11.24 FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS OFFICE REQUESTS RAWALPINDI FOR PRECISE SEQUENCE OF EVENTS LEADING TO MARTIAL LAW

 

Public Record Office

 

REF: FCO 37/470

 

CYPHER/CAT A

IMMEDIATE FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE       TO RAWALPINDI

TELEGRAM NUMBER 201      26 MARCH 1969

 (SAD)

 

My immediately preceding telegram.

I am not quite clear as to the precise order of events. There appear to be three possibilities:

 

(i) Ayub, acting as President, declared Martial law and appointed General Yahya to carry it out. He then resigned the Presidency.

 

(ii) Ayub handed over his powers to Yahya before resigning but it was the latter who declared martial law and took all subsequent actions as described in paragraph 2 of your telegram No. 286.

 

(iii)There was a hidden coup d'etat in which Yahya forced the President to hand over his powers and resign.

 

2. 1 should be grateful as to your best advice on the true course of events which is being questioned by journalists here.

 

Stewart

 

FCO/Wh. Distribution

S. Asian D.

 

 

Source: The British Papers Secret and Confidential India.Pakistan.Bangladesh Documents 1959-1969, Oxford University Press. P. 828