the office of President in September 1978 and was confirmed as such by referendum in December 1984 for a five year term, beginning on March 23, 1985.

During his rule, General Zia maintained close ties with the Muslim World. He made vigorous efforts along with other Muslim States to bring an end to the war between Iran and Iraq.

Pakistan joined the Non-Aligned Movement in 1979 during General Zia's term. Pakistan played an important role during the Afghan-Soviet War.

President Zia's implementation of Islamic laws and policies however, resulted in strong protests internally. Foundation of democracy remained shaky when he dismissed a duly elected assembly along with the cabinet of Prime Minister Junejo in 1988 and announced partyless elections in November 1988.

General Zia-ul-Haq died on August 17, 1988 in a plane crash near Bahawalpur, Punjab. His remains are buried near Faisal mosque, Islamabad.

His two sons, Ijaj-ul-Haq and Anwar-ul-Haq are in politics.