Ziauddin Butt
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Ziauddin Butt

Khwaja Ziauddin Abbasi
Birth nameKhawaja Ziauddin Abbasi:154[1]
Nickname(s)General Zia
General Ziauddin
BornLahore, Punjab, British India
(Present day, Punjab in Pakistan)
Allegiance Pakistan
Service/branch Pakistan Army
Years of service1964-2001
RankOF-9 Pakistan Army.svgUS-O10 insignia.svg General
Service numberPA-6989
Unit[Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers]
Commands heldChief of Army Staff (COAS)
DG Inter-Services Intelligence
Adjutant-General at the Army GHQ
XXX Corps in Gujranwala
DG Strategic Plans Division
DG Combat Development Directorate
GOC 11th Infantry Division
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani war of 1965
Indo-Pakistani war of 1971
Afghan Civil war (1996-1999)
Indo-Pakistani war of 1999
Military takeover in 1999
AwardsCrescent of Excellence Hilal-e-Imtiaz.pngHilal-i-Imtiaz (military)
Other workChairman of Chief Minister's Inspection Team, Punjab Provincial Government.[2]

General Khawaja Ziauddin Abbasi (Urdu: ? ‎), also known as Ziauddin Butt (Urdu: ? ‎), is a retired four-star rank army general[3][4][5][6] in the Pakistan Army, who served as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), for a brief time, until Chairman joint chiefs General Pervez Musharraf reasserted the command and control of the military despite his termination on 12 October 1999.:167[6]:169[7]

His appointment as the chief of army staff is distinguishable since he was the first army engineer and the first Director ISI who was appointed to four-star command appointment.[8] His career in the military spent as an engineering officer Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers before becoming the spymaster in the ISI on 7 October 1998.

After the military's war performance in Kargil against the Indian Army, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif forcefully terminated the commission of then-Chairman joint chiefs and then-army chief General Pervez Musharraf by elevating General Ziauddin as an army chief on 12 October 1999. This order of promotion was then refused by General Musharraf's military staff as General Musharraf immediately led the military takeover of the civilian government while dismissing General Zia from his appointment and commission.

Subjected to nearly two-year military investigations which found no part of his involved in Prime Minister Sharif's decision, Zia was retired from his military service "scouts penalty" in 2001.

In 2011, Ziauddin revealed to the news media that, according to his knowledge, it was Brigadier Ijaz Shah, the DG of Intelligence Bureau from 2004-08, who had provided the support and hideout to Osama Bin Laden in a IB's safe house in Abbottabad.[9]


Career in the military

Ziauddin Butt was born in Lahore, Punjab in British India, and is of Kashmiri descent.:175[1]:42[10] His birth name is Khawaja Ziauddin Abbasi,:154[11] but he is known as Ziauddin Butt.[9][9]

He was educated in Rawalpindi before being accepted at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, prior joining the Pakistan Army.:175[1] His uncle, Ghulam Jilani Khan, was a three-star rank army general in the Pakistan Army who played a crucial role in stabilizing the Zia administration in 1980s and later in creating Pakistan Muslim League faction headed by Nawaz Sharif (later known as PML-N).[12]

In the military, Ziauddin butt was reportedly noted for his remarkable academic performance and education, first attended and graduated from the Punjab University with double BSc in honors in Physics and Mathematics before joining the army in 1964.:notes[13]

After his training at the PMA Kakul, Zia decided attend the Military College of Engineering in Risalpur where he gained BSc in Civil engineering with emphasis on construction, standing on the 1st place on exam markings and earned gold medal in the graduation ceremony.:notes[13]Lt. Ziauddin was then commissioned in the Corps of Engineers, where his career in the army is mostly spent.:14-15[7]

In the military, his war performance served with the combat engineering formations during the conflict with India in 1965 and later in 1971.[14] After the war, Zia was selected and sent to the United States where he attended the Defence Mapping School in the Fort Belvoir, Virginia, earning post-graduate diploma in Topography where he specialized as the topographer in 1974-76.[13] In addition, he also attended the National Defence University (NDU) where he gained his BSc in War studies and later attained his MSc in Strategic studies, before rotating back to the Corps of Engineers.[14][13]

In 1989-90, Major-General Ziauddin briefly served as the GOC of the 11th Infantry Division stationed in Okara before his assignment posted in the JS HQ in Rawalpindi.[9]

In 1990-92, Major-General Ziauddin was appointed as the first Director-General of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) headquartered in the JS HQ in Rawalpindi, that an agency that oversaw the protection of the country's nuclear arsenals.[8]

In 1993, Major-General Ziauddin was posted on the security details for the technicians working at the Khan Research Laboratories in Kahuta.[15] In 1992, Maj-Gen Ziauddin was posted at the Army GHQ in Rawalpindi, becoming the DG of the Combat Development Directorate (CDD), which he remained until 1996.:xvii[16]

On 25 February 1996, Maj-Gen Ziauddin was promoted to the three-star rank army general in the Pakistan Army, and appointed as field commander of the XXX Corps.[17] In 1998, Lieutenant-General Ziauddin was posted as an Adjutant-General at the Army GHQ in Rawalpindi, which he served until 1998 when General Pervez Musharraf as appointed chief of army staff and Chairman joint chiefs at the Army GHQ in Rawalpindi .[17][18]

Director ISI and army chief

In 1998, Lt-Gen. Butt had been one of the most senior army generals in the military when Lt-Gen. Ali Kuli Khan and Lt-Gen. Khalid Nawaz were superseded with the four-star appointments of the junior most Lt-Gen. Musharraf.[19] He was subsequently assigned to direct the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif, after replacing Lt-Gen Naseem Rana who was posted as Master-General Ordnance (MGO) at the Army GHQ. Under his command, the ISI is credited with major revamping and evolution of the agency and its operations.[19] On 7 October 1998, Lt-Gen. Butt departed to Afghanistan to meet with Mullah Omar, Emir of Afghanistan at that time, demanded to handover the 12 most wanted members of fanatic Sipah-e-Sahaba but Mullah Omar refused.:196-197[20] Eventually, he authorized the ISI's Covert Action Division teams to infiltrate in Afghanistan, which was successful, but he was unable to convince Mullah Omar to handover Osama Bin Laden to Americans.:197[20]

He was also one of the senior most generals ever to occupy the post of Intelligence Chief (DG ISI) and is credited with major revamping and evolution of the agency and its operations.[19]

He is currently serving as the elected Chairman of the LGH Post Graduate Medical Institute.[21]

Despite in commanding position, General Zia did not issued orders to resist such moves in a fear of dangerous in-fighting among the army institution.[22] Both Sharif and Ziauddin were arrested by the coup-makers and taken to different locations. Ziauddin was kept in solitary confinement for two years, and was subject to three army investigations which aimed to find some element of wrongdoing on his part. Musharraf decided to use a 'scouts penalty' - a discretionary punishment not requiring a crime, to dismiss General Ziauddin from service.

Kamran Khan of The News wrote disparagingly about Ziauddin in a news column called "the news/national intelligence unit (NIU)".[23] General Rashid Quraishi was quoted as saying "General Ziauddin was one of the best generals in our army's history, so now we have to change the history".[24] Author Shuja Nawaz (brother of former Pakistan army chief Asif Nawaz) wrote in his book that Musharraf created a false impression that Ziauddin and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had family connections.[25]

Ziauddin Butt, as a retired general, told Carlotta Gall, the correspondent for The New York Times, that he thought Musharraf had arranged to hide Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad.[26]


  1. ^ a b c Joshi, P. C. (2008). "Lt-Gen. Khawaja Ziauddin Butt". Main Intelligence Outfits Of Pakistan (googlebooks) (1st ed.). New Delhi, India: Anmol Publications Pvt. Limited. p. 435. ISBN 9788126135509. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ Ex-DG ISI Ziauddin Butt appointed Chairman CMIT Archived 17 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/13/pakistan-s-musharraf-has-been-accused-of-knowing-osama-bin-laden-s-hideout.html
  4. ^ "The Jamestown Foundation". www.jamestown.org. Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  5. ^ "Special Report, NOS, The News International". jang.com.pk. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  6. ^ a b Chaudhry, Aminullah (2009) Hijacking from the Ground: The Bizarre Story of Pk 805. Authorhouse. Pg 167
  7. ^ a b Khan, Mohammed Ilyas (2002). PK 805 But the Truth (google books). Karachi, Pakistan: Royal Book Company. p. 277. Retrieved 2017.
  8. ^ a b Jamal, Arif (22 December 2011). "Former Pakistan Army Chief Reveals Intelligence Bureau Harbored Bin Laden in Abbottabad - Jamestown" (org). www.jamestown.org. Washington DC: Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d Jamal, Arif. "Former Pakistan Army Chief Reveals Intelligence Bureau Harbored Bin Laden in Abbottabad". Terrorism Monitor Journal. The JamesTown Foundation.
  10. ^ Allam, Aftab (2001). Pakistan's Fourth Military Coup. Lahore, Pakistan: Raj Publications. p. 256. ISBN 9788186208151. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ Joshi, P. C. (2008). Main Intelligence Outfits Of Pakistan. Anmol Publications Pvt. Limited. ISBN 9788126135509. Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ Late 1993: Military Establishes Access Controls at Main A. Q. Khan Facility at historycommons.org, accessed 25 March 2012
  13. ^ a b c d Kiessling, Hein (2016). "§Nawaz's second administration". Faith, Unity, Discipline: The Inter-Service-Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan (google books) (1st ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9781849048637. Retrieved 2017.
  14. ^ a b ISPR PR1998-Appointment of DGISI
  15. ^ "Khawaja Ziauddin". www.historycommons.org. History common. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ Khan, Brig. Feroz Hassan (2012). "Key Personalities". Eating Grass: the making of the Pakistani bomb (googlebooks) (1st ed.). Palo Alto, Ca.: Stanford University Press. p. 405. ISBN 9780804784801. Retrieved 2017.
  17. ^ a b Mir, Amir (4 March 2016). "Special Report: Conspiracies abound Did the Pakistan military have a clue to bin Laden's whereabouts, as the WikiLeaks would have you believe?". The News International. Islamabad: The News International. The News International. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2017.
  18. ^ Rahimullah Yusufzai. "I never advocated martial law: Kuli"[dead link]The News, 3 October 2006
  19. ^ a b c B. Raman. "A Revamp of Pakistani Intelligence Community is underway" SAPRA India, 18 December 1998
  20. ^ a b Sirrs, Owen L. (2016). "ISI's snatch teams". Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate: Covert Action and Internal Operations (googlebooks) (1st ed.). London, Uk: Routledge. p. 310. ISBN 9781317196099. Retrieved 2017.
  21. ^ "PGMI, LGH board of management elect head". Retrieved 2016.
  22. ^ quoted by General Rehmat - Chief of PM House security
  23. ^ Kamran Khan (15 October 1999). "Ambitious Ziauddin steered Nawaz to political disaster". National Intelligence Unit. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015.
  24. ^ Waits, Tom & Luk, Qasim (in press) Machiavillian east: politics of armymen. Rotun Haiku.[not specific enough to verify]
  25. ^ Nawaz, Shuja (2008). Crossed swords: Pakistan, its army, and the wars within. Oxford university Press. Pg 526
  26. ^ Gall, Carlotta (19 March 2014). "What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016.

See also

Military offices
Preceded by
Naseem Rana
Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence
Succeeded by
Mahmud Ahmed
Preceded by
Pervez Musharraf
Chief of Army Staff Pakistan Army
12 October 1999
Succeeded by
Pervez Musharraf

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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