A Stranger in My Own Country
The 1971 East Pakistan tragedy was not just a failure of the military but also a collapse of civil society in the West Wing. The few voices raised against the military action were too feeble to make the army change its course, a course that lead to military defeat and the break-up of the country. At the time, the author was GOC 14 Division in East Pakistan. Apart from his direct narration of the events, his portrayal of the major
dramatis personae, such as Field Marshal Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan, Lt. Gen. Tikka Khan and Lt. Gen. A.A.K. Niazi, are insightful. A necessary text that demands scrutiny from all interested in the course of Pakistan’s history.
Khadim Hussain Raja (1922–1999) was born at Haranpur, District Jhelum. He graduated, with Honours in English, from Government College, Lahore. In 1942, he joined the British Indian Army and received the King’s Commission from the IMA, Dehra Dun. He served in the Burma theatre till the end of the Second World War and later opted for a career in the Pakistan Army. During 1947–8, he volunteered and saw action in Kashmir. He graduated from the Staff College, Quetta, and later from the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth. He had the distinction of serving on the faculty of Command and Staff College, Quetta, twice. Later, he commanded the First Pakistan Battalion (Quaid-i-Azam’s own) at the PMA, Kakul, and rose to the rank of Major General.
Before retirement from active duty, he served as DG Artillery at the GHQ. In 1972, he was appointed to raise and organize the Army Welfare Trust as its founding Managing Director and served this organization for five years before his retirement. Later, he was appointed Ambassador of Pakistan in Mozambique and was also accredited to Angola, Swaziland, and Lesotho.