Talk:Yahya Khan

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The first paragraph in "Character as an Officer" is remarkably POV. I'm not knowledgeable on the subject, but someone should fix it or it should be deleted. Impaciente 06:08, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

You mean this: "Yahya was from a reasonably well to do family, had a Grammar school education and was directly commissioned as an officer. He was respected in the officer corps for professional competence." ? I don't see any POV it blandly states where he studied and commissioned and the respect he gaine (obviously without which he wouldn't have risen to the topmost post). Idleguy 06:24, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
Apologies, I meant the second paragraph under the same heading. The first seems fine by all means.
Yahya was a hard drinking soldier approaching the scale of Mustafa Kemal of Turkey and had a reputation of not liking teetotallers. Yahya liked courtesans but his passion had more to do with listening to them sing or watching them dance (His affair with Pakistan's most legendary singer Noor Jehan was quite scandalous at its time). Thus he did not have anything of Ataturk’s practical womanising traits. Historically speaking many great military commanders like Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Eftikhar Khan and General Grant were accused of debauchery and womanising. These personal habits still did not reduce their personal efficiency and all of them are remembered in military history as great military commanders.
I don't think this is as encylopedic as it could be. Again, I don't know much about the subject, but someone that does should rephrase that section. Impaciente 01:17, 17 October 2005 (UTC)
Tx 4 the tipoff. It sounded like it had been cut and paste and lo and behold it was. Infact the entire article is a cut and paste job from [1]. The final para is from TIME magazine [2]. Even the image copyrights (except one) are listed as fairuse without mentioning why or how. It's pretty alarming that I find these blatant copyvios across many Pakistani articles and images. I'm going to list this article for deletion and setup a subpage with only the lines that have not been taken from the sites. Unfortunately it seems only the intro para is original. A shame that many have to resort to these paste jobs, especially on a fairly well known figure of the past. Idleguy 02:10, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Yahya was a power hungry mongrel[edit]

During the 1971 war, Kamrul Hasan, a Bengali painter, designed a poster for campaign for Liberation which depicted his face as caricature.

I do understand your feeling Mr. Ashraf! So I would like to call upon all sensible Pakistanis to stop highlighting Yahya Khan for the sake of humanitarinism and for lasting Bangladesh Pakistan friendship. As no present day sensible German stands beside Hitler, no present day educated Pakistani should also not stand beside yahya's legacy and rather denounce him strongly.Murad67 05:41, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

He was from Peshawar[edit]

He was born and raised in Peshawar. I don't know where the Chakwal thing came from. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

as britannica says —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:35, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Ha ha, the Bangladesh-Indo-Pak war technically had Persians at the forefront ranks of opposite lines. Yahya Khan on the Pakistani side and Sam Manekshaw on the Indian side. Only difference was one was a head of state and the other was a Chief of the Army Staff who planned ground operations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:08, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

That's funny lol. Persian against Persian. One a descendant of the empire of Nadir Shah and the other a descendant of the empire of the Sassanids. Actually, even more ironic, Manekshaw and Khan were army buddies during Word War II. There's a story that Manekshaw actually related about Yahya from the days right before or after partition. Manekshaw had a brand new bike and Yahya Khan asked him for the motor bike as he was leaving for the new state of Pakistan and felt he wouldn't be able to afford anything fancy. Yahya Khan got it from Manekshaw promising he would pay him so many rupees or pounds for it. Manekshaw said he never got the money but symbolically took East Pakistan as payment 20 some years later! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:05, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Fixed the place of birth according to the source. Also, Nader Shah was from Khorasan and was of Turkic ethnic line, belonging to the Afshar tribe. His army included men of various ethncities, including 4,000 Abdali Pashtuns who were under the command of the young 16-year-old Ahmad Shah Durrani. These forces arrived to Peshawar in 1738 and some decided to settle, to control or rule the town, while the rest went to Lahore and Delhi. It's difficult to believe that not the Pashtuns but the Persians decided to settle in a totally Pashtun town, that makes sense to me. We have to follow what the reliable sources say about this and they all support the Pashtun claim but none, not even one, mention of Yaya Khan's ancestors being of Shia, Qizilbash or ethnic Persians.--Jorge Koli (talk) 22:30, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

The last name of Yahya khan is Qizilbash and in Pashtun society Qizilbash are non-pashtun people. I know that some anti-pashtun people are interested to give Yahya Khan pashtun ethnicity like they give pashtun ethnicity to Agha Waqar in 2012, after his failed idea of making water based car engine. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:43, 9 November 2012 (UTC)


Idleguy pointed this out a few years ago and fixed it, but it's come back -- huge chunks of this article are again lifted from this site. I don't have time to fix it immediately but someone should look at it. Shayborg (talk) 20:05, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Requires edit[edit]

I don't have any idea what this means: "However dissolution of one unit did not lead to the positive results that it might have led to in case "One Unit" was dissolved earlier." Is this something like, "Dissolving the unit later was not so beneficial as dissolving it earlier might have been"? Hughdbrown (talk) 23:40, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

How clever, dear Englishman - of course it means that! Why do you bother to ask, instead of getting on with the editing straightforwardly and without fuss? It is your language after all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:47, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I knew it was not idiomatic or clear English, but I couldn't replace it without knowing what the author really meant. Or, as the OP himself might have phrased it, "Being that rephrasing it of now was not being as forthrightly for the moment, editing without clarifying or repurposing fully meant none of the benefit positively." Hughdbrown —Preceding undated comment added 15:21, 17 August 2011 (UTC).

Anon comment[edit]

The main article has a clear pro bangladeshi bias especially evident in the ridiculous figure of 3 million civilians having been allegadly murdered by the west pakistani army and 400,000 raped. This figure is from the realms of obscene fantasy and suprise suprise it doesnt carry any sources or posting of evidence. Sharmila Bose the Indian BC correspondant put the death figure at 300,000 and claimed the observed figure of 300,000 was mistranslated in bengali into 3 million (Times Magazine January 1972). This figure also included the ethnic cleansing and murder of loyal east pakistanis and ethnic biharis by the mukhti bahini. These facts should be included to present a more balanced account in this pivotal event in the protaganist Yahya Khans life. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:56, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Bose's claims have been debunked in scholarly publications (see N. Mukherjee et al. 2006). The genocide of 1-1.5 million has been reported by multiple independent sources. But of course, feel free to come up with your references if there are any. --Ragib (talk) 16:30, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Possible copyright violations in article[edit]

As has been mentioned previously, much of the text of this article is identical to text here. I've deleted all the verbatim material. In the unlikely event that plagiarized Wikipedia rather than the other way around, my apologies and please revert.--Wikimedes (talk) 00:23, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Identical text follows:

Yahya Khan was commissioned from Indian Military Academy Dehra Dun on 15 July 1939. An infantry officer from the 4/10 Baluch Regiment, Yahya saw action during World War II in North Africa where he was captured by Axis Forces in June 1942 and interned in a prisoner of war camp in Italy from where he escaped in a third attempt.

In 1947 he was instrumental in not letting the Indian officers shift books from the famous library of the British Indian Staff College at Quetta, where Yahya was posted as the only Muslim instructor at the time of partition of India.[8]

Yahya became a brigadier at the age of 34 and commanded the 105 Independent Brigade, which was deployed on the ceasefire line in Kashmir in 1951-52. Later Yahya, as Deputy Chief of General Staff, was selected to head the army's planning board set up by Ayub to modernise the Pakistan Army in 1954-57. Yahya also performed the duties of Chief of General Staff from 1958 to 1962 from where he went on to command an infantry division from 1962 to 1965.

Yahya energetically started reorganising the Pakistan Army in 1965. The post 1965 situation saw major organisational as well as technical changes in the Pakistan Army. Till 1965 it was thought that divisions could function effectively while getting orders directly from the army's GHQ. This idea failed miserably in the 1965 war and the need to have intermediate corps headquarters in between the GHQ and the fighting combat divisions was recognised as a foremost operational necessity after the 1965 war. In 1965 war the Pakistan Army had only one corps headquarter (i.e. the 1st Corps Headquarters).

Soon after the war had started the U.S. had imposed an embargo on military aid on both India and Pakistan. This embargo did not affect the Indian Army but produced major changes in the Pakistan Army's technical composition. US Secretary of State Dean Rusk well summed it up when he said, "Well if you are going to fight, go ahead and fight, but we're not going to pay for it".[10]

Pakistan now turned to China for military aid and the Chinese tank T-59 started replacing the US M-47/48 tanks as the Pakistan Army's MBT (Main Battle Tank) from 1966. 80 tanks, the first batch of T-59s, a low-grade version of the Russian T-54/55 series were delivered to Pakistan in 1965-66. The first batch was displayed in the Joint Services Day Parade on 23 March 1966. The 1965 War had proved that Pakistan Army's tank to infantry ratio was lopsided and more infantry was required. Three more infantry divisions (9, 16 and 17 Divisions) largely equipped with Chinese equipment and popularly referred to by the rank and file as "The China Divisions" were raised by the beginning of 1968. Two more corps headquarters i.e. 2nd Corps Headquarters (Jhelum-Ravi Corridor) and 4th Corps Headquarters (Ravi-Sutlej Corridor) were raised.

When Ayub handed over power to Yahya Khan, Yahya inherited a two-decade constitutional problem of inter-provincial ethnic rivalry between the Punjabi-Pashtun-Mohajir dominated West Pakistan province and the ethnically Bengali Muslim East Pakistan province. In addition Yahya also inherited an 11 year old problem of transforming an essentially one man ruled country to a democratic country, which was the ideological basis of the anti-Ayub movement of 1968-69. As an Army Chief Yahya had all the capabilities, qualifications and potential. But Yahya inherited an extremely complex problem and was forced to perform the multiple roles of caretaker head of the country, drafter of a provisional constitution, resolving the One Unit question, satisfying the frustrations and the sense of exploitation and discrimination successively created in the East Wing by a series of government policies since 1948. All these were complex problems and the seeds of Pakistan Army's defeat and humiliation in December 1971 lay in the fact that Yahya Khan blundered unwittingly into the thankless task of fixing the problems of Pakistan's political and administrative system which had been accumulating for 20 years.

The American author Lawrence Ziring observed that, "Yahya Khan has been widely portrayed as a ruthless uncompromising insensitive and grossly inept leader...While Yahya cannot escape responsibility for these tragic events, it is also on record that he did not act alone...All the major actors of the period were creatures of a historic legacy and a psycho-political milieu which did not lend itself to accommodation and compromise, to bargaining and a reasonable settlement. Nurtured on conspiracy theories, they were all conditioned to act in a manner that neglected agreeable solutions and promoted violent judgements".[11]

Yahya Khan attempted to solve Pakistan's constitutional and inter-provincial/regional rivalry problems once he took over power from Ayub Khan in March 1969. The tragedy of the whole affair was the fact that all actions that Yahya took, although correct in principle, were too late in timing, and served only to further intensify the political polarisation between the East and West wings.

He dissolved the one unit restoring the pre-1955 provinces of West Pakistan

Promised free direct, one man, one vote, fair elections on adult franchise, a basic human right which had been denied to the Pakistani people since the pre-independence 1946 elections by political inefficiency, double play and intrigue, by civilian governments, from 1947 to 1958 and by Ayub's one man rule from 1958 to 1969.

However dissolution of one unit did not lead to the positive results that it might have led to in case "One Unit" was dissolved earlier. Yahya also made an attempt to accommodate the East Pakistanis by abolishing the principle of parity, thereby hoping that greater share in the assembly would redress their wounded ethnic regional pride and ensure the integrity of Pakistan. Instead of satisfying the Bengalis it intensified their separatism, since they felt that the west wing had politically suppressed them since 1958. Thus the rise of anti West Wing sentiment in the East Wing.

Yahya announced in his broadcast to the nation on 28 July 1969, his firm intention to redress Bengali grievances, the first major step in this direction being, the doubling of Bengali quota in the defence services.

--Wikimedes (talk) 00:23, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Terrible, terrible terrible[edit]

This is a man accused of genocide and crimes against humanity. It's astonishing that this article has no information on the war crimes allegations against him, especially his "kill 3 million of them" remark. What has Wikipedia come to. All 1971 articles have been hijacked by the nationalist thugs of Pakistan.--ChaudhryAzan (talk) 04:39, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

This article is time and again being taken away from objectivity with dishonest attempt to glorify an all time warmonger demagogue that Pakistan had ever produced . No mention of the fact that he unilaterally stopped the National Assembly session that was summoned to start at Dhaka on 3rd March 1971. This was the starting point of all crisis that ended up in disintegration of Pakistan. Murad67 (talk) 03:44, 18 February 2016 (UTC)

persian or pathan origin of yahya khan? Can anyone provide sources to his pathan or persian qizilbash origin.[edit]

these two sources mention him as of persian origin through nadir shah who was a qizilbash. though they are persianized turks [1][2]

i will post more sources for his persianized turkic qizilbash origin soon.

Virtually every source around there has always showed him as being of Pathan/Pashtun descent. Pashtuns/Pathans are one of the largest ethnicities in that region after all, so its nothing strange. The sources that were already present on this very article, have always showed him as of being of Pathan origin too.[3][4]
Here some more sources that confirm this again, that he's an ethnic Pathan.[5][6][7][8] There are many many more, but I don't see the reason as for why we should add more undue weight and having like 10 sources sticked behind the sentence.
And here this fine quote again of Time magazine, which layed emphasis on this as well again, that he was of nothing but Pathan/Pashtun descent.

Few Pakistanis knew anything about Yahya Khan when he was vaulted into the presidency two years ago. The stocky, bushy–browed Pathan had been the army chief of staff since 1966...

— Editorial, Time, 2 August 1971, source[9]
Bests - LouisAragon (talk) 01:11, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

first of all not every khan is a pathan or pashtun. You have many sources which say he was pathan not pashtun. Also i have given you two main sources that confirms he was through nadir shah lineage who was not a pashtun or pathan .He himself has Agha in his name which no pathan has. As its a disputed kind of situation there is no need to mention his ethnciity as people know him as a general not because of his pathan or persian roots.Saladin1987 04:31, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

some more sources which prove that he was qizilbash and not pathan. We should either leave his ethnicity or else put it like this that he was qizilbash but was pathan culturally [10] [[3]] [[4]]


  1. ^ John Keay. "India: A History. Revised and Updated"
  2. ^ Nikhat Ekbal. "Great Muslims of undivided India"
  3. ^ Hugh Tinker. "South Asia: A Short History" University of Hawaii Press, 1990. ISBN 0824812875 p 248
  4. ^ Shahid Javed Burki. "Historical Dictionary of Pakistan" ISBN 1442241489 p 596
  5. ^ Brian Loveman. Strategy for Empire: U.S. Regional Security Policy in the Post-Cold War Era, Volume 2 Rowman & Littlefield, 1 jan. 2004 ISBN 0842051775 p 233
  6. ^ Dilip Hiro. The Longest August: The Unflinching Rivalry Between India and Pakistan Nation Books, 24 feb. 2015 ISBN 1568585039 p 183
  7. ^ Ayesha Jalal. Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia: A Comparative and Historical Perspective. p. 194. Cambridge University Press, 6 apr. 1995 (Cambridge South Asian studies, Volume 1 of Contemporary South Asia) ISBN 0521478626
  8. ^ Year Book Covering the Year 1972 Crowell-Collier Educational Corporation, 1971 (Original from the Indiana University) Digitalised on 13 Aug 2009
  9. ^ Editorial (2 August 1971). "Good Soldier Yahya Khan". Time magazine. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  10. ^

Established fact he was traditionally Pashtun[edit]

All sources say he was traditionally Pashtun so the article must reflect on that. Pashtun is not a family tree or bloodline but a confederation of various tribes who come from different backgrounds, i.e., Turks, Persians, Arabs, Hindus/Indus (those in Pakistan), so on and so on.--Krzyhorse22 (talk) 23:49, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Continuous disruption by user Saladin1987[edit]

Saladin has attempted many times before to push in the same type of pseudo-historical revisionism by using completely non-WP:RS sources (e.g Wikipedia mirrors, blogspots, and what-not).[5]-[6]-[7]-[8]-[9]-[10]-[11]. He has been reverted on every attempt, while being presented with a clear rationale and told to cease these disruptive additions, yet unfortunately he still continues (now months later) to re-add the same stuff. This is pure disruption on multiple fronts. I suggest to report him the next time directly to ANI. - LouisAragon (talk) 16:04, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

The largest muslim country?[edit]

Pakistan was never the largest muslim country nor now, and we must not mention Pakistan as a muslim-nation as islamic rules are not imposed officially in this country like Saudi Arabia or UAE. Abdullah Khan Bishal (talk) 10:42, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

Pakistan exists as a separate entity solely because it self identifies as Islamic. When India gained independance it divided into two nations on religious grounds. IdreamofJeanie (talk) 10:49, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
okay, thanks. Abdullah Khan Bishal (talk) 11:26, 30 September 2017 (UTC)

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