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Mir Shawkat Ali
Member of the Jatiyo Sangshad from Dhaka-8

In office
February 27, 1991 – 1996
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia
Preceded by Anwar Hossain
Succeeded by Haji Mohammad Salim
Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom

In office
27 July 1986 – 30 July 1987
President Hussain Muhammad Ershad
Preceded by Fakhruddin Ahmed
Succeeded by Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) K M Shafiullah
Personal details
Born 11 January 1938 (1938-01-11) (age 83)
Dhaka
Died 20 November 2010
Dhaka
Resting place Banani military graveyard
Military service
Allegiance  Bangladesh
 Pakistan (before 1971)
Service/branch
Years of service
Rank Major General
Unit East Bengal Regiment
Commands
  • Principal Staff Officer of the army
  • Chief of General Staff
  • Sector Commander of the Sector 5
Battles/wars
Awards Bir Uttom

Mir Shawkat Ali, Bir Uttom (11 January 1938 - 20 November 2010) was a general in Bangladesh Army and also a politician of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. He was a freedom fighter during Bangladesh liberation war and a Sector Commander of the Mukti Bahini. He was the state minister Food, and cabinet minister of Labour and Manpower. He was awarded "Bir Uttom" for his contribution during Bangladesh liberation war.[1][2]

Early life[edit | edit source]

He was born in Nazira Bazar, Dhaka, East Bengal on 11 January 1938 . He studied at Mahuttuli Free Primary School in Dhaka. He graduated from Armanitola Government High School in 1953 and Dhaka College in 1955. After graduation he joined the Pakistan Military Academy. In 1958 he received his commission in Pakistan army.[2]

Military career[edit | edit source]

In Pakistan army[edit | edit source]

He served in a number of units including the military intelligence department. He first experience of battle came from the 1965 Indo-Pak War in Rangpur border. He joined the Eighth East Bengal Regiment in 1971 at Sholasahar, Chittagong.

Bangladesh liberation war[edit | edit source]

After Operation searchlight on 25 March 1971, he revolted with his unit the Eighth East Bengal Regiment. He joined the Bangladesh Liberation war. On 30 March 1971 he was given command of the entire Regiment.[2]

He commanded the Battle of Kalurghat in April 1971. After Kalurghat fell he retreated to Bandarban with his unit. He crossed the border into India. After the formation of Mujibnagar government he was appointed sector-5 commander. He commanded 12 thousand men in his sector. In August 1971 he was promoted to Lieutenant colonel. He was awarded Bir Uttom, the second highest award in Bangladesh for his role in the war.

In Bangladesh army[edit | edit source]

He formed the Infantry Brigade in Chittagong from 1972 to 1974. In 1975 He was made the Chief of General Staff of Bangladesh army. He was chairman of Old Dhaka Development Committee and Bangladesh Football Federation, Chief Martial Law Administrator of Dhaka.[2]

From 1980 to 1981 he was the Principal Staff Officer of the Bangladesh Army.

Political career[edit | edit source]

After retirement he served as ambassador to Egypt, Australia, United Kingdom, Sudan, Germany, and Portugal. He resigned his diplomatic post in protest against the dictatorship of Hussain Muhammad Ershad.

He joined the Bangladesh Nationalist Party shortly afterwards. In 1991 he was elected to parliament from Dhaka-8. He was the state minister Food, and cabinet minister of Labour and Manpower .[3] He was the vice president of Sector Commanders Forum.[2]

War criminals trial[edit | edit source]

As a freedom fighter he took issue with BNP's alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami since their top leaders were accused of war crime. He left BNP because of disagreements with chairperson Khaleda Zia regarding Jamaat-e-Islami inclusion in the Four Party Alliance. In a statement he said,

"It hurts my conscience when I have to sit with Razakaar and al-Badrs at the same table. It reminds me of the days in 1971 when boys fought under my command and laid down their lives."

He was one of the pioneers of war crimes trial movement. He campaigned countrywide to raise support for the trial.[3][4]

Death[edit | edit source]

On 20 November 2010 he died in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He was buried with full military honors in Banani Military graveyard.[2][4]

References[edit | edit source]

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