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Saturday, 13 September 2014

Muhammad Hamidullah Khan

Muhammad Hamidullah Khan

Born September 11, 1938
                Bikrampur, Bengal Province, British Empire
Died December 30, 2011
               Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Dhaka, Bangladesh
Allegiance Bangladesh People's Republic of Bangladesh
Service/branch Bangladesh Air Force
Years of service 1960–1979
Rank Wing Commander
Unit Administration and Special Duties A&SD
Commands held Ground Defence Command
Battles/wars Bangladesh Liberation War
                        Chilmari Landing Expedition
                        Kurigram and Gaibandha Guerilla Campaigns
                        Kodalkati and Kamalpur Assaults
                        Tangail Area Ambushes and Raids

Wing Commander M. Hamidullah Khan (BAF-Retd.) (Bengali: এম হামিদুল্লাহ খান) (September 11, 1938 – December 30, 2011) was the Sector Commander of BDF Sector 11 Bangladesh Forces during the Bangladesh Independence War against Pakistan in 1971.

Family, early life and education

M. Hamidullah Khan was born to a political family in Medini Mondal village, Louhajong Ward, in the town of Bikrampur, south of Dhaka, in then Bengal Province of the colonial British Empire. He is the second of the nine children (one deceased in infancy) born to Muhammad Dabiruddin Khan and Jasimunnesa Khan. His father was a Forest Ranger in the British Imperial Forest Service under the Bengal Forest Department and later Assam Forest Department. Dabiruddin married Rabeya Sultana Khan on August 1, 1965, at Dhaka, the third daughter of Mokbul Hossain Siddiqi, then Commissioner (East Pakistan) of Taxes and Excise. Their second son Ziad Hamid Khan (Ronny) drowned while boating when a small boat capsized.
Hamidullah Khan's childhood was divided between living in Bikrampur and Dhaka city proper. He moved, with his parents, in 1954 to Mughaltully Ward of Dhaka. Hamidullah spent his adolescence in Dhaka. With the departure of the British and official creation of Pakistan and India in 1947, Hamidullah Khan's father opted for service with the government of India rather than Pakistan, though the family remained in Dhaka (East Pakistan). Dabiruddin Khan later joined them after retirement in 1957.
After primary school at Silver Jubilee Anglo-Bengali Government English School, Guwahati, Assam, and secondary school at Louhajong A.T Institute, he enrolled in the Jagannath College in 1954. After completion of senior secondary school in 1956, he studied at the same college for the Bachelor of Arts in Commerce (General). In the year 1959, while preparations were finalised to study law, he accepted an appointment instead as a candidate in the Pakistan Air Force Academy, and reported to Risalpur in the 34th GD(P)as a flight cadet. He graduated in the GD (Admin) branch, later structured and organised as A&SD Branch and subsequently attached in the specialization of security and intelligence under the Provost Marshall's office.

Air force career

M. Hamidullah Khan joined the Pakistan Air Force in June 1962 . He was commissioned a Pilot Officer. He served in the Pakistan Air Force at bases in Lahore, Chaklala, Sargodha, Karachi, Peshawar, and finally Dhaka. In 1970, Flight Lieutenant Hamidullah was transferred to Pakistan Eastern Zone as Assistant Provost Marshal with additional responsibility as Director of Security, Tejgaon International Airport, Dhaka. He was selected for examination and board for promotion to Squadron Leader in July 1970.
Hamidullah defected from his Pakistan Air Force Provost Marshal Unit 5 Dhaka on March 30 and reported to the Bangladesh Provincial government at 8 Theatre Road, Calcutta. Initially he was posted as Bangladesh Chief Representative at Chakulia Guerilla Training Camp, Bihar. In August, he attended the Bangladesh Sector Commanders Conference of 1971. He was subsequently posted at sector 11 as the sub-sector commander (Nov. 2nd 1971 to April 7, 1972) of sub-sector 1 at Mankachar. As sub-sector commander, he commanded over 22,800 troops, and led the Chilmari expedition, crossing the Ganges river by Kurigram. Hamidullah Khan received a Battlefield Promotion to Squadron Leader by order of General M.A.G. Osmani.
After independence, Hamidullah continued to serve Bangladesh Air Force (BAF). In April 1972, he was appointed the first Provost Marshal of Bangladesh Air Force. In 1973 Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah khan received his final promotion to Wing Commander. While in BAF, he served BAF headquarters, Intelligence and Security, and Air Education and Training. He also held the position of Chief of Air Force Security(Provost Marshall), Director Air Intelligence and Director Recruiting. He was Officer Commanding Administration Branch at BAF Base Bashar. Hamidullah officially retired from Bangladesh Air Force on January 10, 1979.
Hamidullah received a service award for gallantry. The Bangladesh Government named Road 23 in the town of Banani in Dhaka after him. Along with 55 other fighters, his biography was included in a CD released by the Bangladesh government.

Political career

In September 1978, M Hamidullah Khan joined the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) by invitation of ex-colleague Ziaur Rahman, founder of the party. Until Dec 30th 2011 he was the Executive Secretary of the Central Committee of the BNP National Executive Committee on Liberation War and Veterans Affairs. He was nominated four times and elected thrice in Jatiyo Sangshad elections.

He was elected in 

Bangladeshi general election, 1979: Constituency Dhaka-5 (Bikrampur); service duration 2 years 11 months (2 April 1979 – 24 March 1982)
Bangladeshi general election, 1991: Constituency Munshigonj-2 (Lohajang Upazila-Sirajdikhan Upazila); service duration 4 years 9 months (5 March 1991 – 24 December 1995)
Bangladeshi general election, February 1996: Constituency Munshigonj-2 (Lohajang Upazila-Sirajdikhan Upazila); service duration 12 days (19 March 1996 – 30 March 1996)
Bangladeshi general election, 1991: Constituency Munshigonj-2 (Lohajang Upazila-Sirajdikhan Upazila); service duration 4 years 9 months (5 March 1991 – 24 December 1995)
Bangladeshi general election, 2008: Constituency Dhaka-15 (Mirpur Model Thana-Kafrul Thana) - Nominated
He re-emerged from long absence from parliamentary politics and received nomination for the electoral seat of Dhaka-15 (Mirpur and Kafrul) for the 9th Parliamentary General Elections held on Dec 29th 2008.
He represented Bangladesh during the 36th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. He was the 36th Bangladesh Representative in 1979-80 to the United Nations General Assembly and plenary session on UN Resolutions 242 and 439 on the question of Palestine and Namibia respectively. The government of Bangladesh appointed him as Special Envoy to the UN in granting recognition to the State of Palestine.
He served in different positions in Bangladesh government throughout his active life. Hamidullah served as chairman of Bangladesh Post Graduate Medical Research Centre (1979–1982), Bangladesh Freedom Fighters Welfare Trust (1993–1996), Janata Bank (1995–1996).
He wrote books on the history of the creation of the Bangladesh Forces and the events leading to it, BDF Sector 11 and its war operations including surrounding complexities, related events and consequences. His second book is a two-volume set about the Bangladesh Liberation War along with two documentaries.


Upon his death, Muhammad Hamidullah Khan was given a state funeral[6] with a military guard of honor.[7] Hamidullah Khan is survived by two sons, Murad Hamid Khan (Sonny) and Tariq Hamid Khan (Konny).

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