Published on 04 Oct 2013 | over 3 years ago

Major General Sanaullah who lost his life in the roadside bomb explosion in Upper Dir district near the border with Afghanistan was the fourth Pakistan Army general Shaheed in the ongoing war against the militants.

He was posted as the General Officer Commanding Swat in March in place of Major General Ghulam Qamar. He reportedly belonged to the Niazi tribe and hailed from the Daudkhel area in Mianwali district. A down to earth man who believed in maintaining close contact with his soldiers, he died in the line of duty while visiting troops in the Shahikot area close to the Pak-Afghan border. An improvised explosive device (IED) planted on the roadside and apparently triggered with a remote control device blew up his vehicle and claimed his life along with that of Lt Col Tauseef and Lance Naik Irfan Sattar.

In fact, Maj Gen Sanaullah was the second army general from Mianwali to die during the course of the war against the militants. Earlier on February 7, 2008, Mianwali-born Maj Gen Javed Sultan, who too belonged to the Niazi tribe, was Shaheed in South Waziristan's Tanai area along with seven other army officers when his helicopter crashed while returning to Kohat from Wana.

Maj Gen Javed Sultan was general officer commanding Kohat and was leading troops fighting the Taliban militants in Waziristan. A number of army officers, including two brigadiers, were also Shaheed in the crash. The military said at the time that the helicopter wasn't brought down by enemy fire and that it crashed due to technical problems in bad weather. Maj Gen Javed Sultan was the defence attache at the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi before he returned to Pakistan, earned promotion to major general and was later posted to Kohat where he served for around a year until his death.

Like Maj Gen Javed Sultan, Lt Gen Mushtaq Ahmad Baig, the Surgeon General of Pakistan Army, was also killed in February 2008. A suicide bomber struck his vehicle at the busy intersection near the GPO Chowk in Rawalpindi Saddar on February 25, 2008 to kill him and 10 other people, almost all civilians. Lt Gen Mushtaq Ahmad Baig was a physician and a deeply religious man.

The fourth general to die in the fight against the militants was Maj Gen Bilal Omar Khan, who was the director general of the Pakistan Army's Armoured Corps at the time of the attack by suicide bombers during prayers at the Parade Lane mosque in Rawalpindi Cantonment. Evidence suggested that Maj Gen Bilal Omar had left the mosque for home after offering "farz" prayers, but had returned after hearing the blasts and the firing and grappled with one of the suicide bombers and broken his ribs before the bomber blew himself up and another one fired at the general. Maj Gen Bilal Omar, who belonged to the Burki tribe settled in Lahore, had obtained a master's degree from the Colorado University in the US, had served at important positions in the army and earned respect due to his soldier's qualities and uprightness. He had been the squash champion in the army and a quality polo player. Besides, he was a devout Muslim.

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