The 1971 East Pakistan tragedy was not just a failure of the military but also a collapse of civil society in the West Wing. The few voices raised against the military action were too feeble to make the army change its course, a course leading to military defeat and the break-up of the country. At the time, the author was General Officer Commanding 14 Division in East Pakistan. Apart from his direct narration of the events, his portrayal of the major dramatis personae, such as Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan, Lieutenant General Tikka Khan and Lieutenant General A.A.K. Niazi, are insightful. A necessary text that demands scrutiny from all interested in the course of Pakistan’s history.
About the Author / Editor
Khadim Hussain Raja (1922–1999) was born into an agriculturalist family at Haranpur, District Jhelum. He received his early education from Central Model High School, Lahore and graduated, with Honours in English, from Government College, Lahore. In 1942, he joined the British Indian Army and received the King’s Commission from the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun. He served in the Burma Theatre till the end of the Second World War in an infantry battalion, and opted for a career in the Pakistan Army after Independence in 1947. During 1947–8, Khadim Hussain Raja volunteered and saw action in Kashmir. He graduated from the Staff College, Quetta, and later from the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth. He had the distinction of serving on the faculty of Command and Staff College, Quetta, twice. Later, he commanded the First Pakistan Battalion (Quaid-i-Azam’s own) at the Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, and subsequently rose to the rank of Major General. Before retirement from active duty, he served as Director General Artillery at the General Headquarters.In 1972, Khadim Hussain Raja was appointed to raise and organize the Army Welfare Trust as its founding Managing Director and served this organization for five years before his retirement. Later, he was appointed Ambassador of Pakistan in Mozambique and was also accredited to Angola, Swaziland, and Lesotho.
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