JThere is a long-standing tradition in the military that when one of its men dies, his graves are laden with flowers brought and sent by officers of all ranks and ages. The tradition was followed at the grave of General Rahimuddin Khan, who died on August 22 and is buried at Cavalry Ground Cemetery.
Born on July 21, 1926 in Kaimgang (Qaimganj) in the Farrukabad district of the United Provinces in British India, Rahimuddin Khan was educated at Jamia Millia Islamia College in Delhi, founded by his uncle Zakir Husain. Her father, Mahmud Husain, a prominent figure in the Pakistani movement, moved to Pakistan.
General Rahimuddin Khan joined the army and was appointed to the Baloch regiment on November 25, 1948, a year after independence. He was from the 3rd regular post-war course. From the day he entered service, he showed the traits required not only to become a general one day, but also to rise to a political role when called upon. He was reportedly wounded during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
After his assignment at the TAC Infantry School from 1966 to 1968, he was promoted to brigadier in 1970. He then became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in March 1984. Khan refused to continue for one year in service when the extension was offered by Zia. He retired in 1987.
His days as an officer and governor are well documented. Very few, however, actually knew the man in the uniform. Serving the country was important to him. This approach helped him solve the political problems he faced when he was governor of Balochistan and then Sind.
His days as an officer and governor are well documented. Very few, however, actually knew the man in the uniform. Serving the country was important to him. This approach helped him solve the political problems he faced when he was governor of Balochistan and then Sind..
Recognized as a person of integrity and for his spiritual and intellectual side, Khan left many memories to his friends and colleagues.
In the armored corps, classmates of Gen. Rahim Ud Din Khan included Lt. Col. Waheed Qadir, Lt. Gen. Fazale Haq of the Guides Cavalry, Razaul Haq of the 6th Lancers, Sayeed Ahmed Khan and Brig Arshad Mahmud Javed of Probyn’s horse and the 6th Lancers, Lt. Col. Hamid Mukhtar of 11th Cavalry and Lt Gen Ejaz Azim of Guides Cavalry. To him, his classmates were like brothers and their families were his family.
One issue from his days of service that still remains relevant is the war in Afghanistan and the resulting refugee crisis. It was during the 1980s, during the time of the Afghan-Soviet war, when Pakistan began to see an influx of cross-border smuggling of arms and drugs. It was under Khan’s watch that preventive measures limited the distribution of illegal items to the rest of the country. Balochistan enjoyed some stability and development projects resumed during his tenure.
At 96, the retired officer turned politician had resigned from all work. Gen Rahimuddin Khan is survived by his wife and children. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy in the military that he called his other family.
The author is an independent media and foreign policy analyst. She tweets @MsAishaK