In October 1958, General Ayub Khan seized the presidency of Pakistan in a military coup which he described as “a revolution away from communism.”
The American political establishment was convinced that Ayub Khan was a staunch anti-communist and an ally against the Soviet Union. They saw the coup as a pro-capitalism political action. Ayub Khan was allowed to impose martial law in Pakistan without any criticism from the American and European establishments. Ayub Khan shrewdly explained that the martial law was a temporary measure and that it was “harsh only to those who have been destroying Pakistan’s moral fibre.”
President Eisenhower authorized the sale of weapons to Ayub Khan’s military regime. Sidewinder missiles, jet fighters, and B-57 tactical bombers were among the cutting edge military hardware that Pakistan received.