Habibullah Khan Khattak

Lieutenant General Habibullah Khan Khattak also known as Muhammad Habibullah Khan (17 October 1913 – 1994) was a Pakistani Army officer born in Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Habibullah Khan Khattak
Born17 October 1913
Wana, Waziristan, India
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Pakistan Army
British Raj British Indian Army
Years of service1935–1959
RankLieutenant General
Unit12th Battalion The Baloch Regiment
Commands held1 Bihar
Deputy C-in-C of the Pakistan Army
Battles/warsWorld War II
Burma Campaign
Other workIndustrialist and Politician

He was the son of Khan Bahadur Kuli Khan Khattak, and was younger brother of former Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Aslam Khattak, former Federal Minister Yusuf Khattak and Begum Kulsum Saifullah Khan.[1]

His son Ali Kuli Khan Khattak also rose to the rank of Lt Gen and retired as the Chief of General Staff (CGS) in 1998. His son, like him, belonged to the famed Baloch Regiment.

Military Career pre-WW2Edit

After completing intermediate education from Islamia College, Peshawar, he was one of the 25 people selected from British India for the first course at the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant 1 February 1935 and attached to the 2nd battalion South Staffordshire Regiment 24 February 1935.[2] He was posted to his permanent British Indian Army unit, 5th battalion, 10th Baluch Regiment on 24 February 1936.[3] His seniority as a Second Lieutenant was antedated to 4 February 1934 and he was promoted Lieutenant 4 May 1936.[4]

Action in World WarEdit

He was promoted to Captain on 4 February 1942.[5] By April 1944, he was serving with the Bihar Regiment.[6] During the World War II, he campaigned in Burma and was amongst a handful of Indian officers to have commanded an infantry battalion at war. He was mentioned in dispatches for service in Burma in the London Gazette 10 January 1946 as temporary Major, Bihar regiment.

Pakistan Army careerEdit

His rapid rise in Pakistan Army saw him as a two-star general at the age of 40, and at this rank he held the appointment of a Divisional Commander, Chief of Training Pakistan Army, Chief of General Staff and the first Military Commander of the Baghdad Pact.[7] In December 1958, he graduated from the Imperial Defence College, London (now the RCDS) and was promoted to Lieutenant General rank and appointed as Deputy C-in-C of the Pakistan Army. He was prematurely retired in October 1959 at the age of 46.

For his services, he was awarded the 3rd highest Civilian Award of Sitara-e-Pakistan, which follows Nishan-e Pakistan and Hilal-e-Pakistan.

In 1991, he was invited by the regiment he had commanded, the Bihar Regiment of Indian Army to participate in its Golden Jubilee. He attended the ceremonies.


After his premature retirement from the Army, Khattak became closely involved in the private industry sector through his company Ghandhara Industries which he founded on 23 February 1963 and is headquartered in Karachi, Pakistan. This company produces pickup trucks, buses and heavy trucks.[8][9][10]

He also served as a federal minister during Zia-ul Haq's time and made an abortive attempt to contest elections from his home constituency of Karak.


General Habibullah Khan Khattak died in 1994.[10]


  1. ^ Transition: Begum Kulsum Saifullah passes away (sister of Habibullah Khan Khattak) The Express Tribune (newspaper), Published 27 January 2015, Retrieved 17 October 2019
  2. ^ January 1936 Indian Army List
  3. ^ October 1939 Indian Army List
  4. ^ October 1939 Indian Army List
  5. ^ April 1944 Indian Army List
  6. ^ April 1944 Indian Army List
  7. ^ Aslam Minhas (4 September 2008). "A retired General's wisdom". Dawn (newspaper). Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  8. ^ Profile of Ghandhara Industries on Forbes (magazine) website Published 18 July 2018, Retrieved 17 October 2019
  9. ^ Remembrance: True blue The News International (newspaper), Retrieved 17 October 2019
  10. ^ a b GNL (Ghandhara Nissan Limited) and market leader of heavy trucks Business Recorder (newspaper), Published 30 July 2005, Retrieved 17 October 2019

External linksEdit

Military offices
Preceded by
Sher Ali Khan Pataudi
Chief of General Staff Succeeded by
Yahya Khan