World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Gul Hassan Khan

Gul Hassan Khan
Birth name Gul Hassan Khan
Born Rawalpindi, British Punjab State, British Indian Empire
Buried at Nowshera District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
Years of service 1933-1972
Rank Lieutenant General
Service number PA-457
Unit Armoured Corps
Commands held Army Commander-in-Chief
Chief of General Staff (CGS)
1st Armoured Division
Directorate for Military Operations
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
Indo-Pakistani war of 1965
Indo-Pakistani war of 1971
Awards Star of Pakistan (Withdrawn)
Other work Author

Gul Hassan Khan (Urdu: گل حسن خان‎) (1921–1999) was a three-star general and the last Army Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army from 20 December 1971 to 3 March 1972. Khan was the shortest Army Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army as of time line, and was deposed by President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto after the Hamoodur Rahman Commission, led by Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman, recommended his deposal. In a trial led by JAG Branch, General Hassan Khan was immediately retired from the Army and further relieved from any benefits given to the retired officers.


  • Army career 1
  • Role in 1971 2
  • Protecting Zia-ul-Haq after Black September 3
  • Ouster from the Army 4
  • Family 5
  • See also 6
  • Further reading 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Army career

Khan was born in Rawalpindi, British Punjab of the British Indian Empire.[1] In 1939, Khan joined the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun, and graduated from there in 1942. He obtained commission in the British Indian Army, and landed a staff job in the Army. Throughout the World war, Khan served as Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to Viscount Slim and opted for Pakistan citizenship in 1947. Khan participated in the Indo-Pakistani war in Kashmir as Lieutenant-Colonel. He also spent another year serving ADC to Governor-General Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. In 1960, Khan was promoted to Brigadier-General and commanded a small Brigade. During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, he was Director Military Operations (DMO). His actions of valor won him the prestigious Star of Pakistan.After the war, he was promoted to Major-General. In 1967, he was made GOC of the 1st Armoured Division of Pakistan Army. In 1969, he was made Chief of General Staff (CGS).

Role in 1971

During 1971, he allegedly either executed or approved military operations in East Pakistan, since as the Chief of General Staff (CGS) of Pakistan Army, he was heading the military operations and intelligence during this period.[2] It is also alleged that he was the 'intellectual planner' of Pakistan Army's crackdown in former East Pakistan and that he preferred a military solution of the political crisis looming over the horizon of Pakistan during 1971.[3] After the war, the newly installed civilian President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto approved the appointment of Army Commander-in-Chief, and promoted him to Lieutenant-General. In controversy, Khan was avoided to be promoted the four-star rank as opposed to his predecessors, by Bhutto.

He lacked foresight as was viewed by some of his colleagues in Pakistan Army as "short on strategic vision but good as field commander".[4] As Army Commander-in-Chief, Khan lessened the value of the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). The ISI lost its importance throughout this time, and the new Army Commander did not pay any attention to ISI. The ISI's operations were never revealed to him and Khan was reluctant and incompetent commander to control the ISI.

Protecting Zia-ul-Haq after Black September

According to Major General Aboobaker Osman Mitha, it was Gul Hasan who also saved then Brigadier General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq from being sacked. Brigadier Zia was in Jordan in 1971. Gen Yahya Khan received a signal from Maj Gen Nawazish, the head of the Pakistan military mission in Amman, asking that Zia be court-martialled for disobeying GHQ orders by commanding a Jordanian armoured division against the Palestinians, as part of actions in which thousands were killed. That event is known as "Operation Black September". It was Gul Hasan who interceded for Zia and Yahya Khan let Zia off the hook.

Ouster from the Army

His tenure, however, was short-lived. He was ousted as Army Commander-in-Chief on 3 March 1972 by Judge Advocate General Branch by the order of the Civilian Martial Law administrator and then-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. His retirement privileges and benefits were taken away as well as received a dishonorable discharge. He was allegedly huddled up in a car and taken to Lahore by road by Ghulam Mustafa Khar, a politician and a close associate of Bhutto's. Khan's alleged involvement and his controversial approvals of military operations during 1971 in East Pakistan [2] created a public resentment towards him, as he was the Director-General of the Director-general for the Military Operations (DGMO). When it was cleared by Hamoodur Rahman Commission, led by Chief Justice Hamoodur Rahman, Bhutto fired Khan as Army Commander-in-Chief and appointed General Tikka Khan instead.


He had three brothers and a sister. He has relatives still residing in Pabbi near Peshawar, and in Quetta, Pakistan. General Gul Hassan Khan died in 1999 and was buried in Pabbi in Nowshera District (Main town of Chearat Cant, Chowki Mumriaz, Taroo Jaba, Akber Pura).

In the last few years of his life he was dividing his time between Vienna, Austria and Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He wrote a book Memoirs of Lt. Gen. Gul Hassan Khan.

See also

Further reading

  • Gul Hassan Khan, Memoirs of Lt.Gen.Gul Hassan Khan, OUP Pakistan (1994) ISBN 0-19-577445-0


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b 'Genocide in Bangladesh, 1971.'' Gendercide Watch"'". Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Ullah, A. H. Jaffor. "Gul Hassan Khan". Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Qayyum, Col(Rtd) Abdul. "Remembering Gen Gul Hassan". Defence Journal. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 

External links

  • Official profile at Pakistan Army website
  • Article about General Gul Hassan
Military offices
Preceded by
Sahabzada Yaqub Khan
Chief of General Staff
Succeeded by
M. Rahim Khan
Preceded by
Yahya Khan
Commander-in-Chief, Pakistan Army
Succeeded by
Tikka Khan
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.