Between the late 1960s and early 1970s, Maoist ideas gained considerable popularity and influence in left politics and the labour movement, and made an impact on Pakistani mainstream politics which was out of proportion to its political strength in the overall balance of power. Neither class structure nor the ideological and political composition of the state apparatus warranted any such advantage to Maoism. Clues to it are to be found in the peculiar power game over security and influence going on at that time between several states in that region and, perhaps, more crucially, in the internal political situation surrounding the rise to power of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (1971–77), his fall, and the coming into power of an Islamist regime under General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.

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