Tajammul Hussain Malik

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Tajammul Hussain Malik
General Tajammal Hussain Malik
Born (1924-06-13)June 13, 1924
Chakwal District in the Punjab province
Allegiance  British India
Service/branch  British Indian Army
 Pakistan Army
Years of service 1946-1980
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General
Unit Pakistan Army Infantry Corps
Commands held 3rd Balluch (1965 war), 205 Brigade (1971-War in East Pakistan), 23rd Infantry Division
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Battle of Hilli

Major General Tajammul Hussain Malik (June 13, 1924 - September 2003[citation needed]) was a senior and former 2-star rank general officer in the Pakistan army and the former General Officer Commanding of the 23rd Division of Pakistan Army, retiring with the rank of Major-General. He was the commanding officer of Pakistani forces at the Battle of Hilli during the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971, and headed a failed coup attempt against the regime of Zia-ul-Haq in 1980 which resulted in a court-martial held by Judge Advocate General Branch of Pakistan Defence Forces headed by General Zia-ul-Haq.[1][2][3][4]"Indian sword strikes in East Pakistan" by Major General Lachhman Singh, "Liberation of Bangladesh" by General Sukhwant Singh, "Betrayal of East Pakistan" by Lieutenant General A.A.K. Niazi, "Roots of Tragedy" by Brigade Asif Haroon, "Tragedy of Errors" by Lieutenant General Kamal Matinuddin.


Tajammul Hussain Malik, from the Awan tribe, was born on June 13, 1924 in the Chakwal District in the Punjab province and became a career officer in the British Indian Army7 Rajput Regiment, later joining the army of the new state of Pakistan in 1947.[5] He had participated in Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 and the 1965 War-Battle of Batapur. In 1969, he was promoted as Brigadier and in October 1971 he was posted as DSD in GHQ, from where on his personal request to volunteer and fight in East Pakistan was posted to 205 Brigade deployed on the Hilli-Bogra Front and joined the Brigade on November 20, 1971 deployed at Hilli in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).[6]During the war, he was cited for a live award of Nishan e Haider (the highest gallantry award given on death) Malik's unit continued fighting even after Pakistani forces formally surrendered to Indian forces in Dhaka.[6] He was the only red tape Pakistani officer who did not surrender while his GOC 16 Division had surrendered and as he had been taken from the battle field unconscious he refused to undergo the surrender ceremony and it was his GOC.Major General Nazar Hussain Shah, who went through the surrender ceremony of 205 Brigade to the opposing commander Major General Lachhman Singh.[6] He became a well known war hero in West Pakistan.[7]

Uniform of General Tajammal Hussain Malik

Coup attempt[edit]

After his release and repatriation to Pakistan and having undergone the Hamoodur Rehman commission Inquiry, Malik was the only brigadier, out of 32 who had fought the war in East Pakistan to be promoted to major general rank. He held the command of 23 Division in Jehlum as a major general. However, he was retired by a military tribunal of the Judge Advocate General Branch headed by army chief General Zia-ul-Haq over accusations of attempting to overthrow the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and install a government headed by General Tajammul in it's place.[1] He organized two coups, first on June 26, 1977 (which was aborted) later. In 1980, he organized yet another coup attempt against the military regime of Zia-ul-Haq, with many other senior army officers, including his son Naveed Tajammal.[1][2] The plan was to assassinate Zia during the Pakistan Day parade on March 23, 1980.[1] However the plot was exposed and General Malik, his son (Naveed Tajammal) and the other conspirators were arrested and sentenced to rigorous life imprisonment. Though offered chances of exile, General Malik and his son (Naveed Tajammal) never took the offer to be exiled and preferred their homeland.[4]

Later life[edit]

Tajammul Hussain Malik was released from rigorous imprisonment in 1988 following the death of Zia-ul-Haq in a plane crash under mysterious circumstances.[3] He published his autobiography, The Story Of My Struggle, in 1991.[5] He joined the field of politics, contested MNA elections as an independent candidate from Chakwal district twice. He formed his own Islamic political party in 1977. His two children later completed his legacy, Naveed Tajammal and Waseem Pasha Tajammal who became politicians and after retiring from politics began an immensely successful career of business in the Energy and Defense sector.[8]

General Tajammal is blessed with 2 sons: Malik Naveed Tajammul and Malik Pasha Tajammul.


General Malik died in September 2003[citation needed] in the holy month of Ramadan at the time when he was offering his Asr Prayers. He was a diabetic and kept a religious fast despite his illness. His place of burial is on the top of the highest mountain in Chakwal with his wife who later died in 2007. His grave is surrounded by a 25 ft tomb with 5 domes and a water drinking area.


  1. ^ a b c d Tajammul Hussain Malik (1991). The Story Of My Struggle. Jang Publishers. pp. 220–280. 
  2. ^ a b World Focus, Volume 2. H.S. Chhabra. 1981. 
  3. ^ a b Syed Saleem Shahzad. "Purging Pakistan's jihadi legacy". Asia Times. 
  4. ^ a b The Military Factor in Pakistan. Ravi Shekhar Narain Singh Singh. 
  5. ^ a b Tajammul Hussain Malik (1991). The Story Of My Struggle. Jang Publishers. 
  6. ^ a b c Tajammul Hussain Malik (1991). The Story Of My Struggle. Jang Publishers. pp. 150–210. 
  7. ^ Pakistan Intelligence, Security Activities & Operations Handbook. USA International Business Publications. 2006. 
  8. ^ Pakistan's Drift Into Extremism: Allah, The Army, and America's War on Terror. Hassan Abbas. ISBN 0765614960.