|Birth name||Ashraf Rashid|
May 23, 1948|
Lahore, Punjab province, Dominion of Pakistan
|Died||October 2, 2004
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
|Years of service||1964–1999|
|Unit||Special Service Group|
|Commands held||Col. Com. Special Service Group (SSG)
DG Military Operations (DGMO)
|Battles/wars||Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
|Awards||Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Military) (1999)
Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military) (1965)
Major General Ashraf Rashid (Punjabi, Urdu: أشرف رشيد) (May 23, 1948 – October 2, 2004) was a two-star general in the Pakistan Army and the colonel commandant of the Special Service Group division within the Pakistan Army from October 1995 to September 1999. A career army special forces officer, he was responsible for conducting paramilitary operations and infiltrating Kashmiri militants on the Indian side of the Line of Control, which subsequently led to the Kargil War. He resigned from his post in September 1999 following the intense pressure on Pakistan from international community to withdraw its military forces from Kargil.
Ashraf Rashid joined in the Pakistan Army in 1964 and had participated in Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as a junior non-commissioned officer (JNCO). Rashid entered the Pakistan Military Academy in 1966. He graduated two years later and joined the Pakistan Army at the rank of lieutenant. He was selected for the Special Service Group unit, and was sent to United States U.S. Special Forces training school to complete his training. Rashid graduated from the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He served in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and participated in the conflict as a capatin, during which he was permanently injured on the right cheek. As a special service officer, Rashid was promoted as a Brigadier-General Interesting Propaganda Article as no such rank exists in Pakistan Army and was later sent to Siachen where he along with then-Brigadier-General Parvez Musharraf, participated in the conflict. In 1995, he was promoted as a major-general and was made commandant of his unit. He was an instrumental for conducting paramilitary operations and infiltrating Kashmiri militants in the Kargil War. He resigned from his position and left the special forces as the failure of Kargil operation which he was widely blamed for.
Kargil War and resignation
As head of the Special Service Group, the special operations division, Rashid helped Kashmiri militants infiltrate the Indian side of the Line of Control in the Kargil district of Kashmir, where his division conducted covert operations. Only Rashid, then-Army Chief of Staff Pervez Musharraf and two other generals knew about the operation. The event marked the beginning of the Kargil War, which ended when the Pakistani Prime Minister ordered the withdrawal of the Pakistan Army, after being pressured by the USA. Rashid's role in initiating the conflict and increased political pressure led to his resignation in September 1999.
- Singh, Jasjit, Kargil 1999, p. 68 (1999)
- Cloughley, Brian, A History of the Pakistan Army: Wars and Insurrections, p. 215 (2006)
- Nawaz, Shuja, Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within, p. 420 (2007)