Khadim Hussain Raja

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Khadim Hussain Raja
خادم حسین راجہ
Ambassador of Pakistan to
Mozambique, Angola, Swaziland, Lesotho
Managing Director Army Welfare Trust
In office
DG Artillery
In office
12 April 1971 – 1972
GOC 14th Division
Personal details
Born(1922-11-23)23 November 1922
Haranpur, Jhelum District, British India
Died9 December 1999(1999-12-09) (aged 77)
Islamabad, Pakistan
Military service
Allegiance British India
Branch/serviceBritish Indian Army
Pakistan Army
Years of service1942–1971
Rank Major General
UnitRegiment of Artillery[1]
Commands14 Infantry Division (East Pakistan)

Major General Khadim Hussain Raja (Urdu: خادم حسین راجہ; born 23 November 1922 – 9 December 1999) was a retired Pakistan Army general, diplomat, and author who played an important role in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and was in charge of planning Operation Searchlight. He was the General Officer Commanding of 14 Division during the war.

Early life[edit]

Raja was born on 23 November 1922 in Haranpur, Jhelum District to an agriculturist family.[1]


He received his education from Central Model High School in Lahore and graduated with Honours in English from Government College University, Lahore.[2]

Military career[edit]

He joined the British Indian Army in 1942 and received the King's Commission from the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.

World War II deployment[edit]

He served in an infantry battalion[citation needed] in the Burma campaign of World War II until the end of the war.

Pakistan Army[edit]

After the Partition of British India in 1947, he opted to join the Pakistan Army.

He volunteered in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947-1948 where he saw action in Kashmir.

Military education[edit]

He graduated from the Staff College, Quetta and afterward from the United States Army Command and General Staff College.


He commanded the 1st Pakistani Battalion (Quaid-i-Azam's own) at the Pakistan Military Academy.

1971 War[edit]

He was in charge of planning the military operation known as Operation Searchlight which was executed on 25 March 1971. Other generals were present in Dhaka along with Yahya Khan, who secretly departed on the evening of that day after setting the deadline for the military action. Lt Gen Tikka Khan, Maj Gen Rao Farman Ali and Maj Gen Khadim Hussain Raja were associated with the planning of the military action. Eventually their action bloodied the capital city Dhaka with the blood of thousands of residents including students, military and police personnel, politician and the general mass.

Army Retirement[edit]

On 11 April 1971, he was relieved of his duties as General Officer Commanding of 14th Division.[3]

He later retired the same year after serving as DG Artillery.

Later career[edit]

In 1972 he was appointed to Army Welfare Trust and became its first Managing Director. He held the position for 5 years before he eventually retired and became Ambassador of Pakistan to Mozambique also accredited to Angola, Swaziland, and Lesotho.


Raja died on 9 December 1999 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Posthumous book release[edit]

Before his death, he authored a book and instructed his family to not publish it until after he died. The book was later released 13 years after his death.

The book detailed their actions in the early hours of 26 March 1971 known as Operation Searchlight.[4] He wrote a book, A Stranger in My Own Country: East Pakistan, 1969-71 (Oxford University Press, 2012), in which he revealed secrets about the nine-month liberation war of Bangladesh.[5]

The Mukti Bahini's (under M. A. G. Osmani) initial success in capturing a portable radio-transmitter near Rangamati was short-lived due to Raja's accidental discovery of the transmitter—he had authorised a search for it, and directed it from his personal helicopter through radio-contact when it was fired-upon.

Awards and decorations[edit]






(General Service Medal)

1. 1965 War Clasp

2. 1971 War Clasp

Tamgha-e-Jang 1965 War

(War Medal 1965)

Tamgha-e-Jang 1971 War

(War Medal 1971)

Pakistan Tamgha

(Pakistan Medal)



(Republic Commemoration Medal)


Burma Star War Medal


Queen Elizabeth II

Coronation Medal


Foreign decorations[edit]

Foreign Awards
 UK Burma Star
War Medal 1939-1945
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal


  1. ^ a b Major General Retd. Khadim Hussain Raja (2012). A Stranger In My Own Country, (East Pakistan 1969-1971) By: Major General (Retd.) Khadim Hussain Raja.
  2. ^ "Obituary - Late Gen Khadim Hussain Raja". Archived from the original on 2012-10-04.
  3. ^ "'Genetic engineering' in East Pakistan". The Express Tribune. 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2023-07-17.
  4. ^ Mitha, Aboobaker Osman (2003). Unlikely beginnings: a soldier's life. Oxford University Press. p. 333. ISBN 9780195794137.
  5. ^ "'Genetic engineering' in East Pakistan". The Express Tribune. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 18 September 2012.

External links[edit]