Masood Aslam

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Muhammad Masood Aslam
LTG Masood Aslam.jpg
Lt Gen Masood Aslam, as Colonel Commandant of the Punjab Regiment of the Pakistan Army.
Born (1952-09-01) September 1, 1952 (age 62)
Mujahidabad, Jhelum District, Pakistan
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
Years of service 1971 – 2010
Rank US-O9 insignia.svg Lieutenant General
Unit 17th Punjab Regiment
Commands held
Battles/wars
Awards

Lieutenant-General Muhammad Masood Aslam, HI, HI(M), SJ, afwc, psc, (born September 1, 1952 at Jhelum) is a retired three-star rank general officer and statesman who currently serving as Pakistan Ambassador to Mexico since June 2011.[1] His last assignment was as the principal commander of the XI Corps and commanded the unified chain of command fighting the pro-Taliban forces in the North-West Pakistan from 2007 to 2010.[2] Serving as the field operational commander of the unified forces, Masood directed and oversaw the major operations against the militants, including First Battle of Swat, operations Zalzala, Sherdil, Rah-e-Rast and the Rah-e-Nijat.

While credited for successfully campaigning against the militants, he lost his only son, Hashim Masood, in the terrorist attack on Parade Lane Mosque in Rawalpindi in December 2009.[3] Masood Aslam was awarded the civilian medal of Hilal-i-Imtiaz after retirement for his achievements in bringing peace to the northwestern Pakistan. He also functioned as the Colonel Commandant of Punjab Regiment from 2008 to 2010.

Initial education[edit]

Lt Gen Masood Aslam was born in Mujahidabad, Jhelum in the northern Punjab. He got his primary education from Presentation Convent High School, Jhelum and Government High School, Jhelum. By the year 1965, he joined Cadet College Hasan Abdal and did his intermediate in pre engineering in 1970 with honours from the same college. However, instead of pursuing career in electrical engineering, he decided to serve as an Army officer and joined the Pakistan Military Academy in 1970.

Army career[edit]

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971[edit]

He was commissioned in the 17th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment on 14 November 1971 in the 47th PMA Long Course as his course was shortened due to Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Within a few weeks of commissioning, he was seriously wounded fighting in the front lines at Chumb-Jaurian sector. He was awarded Imtiazi Sanad (mentioned in despatches) for his efforts and gallantry.

Military training[edit]

He was among the pioneer officers who established the computer branch at the GHQ in mid 1970s. He is a graduate of Command and Staff College, Quetta and holds a Masters Degree in Military Warfare from the National Defence College, Islamabad. He has also attended overseas courses including United Nations peacekeeping course from Sweden and executive course from Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii.[4]

1987 Siachen Conflict and 1999 Kargil War[edit]

He served at Siachen for more than a year in the early days of Siachen conflict with India. He established military posts at Siachen and served at glaciated heights of around 20,000 feet. As a Lt. Col, he commanded an Infantry battalion at Okara and then as a Brigadier-General, commanded two infantry brigades, one of which was at Kargil. He was awarded Sitara-i-Jurat for his extraordinary service and bravery by the then President Rafiq Tarar, after the Kargil encounter.

2001-02 military standoff and staff assignments[edit]

He commanded 23rd Infantry Division Jhelum on the LoC during the period of escalation, when Indian and Pakistani troops were tied up face to face in a very tense warlike state for two full years in 2001-03. He then served as the Director General NAB (Punjab), and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General in 2005 and posted as Inspector General Training and Evaluation (IGT&E).[4]

Commander Peshawar Corps[edit]

In July 2007, Lt Gen Masood Aslam took charge of the sensitive post of Corps Commander Peshawar, replacing Lt Gen Muhammad Hamid Khan. This was period when Pakistan Army launched military operation against the vigilantes of Lal Masjid in Islamabad that followed with a rising trend of terrorist attacks throughout Pakistan, mostly emanating from the rugged lands of Waziristan and the surrounding tribal regions. A counter-terrorist operation was then launched under the general which included 2007 Taliban Waziristan offensive, Battle of Mir Ali, and Battle of Swat.[5]

He has to his credit pushing out and defeating the militants in Swat, Buner, Dir Lower and other districts of Malakand Division and inflicting heavy blows against the TTP cadres in Bajaur, Mohmand and Khyber tribal agencies and Frontier Region (FR) Bannu. Lt General Masood Aslam was given an extension in his tenure as he was supposed to retire in October 2009.[6]

Affectee of Rawalpindi Parade Lane mosque attack[edit]

On 4 December 2009, Hashim Masood Aslam, the student of EME College Rawalpindi and the only son of Lt Gen Masood Aslam was killed during the December 2009 Rawalpindi attack in Parade Lane Mosque during Friday prayers.[7]

Post-retirement[edit]

Lieutenant General Muhammad Masood Aslam was awarded Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010.[8] He was later posted as Pakistan Ambassador to Mexico in June 2011 for a three-year tenure.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Prime Minister meeting with designated ambassadors" Press Information Department (PID), 2 June 2011
  2. ^ "New Postings and Promotions" Dawn, 15 April 2007
  3. ^ Rahimullah Yusufzai. "Lt Gen Masood Aslam retiring after 39-year service" The News, 5 April 2010
  4. ^ a b "Profile of Generals" Daily Times, 24 September 2005
  5. ^ "Battles rage on Pakistan border" BBC News, 9 October 2007
  6. ^ Rahimullah Yusufzai. "NWFP feels pain of Rawalpindi mosque attack" The News, 7 December 2009
  7. ^ Pakistan mourns officers, civilians slain in mosque attack France 24, 5 December 2009
  8. ^ "President confers civil, military awards" The News, 24 March 2010