A. K. Khandker

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Air Vice Marshal (Retd.)

A K Khandker

BU
A K Khandker
Planning Minister
Government of Bangladesh
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 6, 2009
President Iajuddin Ahmed
Zillur Rahman
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Preceded by Mirza Md. Azizul Islam
In office
October 1986 – March 1990
President H M Ershad
Member of Parliament of Pabna - 2
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 2008
President Iajuddin Ahmed
Zillur Rahman
Prime Minister Fakhruddin Ahmed(CA)
Sheikh Hasina
Preceded by A K M Selim Reza Habib[1]
Constituency Pabna - 2
In office
September 1998 – July 2001
President Shahabuddin Ahmed
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Succeeded by A K M Selim Reza Habib[1]
Bangladesh High Commissioner to India
In office
1982–1986
President H M Ershad
Bangladesh High Commissioner to Australia
In office
1976–1982
President H M Ershad
Chief of Air Staff, Bangladesh Air Force
In office
1972–1975
President Syed Nazrul Islam
Abu Sayeed Chowdhury
Mohammad Mohammadullah
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad
Deputy Chief of Staff
Bangladesh Armed Forces
In office
1971–1975
President Syed Nazrul Islam
Abu Sayeed Chowdhury
Mohammad Mohammadullah
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad
Personal details
Born Abdul Karim Khandker
1930
Pabna
Political party Awami League
Residence Dhaka, Bangladesh
Religion Islam
Military career
Allegiance PakistanPakistan
BangladeshBangladesh
Service/branch Bangladesh Air Force
Years of service 1971 - 1975
Rank Air Vice Marshal
Battles/wars Bangladesh Liberation War
Awards Bir Uttom
Website Planning Division Portal, GoB [1]

Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) A K Khandker, Bir Uttom, MP is the current Planning Minister of Government of Bangladesh.[2] He is a retired diplomat and was the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Bangladesh Armed Forces during the Bangladesh Liberation War.

Early life[edit]

Khandker was born in a respected Muslim family of Pabna in 1930. His Father was Late Khandker Abdul Latif and his mother was Late Arefa Khatun. He completed his Matriculation in 1947 and ISC in 1949. He Completed his Graduation from PAF College in September 1952 and PSA in 1965 from Pakistan Air Force Staff College. He started his service career as GD Pilot in 1951. He served in Fighter Squadron till 1955 and became Flying Instructor. He was at PAF Academy till 1957 as flying instructor. He served as Flight Commander at Flying Instructors’ School till 1958. Later he became Flight Commander at Jet Fighter Conversion Squadron where he served till 1960.[2] He was Squadron Commander at PAF Academy till 1961. Afterwards, he became Squadron Commander of Jet Fighter Conversion Squadron where he served till 1965. He served as Officer Commanding of Training wing at PAF Academy in 1966. He became PSA in 1965 from Pakistan Air Force Staff College. A K Khandker was President of PAF Planning Board from 1966-1969. Later, he was posted at Dhaka as Second in Command of PAF Base in 1969.[2]

In 1971[edit]

He was posted in the Pakistan Air force Base in Dhaka as Second -in -Command when the Liberation War began in 1971. He defected with 07 Bengali officers and some airmen from the Dhaka base of the Pakistan Air Force for Tripura on 12 May 1971 for joining the liberation war and reached Matinnagar, Tripura on 15 May 1971. The then Bangladesh Government of Mujibnagar appointed him as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, and was given the responsibility of operation and also training of the freedom fighters. He closely interacted with the senior officials of the Indian Eastern Command located at the Fort Williams, Kolkata about training strategies for the Freedom Fighters as well as for overall operation. He established the first ever Bangladesh Air Force in Dimapur, Nagaland during the war. The Bangladesh Air Force with its limited manpower and resources of only 09 officers, 57 airmen, and 03 aircraft carried out significant numbers of operation against the Pakistani invaders. He represented Bangladesh in the surrender ceremony of the Pakistani forces to the allied forces on 16 December 1971 at the Race Course ground. He received the gallantry award of Bir Uttom in 1972 for his luminous role in the Liberation War.

Post liberation war[edit]

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, following the independence, appointed him as the Chief of Air Staff of the reconstituted Air Force.[2] He left a lasting mark in developing the newly constituted Air Force. Within next two years, he assembled a fighter squadron, a helicopter squadron, and 2 radar units to its strength. He served the Bangladesh Air Force as its Chief during the period 1972–1975. Apart from serving the Bangladesh Air Force, he was the first Chairman of the national carrier Bangladesh Biman for the period 1972–1973. In the aftermath of the assassination of Sheikh Mujib in 1975, he was the first officer to step down from Government position as the Chief of the Bangladesh Air force as a mark of protest.[citation needed]

Sector Commanders Forum[edit]

During the tenure of the immediate past Government of 2001–2006, Mr. Khandker is credited as the main architect of establishing the “Sector Commanders Forum”[3] by organizing Sector and Sub-Sector Commanders of the liberation war that waged strong movement against pro-Jamat and other alleged war criminals. Mr. Khandker, as the Chairman of the Forum assumed overall responsibility of guiding this movement. The “Sector Commanders Forum” constituted on 9 December 2006 launched courageous movement, conducted mass awareness program, organized meetings and processions across the country and formed human chains to raise public awareness and glorified our war of liberation that has been systematically undermined by the anti-liberation forces. People upraising as a sequel of this campaign helped in obtaining massive verdict in favor of the pro-liberation forces in the general election of 29 December 2008.

The Independence Award in 2011[edit]

In a statement by the government, in recalling his remarkable contribution in directing the war of liberation as the Deputy Chief of Staff, in recognition of his role in reconstituting the Bangladesh Air Force to a professional and effective outfit of our defence system as its Chief following the independence, and for his dedicated service to the motherland in various important state positions and in appreciation for his arduous and relentless service to the Republic, the name of Air Vice Marshal (Rtd.) Abdul Karim Khandker is awarded the Independence Award for 2011.[4]

Other responsibilities[edit]

He was appointed as the Bangladesh High Commissioner in Australia and served the mission during 1976–1982.[2] Later on, he became the Bangladesh High Commissioner in India for the period 1982–1986.[2] In 1986, he was appointed as Adviser to the President and thereafter he served the nation as the Planning Minister up to 1990.[2] He was elected as a Member of the Parliament in 1998 and 2009 respectively from Pabna–2 constituencies (Sujanagar Upazila). In 2009, he has been inducted as a full cabinet minister and given the charge of the Minister, Ministry of Planning.

Personal life[edit]

He has a wife, two sons and one daughter.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.parliament.gov.bd/M_P%20List-300.pdf
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Air Vice Marshal (Rtd.) A. K. Khandker". Planning Division. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sector Commanders Forum". Sector Commanders Forum. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "9 get Independence Award 2011". The Daily Star. March 24, 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011.