- Iftikhar Khan
Major GeneralMuhammed Iftikhar Khan was an officer inherited by the Pakistan Armyfrom British India. He had been nominated to become the first local Commander in Chief of the Pakistan Army after General Douglas David Gracey's retirement. However, his death in a tragic plane crash in 1949was a disaster for the newly formed country.
"Hassan Abbas", in his book, “Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism” [Pakistan's Drift Into Extremism: Allah, then Army, and America's War Terror, by Hassan Abbas (Author), Jessica Stern (Foreword) ISBN-10: 0765614979 ] , in Chapter 2, page 26, describes a watershed incident that occurred in 1949 that had “a huge impact on the military and political history of Pakistan, but is often ignored by historians”. The incident reported was the plane crash at
Jungshahiwhich had on board the designated next commander-in-chief of Pakistan, Major General Iftikhar Khan. According to Major General Sher Ali, the history of Pakistan would have been different if Major General Iftikhar Khan had become C-in-C of the Pakistan Army, because he would never have allowed the army to be used for political purposes and would never have used his position as a doorway to political power.
Muhammed Iftikhar Khan belonged to the Mair-
Minhas Rajputclan from Chakwal. His father Sirdar (or Sardar) Bahadur, Raja Fazal Dad Khan was a big Landlord (or Zamindar) and worked with the cavalry of the British Army. Five of his seven brothers joined the Army and became officers. His elder brother, Muhammed Akbar Khanwas the first Indian Muslim to become a General in the British Indian Army. His brother, Brigadier Muhammed Zafar was the first Indian Commander of Cavalry and his brother General Muhammed Anwar Khan was the first E-in-C of Pakistan Army.
*The Quaid: Pakistan’s Tom Paine or Thomas Jefferson? By Mohammad Ashraf Chaudhry [http://www.pakistanlink.com/Opinion/2005/July05/08/01.HTM]
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