Uprising in Pakistan

Uprising in Pakistan:How to Bring Down a Dictatorship

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Pakistan 1968: the history of a revolution

The story of what happened in 1968 in Pakistan is often forgotten, but is yet another proof that the revolutionary moment was global. In that year, following a long period of tumult, a radical coalition – led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto – brought down the military presidency of Ayub Khan. Students took on the state apparatus of a corrupt and decaying military dictatorship backed by the US. They were joined by workers, lawyers, white-collar employees, and despite the severe repression, they took hold of power. Through a series of strikes, demonstrations and political organising a popular uprising was born.

In his riveting account of these events, first written in 1970, Tariq Ali offers an eyewitness perspective on history, showing that this powerful popular movement was the only successful moment of the 1960s revolutionary wave. The victory led to the very first democratic election in the country and the unexpected birth of a new state, Bangladesh.


  • Ali remains an outlier and intellectual bomb-thrower; an urbane, Oxford-educated polemicist.

    The Observer
  • Pakistan is the most dangerous country in the world...Yet most Americans don't realize how much of the Pakistani peril is our own fault. The Duel ... should be read for an understanding of, first, what role America has played in creating this dangerous mix and, second, why many Pakistanis see us as responsible for their problems.

    --The Washington Post [for The Duel]
  • A well-informed, compelling narrative...'

    Guardian [for The Duel]