ECHOES OF SORROW: Commemorating Pakistan’s Black Days, why only May 9!

Was 9 May bigger than 16 December

By Syed Atiq ul Hassan; 9 May 2024

Syed Atiq ul Hassan

Organized chronologically, not only May 9, but the Black Days of Pakistan’s history also unfold a narrative of political upheaval, democratic struggles, and national tragedies. Grouped into thematic categories, they offer a coherent framework for reflection and understanding.

In the annals of Pakistan’s history lie moments steeped in darkness—Black Days that bear witness to the nation’s trials and tribulations. These pivotal events, marked by tragedy and turmoil, hold profound lessons for the present and future of Pakistan. As we commemorate these solemn occasions, we honour the memory of those who endured and strive to glean insights that guide us towards a brighter tomorrow.

On May 9th, we commemorate Black Day, reflecting on the failures and tragedies that have marred our nation’s history. However, amidst our fractured past, there are several other dates deserving of solemn remembrance. The Tale of tradies are long, however, some horrific, painful, and shameful events included:

One such date is October 16th, 1951, when Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated while addressing a public gathering at Company Bagh (now Liaquat Bagh) in Rawalpindi.

Another sombre occasion is October 7th, 1958, when General Ayub Khan imposed the first Martial Law in Pakistan, abolishing the 1956 Constitution and dismantling the democratic parliamentary system.

We must also reflect on the dark chapter when General Ayub Khan declared himself President of Pakistan and established a new Presidential System in the 1960s.

The nation mourns the injustice of denying the civilian government to the majority winners of the 1970 general elections by then Chief Martial Law administrator, General Ayub Khan.

General Niazi surrendered against General Arorra Singh, in 1971 in Dacca

December 16th, 1971, marks the day when Pakistani forces surrendered to Indian General Arora Singh, leading to the separation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan.

We grieve the abandonment of the 1973 Constitution and the imposition of Martial Law once again by General Zia ul Haq in 1977, who later became President and instituted a manipulated form of democracy.

December 27th, 2007, remains etched in our memory as the day when Pakistan’s first woman Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated during a public rally at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi.

October 12th, 1999 signifies the dismissal of a democratic government and the imposition of the fourth Martial Law by General Pervez Musharraf.

We must also acknowledge the tragedy of the Army Public School Peshawar attack on December 16th, 2014, where 150 lives, including 134 innocent students, were brutally taken by heavily armed Taliban fighters.

Furthermore, we lament the electoral fraud and the installation of a forged government in the General election of February 8th, 2023. If we analyse wisely these deceitful practices linked to the May 9, 2023.

These dates serve as reminders of our nation’s tumultuous journey, urging us to strive for a future where such tragedies are not repeated. (The writer is a Sydney-based journalist, political analyst, and editor, Tribune International, Australia. His email is ).



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