General Muhammad Musa Khan Hazara (موسى خان) (1908–1991), was the fourth Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army (1966–1969). He succeeded Field Marshal Ayub Khan, who assumed the Presidency of Pakistan. After retirement from the Pakistan Army, he served as fourth Governor of the erstwhile West Pakistan Province (1966 to 1969) and the tenth Governor of Balochistan Province (1985 to 1991). He died in office as Governor of Balochistan in 1991.
Early life and military career
He was the eldest son of Sardar Yazdan Khan, born in a Shia Muslim, Hazara family hailing from Quetta, Pakistan. Khan was from the Sardar family of the Hazara tribe. He was a “Naik” (Junior Non-Commissioned Officer) in the “106th Hazara Pioneers” who went to train at the Military Academy in Dehra Dun as a cadet and graduated with the first batch of the cadets as an Indian Commissioned Officer on 1 February 1935. He was posted to the 6th Royal Battalion, the13th Frontier Force Rifles as a “Platoon Commander” in 1936. He took part in the Waziristan Operations in 1936–1938 and in World War II, where he served in North Africa.
He served with distinction in the Pakistani Army and rose to the rank of the commander in chief of Pakistani Armed Forces during President Mohammad Ayub Khan’s regime (1958–1969). His promotion to commander-in-chief (he succeeded Field Marshal Ayub Khan) saw suppression of seniors: Maj Gen Sher Ali Khan Pataudi, Maj Gen Latif Khan and Maj Gen Adam Khan, all Sandhurst graduates of 1933. GENERAL MUHAMMAD MUSA INTER COLLEGE QUETTA was named after him.
After General Musa retired from the army, President Ayub Khan appointed him as the Governor of West Pakistan from 1967 to 1969. After serving for a few years, he retired and settled in Karachi. In 1985, he was once again involved in politics. He was appointed Governor of Balochistan Province by the then President General Zia-ul-Haq. In Balochistan, Governor General Musa dissolved the provincial assembly in December 1988. However, the Balochistan High Courtrestored the assembly amid public condemnation of Governor’s move. The step towards dissolving the assembly was believed to have been taken with the consent of the President and Prime Minister.
Career with Pakistan Army
General Mohammed Musa commanded the Army in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, and had overall responsibility for operations throughout the conflict. As Army Chief, he was criticised for not anticipating an assault across the international border. However he was given credit for blunting the Indian offensive towards Sialkot during the Battle of Chawinda. He has narrated the events and experiences of the war in his book “My Version”. In the book he has given accounts of the secret war that was going on in Kashmir between the two countries, long before the real war actually began.
General Muhammad Musa is the author of his autobiography, Jawan to General in which he describes his lifetime experiences from a simple foot-soldier rising to become a general.