ISLAMABAD: Former Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) General Shamim Alam Khan died in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

He was 84 and is survived by three sons and his widow.

According to his son Dr Najeeb Alam Khan, the funeral prayer will be held in Westridge at 4pm on Friday.

He said his father had Covid-19 related health issues and was admitted to the Military Hospital on Nov 22, where he died.

General Shamim was born in 1937 to Mehboob Alam Khan and Amirun Nisa Begum, a couple whose all nine sons joined Pakistan’s armed forces and fought for the protection of the country either in 1965 or 1971 wars against India.

Gen Shamim joined the army in 1956 and retired in 1994 as the chairman of the JCSC.

Mehboob Alam Khan’s sons are known as Alam brothers. Among them, five served in the army, three in the air force and one in the navy.

According to Lawrence College Ghora Gali, “all the nine Alam Khan brothers are old Gallians. “What sets these brothers apart is that all nine joined defence forces, fought for Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 and earned huge respect. Two of the nine brothers embraced shahadat, one in 1967 while on duty and the other in the 1971 war.”

Their mother Amirun Nisa was once asked how she felt about having all her sons in the forces and on war front at the same time. She saidif she had more sons, she would have happily sent them to defend the motherland.

“There is no known example of any such family in Pakistan or abroad where a set of nine brothers joined the forces, fought for the country, earned recognition at the state level with two embracing martyrdom,” says the website of the college.

According to Dr Najeeb, Brig Zahir Alam Khan, Col Firoz Alam Khan, Sq Ldr Shuaib Alam Khan, General Shamim, Maj Aijaz Alam Khan, Vice Admiral Shamoon Alam Khan, Wing Commander Aftab Alam Khan, Flight Office Mushtaq Alam Khan and Lt Gen Javed Alam Khan are brothers and they simultaneously served in the armed forces and took part in wars.

According to a report of their Alma matter, six of the nine brothers fought the 1965 war as the two younger ones — Aijaz Alam Khan and Javed Alam Khan — had not joined the army till then and the eldest, Zahir Alam Khan, was out of the country.

In the war of 1971, eight of the nine brothers fought as one of them, Mushtaq Alam Khan, had embraced martyrdom in 1967 at the age of 23 while on duty.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2021

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