Osmany, General Mohammad Ataul Ghani

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General Mohammad Ataul Ghani Osmany

Osmany, General Mohammad Ataul Ghani (1918-1984) commander-in-chief of the Bangladesh Armed Forces and of the Liberation Forces in the war of liberation. Ataul Ghani Osmany was born at Sunamganj on 1 November 1918. He passed the Matriculation examination in 1934 from Sylhet Government High School, and obtained his graduation from the Aligarh Muslim University in 1938. He successfully competed in the examination of Federal Public Service Commission held in Delhi in 1939 and was also selected as gentleman cadet in the Royal armed forces. Instead of joining the Indian Civil Service he completed the military course from the British Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun in July 1939, and joined the Royal Army as a commissioned officer in October 1940. He was elevated to the position of Captain in February 1941. Osmany was promoted to the rank of Major in February 1942 and was appointed commander of a battalion. He participated in the Second World War at the Burma sector as a commander of the British army. On completion of the senior army officers' course in 1947 he was selected for appointment as Lieutenant Colonel.

After the partition of India Osmany joined the Pakistan army on 7 October 1947, and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on the day following. He obtained P.S.C degree in 1948 from the Quetta Staff College. He was then appointed a deputy to the Chief of the General Staff of the army (1949). Between 1950 and 1955 Osmany held the positions of the Director of Rifle Company in the nineth battalion of the Fourteenth Punjab Regiment, Additional Commandant of the East Pakistan Rifles, and General Staff Officer of the army. He was promoted to the post of Colonel in 1956 and was appointed Deputy Director of general staff and military operations in the army headquarters, a position which he held for ten years till his retirement on 16 February 1967.

Ataul Ghani Osmany joined the awami league in 1970. He was elected a member of the Pakistan National Assembly in 1970 as a nominee of Awami League. With the formation of mujibnagar government on 17 April 1971, Osmany was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Bangladesh Armed Forces and of the Liberation Forces. After liberation of the country, Osmany was elevated to the rank of General of the Bangladesh Armed Forces on 26 December 1971 with effect from 16 December 1971. With the abolition of the post of General in the Bangladesh army on 7 April 1972, Osmany retired from the service. He was then included in the cabinet of Bangabandhu sheikh mujibur rahman as Minister in charge of Shipping, Inland Water Transport and Aviation. Osmany was elected a member of the Jatiya Sangsad in 1973, and was included in the new cabinet with charge of the Ministries of Post, Telegraph and Telephone, Communication, Shipping, Inland Water Transport and Aviation. He resigned from the cabinet in May 1974. After the introduction of one-party system of government through the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution in 1975, he resigned from the Jatiya Sangsad and also from the primary membership of the Awami League.

MAG Osmany was appointed an Adviser to the President in charge of Defence Affairs by khondaker mostaq ahmad on 29 August 1975. But he resigned immediately after the killing of four national leaders inside the Dhaka Central Jail on 3 November.

Osmany launched a new political party styled as Jatiya Janata Party in September 1976 and was elected its president. He contested in the presidential elections in 1978 as a nominee of the Democratic Alliance. He contested in the presidential elections once again in 1981 as a nominee of Jatiya Nagarik Committee (National Citizens Committee). A life long bachelor Osmany died on 16 February 1984 while under treatment of cancer in London. [Muazzam Hussain Khan]