Naveed Tajammal

Part I can be read at:

Part II can be read at:


                                                                                                Major General Akbar Khan

Colonel Mirza Hassan Khan was the accused number nine in the Hyderabad Tribunal which was trying the accused in the coup of 1951.He had been assigned to bring troops for the Coup- d’état from Kahuta where 3 A.K. Battalion was stationed under the command of Capt. Nur Hussain. Col. Hassan had been arrested in the second week of May 1951 and taken to Attock Fort and a few days later,  Gen. Ayub Khan who was on a visit to Attock  Fort along with a Turkish Army delegation, ,having sent a message to Col. Hassan khan through the Mian Anwar Ali DIG[CID] who was interrogating Col. Hassan at the Attock Fort to become a approver and cooperate with the government agencies. This offer was spurned by Col. Hassan Khan. The role of Col. Hassan was very vital in the execution phase of the operation-as the whole of 3 A.K. Battalion was to arrive from Kahuta to Rawalpindi before the appointed hour-the day the Prime Minister was to be in Rawalpindi in connection with the election campaign. That evening Gen. Akbar who was the CGS was to go to the GHQ and issue orders to pre-arranged parties of officers to arrest the Prime Minister, the C in C Gen. Ayub Khan, Major Gen. Hayaudddin GOC 7 DIV, Brig. Altaf  Qadir; the local Brigade Commander in Rawalpindi-Lieut. Gen. Meckay,  the Chief of Staff-as well as a wide range of civil & military officers whose lists had been prepared and locations marked-in addition to 3 AK Battalion, ,two companies under  Lieut.Col. Arbab CO of 1st/2nd Punjab located at Thal was also to be called in. At the same period as 3 AK Battalion, a contingency had been catered for additional troops which were to be procured from 4/13 FFR-which was stationed also in Rawalpindi and the previous commander of this unit Lieu.-Col. Sidique Raja [who became approver number one] would make the necessary arrangements [rest of the operational plan I will discuss when the roles of other accused is highlighted.

Mirza Hassan Khan, as a Captain in the Dogra State Force had fought on the Burma Front-in the Second World War while serving in the 4th Jammu & Kashmir Rifles, which became part of the 9 Brigade under Brig. DFW Warren and the GOC-Maj. Gen. Evans, of the 5th Indian Division-toward the end of September 1944.This unit of J & K rifles had been sent to Burma to replace-3rd/14th Punjab which had suffered heavy losses and was in a bad shape and was being sent back to India for rest & reorganization. The 5th Indian Div. was on the axis-Imphal-Tiddim-Kalemyo-Kalewa Road and the progress was very slow due to Japanese resistance, The biggest hurdle en-route was the ‘Kennedy peak’ 2704 meters high and held tenaciously by the Japanese and INA troops. The 2nd/1st Punjab had tried its best but was held up. Later 3rd/2nd Punjab had tried to work its way up the ridge and had failed. On 26th Oct 1944,the CO of 4 J&K rifles assigned Lieutenant Banaras Dev to lead a Guerilla party and get vital information about the location of Japanese lethal 75mm guns sited all around the Ridge. His party came back with exact locations and this paved the capture of this salient feature.

Much later after many a battles on this axis-on the night of 22/23 March 1945,the Japanese attacked the entrenched forward positions of 4 J&K rifles at ‘Meiktila’ held by the ‘C’ Company-under Capt. Hassan Khan, as the Japanese advanced towards the trench positions of 7th and 8th platoons of the ‘C’ company-which held two important features. The Japanese were fearless they came in waves & in frontal attacks -the fighting continued the whole night-the Japanese were unable to dislodge the ‘C’ Company position, at Dawn the enemy withdrew leaving behind 257 dead. Captain Hassan Khan was awarded a Military-Cross for his gallant leadership due to which the men of his company struck on so stubbornly to their positions against determined Japanese Attacks.

Reverting to the subject of the liberation of Gilgit regions-and the role of Col. Hassan Khan; the British Govt. had taken on lease the whole of Gilgit Agency from Maharaja of Kashmir on 1st Aug 1935 for a period of 60 years which was to expire on 1st Aug 1995.As per the following major terms; that the entire Gilgit Agency was to be administrated on Civil & Military matters by the NWFP Govt, under the orders of the Viceroy of India, all Dogra forces were to be withdrawn-joint posts were however allowed to be maintained with the Dogra state forces at-Bunji-Leh-Kargil-and Skardu. The company posts at Leh were strengthened, in view of the influx of Turk refugees from Chinese Turkistan in 1937 and later of Kazak’s from the Russian-Soviet State in 1942.

On 1st Aug 1947-The British played a dirty trick and handed back the Gilgit Agency to The Dogra Forces-The major pertinent point which Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan never raised at any forum was when the whole region had been actively controlled by the Govt of NWFP and a Referendum had finished on 17 July 1947-whereby the whole province and its agencies had voted in favor of joining Pakistan-Why was this territory and its lease still subsisting handed over so surreptitiously to Hari Singh on 1st Aug 1947 ??? Liaqat Ali Khan turned a blind eye to the whole affair in his usual callous manner-

After the Gilgit Agency previously part of NWFP and its agencies was handed back to Dogra state-Brig. Ghansara Singh was made the Governor of this region-he came along with 6 J&K rifles-and was further reinforced by two extra Sikh companies taken on loan from the Maharaja of Patiala state forces-The other paramilitary force in the region was of Gilgit-Scouts, under Maj. Brown & Capt. Mathieson and two local officers Lt. Sayeed and Lt. Ghulam Haider. The other important officers were Subedar Major Babar khan, Subedar Nadir Ali of C company, Muhammad Ali of D Company, OC of Adm. Company was Capt. Nek Alam from Mirpur. Other subedars were Bostan Khan, Ahmad Shah and Shafi of the Adm. Company.

Capt. Mathieson was located at Chilas-Subedar- Major Babar khan was the real uncle of the Mir of Nagar and Jemadar Shah Khan was the real uncle of the Mir of Hunza.

The arrival of 6 J&K rifles at Bunji had alarmed the men of the Gilgit Scouts-and their Subedar Major Babar Khan had represented the matter to Maj. Gen H.L. Scott Chief of Staff Dogra Forces who snubbed him by stating that the Gilgit Scouts could never be at Par with the Dogra-State forces, officers or even Jco’s. The ring leaders of the takeover of the Dogra Governor’s house and arresting and implementing the whole operation were-Babar Khan, Subedar Safiullah Beg[education JCO] Jemadar Fida Ali, Quarter master JCO and the platoon commanders, Shah Sultan, Shah Khan & Sultan Firoze Sufi.

Brig. Ghansara Singh had got a wind of the revolt and had ordered the CO of 6 J&K rifles, Lieut. Col. Majid Khan at Bunji to send in a company to Gilgit. Who accordingly detailed Maj. Hassan Khan and Capt. Ehsan Ali to move to Gilgit. However Subedar Major Babar khan becoming aware of this, moved in quicker and surrounded the Governors house on the night 31st Oct/1st Nov.1947.Babar Khan leading 100 picked men, encircled the compound of the residency and asked Ghansara Singh to surrender, who tried to delay it-as he was expecting a company of 6 J&K rifles from Bunji. Meanwhile Maj. Hassan Khan and Capt. Ehsan on the horseback reached ahead of the marching columns of the company-and on reaching both officers openly declared their loyalty to the cause. Brig. Ghansara Singh seeing this surrendered. On 1st Nov 1947 Pakistan Flag was hoisted at the Gilgit Residency.

Lieut. Col Majid Khan on hearing of this news rushed to Gilgit.  Enroute he was ambushed along with his leading team members and put under arrest with Brig, Ghansara Singh. On hearing the news of the arrest of their CO Capt. Sikander Singh & Capt. Balder Singh Bajwa decided to move out of Bunji. However Gilgit scouts ambushed them enroute and took them prisoners-they and rest of other men of 6 J&K Rifles were later transferred along with Brig. Ghansara Singh to the Attock Fort and later repatriated to India in March 1950.

By Jan 1948-the total manpower of Gilgit Scouts was 500 rifles plus a HQ company. The Muslim elements of the defunct 6J&K rifles were 400 men under command of Major. Hassan khan, Maj.Ehsan Khan & Capt. Muhammad Khan Jaral. Lt. Nadir Khan and Lt. Bostan  khan. At the same period a new Azad Force was also raised with each company of 120 men divided in three platoons.300 men each from Hunza-Nagar-and 100 each from Punial-Kuhi-Ghizer-Gilgit were also inducted-they were given training on a war footing. This force was divided in three wings-The main was the Tiger Force wing under Maj. Hassan Khan. The second was ‘Eskimo force under Lt. Shah Khan and the Ibex force came under Lt. Babar khan. The overall commander of the last two forces was Maj- Ehsan Ali Khan.

Capt. Muhammad Khan Jaral of later Zojila pass fame was made the overall commander of the defunct element of 6 J&K rifles. The Mir of Rondu on his own raised a force of 300 men, armed with local muzzle loaders and took up the position overlooking the Byicha pass gorge to check any Dogra Advances towards Skardu. The Ibex Column was sent to Haramosh-25 miles east of Gilgit later it moved to Tongas covering a snow decked region of 100 miles in just three days a admirable feat of human endurance done under the leadership Lt. Babar Khan.

The Tiger Force under Maj. Hassan Khan remained involved in the liberation war from March 1948 to Jan 1949.His four companies had the following composition-The punial company had 50 rifles of the Dogra era Gilgit scouts along with 60 rifles of new recruits, Subedar Shah Zaman of Punial was the company commander beside .303 rifles they had one two-inch mortar, one bren gun, two LMG’s. The same weapons were also held with other companies. The Kuhi-Ghizier company was under Subedar Akbar Hussain of Gupis, Yasin company was under subedar.Adina shah and the Gilgit company under Subedar  Firdos Ali son of the Mir Shah Rais khan of Gilgit.

This force fought its way till ‘Tragbal’ the last frontier post enroute to Srinagar. The Tragbal post is on a plateau 11,800 feet above sea level-and it was a check on the conventional land route between Gilgit and Srinagar via Bandipur. The most important aspect of this feature was that it threatened the Indian Advance positions at Uri & Teetwal from the rear. Maj. Hassan khan with his limited resources advanced till Baba Shukar Din’s hillock a few miles short of Bandipur-heavily fortified by the Indians and covered by Artillery and daily Air Raids which came on the positions of Maj. Hassan Khan who was daily sending raid parties across the Indian side of defenses and had reached the Dak Bungalow in the Sundarwan forests. However, Indian Air Staffing kept him pinned down. The objective of Maj. Hassan Khan was to set up a base at Tragbal and launch a pincer movement towards Srinagar-However he had a limited force-in view of this he requested the GHQ to send in reinforcements of at the least 2000 men including a few companies of the Frontier rifles. However it much in the middle of June 1948 that this force/Lashkar of tribesmen and the companies of Frontier  Rifles, reached his position-However here a new twist took place-the overall command was taken away from Maj. Hassan Khan, as he was still of the state forces-and he was called back to GHQ-the command came under a Maj. Ismail, Maj Queirshi and Lt. Anwar Khan of Frontier rifles. The result was a major fiasco. These officers, showed extreme cowardice and vacated the Tragbal and Gurez  on the first attack on their positions by the Indian, Air & Artillery bombardment along with their troops. When this news reached the GHQ Brig Sher Khan DMO was livid and immediately sent for Maj. Hassan Khan who had been sent to Kohat to be inducted in the regular Army-On reaching GHQ -Maj Hassan Khan was told this distressing news-and forthwith put in a small Harvard Plan and sent back to take over the overall Command after being inducted on papers in the regular Army.

By the time Maj. Hassan Khan reached and trekked his way to his Command the previous leaders had not only retreated from Tragbal/Gurez, but had also lost the lands south of Burzil-pass. However the force of Maj. Hassan Khan was now augmented by another brave man-Colonel [INA] Prince Burhan ul Mulk of Chitral State, who had come with his 2000 volunteers from Chitral regions, barefooted with no beddings and bows and arrows, equipped with old muzzle-loaders but with very high spirits.

This force now focused on the capture of the Kishanganga Valley [Neelum valley] and succeeded. Towards the middle of Aug 1948-Indians attacked the Durmat Post at mid-night-Maj. Hassan on receipt of the wireless message rushed with some men and LMG’s and held the post against extreme Indian bombing and morning Air Strafing. All Indian attacks were beaten back this post was situated on a hill 10,000 feet above sea level and controlled the Tilail Valley which overlooked the old route to the western fringes of the Zojila-Pass.

(To be continued)

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  • naveed tajammal  On March 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you Yasmeen for the post.

  • Jawad  On March 2, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    This all truly is a Thriller.Born in an age 20 yrs after it,still grabs my nerves n shake them vigorously. The fact dat bigwigs like Gen Akbar,Sajjad Haider,Faiz Ahmed Faiz were involved in it put such huge interest in whole affair.The way it has been written is purely gripping.Not a single,minute information missed,not a single sentence dat u feel bored or over dosed, not for a single instance u feel short of any related info.Dying to read more!!!!

  • Arid A slam Khan  On March 2, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    The second part of the 51 coup, has a lot of misinformation. Their is no mention of Col Aslam code name Col Pasha.Who had promoted the Sub and Jemadar as Lt and was sent from GHQ.Took over command of the Gilgit Scouts and was the first commander.He raised the four columns mentioned.Was in full control of all the column’s. I can send you all the information required which should clarify many stories….You should read the citation of Major Muhammad Aslam Khan when he was awarded the Military Cross by capturing Kennedy Peak.Which will be sent to you along with other relevant material for correction.I hope this would correct some major facts.

    • naveed tajammal  On March 3, 2014 at 3:14 am

      Arid Aslam Khan-kindly keep in mind-The context of this Article-It Focuses on the Actions of Men’ who were part of The Coup of 1951-And gives the Rationale of the Coup-which was ineptness of the than Government in failing to support the Kashmir front as well the action at Zojila-pass[which leads to Srinagar] ,where a few hundred men under-Major.Muhammad Khan Jaral [who was part of the pincer movement as planned by Colonel.Hassan Referred in the article above] with outdated weapons kept the indians at bay for four months in the adverse yearly seasonal climatic Conditions,-Because it were men like Major-Khursheed Anwar who had attacked Srinagar Airport-,along with Latif Afghani who had brought a 100 volunteers from Rawalpindi for this action.when the main column of freedom fighters was held up at milestone 4-short of Srinagar-Major.Muhammad Aslam Khan Has No role in this Coup-Only those people get mentioned who were part of Colonel Hassan Khan’s team directly or indirectly.

  • shahbazthuthaal  On March 3, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Dear Naveed

    Thanks for sharing;

    Did Gen Akbar Khan wrote any book other than “RAIDERS IN KASHMIR”? 

    regards  Muhammad Shahbaz Thuthaal EME CHS Multan road,lahore. 0301-3667777

  • naveed tajammal  On March 3, 2014 at 4:03 am

    For enlightenment of all and the role of the commander at the Zojila-Pass front -With Reference to Battle of Zojila-pass [Kargil-dras-Leh valley- region] 1948.
    This is a brief profile of yet another unsung Hero.
    The conqueror of Zoji La, Major(R) Mohammed Khan Jarral was commissioned on 28th March 1942 from Indian Military academy (IMA), Dehra Doon. During 2nd World War, he served with the 2nd Jammu & Kashmir Rifles and went to Iran, Iraq,etc. On partition he was appointed Adjutant Gilgit Scouts, on 8th August 1947 at Gilgit.
    Zoji La was captured by Capt. Mohammed Khan Jarral on July 7, 1948. When the Liberation War of the Northern Areas started in 1947-48, he joined hands with the Muslim feedom fighters against Maharaja Hari Singh’s rule.He was given the command of the defunct element of 6 J&K rifles,along with support of volunteers from Chitral scouts and other elements, with the task of capturing Zoji La and then if possible to advance towards Sonamarg and Srinagar[art of the pincer movement of Col.Hassan Khan mentioned earlier]. Capt. Jarral during the early outset of the Kashmir Liberation War captured Bunji in the last week of October, 1947 and liberated Astore area down to Gurez by the middle of November, 1947. He attacked the Sakardu Fort during the night of 11/12 Feburary, 1948. He ambushed and defeated the first Indian Relief Column lead by Brigadier Faqir Singh at Thorgopari, 15 miles south of Sakardu- Srinagar Road, on 17th March, 1948. The action of Thorgopari paved the way for Captain Jarral’s subsequent successes in Baltistan area. He again ambushed and dislodged and humiliated the 2nd Indian Relief Column known as Indian Z-Brigade lead by Brigader Sanporan Singh at Parkuta.
    The enemy now knew that he was up against the determined men of Capt. Jarral’s Force. Two Indian Generals, Thimayya and Srinagesh, were personally present with Brigader Atal during planning and mounting of an attack at Zoji La. It shows the great importance the Indians gave to it. Captain Jarral had built up the defences well and the credit goes to his ingenuity in organising his positions in such a manner that the enemy could not capture even the outlying bunkers and trenches. On June 12,1948 Major Jarral lead an attack on the two forward Indian companies at Khoru and Gumri. On June 22, Jarral’s men made a surprise dawn attack on the pickets. The enemy called in aircrafts to bomb and strafe the area. A hand-to hand fight started. The enemy was forced to withdraw after suffering heavy casualties. A few other pickets were similarly attacked and captured. Simultaneously, Major Jarral was working his way up along the main axis and when the Patiala’s realized that their rear was threatened, they withdrew in a disorder. The battle lasted for twenty days and Zoji La was captured on July 7,1948 by Captain Mohammed Khan Jarral. The enemy lost about 400 men and large quantities of ammunition and other stores fell into the hands of Jarral’s Force.
    It would be pertinent to note that-The Indian- 77 Para Brigade needed fire-power to blast the enemy from the positions as our force had strongly dug themselves into on the Zojila heights.The indian GOC-Maj-Gen.Thimayya ordered the deployment of a squadron of Stuart Mk-VI tanks of the 7 Light Cavalry commanded by Lt-Col Rajinder Singh “Sparrow”. Accordingly its C company of the 11-ton tanks was ordered to move to Baltal.
    The tanks needed a road. An eight-km length of the track had to be widened and strengthened to take the width and the weight of the tanks. The engineers cut this path into the rock-face in about 20 days. The road was completed on October 15 and the stage was set for the assault on Zojila. Because of the steep gradient the tanks had to be physically pushed up by the jawans on to the narrow track to position them for the final assault. Tanks had never been used at this altitude before.And Gen.Thimayya himself led the Tank attack onto the positions of Captain.Muhammad Khan Jaral.
    It is also very interesting to put on record that Capt. Jarral defeated General Srinagesh who was his former company commander at IMA Dehra Doon from where he got King’s Commission. Capt. Jarral’s courage and bravery against all the odds completely changed the whole scenario of the Liberation War of Northern Areas in 1947-48.Unfortunately The ineptness of Liaqat Ali khan failed to take the cognisance of this brilliant feat,and No help was given.
    Major(R) Mohammed Khan Jarral passed away in October 2008 in Mirpur (AK) at the age of 90 and is buried at Chitar Pari, Mirpur (AK).

  • Syed Jamil Mukhtar Shah  On March 4, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    I am only thinking why the coup or the idea of it was supported by two prominent pro-Russian intellectuals,Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Hassan Zaheer (if I remember his name correctly)?

    • Cdr® M.Y. Siddiqui.PN  On March 22, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      Dear Jamil Sb
      I know this much with some reliability , the Communist Party of India was directed by Moscow (Parent Party_ to support creation of Pakistan because it being a nascent country with no strong base, Pakistan will be an easy target for communism
      Hence most muslim communists HAD migrated to Pakistan and later left or were hounded out ( due to western influence…..)!

  • Cdr® M.Y. Siddiqui.PN  On March 22, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Dear Tajammal Sb
    Is this narrative available in book form ? I am setting up the navy’s library and would like to add this book to the collection ?
    I am trying to download it as well but it is tedious job
    Thank you and regards

    Siddiqui my

    • naveed tajammal  On March 23, 2014 at 3:42 am

      Of course it is available in a book form-that is my main source-on which I am writing these parts beside using other sources on liberation or the freedom fighters who fought the Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan can approach Oxford press Karachi and ask for the book by Hassan Zaheer-however do understand that Hassan see’s this Coup as a Bureaucrat,and terms freedom fighters as rebels-

  • Zafar Ali  On June 8, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    All of you must know that col hassan khan jarral was uncle to maj Mohammed khan jarral both born in malhoti (village)in Rajouri don,t ask how because I am the son of mirza Farman Ali jarral major m khan jarral was my cousin and that’s how col hassan was my uncle from rajouri Kashmir so he was not for your gb only work for whole Kashmir at least,because he tried to librate Pakistan from these agents eating it since 1947,my Shia brothers I am realy sorry as we disagree each other on religion and that is the reason you can not find much link to col hassan and Rajouri but our family is in touch with col wajahat and col nadir
    And I personally met his servant in 1987 the day after col nadir was injured in shooting,I was young and accedantly met his servant in raja bazaar in a hotel where he was living,I am very happy for him fighting for people of Kashmir yes Gilgit baltistan is Kashmir ask dr amanullah jklf,so please whenever you are writing his history remember that nearly 2000 people were forcefully retired by pak army including hundred of jarral officers living in azad Kashmir and Pakistan ,so our family followed him as major Mohammad khan we are with you in this struggle,always in trouble with low mentality aimless punks who count number and compare armies,
    Lions can,t be in majority
    La ilaha ilallaho Mohammad rasool Allah
    We were united and we are united Allah will guide us to unity Shia+suni = Muslim

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