Mushtaq Ahmed Baig
|Mushtaq Ahmed Baig|
|Birth name||Mushtaq Ahmed Baig|
Lehr Sultanpur village, district Chakwal, Punjab province.
|Died||February 25, 2008 (57 years old)
Rawalpindi, Punjab province.
|Years of service||1976–2008|
|Unit||Pakistan Army Medical Corps|
|Commands held||Surgeon General Pakistan Army Medical Corps
Director General medical services
[Commandant] Army Medical College
|Battles/wars||Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
Indo-Pakistani Standoff (2001)
War in North-West Pakistan
Battle of Swat
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Lieutenant-General Mushtaq Ahmad Baig HI(M) (1951 – 25 February 2008) was the surgeon general of the Pakistani Army who was killed in a suicide-bomb attack on Feb. 25, 2008. An ophthalmologist by profession, Baig is the oldest senior Army officer to be targeted and killed since Pakistan's involvement in the War on Terror and the North West-Pakistan Conflict.
Baig was born in Lehr Sultanpur Village, Chakwal District, in 1951 in a middle-class family. He graduated from King Edward Medical University (KEMU) with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS) in 1974. Two years later, Baig gained his military commission and was subsequently inducted into the Army Medical Corps. Baig completed his Master of Surgery (M.S.) degree and received a Doctorate of Ophthalmology from the Army Medical College (AMC).
After joining the Pakistan Army, Baig quickly elevated in rank as he excelled at various assignments. Having been promoted to major general in 2003, he was made commandant of Army Medical College Rawalpindi (AMCR). Baig is credited for implementing revolutionary changes in the medical services in the Pakistani Armed Forces (PAF). Additionally, Baig made many improvements for both Air Force and Navy medical services. In 2006, Baig was awarded the second-highest military award, the Hilal-i-Imtiaz–Military. That same year, he was promoted to Lieutenant General. In 2007, he was made the surgeon general of the Pakistani Army and was promoted to colonel commandant of the Army Medical Corps.
On Monday, February 25, 2008, General Baig's vehicle was targeted by a suicide bomber. The suicide bomber, suspected to be linked to Al-Qaeda or the Taliban, struck when Baig's car was stopped at a traffic light on a busy road in Rawalpindi, and instantly killed General Baig. The attack also resulted in the death of the suicide bomber, eight civilians, and left twelve wounded.
The assassination happened a week after Pakistan had held peaceful parliamentary elections. Following the attack, an emergency was declared in the city of Rawalpindi, with civilian and military hospitals being put on high alert. Pakistani authorities stated that General Baig was the highest-ranking army officer to be killed in line of duty since Pakistan became a member of the anti-terror coalition in 2001.
President Parvez Musharraf and care-taker Prime Minister Muhammad Mian Soomro strongly condemned the attack. Musharraf and Soomro said such heinous acts of violence cannot deter the government from its resolve in its fight against terrorism. President Musharraf spoke highly of Baig and described him as an exceptional officer of high caliber who showed a remarkable commitment to serving humanity.
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