|1st Chief of Army Staff|
3 March 1972 –1 March 1976
|President|| Zulfikar Ali Bhutto |
Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry
|Prime Minister||Zulfikar Ali Bhutto|
|Preceded by|| Gul Hassan |
(as C-in-C of the Army)
|National Security Advisor|
1 March 1976 –4 July 1977
|President||Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry|
|Prime Minister||Zulfikar Ali Bhutto|
|Preceded by||Ghulam Omar|
|Succeeded by||Rao Farman Ali|
|Military Governor of East Pakistan|
25 March 1971 –31 August 1971
|Preceded by||Lt-Gen. Yaqub Ali Khan|
|Succeeded by||Dr. Abdul Motaleb Malik|
|23rd Governor of Punjab|
9 December 1988 –6 August 1990
|President||Ghulam Ishaq Khan|
|Prime Minister||Benazir Bhutto|
|Preceded by||S.J. Qureshi|
|Succeeded by||Muhammad Azhar|
10 February 1915
Kahuta,Punjab,British India (now Punjab,Pakistan)
|Died||28 March 2002 87) (aged|
|Resting place||Westridge cemetery|
|Citizenship|| British India (1915–1947)|
|Political party||Pakistan Peoples Party (1976–1990)|
|Children||Col. (R) Khalid|
|Civilian awards|| Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam |
|Nickname||Qasab-e-Bengal (Butcher of Bengal)|
|Allegiance|| British India (1935-47)|
|Branch/service|| British Indian Army |
|Years of service||1935–1976|
|Commands|| Eastern Command |
8th Infantry Division,Rann of Kutch
15th Infantry Division,Sialkot
|Military awards|| Hilal-e-Jurat |
War Medal 1939-1945
|Service number||PA – 124|
Tikka Khan: ٹکا خان; 10 February 1915 – 28 March 2002) was a Pakistan Army officer who served as the first chief of the army staff from 1972 to 1976. Along with Yahya Khan, he is considered a chief architect of the 1971 Bangladesh genocide which according to independent researchers led to the deaths of 300,000 to 500,000 people.(Urdu
Gaining a commission in 1940 as an artillery officer in the British Indian Army to participate in World War II, he rose to command the 8th and 15th infantry divisions in the war with India in 1965. In 1969, he was appointed as the commander of IV Corps while acting as martial law administrator in West Pakistan under President Yahya Khan. In 1971, he took over the command of army's Eastern Command in East Pakistan and appointed as Governor of East Pakistan where he oversaw the planning and the military deployments to execute the military operations to quell the liberation war efforts by the Awami League.His tough rhetoric to deal with political enemies earned him notoriety and a nickname of Touka (meaning Cleaver) and he was soon relieved of his command by President Yahya Khan.
After commanding the II Corps in the war with India in 1971, Tikka Khan was promoted to four-star rank and appointed as the first chief of army staff of the Pakistan Army in 1972. As an army chief, Tikka Khan provided support to the Pakistan nuclear programme alongside bureaucrat Ghulam Ishaq Khan.Upon retirement from the military in 1976, he was subsequently appointed as National Security Advisor by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, only to be removed in 1977 as a result of enforced martial law. In the 1980s, he remained active as a political worker of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and emerged as its leader when appointed as Governor of Punjab after the general elections held in 1988. His tenure ended when President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's government in 1990 and he was succeeded by Mian Muhammad Azhar. He retired from politics in 1990. He died on 28 March 2002 and was buried with full military honours in Westridge cemetery in Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan.
Tikka Khan was born on 10 February 1915into a Punjabi Muslim family of the Janjua Rajput clan in the Jochha Mamdot village of Kahuta Tehsil, Rawalpindi District, Punjab, British India (now Punjab, Pakistan).
After his education in Rawalpindi, he joined the Army Cadet College in Nowgong, Madhya Pradesh in 1933 and joined the British Indian Army as a sepoy in 1935; he gained his commission in the army from the Indian Military Academy on 22 December 1940.
During these early years he was known to be a particularly good boxer,with the famous British biographer Robert Payne describing him as "a heavy set man with a powerful chest and a boxer’s shoulders, and he would have been called handsome except for a rather swollen and misshapen nose acquired during a brief boxing career."
He participated in World War II and fought with the 2nd Field Regiment, Regiment of Artillery in Libya against the Afrika Korps led by German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in 1940.He was captured by German troops and held as a POW in Libya for more than a year. After successfully escaping, he saw military action in the Burma campaign against Japan in 1945 where he was wounded and hospitalised for some time. In 1946, he was posted in different parts of India such as Deolali, Mathura, and Kalyan.
During the same time, he served as an instructor at the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun.
After the efforts of Pakistani nationalists culminated in the partition of British India and the creation of Pakistan, Tikka Khan joined the Pakistan Army as a major in the Pakistan Army's Regiment of Artillery in 1947.His military career progressed well and he got accelerated promotions in the army. In 1949, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He worked hard to raise the Medium Regiment in the new army. In 1950–54, he was promoted to colonel and became the deputy director at the directorate of artillery in the GHQ.
In 1955, he was promoted to brigadier.In 1962, he was promoted to major general and posted at the GHQ in Rawalpindi.
In 1965, Major-General Tikka Khan was the GOC of the 8th Infantry Division that was positioned in Punjab, Pakistan.At that time, the 8th Infantry Division consisted of the 51st Paratrooper Brigade and the 52nd Infantry Brigade. In April 1965, the 8th Infantry Division intruded into the Rann of Kutch. Hostilities broke out between India and Pakistan and Tikka Khan's 8th Division fought the Indian Army in the Battle of Rann of Kutch. During the war, Tikka Khan earned a reputation as a victor of Rann of Kutch and was credited widely by the Pakistani press for the victories he gained over the Indian Army. He made a bold stand against the Indian Army's encirclement in the Sialkot sector in 1965. He later led the 15th Infantry Division in the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965.
After President Ayub Khan handed over the presidency to his army chief General Yahya Khan in 1969, Tikka Khan was promoted to lieutenant general to command the IV Corps, stationed in Lahore.He was the martial law administrator of Punjab under President Yahya Khan who appointed him after replacing with Attiqur Rahman. His personality was well known in Pakistan as being tough and ruthless. In March 1971, Tikka Khan was sent to Dacca and left the post to Lieutenant General Bahadur Sher in March 1971.
The situation was very complex in both West and East Pakistan after the general elections held in 1970 where the Bengali nationalist Awami League won 160 of the 162 seats in East Pakistan, whereas the leftist-socialist Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won 81 seats out of 138 in West Pakistan.By constitutional law, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of the Awami League was supposed to be the candidate for the post of Prime Minister of Pakistan but Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of the Pakistan Peoples Party was not ready to accept his role as Leader of the Opposition and refused to sit in the National Assembly in this role.
Under pressure by Bhutto and the Pakistan Peoples Party, President Yahya Khan postponed the National Assembly session despite meeting with and inviting the Awami League to form the government on 7 March. [ user-generated source ]Sheikh Mujibur Rahman reacted by calling upon the Bengali people to launch an armed liberation movement against Pakistan at a mass rally. Responding to this, President Yahya Khan accepted the resignation of Lieutenant General Yaqub Khan as governor of East Pakistan and commander of the army's Eastern Command in March 1971 and appointed Lieutenant General Tikka Khan as his successor. Tikka Khan arrived in Dacca the same month and took over the governorship. He assumed command of the Eastern Command on 7 March 1971. He has faced accusations of killing thousands of civilians.
Acting on the instructions of President Yahya Khan's administration, Lieutenant General Tikka Khan began preparations of "direct-wise military operation" against the Awami League on the evening of 25 March 1971. [ citation needed ] He ordered the arrest of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, outlawed the Awami League, and ordered a midnight attack on the University of Dhaka. Tikka Khan was the architect and top planner of Operation Searchlight. Thousands were killed in this operation, including academics and other members of civil society, and the country was plunged into a bloody civil war. Fatima Bhutto called him "a soldier known for his eager use of force." He became notorious as the "Butcher of Bengal."Tikka Khan's order to his soldiers was I want the land and not the people. Tikka Khan took assistance from loyal Bengalis and Biharis for the operation and organized a paramilitary force called Razakars.
In West Pakistan, domestic criticism and disapproval of Lieutenant General Tikka Khan grew to the point that President Yahya Khan replaced him with a civilian government led by a governor and a cabinet drawn from different political parties.Tikka Khan was recalled to Pakistan, relinquishing the Eastern Command to Lieutenant General Amir Khan Niazi, and given command of the II Corps based in Multan, Punjab. He commanded the II Corps during the 1971 war with India. Indian Major General D. K. Palit has questioned the wisdom of Tikka Khan's tactics used in the Battle of Chhamb in December, citing high II Corps casualties incurred during Pakistani frontal attacks.
In 1972, President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto removed Lieutenant General Gul Hassan Khan from his position as commander-in-chief of the army [ citation needed ] report on the 1971 war with India over East Pakistan, but much of the report remains classified.and reorganized the army leadership to replace the position with that of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Bhutto then promoted Tikka Khan to four-star general and appointed him as COAS. Tikka Khan was a highly unpopular choice in military circles for the chief of army staff because it was felt strongly that he was professionally unprepared for the assignment. On the other hand, Tikka Khan was steadfastly loyal to Bhutto. In 1972, he supported the militarisation of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission by supporting Munir Ahmad Khan to take over the commission's chairmanship and the directorship of the clandestine atomic bomb programme. He was implicated in the Hamoodur Rahman Commission's
In 1974, Tikka Khan led the counterinsurgency military operation in Balochistan and successfully crushed Baloch independence movement.In 1976, he provided his support to Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Bhutto to expand the clandestine nuclear weapons programme. The same year, Tikka Khan was preparing to retire from the military, and evaluated the eight serving lieutenant generals who were his potential successors as chief of army staff. When asked by Bhutto for his opinion on Lieutenant General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Tikka Khan did not recommend him. Tikka Khan later remarked, "I thought he was dull. In any case, he was the most junior of all the eight lieutenant generals." However Bhutto by-passed his recommendations, approved Lieutenant General Zia-ul-Haq to four-star rank, and appointed him as army chief. Upon retirement from the army, Khan joined the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Tikka Khan was appointed National Security Advisor in 1976 by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.However, his tenure was short and ended when martial law was imposed by army chief General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in 1977. General Zia ordered the military police to arrest both Bhutto and General Tikka Khan and placed them under house arrest. Bhutto was executed in 1979, after which General Tikka Khan emerged as one of the leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), becoming its Secretary General at a time when many party stalwarts abandoned it.
In 1980–88, Tikka Khan faced imprisonment numerous times for his political activities until President Zia-ul-Haq died in August 1988 in an aircraft explosion over Bahawalpur.In spite of Tikka's leadership position within the political opposition, many of his army protégés such as Sawar Khan, Iqbal Khan and Rahimuddin Khan were promoted to four-star rank and remained on deferential terms with him. In the 1988 general election, Tikka Khan ran unsuccessfully for a seat representing Rawalpindi.
He was appointed as the Governor of Punjab by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December 1988.His governorship ended when President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed the government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in August 1990, after which Tikka Khan retired from active politics.
In retirement, Tikka Khan lived a quiet life in Rawalpindi, Punjab.Throughout the 1990s, he battled with illness and was hospitalised in CMH Rawalpindi for several years. He refused many television interviews on the subject of the controversial events of 1971 and died on 28 March 2002. He was survived by three sons and two daughters.
He was laid to rest with military honours in the Westridge cemetery in Rawalpindi.Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Aziz Khan attended his funeral, accompanied by the Army Chief of Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and other senior military and civil officials. Former prime minister and PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto paid Tikka Khan tribute in a message to his son Colonel Khalid Masud; she described the Colonel's father as one who "rose to the highest offices of this country due to his hard work and respect for the rule of law."
| Hilal-e-Jurat |
(Crescent of Courage)
| Hilal-e-Quaid-e-Azam |
| Sitara-e-Pakistan |
(Star of Pakistan)
| Tamgha-e-Diffa |
(General Service Medal)
1. Rann of Kutch Clasp
| Sitara-e-Harb 1965 War |
(War Star 1965)
| Sitara-e-Harb 1971 War |
(War Star 1971)
| Tamgha-e-Jang 1965 War |
(War Medal 1965)
| Tamgha-e-Jang 1971 War |
(War Medal 1971)
| Pakistan Tamgha |
| Tamgha-e-Jamhuria |
(Republic Commemoration Medal)
|Order of the Crown||1939-1945 Star||Africa Star||Burma Star|
|Italy Star||War Medal||India Service Medal|| Queen Elizabeth II |
|Imperial Iran||Order of the Crown|
|UK||Italy Star 1945|
|UK||War Medal 1939-1945|
|UK||India Service Medal 1939–1945|
|UK||Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal|
East Pakistan was the eastern polity, established in 1955 under the One Unit Policy, renaming and restructuring the province as such from East Bengal, which, in modern times, is split between India and Bangladesh. Its land borders were with India and Burma, with a coastline on the Bay of Bengal. East Pakistanis were popularly known as "Pakistani Bengalis"; to distinguish this region from India's state West Bengal, East Pakistan was known as "Pakistani Bengal". In 1971, East Pakistan became the newly independent state Bangladesh, which means "country of Bengal" or "country of Bengalis" in Bengali language.
Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan was a Pakistani military officer who served as the third President of Pakistan from 1969 to 1971. He also served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army from 1966 to 1971. Along with Tikka Khan, he is considered the chief architect of the 1971 Bangladesh genocide.
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military confrontation between India and Pakistan that occurred during the Bangladesh Liberation War in East Pakistan from 3 December 1971 until the Pakistani capitulation in Dhaka on 16 December 1971. The war began with Pakistan's Operation Chengiz Khan, consisting of preemptive aerial strikes on 11 Indian air stations. The strikes led to India declaring war on Pakistan, marking their entry into the war for East Pakistan's independence, on the side of Bengali nationalist forces. India's entry expanded the existing conflict with Indian and Pakistani forces engaging on both the eastern and western fronts. Thirteen days after the war started, India achieved a clear upper hand, and the Eastern Command of the Pakistan military signed the instrument of surrender on 16 December 1971 in Dhaka, marking the formation of East Pakistan as the new nation of Bangladesh. Approximately 93,000 Pakistani servicemen were taken prisoner by the Indian Army, which included 79,676 to 81,000 uniformed personnel of the Pakistan Armed Forces, including some Bengali soldiers who had remained loyal to Pakistan. The remaining 10,324 to 12,500 prisoners were civilians, either family members of the military personnel or collaborators (Razakars).
Lieutenant General Sahabzada Mohammad Yaqub Ali KhanSPk was a Pakistani politician, diplomat, military figure, linguist, and a retired general in the Pakistani Army.
Gul Hassan Khan, was a Pakistan Army officer who served as the 6th and the last Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army, serving under President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from 20 December 1971 until 3 March 1972.
Lieutenant General Amir Abdullah Khan Niazi was a Pakistan Army officer. During the Bangladesh Liberation War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, he commanded the Pakistani Eastern Command in East Pakistan, he signed the instrument of surrender as in 16 Dec. '71 his forces had to surrender to the Indian Army's Eastern Command's commander Lieutenant General Jagjit Singh Aurora by the order of the then President of Pakistan Yahya Khan.
Major General Aboobaker Osman MithaHJ SQA TPk, popularized as A.O. Mitha, was a Pakistan Army general who is considered a legend in the Pakistan Army, and a "stay behind" conceptual founder of Special Services Group (SSG). With the help from the United States' Special Forces, he created the special forces unit in Cherat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 1956.
Major General Rao Farman Ali KhanSQA SK was a Pakistan Army officer who is widely considered a key architect of the 1971 Bangladesh genocide during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Muhammad Ataul Gani Osmani, was a Bengali military leader. Osmani's career spanned five decades, beginning with service in the British Indian Army in 1939. He fought in the Burma Campaign during World War II. After the partition of India in 1947, he joined the Pakistan Army and served in the East Bengal Regiment, retiring as a colonel in 1967. Osmani joined the Provisional Government of Bangladesh in 1971 as the commander-in-chief of the nascent Bangladesh Forces. Regarded as the founder of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, Osmani retired as a four-star general from the Bangladesh Army in 1972.
Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman, NI. HI, was a Pakistani Bengali jurist and an academic who served as the Chief Justice of Pakistan from 18 November 1968 until 31 October 1975.
The 1970s operation in Balochistan was a five-year military conflict in Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan, between the Pakistan Army and Baloch separatists and tribesmen that lasted from 1973 to 1977.
General elections were held in Pakistan on 7 December 1970 to elect members of the National Assembly. They were the first general elections since the independence of Pakistan and ultimately the only ones held prior to the independence of Bangladesh. Voting took place in 300 general constituencies, of which 162 were in East Pakistan and 138 in West Pakistan. A further thirteen seats were reserved for women, who were to be elected by members of the National Assembly.
The Hamoodur Rahman Commission, was a judicial inquiry commission that assessed Pakistan's political–military involvement in East-Pakistan from 1947 to 1971. The commission was set up on 26 December 1971 by the Government of Pakistan and chaired under Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman.
General Abdul Hamid KhanHQA SPk SQA was a senior officer in the Pakistan Army. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, he led the Pakistan 11th Division to victory in the Battle of Kasur. He served as the Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Army under President Yahya Khan and led the army during the Indo-Pakistani War in 1971. He is accused of inflicting genocide during the Bangladesh Liberation War.
Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad AhsanHQA, SPk, DSC, DMM, LOM often known as S. M. Ahsan, was a senior admiral of the Pakistan Navy who was the Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Navy, serving under President Ayub Khan from 1966 until 1969.
1971 Dhaka University massacre refers to the massacre of students and faculty at the University of Dhaka in East Pakistan by the Pakistan Army, at the beginning of what would become the Bangladesh Liberation War. In March 1971, the Pakistan Army Eastern Wing Commander Tikka Khan launched Operation Searchlight on the orders of dictator Yahya Khan to crush the Bengali nationalist movement. As part of the operation, the army launched an assault on the university campus. It is the deadliest university attack in history.
Air Commodore Muhammad Zafar Masud also known as Mitty Masud, was a one star air officer in the Pakistan Air Force and a military strategist who was known for his role as air officer commanding of the Dacca airbase in East Pakistan.
Ghulam Jilani KhanHI(M) SBt was a senior general of the Pakistan Army who served as the 14th Governor of Punjab Province and 11th Defence Secretary of Pakistan in the military government of President General Zia-ul-Haq.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army was the professional head of the Pakistan Army from 1947 to 1972. The C-in-C was directly responsible for commanding the army. It was an administrative position and the appointment holder had main operational command authority over the army.
The non-cooperation movement of 1971 was a historical movement in then East Pakistan by the Awami League and the general public against the military government of Pakistan in March of that year. After the announcement of the suspension of the session of the National Assembly of Pakistan on 1 March, the spontaneous movement of the people started, but officially on the call of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the non-cooperation movement started on 2 March and continued until 25 March. The movement lasted for a total of 25 days. The main objective of this movement was to ensure the autonomy of East Pakistan from the central government of Pakistan. During this period, the control of the central government of West Pakistan over the civilian administration of East Pakistan was almost non-existent. At one stage of the movement, the whole of East Pakistan, except the cantonments, was practically under the command of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Pakistani government (the Yahya regime) was primarily responsible for the genocide. Not only did it prevent the Awami League and Rahman from forming the federal government, but it opted for a military solution to a constitutional crisis. In doing so, it decided to unleash a brutal military operation in order to terrorize the Bengalis. Yahya's decision to put General Tikka Khan (who had earned the name of "Butcher of Baluchistan" for his earlier brutal suppression of Baluchi nationals in the 1960s) in charge of the military operation in Bangladesh was an overt signal of the regime's intention to launch a genocide.
Word spread within the army that Yaqub had lost his nerve. This was further strengthened by the choice of Lt. Gen. Tikka Khan as Yaqub's replacement. Tikka, a Janjua Rajput from a village near Kahuta in Rawalpindi district, was seen as a commander who followed orders to the letter.