By Rahimullah Yusufzai
PESHAWAR: After serving for 39 years in the Pakistan Army and the last 33 months as corps commander Peshawar, Lt Gen Muhammad Masood Aslam is holding farewell meetings prior to shedding his uniform on April 9.
On Friday, he met a group of senior journalists to thank them for their support and understanding during his tough tenure as the commander of thousands of troops operating against militants in the tribal areas and districts of NWFP.
He has also been visiting troops deployed in Swat, the tribal areas and elsewhere in the province. The new corps commander, Lt Gen Asif Yasin Malik, has already reached Peshawar. He is expected to assume charge on April 10. He belongs to the Punjab Regiment and was until recently serving as a director general in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Islamabad.
The soft-spoken Lt Gen Masood Aslam was given one-year extension by Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in October last year shortly before the launching of the military operation against the Taliban militants in South Waziristan. He was due to retire on September 23, 2009 and the Operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan was launched on October 17.
However, he opted to call it a day and seek retirement before availing the one-year extension in service now that the military operation in South Waziristan has been completed. Lt Gen Masood Aslam was made Corps Commander of the XI Corps of Pakistan Army in July 2007 in place of Lt Gen Hamid Khan.
Some of the major military operations against the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan militants in Swat, Buner, Lower Dir, Bajaur, Mohmand, Frontier Region Bannu, Darra Adamkhel and South Waziristan took place under his command.
Born in 1952 in Mujahidabad in Jhelum district, Masood Aslam as a young army officer fought in the 1971 war with India and later in his career served at the Siachen frontline. As Brigadier, he commanded two infantry brigades, one of which fought during the Kargil War.
Lt Gen Masood Aslam served as GOC Jhelum and also as director general of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Punjab during General Pervez Musharraf’s rule. He lost his only son, Hashim Masood Aslam, in the December 2009 suicide bombing at the Parade Lane mosque in Rawalpindi. His daughter is studying medicine.
Monday, April 5, 2010
By Rahimullah Yusufzai