Aziz Khan (general)
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General A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, and marines or naval infantry. In some usages the term "general officer" refers to a rank above colonel."general, adj. and n.". OED ...
Muhammad Aziz Khan ( ur, ; 1 January 1947), best known as Aziz Khan, is a retired four-star rank
army general Army general is the highest ranked general officer in many countries that use the French Revolutionary System.  In countries that adopt the general officer four rank system, it is rank of general commanding an army in the field, but in coun ...
in the
Pakistan Army The Pakistan Army (, ) is the land service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. The roots of its modern existence trace back to the British Indian Army that ceased to exist following the Partition of British India, which occurred as a result ...
who served as the 11th
Chairman The chairperson, also chairman, chairwoman or chair, is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office, who is typically elected or appointed by members of the gro ...
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, appointed in October 2001 until his retirement in 2005. Before surprisingly superseding several military officers for the appointment as the Chairman joint chiefs in 2001, Gen. Aziz was the leading general who commanded the Northern Command against the
Indian Army The Indian Army is the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Army, and its professional head is the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who is a four- ...
in the 1999 Kargil War. In 1999,
Prime Minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is ...
Nawaz Sharif Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (Urdu, Punjabi: ; born 25 December 1949) is a Pakistani businessman and politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan for three non-consecutive terms. He is the longest-serving prime minister of Pak ...
had tried to stop a commercial flight from landing with Army Chief
Pervez Musharraf General Pervez Musharraf ( ur, , Parvez Muśharraf; born 11 August 1943) is a former Pakistani politician and four-star general of the Pakistan Army who became the tenth president of Pakistan after the successful military takeover of the ...
onboard so Sharif could appoint a new Army Chief. As a result, Aziz was one of the four army generals who helped to initiate the military turnover, after the plane landed, against the
civilian government Civil authority or civil government is the practical implementation of a state on behalf of its citizens, other than through military units (martial law), that enforces law and order and that is distinguished from religious authority (for exampl ...
of
Prime Minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is ...
Nawaz Sharif Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (Urdu, Punjabi: ; born 25 December 1949) is a Pakistani businessman and politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan for three non-consecutive terms. He is the longest-serving prime minister of Pak ...
.


Biography

Muhammad Aziz Khan was born in Pallandri, Sudhanoti, in
British India The provinces of India, earlier presidencies of British India and still earlier, presidency towns, were the administrative divisions of British governance on the Indian subcontinent. Collectively, they have been called British India. In one ...
now
Azad Kashmir Azad Jammu and Kashmir (; ), abbreviated as AJK and colloquially referred to as simply Azad Kashmir, is a region administered by Pakistan as a nominally self-governing entitySee: * * * and constituting the western portion of the larger K ...
, Pakistan) on 1 January 1947 to a Sudhan
Pashtun Pashtuns (, , ; ps, پښتانه, ), also known as Pakhtuns or Pathans, are an Iranian ethnic group who are native to the geographic region of Pashtunistan in the present-day countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan. They were historically r ...
family. He first graduating from the High School Palandri, before joining the joined the
Pakistan Army The Pakistan Army (, ) is the land service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. The roots of its modern existence trace back to the British Indian Army that ceased to exist following the Partition of British India, which occurred as a result ...
in 1964. He first completed his combat duty with the army during the second war with India in 1965, before being redirected to join the
Pakistan Military Academy Pakistan Military Academy ( ur, ), also referred to by its acronym PMA. PMA is an officers training school located near Kakul village in the city and district of Abbottabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa established in 1947. It is the sole service academy ...
(PMA). In 1966, Aziz passed out from the PMA with the class of 1st War Course, which is senior to 37th PMA but junior to 38th PMA Long Course, gaining commissioned as 2nd-Lt. in the 12th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment. He went to command an infantry
platoon A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two or more squads, sections, or patrols. Platoon organization varies depending on the country and the branch, but a platoon can be composed of 50 people, although specific platoons may range ...
during the third war with India in 1971, and was later sent to attend the Command and Staff College where he qualified as a psc. He later went to attend the National Defence University where he graduated with MSc in
War studies War studies, sometimes called polemology, is the multi-disciplinary study of war. It pertains to the military, diplomatic, philosophical, social, political, psychological or economic dimensions of human conflict. The word ''polemology'' deri ...
. In 1980s, Lt-Col. Aziz commanded the 12th Battalion before joining the Zia administration's staff. In 1980s,
Colonel Colonel (abbreviated as Col., Col or COL) is a senior military officer rank used in many countries. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, a colonel was typically in charge o ...
Aziz was selected to be appointed as Military Secretary to
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese fu ...
Zia-ul-Haq, assisting him when President Zia went on a
state visit A state visit is a formal visit by a head of state to a foreign country, at the invitation of the head of state of that foreign country, with the latter also acting as the official host for the duration of the state visit. Speaking for the host ...
to the United States to meet with U.S. President
Ronald Reagan Ronald Wilson Reagan ( ; February 6, 1911June 5, 2004) was an American politician, actor, and union leader who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989. He also served as the 33rd governor of California from 1967 ...
. He was later posted as
military attaché A military attaché is a military expert who is attached to a diplomatic mission, often an embassy. This type of attaché post is normally filled by a high-ranking military officer, who retains a commission while serving with an embassy. Opportu ...
at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington D.C. for the
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the eight U.S. uniformed services, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the U.S. Constitution.Article II, section 2, cl ...
to maintain military relations with the U.S. military. In 1990,
Brigadier Brigadier is a military rank, the seniority of which depends on the country. In some countries, it is a senior rank above colonel, equivalent to a brigadier general or commodore, typically commanding a brigade of several thousand soldiers. In ...
Aziz was posted as the
Chief of Staff The title chief of staff (or head of staff) identifies the leader of a complex organization such as the armed forces, institution, or body of persons and it also may identify a principal staff officer (PSO), who is the coordinator of the supporti ...
of the X Corps which was under Lt. Gen. G.M. Malik before being stationed in
Siachen The Siachen Glacier is a glacier located in the eastern Karakoram range in the Himalayas at about , just northeast of the point NJ9842 where the Line of Control between India and Pakistan ends. At long, it is the longest glacier in the Kara ...
to command the Northern Light Infantry (NLI). In 1991–94, Brig. Aziz eventually moved to command the 80th Brigade attached to the Northern Command stationed in the
Azad Kashmir Azad Jammu and Kashmir (; ), abbreviated as AJK and colloquially referred to as simply Azad Kashmir, is a region administered by Pakistan as a nominally self-governing entitySee: * * * and constituting the western portion of the larger K ...
.


War and Command appointments in the military


Chief of General Staff and Kargil war with India

In 1994, Brig. Aziz was promoted as two-star rank when he posted as the GOC of the Force Command North based in
Gilgit-Baltistan Gilgit-Baltistan (; ), formerly known as the Northern Areas, is a region administered by Pakistan as an administrative territory, and constituting the northern portion of the larger Kashmir region which has been the subject of a dispute bet ...
in Pakistan. Maj-Gen. Aziz served as the GOC of the Northern Command until 1996 when he was promoted to the three-star rank, leaving the command of Maj-Gen. Javed Hassan. In 1996, Lt. Gen. Aziz was posted to the ISI, directing the ISI's analysis department, which had been responsible for providing analysis and gathering intelligence in India and
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is borde ...
, until 1998. Lt. Gen. Aziz was mainly responsible in keeping intelligence on the Talibans in Afghanistan, and had reputation in the country for his ultraconservative views. In October 1998, Lt. Gen. Aziz was moved to the Army GHQ where he was appointed as the Chief of General Staff, a second-in-command post under the Chief of Army Staff. Himself a Kashmiri, Gen. Aziz was fully committed to the Kashmir cause, he began implementing the plan for covert infiltration in Indian occupied Kashmir, with the approval of the Chief of Army Staff. Later investigative reports compiled by Pakistani historians and journalists, it was revealed that Lt. Gen. Aziz was the leading general who was masterminding the area contingency operations of the Norther Command led by its GOC Maj-Gen. Javed Hassan. Despite being well aware of the consequences, the writers critically questioned Lt. Gen. Aziz's grand strategy that brought the two nations at the brink of war, with international opinion widely accepting the Indian narrative. During the heights of the military actions in Kargil region, the Indian intelligence was able to tape the telephonic conversations that took place between the CJCSC and Army Chief Gen.
Pervez Musharraf General Pervez Musharraf ( ur, , Parvez Muśharraf; born 11 August 1943) is a former Pakistani politician and four-star general of the Pakistan Army who became the tenth president of Pakistan after the successful military takeover of the ...
and Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Aziz, proving that it was the
Pakistan Army The Pakistan Army (, ) is the land service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. The roots of its modern existence trace back to the British Indian Army that ceased to exist following the Partition of British India, which occurred as a result ...
that had infiltrated without the official approval from the civilian branch, the
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government i ...
led by
Prime Minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is ...
Nawaz Sharif Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (Urdu, Punjabi: ; born 25 December 1949) is a Pakistani businessman and politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan for three non-consecutive terms. He is the longest-serving prime minister of Pak ...
. When the conversations were leaked by the India's Union
Ministry of Defence {{unsourced, date=February 2021 A ministry of defence or defense (see spelling differences), also known as a department of defence or defense, is an often-used name for the part of a government responsible for matters of defence, found in state ...
, Prime Minister Sharif met with Lt. Gen. Aziz who continuously denied the authenticity of the tapes, later confided to Chairman joint chiefs Musharraf that the success of operation relied on "total secrecy." Later Pakistani
Investigative journalist Investigative journalism is a form of journalism in which reporters deeply investigate a single topic of interest, such as serious crimes, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing. An investigative journalist may spend months or years rese ...
news reports identified that there were four army generals who were in much
control Control may refer to: Basic meanings Economics and business * Control (management), an element of management * Control, an element of management accounting * Comptroller (or controller), a senior financial officer in an organization * Controlli ...
of the area contingency plans in Kargil including Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmed, commanding the X Corps, Lt. Gen. Shahid Aziz of ISI's Analysis Wing, and Lt. Gen. Jan Orakzai, commanding the XI Corps, besides Lt. Gen. Aziz. After the Kargil incident, there were no official military inquiries into this incident nor there were any subsequent evidence that led to the punishment of those responsible for such incidents. On 12 October 1999, Lt. Gen. Aziz played a decisive role in initiating the military takeover of the
civilian government Civil authority or civil government is the practical implementation of a state on behalf of its citizens, other than through military units (martial law), that enforces law and order and that is distinguished from religious authority (for exampl ...
led by
Prime Minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is ...
Nawaz Sharif Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (Urdu, Punjabi: ; born 25 December 1949) is a Pakistani businessman and politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan for three non-consecutive terms. He is the longest-serving prime minister of Pak ...
when he refused to transfer the control of the military to General Ziauddin Butt. Passing orders to take over the control of the Jinnah Terminal in Karachi, Lt. Gen. Aziz effectively gained control of the military in favor of the Gen.
Pervez Musharraf General Pervez Musharraf ( ur, , Parvez Muśharraf; born 11 August 1943) is a former Pakistani politician and four-star general of the Pakistan Army who became the tenth president of Pakistan after the successful military takeover of the ...
who removed
Prime Minister A prime minister, premier or chief of cabinet is the head of the cabinet and the leader of the ministers in the executive branch of government, often in a parliamentary or semi-presidential system. Under those systems, a prime minister is ...
Nawaz Sharif Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (Urdu, Punjabi: ; born 25 December 1949) is a Pakistani businessman and politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan for three non-consecutive terms. He is the longest-serving prime minister of Pak ...
and his administration. After the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese fu ...
Clinton paid a state visit to Pakistan in 2000, Lt. Gen. Aziz was removed from his position and was appointed as the field commander of the IV Corps stationed in
Lahore Lahore ( ; pnb, ; ur, ) is the second List of cities in Pakistan by population, most populous city in Pakistan after Karachi and 26th List of largest cities, most populous city in the world, with a population of over 13 million. It is th ...
, which he commanded until 2001.


Chairman Joint chiefs

On 6 October 2001, Lt. Gen. Aziz was surprisingly promoted to four-star rank with an immediate effect when he was appointed as the Chairman joint chiefs. This promotion was one of the earliest controversial decisions made by the Musharraf administration, where
news media The news media or news industry are forms of mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public. These include news agencies, print media (newspapers, news magazines), broadcast news (radio and television), and ...
had been very critical of this appointment. At the time of the promotion, Lt. Gen. Aziz was sixth in the seniority with senior army generals who were in the race of promotion to four-star included with seniority: * Lt. Gen. Muzaffar Usmani Vice-Chief of Army Staff at Army GHQ in
Rawalpindi Rawalpindi ( or ; Urdu, ) is a city in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad, and third largest in Punjab after Lahore and Faisalabad. Rawalpindi is next to Pakistan' ...
*Lt-Gen. Hamid Javaid
Chief of Staff The title chief of staff (or head of staff) identifies the leader of a complex organization such as the armed forces, institution, or body of persons and it also may identify a principal staff officer (PSO), who is the coordinator of the supporti ...
to the
President of Pakistan The president of Pakistan ( ur, , translit=s̤adr-i Pākiṣṭān), officially the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is the ceremonial head of state of Pakistan and the commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Armed Forces.Mahmud AhmedDG ISI *Lt-Gen. Khalid Maqbool
Chairman The chairperson, also chairman, chairwoman or chair, is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office, who is typically elected or appointed by members of the gro ...
of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in
Islamabad Islamabad (; ur, , ) is the capital city of Pakistan. It is the country's ninth-most populous city, with a population of over 1.2 million people, and is federally administered by the Pakistani government as part of the Islamabad Capital ...
*Lt-Gen. Yusaf KhanChief of General Staff (CGS) at Army GHQ in
Rawalpindi Rawalpindi ( or ; Urdu, ) is a city in the Punjab province of Pakistan. It is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad, and third largest in Punjab after Lahore and Faisalabad. Rawalpindi is next to Pakistan' ...
*Lt-Gen. Aziz Khan–Field Commander of the IV Corps, stationed in Lahor, Punjab, Pakistan While Gen. Yusaf and Gen. Aziz were elevated to their four-star commanding appointments, the remaining four army generals seek their retirement when they tendered their resignations. Resignations of Mahmud Ahmed and Osmani were widely rumoured due to their closeness to the terrorists outfits. He also stayed as the Colonel-in-Chief of the Punjab Regiment appointed by General
Pervez Musharraf General Pervez Musharraf ( ur, , Parvez Muśharraf; born 11 August 1943) is a former Pakistani politician and four-star general of the Pakistan Army who became the tenth president of Pakistan after the successful military takeover of the ...
on 21 March 2003. Upon appointed, Gen. Aziz called on President Musharraf, thanking the president for the promotion. Despite his initial support for Gen. Musharraf, Aziz Khan soon regretted playing his part in bringing to help stabilize Gen.
Pervez Musharraf General Pervez Musharraf ( ur, , Parvez Muśharraf; born 11 August 1943) is a former Pakistani politician and four-star general of the Pakistan Army who became the tenth president of Pakistan after the successful military takeover of the ...
's role against the civilian government when he lectured and quoted: " politics should not be done in uniform." In 2001, Gen. Aziz publicly came out against President
Pervez Musharraf General Pervez Musharraf ( ur, , Parvez Muśharraf; born 11 August 1943) is a former Pakistani politician and four-star general of the Pakistan Army who became the tenth president of Pakistan after the successful military takeover of the ...
's policy on siding with the United States, without effectively addressing the issue of containing the terrorists organizations. He viewed the American attack on Afghanistan with great suspicion, and had held sympathetic views towards the Talibans in Afghanistan, and harboured strong anti-American views when he termed the
Americans Americans are the citizens and nationals of the United States of America.; ; Although direct citizens and nationals make up the majority of Americans, many dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents could also legally claim Ame ...
as "number one enemy". In a response to the
terrorist attack Terrorism, in its broadest sense, is the use of criminal violence to provoke a state of terror or fear, mostly with the intention to achieve political or religious aims. The term is used in this regard primarily to refer to intentional violen ...
on Indian parliament in 2001, Gen. Aziz oversaw the troop deployment across the
border Borders are usually defined as geographical boundaries, imposed either by features such as oceans and terrain, or by political entities such as governments, sovereign states, federated states, and other subnational entities. Political borders ...
amid the military standoff, and supportive towards the Chinese mediation between the relations of
two countries ''Two Countries'' is a 2015 Indian Malayalam-language romantic comedy film written by Rafi and directed by Shafi. The film stars Dileep and Mamta Mohandas in the lead roles, with Suraj Venjarammoodu, Mukesh, Aju Varghese and Jagadish appearin ...
. In 2003, Gen. Aziz went to visit
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an ...
where he met with Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga where he agreed to provide military assistance to
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an ...
to their
civil war A civil war or intrastate war is a war between organized groups within the same state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change government policie ...
. In 2005, Gen. Aziz's timely retirement was confirmed by President Musharraf and disassociate himself with Aziz with further political appointments despite rumors. Gen. Aziz was succeeded by Gen. Ehsan ul Haq, amid another controversial appointment in 2004.


Awards and decorations


Foreign decorations


See also

* Anti-American sentiment in Pakistan * Fiscal-military state * Gang of Four in Pakistan Army * Islamic fundamentalism *
Kashmiriyat ''Kashmiriyat'' (also spelled as ''Kashmiriat'') is the centuries-old indigenous tradition of communal harmony and religious syncretism in the Kashmir Valley in the Indian-administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Emerging around ...
* Pakistan Army and state-sponsored terrorism * Power and politics * State within a state


References


External links


'The Mullahs' Blue-Eyed General'
, - {{DEFAULTSORT:Khan, Aziz 1947 births Kashmiri people People from Sudhanoti District People from Azad Kashmir Pakistan Military Academy alumni Pakistani military personnel of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 National Defence University, Pakistan alumni Pakistani expatriates in the United States Pakistani spies Islamism in Pakistan Kashmir conflict People of the Kargil War Anti-Americanism Chairmen Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Pakistani generals Pakistan Hockey Federation presidents People of the Sri Lankan Civil War Living people