Elections were held on March 7, 1977. The Pakistan Peoples Party won these elections, but was accused by their opponents, Pakistan National Alliance, of rigging the elections. On March 14, 1977, the Alliance started a series of nationwide protests. Talks between the Alliance and Bhutto government were held in June 1977 and an agreement was reached, but it could not be implemented.
Fresh elections were announced for October 15, 1977. But on July 5, 1977, the Chief of Army Staff, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, imposed Martial Law and the elections were postponed. General Zia-ul-Haq announced holding of elections within 90 days.
A conference of political leaders was held in February 1978, but a year later, in 1979, General Zia-ul-Haq declared political parties to be defunct and certain political leaders were disqualified.
Under General Zia’s Martial Law, there was steady economic growth favoring the private sector, and efforts were made