LAHORE: Pakistan’s new Army Chief, General Syed Asim Munir, is country’s seventh military commander, who hails from any town located on the historic Grand Trunk Road (G.T. Road), which was built during the 16th century by a Pashtun ruler, Sher Shah Suri (1486-1545). Suri went on to introduce the currency of rupee and defeated the Moghul King Humayun, research conducted by the “Jang Group and Geo Television Network” shows.
Before General Asim, the Pakistani Commanders-in-Chief and Chiefs of Army Staff who belonged to these towns on the G.T. Road included General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan (born in Chakwal), General Tikka Khan (born in Kahuta, Rawalpindi District), General Asif Nawaz Janjua (opened his eyes in Chakri Rajgan (Jhelum District), General Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani (born at village Manghot of Gujar Khan in Rawalpindi District), General Raheel Sharif was born in Quetta but he hails from a Punjabi Rajput family with roots in the town of Kunjah (Gujrat) and the outgoing Army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who was born in Karachi but has family roots in Ghakkar Mandi, a small town located on the Grand Trunk Road, some 100km from Lahore.
Air Marshal Malik Nur Khan Awan, the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Air Force, was born in Attock, yet another town on the G.T. Road. Lt. General Iftikhar Ali Khan (born in Chakri to a noted Rajput family of soldiers, led by his father Brigadier Fateh Ali Khan, who had served as Secretary Defence and Chief of General Staff of Pakistan Army. The late General Iftikhar was the elder brother of eminent politician and former Federal Minister, Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan).
Research shows that the town of Chakwal, located 90 km southeast of Islamabad, is gifted with the most fertile land when it comes to producing the greatest number of army generals than any other Pakistani city. Named after Chaudhry Chaku Khan, the chief of the Mair Minhas tribe from Jammu, Chakwal was founded in 1525 during the era of Mughal Emperor, Zaheerud Din Babur. Finally upgraded to the status of a district in 1985, Chakwal is divided into four Tehsils (Kalarkahar, Choha Saidan Shah, Talagang and Chakwal). It is the land of decorated soldiers and martyrs, and a symbol of valour and bravery. And this is why it is called a “Marshal Area.” Here follows a list of some Army generals and decorated soldiers born in Chakwal alone:
Major General Iftikhar Khan (he was the strongest contender to succeed General Douglas Gracey as Pakistan’s first native Commander-in-Chief, but unfortunately embraced martyrdom in a plane crash before in 1949), Lt. General Akbar Khan (he was the most senior Muslim General in 1947, who had served as the first Senior Military Secretary of the Quaid-e-Azam. He holds the distinguished honor of being the senior most officer of the Pakistan Army and holds Pakistan Army number PA-1), Major General Tajammul Hussain Malik (he headed a failed coup attempt against the regime of General Ziaul Haq in 1980. He was court-martialed), Lt General Abdul Majeed Malik (having served as federal minister too, he drafted the 1958 Martial Law, the first military coup in Pakistan), General Muhammad Anwar Khan ( the first Engineer-in-Chief of Pakistan Army), Lt. General Mushtaq Baig (the Surgeon General of Pakistan Army who was martyred in a 2008 suicide attack), Lieutenant General Abdul Qayyum (Chairman of Pakistan Ordnance Factories Wah and Pakistan Steel Mill), Late General Ishfaq Nadeem, former ISI Chief and current Corps Commander Bahawalpur Lt. General Faiz Hameed, General Farooq Malik, DG Artillery, General P.D. Khan, General Abdul Razzaq Khan, General Faiz Jilani, General Muzaffar Kahut, Lt. General R.D. Bhatti, General Ashraf Janjua, General Safdar (former Governor Punjab), General Dr Riaz Chohan, General Nazeer Hussain, General Dr Asad Malik, General Sheraz Lodhi, Major General Dr Shahida Malik (the first lady officer in the Pakistan Army to reach two-star rank. She served as Surgeon General Pakistan), General Imtiaz Shaheen, General Afzal Muzaffar, General Mehmood-ul-Muzaffar, General Yaqoob Chaudhary, Brigadier Zafar (the first Indian Commander of Calvary), Captain Ghulam Muhammad Malik (received Victoria Gun in 1920 after World War I), Subaydar Khudadad Khan (recipient of Victoria Cross) and Subaydar Shah Kahut (Victoria Cross).