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Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was Pakistani chief of Army staff, chief martial-law administrator, and president of Pakistan (1978–88).
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Born in India, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq served with the British army during WWII, working his way up to chief of staff in the Pakistani Army by 1976. A year later, he staged a bloodless coup and assumed the presidency. During his ten-year reign, he imposed martial law while building up his military in response to the Soviet invasion of neighboring Afghanistan. Zia was killed in a plane crash in 1988.
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