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Ahsan, Vice Admiral Syed Muhammad


Ahsan, Vice Admiral Syed Muhammad (1920 -?) Naval chief of Pakistan, Governor of East Pakistan. He was born in Hyderabad in December 1920 and was educated in the Nizam College. Ahsan was selected for the Royal Indian Navy in 1938 and received naval training in UK for two years (1938-1940). He received a British heroic award 'Distinguished Service Cross' for his chivalry in naval fight in Arakan. Later on he was appointed Instructor in a technical school at Liverpool, England. He was ADC to the Viceroy of India (1946-1947) and after Independence became ADC to the Governor General of Pakistan. He became Rear Admiral in 1962, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Navy in 1966 and Vice Admiral in 1967. Muhammad Ahsan served as a Naval Attach' in the Pakistan Embassy, Washington (1955-1956) and chairman of the East Pakistan Inland Waterways Transport Authority in 1964. He also served as Deputy Chief and Chief Planning Officer of army of SEATO, Bangkok. On 26 March 1969, Ahsan was appointed one of the Martial Law Administrators following the promulgation of martial law by the Chief of Army Staff General Aga Mohammad Yahya Khan, and a member of the Advisory Council of the President.

Vice Admiral Ahsan was appointed Governor of East Pakistan and took oath of office on 1 September 1969. During his governorship the parliamentary elections, both national and provincial, were held on 7 and 17 December 1970 respectively in which Awami League achieved overwhelming majority in both the elections. Yahya government's refusal to handover power to the wining Awami League and postpondment of the National Assembly session on 1 March 1971 led to series of statements, strikes and mass movement. In such an atmosphere of uncertainty and chaos President Yahya Khan appointed the martial law administrators as governors of their respective provinces, and as such Governor Ahsan was replaced by Sahebjada Yaqub Khan on 1 March 1971.

Vice Admiral Muhammad Ahsan was decorated with the titles of Sitara-i-Quaid-e Azam in 1958, Sitara-i-Pakistan and Hilal-i-Quaid-e Azam in 1969. [Abu Jafar]