Rahimuddin Khan

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Rahimuddin Khan
رحیم الدین خان
7th Governor of Balochistan
In office
18 September 1978 – 22 March 1984
Preceded by Khuda Buksh Marri
Succeeded by Sardar F. S. Khan Lodi
16th Governor of Sindh
In office
24 June 1988 – 11 September 1988
Preceded by Ashraf W. Tabani
Succeeded by Qadeeruddin Ahmed
Personal details
Born Rahimuddin Khan
(1924-07-21) 21 July 1924 (age 93)
Qaimganj, United Provinces, British India[1]
Alma mater Jamia Millia Islamia
Command and General Staff College
Military service
Allegiance Pakistan Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
Years of service 1950–1987
Rank OF-9 Pakistan Army.svg General
Unit Baloch Regiment
Commands 111 Brigade, Rawalpindi
II Corps, Multan
Ras Koh nuclear test sites
8th Army Infantry Division
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
Battles/wars Lahore riots of 1953
Indo-Pakistani war of 1971
Balochistan conflict
Soviet war in Afghanistan
Awards Star of Good Conduct Sitara-e-Basalat.png Sitara-e-Basalat
Crescent of Excellence Hilal-e-Imtiaz.png Hilal-i-Imtiaz
Order of Excellence Nishan-e-Imtiaz.png Nishan-e-Imtiaz

Rahimuddin Khan (born 21 July 1924) is a Pakistani four-star general who served as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of the Pakistan Army from 1984 to 1987, after serving as the 7th Governor of Balochistan from 1978 to 1984. He also served as the 16th Governor of Sindh in 1988.

As Balochistan's longest-serving governor, Rahimuddin ended the 1973 operation in Balochistan, declaring a general amnesty and military withdrawal in 1978.[2] His tenure saw widespread economic development and the halting of the Baloch insurgency,[3][4] but was controversial for suppressing the Afghan mujahideen entering the province during the Soviet war in Afghanistan.

Military service[edit]

Rahimuddin Khan was born in Qaimganj, United Provinces, India, in the majority Afridi Pashtun community that migrated from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He was the nephew of educationist Zakir Hussain, later the President of India, and the son-in-law of educationist Mahmud Hussain. He attended Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi, founded by Zakir Hussain. He opted for Pakistan during independence in 1947, enrolled as Gentleman Cadet-1 of the Pakistan Military Academy.[5] As captain, he helped enforce martial law in Lahore during the 1953 Lahore riots.

He attended Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and Command and Staff College in Quetta in 1965, and was appointed sub-martial law administrator of Hyderabad in 1969. He served as inaugural commander of 111 Brigade in Rawalpindi in 1970. In February 1971, General Yahya Khan assigned Rahimuddin to preside over the military tribunal of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Faisalabad. According to Shuja Nawaz, Rahimuddin was reportedly uncomfortable conducting the trial.[6] 111 Brigade was led by Rahimuddin, and later Naseerullah Babar at the trial's verdict, during the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971. After becoming Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto rescinded the verdict, which was never made public, and released Mujib.[7]

Rahimuddin served as Chief Instructor at the Armed Forces War College at the then National Defence College, Rawalpindi until 1975. Bhutto requested Rahimuddin to head the new Atomic Energy Commission and nuclear programme, but was declined.[8][9] As Lieutenant-General, he became Commander II Corps in Multan in 1976.[10] He was made Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee by General Zia-ul-Haq in 1984. He retired in 1987.

Governor of Balochistan[edit]

A military operation against separatists was commenced in Balochistan by Prime Minister Bhutto led by army chief Tikka Khan in 1973, claiming thousands of lives.[11] Rahimuddin was appointed Governor of Balochistan on September 16, 1978. He declared an end to the operation, and announced a general amnesty for fighters willing to give up arms. Army withdrawal was completed by 1979. The Baloch separatist movement came to a standstill.[12][13] Under Rahimuddin, Foreign Policy Centre held that "the province's tribal sardars were taken out of the pale of politics for the first time."[14] He was known for clean reputation during corrupt regimes.[15]


Rahimuddin opened the Sui gas field to provide gas directly to Quetta and other Baloch towns for the first time. Electricity expansion from Quetta to Loralai converted vast areas with sub-soil water into fertile ones.[16] He also consolidated the then-contentious integration of Gwadar into Balochistan, notified as a district in 1977. Despite opposition from finance minister Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Rahimuddin heavily promoted large-scale manufacturing and investment in infrastructure, leading to provincial GDP growth rising to the highest in Balochistan's history.[17] Addressing the province's literacy rate, the lowest in the country,[18] he administered the freeing up of resources towards education, created girls' incentive programs, and had several girls' schools built in Dera Bugti District. He also oversaw the construction of nuclear test sites in Chaghai where tests were conducted in 1998.

Containment of Afghan refugees[edit]

During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the Zia regime began aiding the anti-communist Afghan mujahideen. Millions of Afghan refugees, believed to be the largest refugee population in the world,[19] crossed over the border into Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.[20] Under Zia and General Fazle Haq in KP, heroin and weaponry freely entered with the mujahideen.[21][22] In Balochistan however, Rahimuddin Khan detained the mujahideen in barbed wire military camps and seized their arms. Several fighters were allegedly transported back into Afghanistan by force, criticized by Pakistani human rights agencies. He also restricted refugees to civilian encampments during the war.[23] Pakistan's Balochistan policy became highly unpopular in the eyes of Afghans, but drugs and weapons remained low in the province, becoming widespread in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.[24]

Al-Zulfikar hijacking[edit]

In March 1981, the Al-Zulfikar terrorist organization led by Murtaza Bhutto hijacked a Pakistan International Airlines airplane from Karachi to Kabul.[25] The hijackers threatened to murder hostages if state authorities did not release specific political prisoners. Upon the authorities' refusal, Al-Zulfikar shot and killed passenger Captain Tariq Rahim, mistakenly believed to be the son of General Rahimuddin Khan.[26][27] The decision to kill Rahim was taken after Murtaza Bhutto consulted KHAD chief Mohammad Najibullah.[28][29] Tariq Rahim had actually been a former aide-de-camp to the elder Bhutto.[30] The episode was ended when Zia-ul-Haq released the prisoners.

Governor of Sindh and retirement[edit]

Zia dismissed his own government in May 1988. Rahimuddin became civilian Governor of Sindh, and governor's rule was imposed citing emergency.[31] Claiming corruption, Rahimuddin began dismissing large numbers of police and civil servants, including Z.A. Nizami from the Karachi Development Authority.[32][33] Rahimuddin also launched a brutal police crackdown on land mafia, one of the widest ever in Karachi, criticized by both PPP and the Zia regime for its heavyhanded tactics. It was stopped by the government immediately after he resigned. He moved to create separate police forces for the city and the rural areas, but this was also resisted after his resignation for fears of complicating the Sindhi-Muhajir relationship.[34] Special riot control officers were trained to cope with ethnic riots, and river and forest police were also set up to battle dacoity.[35] Ghulam Ishaq Khan became acting President after Zia's death in an aircrash on 17 August, and reintroduced the Chief Minister of Sindh office. Rahimuddin resigned in response, some say as this was attempt to limit his gubernatorial powers.[36]

Post-retirement, he projected his chiefs of staff Asif Nawaz and Waheed Kakar for army chief.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hindus Contribution Towards Making Of Pakistan 22 May 2010 Retrieved 28 January 2011
  2. ^ "Historical sequence in Balochistan". DAWN. Inpaper. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Balochis of Pakistan: On the Margins of History. United Kingdom: Foreign Policy Centre. 2006. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-905833-08-5. 
  4. ^ "Tribal Politics in Balochistan 1947–1990" Conclusion (1990) p.6
  5. ^ Bavadam, Lyla Bavadam (2008). "Brothers in arms". Retrieved 2009-05-27. The cadets who left for Pakistan formed the First Course of the PMA. Gentleman Cadet No. 391 at the IMA, who became Cadet No. 1 at the PMA, and also honer of P.A(Pakistan Army) No 1, Rahim Uddin Khan, rose to the rank of General and became Joint Chief of Staff in Pakistan and, later, Governor of one of the provinces. 
  6. ^ Shuja Nawaz (2007) "Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army and the Wars Within"
  7. ^ Matinuddin, Kamal Matinuddin (1994) "Tragedy of Errors: East Pakistan Crisis 1968–1971"
  8. ^ Maulana Kausar Niazi The Last Days of Premier Bhutto p.60
  9. ^ Maulana Kausar Niazi The Last Days of Premier Bhutto p.61
  10. ^ Arif, Working with Zia, (1995), p.311
  11. ^ Marri, Balach Marri (2002). "A History of Oppression". Retrieved 2002-08-14. Mr Bhutto didn’t wait long and ordered the army to move into the interior of Balochistan and then dismissed the Governments both in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan...thousands of people were killed in those army operations, which continued for 5 years. Thousands were rendered homeless... 
  12. ^ Foreign Policy Centre, "On the Margins of History", (2008), p.36
  13. ^ "Newsline: A History of the Baloch Separatist Movement". Iaoj.wordpress.com. 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  14. ^ Foreign Policy Centre "On the Margins of History" p. 30
  15. ^ "Balochistan's history- Baloch Unity Organization". Balochunity.org. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  16. ^ "Tribal Politics in Balochistan 1947–1990" Conclusion (1990) p.8
  17. ^ World Bank – Balochistan Economic Report 2009
  18. ^ Daily Times (2007). "Balochistan home to lowest-literacy rate population in Pakistan". Retrieved 2009-01-05. Balochistan is home to the largest number of school buildings that are falling apart. It also has the least number of educational institutions, the lowest literacy rate among both males and females. 
  19. ^ Amnesty International file on Afghanistan URL Accessed March 22, 2006
  20. ^ The Afghan War Settlement
  21. ^ "1982–1989: Fazle Haq Profile". Historycommons.org. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  22. ^ Kepel, Jihad, (2002), p.143-4
  23. ^ bo shan (2008-07-29). "Bo Shan: "Human-proof fencing"". Knol.google.com. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  24. ^ "9/11 Truths: Clarification from Scott regarding Fazle Haq". 911truth.org. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  25. ^ 9/11 START| Terrorist Organization Profile: Al-Zulfikar Archived June 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ "Hijackings". History of PIA. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  27. ^ Anwar, The Terrorist Prince, (1997), p.121
  28. ^ Anwar, The Terrorist Prince, (1997), p.106
  29. ^ Anwar, The Terrorist Prince, (1997), p.123
  30. ^ "Islamic Terrorism Timeline". Prophet of Doom. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  31. ^ "The Far East and Central Asia" (2003) Regional Surveys of the World p. 1166
  32. ^ Ardeshir Cowasjee (13 February 2005). "Karachi's Woes". Dawn. For years Karachi was at the mercy of a plunderer of the KDA, Z A Nizami, until one fine day the then governor of Sindh, General Rahimuddin, realizing that enough was enough, sacked the man... 
  33. ^ Ardeshir Cowasjee (2005). "Who can say? What?". Archived from the original on 2007-12-15. Retrieved 2007-12-28. The Bishop persisted. In July 1988, he asked Governor Rahimuddin for the plot, categorically stating that he did not intend to construct a building thereon but would use it as an open playground. The authorities held their ground. 
  34. ^ "Near East and South Asia- U.S. Department of Commerce (1999) p.35" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  35. ^ "Near East and South Asia- U.S. Department of Commerce (1999) p.36" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-27. 
  36. ^ Najam, Adil Najam (2006). "Ghulam Ishaq Khan Dead". Retrieved 2006-10-27. Khan’s presidency also saw the resignation of General Rahimuddin Khan from the post of Governor of Sindh, due to differences between the two after Khan started restricting Rahimuddin’s vast amount of legislative power. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Justice Khuda Bakhsh Marri
Governor of Balochistan
Succeeded by
Lt. Gen. Sardar F.S. Khan Lodi
Preceded by
Ashraf W. Tabani
Governor of Sindh
Succeeded by
Qadeeruddin Ahmed
Military offices
Preceded by
Gen. Iqbal Khan
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
Succeeded by
Gen. Akhtar Abdur Rahman