Habibullah Khan Khattak

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Habibullah Khan Khattak
Born Wana, Waziristan, India
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
British Raj British Indian Army
Years of service 1935–1959
Rank Lieutenant General
Unit 12th Battalion The Baloch Regiment
Commands held 1 Bihar
Chief of Staff (Pakistan Army)
Battles/wars World War II
Burma Campaign
Awards Sitara-e-Pakistan
Other work Industrialist and Politician

Lieutenant General Habibullah Khan Khattak also known as Muhammad Habibullah Khan (October 17, 1913 – 1994) was a Pakistani Army officer born in Karak, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pakistan.

He was the son of Khan Bahadur Kuli Khan Khattak, and was younger brother of former Governor Khyber PakhtunkwaAslam Khattak, former Federal Minister Yusuf Khattak and Kulsum Saifullah.

His son Ali Kuli Khan Khattak also rose to the rank of Lt Gen and retired as the Chief of General Staff (CGS) in 1998. His son like him belonged to the famed Baloch Regiment.

Military Career pre-WW2[edit]

After completing intermediate education from Islamia College, Peshawar, he was one of the 25 people selected from British India for the first course at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant 1 February 1935 and attached to the 2nd battalion South Staffordshire Regiment 24 February 1935.[1] He was posted to his permanent British Indian Army unit, 5th battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment on 24 February 1936.[2] His seniority as a Second Lieutenant was antedated to 4 February 1934 and he was promoted Lieutenant 4 May 1936.[3]

Action in World War[edit]

He was promoted Captain 4 February 1942.[4] By April 1944 he was serving with the Bihar Regiment.[5] During the World War II he campaigned in Burma and was amongst a handful of Indian officers to have commanded an infantry battalion at war. He was mentioned in dispatches for service in Burma in the London Gazette 10 January 1946 as temporary Major, Bihar regiment.

Pakistan Army career[edit]

His meteoric rise in Pakistan Army saw him as a two-star general at the age of 40 and at this rank he held the appointment of a Divisional Commander, Chief of Training Pakistan Army, Chief of General Staff and the first Military Commander of the Baghdad Pact. In December 1958, he graduated from the Imperial Defence College, London (now the RCDS) and was promoted to Lieutenant General rank and appointed as Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Army. He was prematurely retired in October 1959 at the age of 46.

For his services, he was awarded the 3rd highest Civilian Award of Sitara-e-Pakistan, which follows Nishan-e Pakistan and Hilal-e-Pakistan.

In 1991, he was invited by the regiment he had commanded, the Bihar Regiment of Indian Army to participate in its Golden Jubilee. He attended the ceremonies.


After his premature retirement from the Army, Khattak became closely involved in the private industry sector through his company Bibojee Group. He also served as a federal minister during Zia-ul Haq's time and made an abortive attempt to contest elections from his home constituency of Karak.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ January 1936 Indian Army List
  2. ^ October 1939 Indian Army List
  3. ^ October 1939 Indian Army List
  4. ^ April 1944 Indian Army List
  5. ^ April 1944 Indian Army List
Military offices
Preceded by
Sher Ali Khan Pataudi
Chief of General Staff Succeeded by
Yahya Khan