Ziaur Rahman
President of Bangladesh
Ziaur Rahman
Ziaur Rahman, Bir Uttam, was a Bangladeshi politician, the seventh President of Bangladesh (1977) and an army general, who read the Declaration of Independence of Bangladesh on behalf of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. During the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971, he was first a sector commander before being promoted to one of three brigade commanders of the Bangladesh Forces; his brigade was called the Z Force, after his first initial.
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Six killed in separate road accidents - Financial Express Bangladesh
Google News - over 5 years
He was rushed to the Bogra Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Police seized the truck but its driver and helper managed to flee the scene.A case was filed
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WIKILEAKS EXPOSÉ: Bangladesh Jamaat looks 'further than polls' - Bangladesh News 24 hours
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The party was banned after the war of liberation for being a communal party but revived its political fortunes during the reign of Ziaur Rahman. Known for years as Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, the party renamed itself Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami
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Khaleda accuses Khairul - Daily Star Online
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The bench led by Khairul also deemed the fifth amendment illegal, which annoyed BNP as the amendment was added to the charter to legalise the regime of party's founder and late president Ziaur Rahman. Khaleda had to leave her previous residence at
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BNP celebrates founding anniversary - Daily Star Online
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BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia along with senior party leaders including party Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir placed floral wreaths at the grave of its founder Ziaur Rahman at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital to mark the day
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BNP renews demand for midterm polls - Financial Express Bangladesh
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He said late President Ziaur Rahman had founded the BNP to tackle the political, economic and social crises the country was facing at the time. "Whatever progress the country has achieved it has achieved because of BNP and Ziaur Rahman
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PM attends AFD Iftar - Financial Express Bangladesh
Google News - over 5 years
Army chief Gen M Abdul Mubeen, chief of Naval Staff Vice-Admiral ZU Ahmed and chief of Air Staff Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman were also present. Earlier, the three services chiefs received Prime Minister Sheikh Hasna on her arrival at Senakunja
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Rizvi threatens disciplinary action against Moudud - The Daily Star
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BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi yesterday criticised party leader Moudud Ahmed for his recent remark about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and late president Ziaur Rahman. He also warned of taking disciplinary actions if anyone acts
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Bangladeshis mark Rahman's death anniversary - gulfnews.com
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Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina, the only surviving child of Shaikh Mujibur Rahman, and the President Ziaur Rahman, a close associate of the late leader, paid floral tributes to Bangabandhu at his house, which is now known as Bangabandhu Memorial Museum
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BNP protesting case against Khaleda - The Daily Star
Google News - over 5 years
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Monday sued the former prime minister and three others for abusing power to set up a charitable trust named after late president Ziaur Rahman, founder of the party. Mirza Fakhrul, one day after filing of the case
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Court accepts FIR against Khaleda - The Daily Star
Google News - over 5 years
A Dhaka court on Tuesday accepted the first information report (FIR) of a case filed against former premier Khaleda Zia on charge of abusing power to set up a charitable trust named after late president Ziaur Rahman. After scrutinising the documents,
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WAR CRIMES Deadline extended by 3 months for pressing charges - Bangladesh News 24 hours
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Abdul Alim, a minister of Ziaur Rahman's cabinet, and Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee were also held for charges of crimes against humanity in 1971. Alim was later released on conditional bail. Formal charges against Sayedee were submitted on July
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Freak accident kills rickshaw-puller - Bangladesh News 24 hours
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First the critically wounded rickshaw-puller was rushed to the Bogra Mohammad Ali hospital and then he was shifted to Shahid Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital where he breathed his last. Police, however, could not confirm the identity of the
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'Fakhrul family opposed independence' - Bangladesh News 24 hours
Google News - over 5 years
At a discussion on Thursday, Fakhrul said Sheikh Mujibur Rahman did not fight the war in 1971, but BNP founder Ziaur Rahman did. "There's nothing to be puzzled about with such comments from someone whose family protested the independence of Bangladesh
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Abu Taher and the Supreme Court of Bangladesh - The Daily Star
Google News - over 5 years
In that Affidavit I reported how General Mohamed Manzur, former Chief of General Staff, and someone I had known for several years, informed me that he knew definitively that General Ziaur Rahman had taken a decision to execute Taher well before Special
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24 dead, 65 hurt in road accidents - Bangladesh News 24 hours
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Rahman said 11 passengers, including four women and four children, died instantly at the scene while six other critically injured passengers succumbed to their injuries at the Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital. The identities of the dead could not
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Hasina snubs Khaleda for charter remarks - Bangladesh News 24 hours
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"It is only natural for the opposition leader to deliver such speech as her husband [Ziaur Rahman] trampled the constitution by usurping power," Hasina said at a programme of the newly elected officers of the Institution of Diploma Engineers (IDE)
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Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ziaur Rahman
  • 1981
    Age 45
    Amidst speculation and fears of unrest, Zia went on tour to Chittagong on 29 May 1981 to help resolve an intra-party political dispute in the regional BNP.
    More Details Hide Details Zia and his entourage stayed overnight at the Chittagong Circuit House. In the early hours of the morning of 30 May, he was assassinated by a group of army officers. Also killed were six of his bodyguards and two aides. Nearly two million people are estimated to have attended the funeral held at the Parliament Square.
    He allowed Sheikh Hasina, the exiled daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to return to Bangladesh in 1981.
    More Details Hide Details On taking power, Zia was "hailed as the strict leader that struggling nation needed". Bangladesh suffered from illiteracy, severe poverty, chronic unemployment, shortages and economic stagnation. Zia reversed course from his predecessor Mujib's secular, democratic socialist, pro-Indian policies. Zia announced a "19-point programme" of economic emancipation which emphasised self-reliance, rural development, decentralisation, free markets and population control. Zia spent much of his time travelling throughout the country, preaching the "politics of hope" and urging Bangladeshis to work harder and to produce more. He held cabinet meetings all across Bangladesh. Zia focused on boosting agricultural and industrial production, especially in food and grains, and to integrate rural development through a variety of programmes, of which population planning was the most important. He introduced and opened the Bangladesh Jute and Rice research institutes. He launched an ambitious rural development program in 1977, which included a highly visible and popular food-for-work program. He promoted private sector development, exports growth and the reversing of the collectivisation of farms. His government reduced quotas and restrictions on agriculture and industrial activities. Zia launched major projects to construct irrigation canals, power stations, dams, roads and other public works. Directing his campaign to mobilise rural support and development, Zia established Gram Sarkar (Village Councils) system of self-government and the "Village Defence Party" system of security and crime prevention. Programmes to promote primary and adult education on a mass scale were initiated and focused mainly across rural Bangladesh.
    In 1981 he brought back Mujib's daughter Hasina Wazed to Bangladesh.
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  • 1978
    Age 42
    The exiled chief of the Jammat-e-Islami, Golam Azam, was allowed to come back and visit his ill mother to Bangladesh in July 1978 with a Pakistan passport on a visitor's visa, and allowed to stay in Bangladesh following his visa's expiration without a court case lodged against him for his alleged role in wartime atrocities.
    More Details Hide Details Zia also facilitated the comeback of the Muslim League and other Islamic parties, appointed the highly controversial anti-independence figure Shah Azizur Rahman (who was earlier released from jail by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1973) prime minister. Zia gave foreign appointments to several men accused of assassinating Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Major Dalim, Major Rashid, and Major Faruk were given jobs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in subsequent years they were appointed ambassadors of Bangladesh to African and Middle Eastern nations.
    After the formation of Bangladesh Nationalist Party in 1978, Zia took initiative for formation of political institutes and sponsored workshops for the youth to get active political lessons on Bangladesh nationalism.
    More Details Hide Details In such a workshop in September 1980, Zia spoke to the learners, Zia enacted several controversial measures, some to discipline the army, some to solidify his power and some to win the support of right wing political groups such as the Jamaat-e-Islami. However, except for ex-President Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad, whom he sent to jail on theft charges, he took no action against Awami League leaders who were infamous for corruption. He also allowed leaders of the banned Jamaat-e-Islami to run for office under a different name (Islamic Democratic League, IDL). Zia was criticised for lifting their ban as Jamaat-e-Islami had collaborated with the Pakistan army and committed war crimes fighting against Bangladeshi independence.
    Zia re-introduced multi-party politics In 1978, General Zia ran for and an overwhelmingly won a five-year term as President.
    More Details Hide Details The next year elections were held for the National Assembly. Opponents questioned the integrity of the elections.
    In 1978 he appointed Hussain Muhammad Ershad as the new Chief of Army Staff, promoting him to the rank of Lieutenant General.
    More Details Hide Details He was viewed as a professional soldier with no political aspirations (because of his imprisonment in former West Pakistan during the Bangladesh War of Independence) who possessed a soft corner for India. Quietly Ershad rose to become Zia's close politico-military counsellor.
  • 1977
    Age 41
    Zia's martial law decrees, his ascendancy to the presidency in 1977 and the referendum held in 1978 were declared "unknown to the constitution."
    More Details Hide Details The court ruling over-ruled the Indemnity Act by which these very events were accorded a legal status and enshrined in the constitution. Zia is credited for ending the disorder of the final years of Sheikh Mujib's rule and establishing democracy by abolishing BAKSHAL (One party rule established by Mujib). On the other hand, Zia is assailed by his critics for suppressing opposition. However, Zia's economic reforms are credited with rebuilding the economy and his move towards Islamisation brought him the support of ordinary Bangladesh people. His nationalist vision also appealed to many who resented the other political parties alleged inclination towards India and the Soviet Union. Moving away from Mujib's secularism, Zia asserted an Islamic political identity for Bangladesh and of membership in the wider community of Muslim nations, which was applauded by the general masses. However, these measures also isolated and embittered many ethnic and religious minorities in Bangladesh, in the opinion of many historians laying the foundations of future communal and ethnic conflicts. However, critics of this view point out that this is an oversimplification, and Zia alone cannot be held responsible. It is generally acknowledged that he lived a simple life, which included opting to have his food supplied from the army canteen.
    In late September 1977, a group of Japanese Red Army terrorists hijacked an aeroplane and forced it to land in Dhaka.
    More Details Hide Details On 30 September, while the attention of the government was riveted on this event, a mutiny broke out in Bogra. Although the mutiny was quickly quelled on the night of 2 October, a second mutiny started in Dhaka, led by disgruntled airmen of BAF. The mutineers unsuccessfully attacked Zia's residence, captured Dhaka Radio for a short time and killed a good number of air force officers and airmen at Tejgaon International Airport, where they were gathered for negotiations with the hijackers. Wing Commander M. Hamidullah Khan BP (Sector Commander Bangladesh Defense Forces Sector 11), then BAF Ground Defense Commander, quickly put down the rebellion within the Air Force, but the government was severely shaken. Chief of Air Staff AVM AG Mahmud reappointed Wing Commander Hamidullah as Provost Marshal of Bangladesh Air Force. Government intelligence had failed and Zia promptly dismissed the DGFI chief, AVM Aminul Islam Khan BAF, of 9th GD(P) formerly of PAF, and also the DG-NSI. In the aftermath at least 200 soldiers involved in the coup attempt were executed following a secret trial, prompting some critics to call Zia "ruthless".
    Ziaur Rahman became the 7th President of Bangladesh on 21 April 1977.
    More Details Hide Details Years of disorder from the previous political administration of the Awami League and BAKSAL had left most of Bangladesh's state institutions in disarray, with constant internal and external threats. Assuming full control of the state, Zia lifted martial law and introduced massive reforms for the development of the country.
    He took over the presidency in 1977.
    More Details Hide Details As President, Zia founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. He reinstated multi-party politics and free markets. Zia became a popular Third World leader for his efforts to stabilise Bangladesh and championing issues affecting decolonised nations. He improved Bangladesh's relations with the West, and China, and departed from Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's close alignment with India and the Soviet Union. Domestically, Zia faced as many as twenty-one coup attempts. Zia was awarded the high gallantry award of Bir Uttom in 1972 for his wartime services. He retired from the Bangladesh Army as a Lieutenant General. His party, the BNP, became one of the two dominant political parties of Bangladesh. His wife Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister, is the current Chairperson of the BNP. Ziaur Rahman, popularly known as Zia, was the second son of Mansur Rahman and Jahanara Khatun. His father was a chemist who specialised in paper and ink chemistry and worked for a government department at Writer's Building in Kolkata. As a child Ziaur Rahman, nicknamed Komol, was reserved, shy, quietly spoken, and intense in many respects. He was raised in Bagbari village, Bogra and studied in Bogra Zilla School.
  • 1976
    Age 40
    Zia became the chief martial law administrator following Justice Sayem's elevation to the presidency on 19 November 1976.
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  • 1975
    Age 39
    Ziaur Rahman's status as war hero is acknowledged by many politicians in Bangladesh. However his role after 15 August 1975 15 August 1975 assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family remains controversial. The Indemnity Act, an ordinance ordered by Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad in 1975 pardoning the subsequently convicted killers of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was legalised by Zia during his tenure as president.
    More Details Hide Details Some killers of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family were sent abroad during his time as president. In a verdict passed on the Dhaka High Court declared the seizures of power by military coups between 1975 and 1979, including Zia's military regime as "unlawful and unconstitutional."
    The Indemnity Ordinance (which gave immunity from legal action to the persons involved in the assassination of president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, coups and other political events between 1975 and 1979) was proclaimed by Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad in 1975 president, ratified in the Parliament as the Indemnity Act, and incorporated as the 5th amendment to the constitution during the tenure of President Hussain Muhammad Ershad.
    More Details Hide Details During his term of power, Zia was criticised for ruthless treatment of his army opposition. Although he enjoyed overall popularity and public confidence, Zia's rehabilitation of some of the most controversial men in Bangladesh aroused fierce opposition from the supporters of the Awami League and veterans of its Mukti Bahini.
    Brigadier Khaled Mosharraf and the 46th Brigade of Dhaka Cantonment under Colonel Shafat Jamil staged a counter-coup on 3 November 1975, and Ziaur Rahman was forced to relinquish his post and put under house arrest.
    More Details Hide Details This was followed by (Sipoy-Janata Biplob) (Soldiers and People's Coup) ("National Revolution and Solidarity Day") on 7 November, a mutiny staged by the Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal (JSD or National Socialist Party) under retired Lieutenant Colonel Abu Taher and a group of socialist military officers. Khaled Mosharraf was killed and Colonel Jamil arrested, while Ziaur Rahman was freed by the 2nd Artillery regiment under Lt. Col. Rashid and re-appointed him as army chief. Following a meeting at army headquarters, an interim government was formed with Justice Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem as chief martial law administrator and Major General Ziaur Rahman, Air Vice Marshal M. G. Tawab and Rear Admiral M. H. Khan as his deputies. However, discipline in the army had totally collapsed and it was difficult to disarm the soldiers and put them back to the barracks. Zia realised that the disorder by the mutiny had to be suppressed firmly if discipline was to be restored in the Bangladesh Army. Zia cracked down on the Jatiyo Samajtantrik Dal and Gonobahini. Abu Taher was sentenced to death and other party figures had various terms of imprisonment slapped on them. Taher was executed on 21 July 1976.
    On 15 August 1975 President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family were assassinated at home as part of a military coup.
    More Details Hide Details One of Mujibur Rahman's cabinet ministers and a leading conspirator Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad gained the presidency and following the removal of Major General K M Shafiullah, appointed Ziaur Rahman (then deputy chief of army staff and Major General) army chief. It's thought that Zia knew about the military coup before it happened.However, the coup of 15 August caused a period of instability and unrest in Bangladesh and in the ranks and files of the army.
    He rose to power after the country's first military coup on 15 August 1975, in which Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was killed.
    More Details Hide Details A series of counter-coups resulted in Zia gaining de facto power as head of the army under martial law.
  • 1972
    Age 36
    Later Ershad introduced Islamic religious education as a compulsory subject in Bangladeshi schools, with provisions for non-Muslim students to learn of their own religions. At the birth of Bangladesh, many Islamists had supported the Pakistani Army's fight against independence and been barred from politics with the Bangladesh Collaborators (Special Tribunals) Order of 1972.
    More Details Hide Details Zia undid this as well as the ban on communal parties and associations. In public speeches and policies that he formulated, Zia began expounding "Bangladesh Nationalism", its "Sovereignty", as opposed to Mujib's assertion of a Bengali identity based under language- based nationalism. Zia emphasised the national role of Islam as guide to life's principle. Claiming to promote an inclusive national identity, Zia reached out to non-Bengali minorities such as the Santals, Garos, Manipuris and Chakmas, as well as the Urdu-speaking peoples of Bihari origin. He even amended the constitution to change the nationality of the citizens from Bengali, an ethnic identity, to Bangladeshi, a national identity, under sovereign allegiance not political belief or party affiliation. However, Bangladeshi nationalism excluded the country's non-Muslim minorities, particularly the Hindu community.
  • 1971
    Age 35
    While this angered some veterans of the independence war, who had rapidly reached high positions following independence in 1971, Zia sent discontented officers on diplomatic missions abroad to defuse unrest..
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    On 30 June 1971 Zia was appointed the commander of the first conventional brigade of the Bangladesh Forces, which was named "Z Force", after the first initial of his name, followed by K-forces in August and S-force in September, named after Major Khaled Musharraf and Major Shafiullah respectively.
    More Details Hide Details His brigade consisted of 1st, 3rd and 8th East Bengali regiments, enabling Zia to launch major attacks on Pakistani forces. With the Z Force, Zia "acquired a reputation for icy bravery" according to The New York Times, and was awarded the Bir Uttom, the second-highest military honour (and the highest for living officers) by the Government of Bangladesh.
    On 27 March 1971, a second broadcast was read: I, Major Ziaur Rahman, do hereby declare the Independence of Bangladesh.
    More Details Hide Details Later in an interview with German Radio, Ziaur Rahman talked about his 27 March announcement. Zia organised an infantry unit gathering all Bengali soldiers from military and EPR units in Chittagong. He designated it Sector No. 1 with its HQ in Sabroom. A few weeks later, it was restructured officially under Bangladesh Forces as the sector in the Chittagong and Hill Tracts area, under General M. A. G. Osmani, the Supreme Commander of Bangladesh Forces, of the Provisional Government of Bangladesh HQ'd at 8 Theatre Road, Calcutta, WB, India.
    Zia, who already by then geared to revolt against the government of Pakistan, was preparing to defect, and later arrested and executed his commanding officer Lt. Col. Janjua, revolted and broadcast the announcement of the Declaration of Independence on the evening hours of 26 March 1971 from the captured Kalurghat radio station in Chittagong which read:
    More Details Hide Details This is Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra. I, Major Ziaur Rahman, Provincial Head of the government, do hereby declare that Independence of the People's Republic of Bangladesh on behalf of our leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
  • 1970
    Age 34
    In the 1970 Pakistan Parliamentary elections the Awami League had won a majority and it leader Sheikh Mujib laid claim to form a government, but Pakistan President Yahya Khan postponed the convening of the legislature under pressure from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's PPP party.
    More Details Hide Details Following the failure of last-ditch talks, Yahya Khan declared martial law and ordered the army to crack down on Bengali political activities. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested before mid-night 26 March 1971, taken to Tejgaon International Airport and flown to West Pakistan.
    Zia returned to Pakistan the following year, during political turmoil and regional division. Upon his return, Zia was promoted to Major and transferred in October 1970 to be second-in-command of the 8th East Bengal regiment stationed in Chittagong.
    More Details Hide Details East Pakistan had been devastated by the 1970 Bhola cyclone, and the population had been embittered by the slow response of the central government and the political conflict between Pakistan's two major parties, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Awami League, and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's PPP.
  • 1969
    Age 33
    Zia joined the 2nd East Bengal regiment as its second-in-command at Joydebpur in Gazipur district, near Dhaka, in 1969, and travelled to West Germany to receive advanced military and command training with the German Army and later on spent few months with the British Army.
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  • 1966
    Age 30
    In 1966, Zia was appointed military instructor at the Pakistan Military Academy, later going on to attend the Command and Staff College in Quetta, Pakistan, where he completed a course in command and tactical warfare.
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  • 1965
    Age 29
    Ziaur Rahman won the prestigious Hilal-i-Jur'at (Crescent of Courage) medal, Pakistan’s second highest military award, and his unit won 2 Sitara-e-Jurat (Star of Courage) medals, and 9 Tamgha-e-Jurat (Medal of Courage) medals, for their role in the 1965 War with India.
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    During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Ziaur Rahman saw combat in the Khemkaran sector in Punjab as the commander of a company unit of 300–500 soldiers.
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  • 1964
    Age 28
    Around the same time, his wife Khaleda Zia, now 23, gave birth to their first child Tarique Rahman (Tareq Zia) on 20 November 1964.
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  • 1960
    Age 24
    In August 1960, his marriage was arranged to Khaleda Majumder, the 15-year-old daughter of Iskandar Majumder and Taiyaba Majumder from the Dinajpur District, in a simple ceremony.
    More Details Hide Details Khaleda Majumder also known as Khaleda Zia, who later became Prime Minister of Bangladesh for 3 times. Ziaur Rahman, a Captain in the then Pakistani Army who was posted at that time as an Officer of the Defence Forces. His father, Mansur Rahman could not attend the marriage ceremony, as he was in Karachi. Zia's mother had died earlier. The wedding reception took place after one year in the then Hotel Shahbag, which later became the PG mm7
  • 1958
    Age 22
    Ayub Khan's highly successful military rule from 1958 to 1968 convinced Zia of the need for a fundamental change in the Bengali attitude towards the military.
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  • 1957
    Age 21
    After serving for two years in Karachi, he was transferred to the East Bengal Regiment in 1957.
    More Details Hide Details He attended military training schools in West Germany and UK. He also worked in the military intelligence department from 1959 to 1964.
  • 1955
    Age 19
    Graduating from the Pakistan Military Academy at 12th PMA long course on 18 September 1955 in the top 10% of his class, Ziaur Rahman was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Pakistan Army.
    More Details Hide Details In the army, he received commando training, became a paratrooper and received training in a special intelligence course. Zia went to East Pakistan on a short visit and was struck by the negative attitude of the Bengali middle class towards the military, which consumed a large chunk of the country's resources. The low representation of the Bengalis in the military was largely due to discrimination, but Ziaur Rahman felt that the Bengali attitude towards the military perhaps prevented promising young Bengali from seeking military careers. As a Bengali army officer he advocated military careers for Bengali youth.
  • 1953
    Age 17
    In 1953, Zia was admitted into the D.J. College in Karachi.
    More Details Hide Details In the same year he joined the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul as an officer cadet.
  • 1952
    Age 16
    Zia spent his adolescent years in Karachi and by age 16 completed his secondary education from that School in 1952.
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  • 1947
    Age 11
    Zia, at the age of 11, had become a student in class six at the Academy School in Karachi in 1947.
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    With the Partition of India, Mansur Rahman exercised his option to become a citizen of a Muslim majority Pakistan and in August 1947 moved to Karachi the first capital of Pakistan located in Sindh, West Pakistan.
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  • 1946
    Age 10
    In 1946, Mansur Rahman enrolled Zia for a short stint in one of the leading boys schools of Calcutta, Hare School, where Zia studied until the dissolution of the British Empire in South Asia and creation of India in 1947.
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  • 1936
    Age 0
    Born on January 19, 1936.
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