Yahya Khan

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Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan (1917-1980)

Pakistani president 1969-1971. He was a soldier and rose through the Pakistan army following independence, becoming chief of the general staff in 1957. Yahya Khan commanded during the 1965 war with India, and became commander in chief of the army in 1966. Economic problems and internal disputes led to the incumbent president's resignation (General Ayub Khan) and his replacement by Yahya Khan in 1969. He imposed martial law but civil war still broke out in 1971, between East and West Pakistan. The success of Bangladesh caused him to resign in late 1971. He was succeeded by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.