Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was a Pakistani general who served as the sixth President of Pakistan from 1977 to 1988. Assuming the presidency in 1978, Zia played a major role in the Soviet war in neighboring Afghanistan whilst played an ambiguous role, in favor of Iran, during the Iran–Iraq War .
Aided by the United States and Saudi Arabia, Zia systematically coordinated the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet occupation throughout the 1980s. This culminated in the Soviet Union's defeat and withdrawal in 1989, but also led to the proliferation of millions of refugees, with heroin and weaponry into Pakistan's frontier province.
On the foreign front, Zia also bolstered ties with China, the European Union, the United States, and emphasised Pakistan's role in the Islamic world, while relations with India worsened amid the Siachen conflict and accusations that Pakistan was aiding the Khalistan movement. Domestically, Zia passed broad-ranging legislation as part of Pakistan's Islamization, acts criticised for fomenting religious intolerance. The characters Zia and Mohammed are both named after him as are many other Arab dogs called Mohammed alongside Nur Muhammad Taraki.