K M Shafiullah

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K M Shafiullah
Member of the Jatiyo Sangshad from Narayanganj-1
In office
Preceded by Abdul Matin Chowdhury
Succeeded by Abdul Matin Chowdhury
Bangladesh High Commissioner to United Kingdom
In office
31 July 1987 – 3 June 1991
President Shahabuddin Ahmed
Hussain Muhammad Ershad
Preceded by Mir Shawkat Ali
Succeeded by M.M. Rezaul Karim
Personal details
Born 2 September 1934
Awards Bir Uttom
Military service
Allegiance  Bangladesh
 Pakistan (before 1971)
Rank Major-General
Unit East Bengal Regiment
Battles/wars Bangladesh Liberation War

Kazi Mohammed Shafiullah Bir Uttam (born: 2 September 1934) also known as K M Shafiullah, was a Bangladeshi general and the 1st (some says 2nd) Chief of Army Staff of the Bangladesh Army.[1] As the Second in Command of Second East Bengal Regiment, along with his battalion, he was the first Bengali officer to stage a rebellion on 19 March 1971 while the notorious 57 Bde Commander-Brig. Jahanzeb Arbab came to visit Joydevpur. During the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, he was the Second in Command of Second East Bengal Regiment that revolted with six officers on the night of 4 April 1971. He became the Sector Commander of Sector 3, Headquartered in Teliapara, Sylhet. He directly participated in active combat and escaped certain death at least in two such combats. Towards the end of September he was appointed one of three brigade commanders, leading what was called the "S-force" (after his surname) during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.[2]

He served as Chief of Army Staff from 7 April 1972 to 25 August 1975. Prior to 7 April, General M. A. G. Osmani was Army Chief (who was the C-in-C of the Mukti Bahini in the previous year), thus Shafiullah is the second chief, though this is disputed.[3]

Bangladesh Liberation War[edit]

Shafiullah was the Sector Commander of Bangladesh Forces Sector 3. His sector was headquartered in Teliapara, Sylhet from where he commanded his troops and took part in active combats during the entire duration of the war. His sector's areas were Dhaka, Mymensingh, Sylhet and parts of Comilla (present Brahmanbaria district).[4]

Later three brigades were formed, each identified by the initial of the commander's surname. His formation was fully structured and formalised by the end of September. As of September 1971, Commander of Sector 3 was assigned to Major A.N.M Nuruzzaman. Major Shafiullah was among those attending the Pakistan surrender on 16 December 1971 at Race Course in Dhaka.[5]

Chief of Army staff[edit]

After the end of the war in December 1971, the Bangladesh government awarded him the Bir Uttam (medal) for his bravery and dedication, the second-highest military award in the country. He was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh Army on 5 April 1972 by the Awami League government under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.[6]

On 7 April 1972, General M. A. G. Osmani resigned from his post, and the Army command was given to Shafiullah, on 7 April, Bangladesh Air Force to A K Khandker and Bangladesh Navy to Nurul Haq.[7][8]

He was the chief of staff of the Bangladesh Army during the assassination of then president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.[3] During the assassination, he was kept in the dark about the plot, intelligence failed and he could not save the President.[9] Dismissed from the position on 25 August 1975 by the following Mushtaq government, he retired from army. He was succeeded by Ziaur Rahman as army Chief.[10] Suspecting his intentions based on his loyalty towards Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, General Shafiullah was sent to overseas with an ambassadorial post, along with fellow Bangladesh Air Force Chief of Air Staff Air Vice Marshal A.K. Khandker. He was elected as an Awami League Member of Parliament in 1996.[11][12]

After retirement from army[edit]

K. M. Shafiullah joined the sector commanders forum and became its chairman in 2014.[13]


  1. ^ Manik, Julfikar Ali; Ahmed, Inam. "In eyes of Gen Shafiullah". The Daily Star. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "KM Shafiullah hospitalised". risingbd.com. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "It's my failure I couldn't save Bangabandhu". The Daily Star. 24 August 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Major General K. M. Shafiullah Speaks to VOA". Voice of America, Bangla Service (Interview). Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Report. "Thousands sing 'My Bengal of Gold'". Amader Shomoys. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Singh, Nagendra Kr. (2003). Encyclopaedia of Bangladesh (Set of 30 Vols.). Anmol Publications PVT. LTD. p. 2. ISBN 978-81-261-1390-3. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  7. ^ Chowdhury, Anisuzzaman (2012). Moulana Bhashani: leader of the toiling masses. [S.l.]: Xlibris Corp. p. 273. ISBN 1-4691-3789-5. [self-published source]
  8. ^ Singh, Charu lata (2010). Media Military and Politics: A Study on Bangladesh. Pinnacle Technology. pp. 201–. ISBN 978-1-61820-527-8. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Brazen politicization: Bureaucracy, police, army" (1). Holiday. Holiday. 18 December 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  10. ^ Ahsan, Syed Badrul. "Remembering Khaled Musharraf. ." The Daily Star. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Ahsan, Syed Badrul. "Of memory . . . against forgetting". The Daily Star. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "7th parliament members". 
  13. ^ "Shafiullah new chairman of Sector Commanders Forum". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 13 June 2015.