A four-star general of the Pakistan Army, Ziauddin Butt was commissioned in Pakistan Army in the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers, a technical combat arm in October 1964 in the 30th PMA Long Course. Ziauddin received his
Gen. Ziauddin Butt
A four-star general of the Pakistan Army, Ziauddin Butt was commissioned in Pakistan Army in the Pakistan Army Corps of Engineers, a technical combat arm in October 1964 in the 30th PMA Long Course. Ziauddin received his B.Eng. in civil engineering in 1968. He has commanded Infantry Brigade, Infantry Division and Corps.
Ziauddin was Pakistan's first head of the Strategic Planning Division (SPD) and oversaw Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Ziauddin was promoted to Lieutenant-General on 25 February 1996 and made the Corps Commander of 30 Corps at Gujranwala by General Jehangir Karamat, who was then COAS. After serving as the Corps Commander, Ziauddin was posted as the Adjutant General (AG) of the army, a Principal Staff Officer (PSO) position where he was serving at the time of the promotion of General Musharraf to the Army chief in October 1998.
When Lieutenant Generals Ali Kuli Khan Khattak and Khalid Nawaz were superseded by Musharraf, Ziauddin moved to second slot in the seniority list of the army, second only to Musharraf himself. He was subsequently assigned to head the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, after replacing Lieutenant-general Naseem Rana who was posted as Master-General Ordnance. (MGO). He was also one of the senior most generals ever to occupy the post of Intelligence Chief (DG ISI) and is credited with major revamping and evolution of the agency and its operations. He is currently serving as the elected Chairman of the LGH Post Graduate Medical Institute.
He was nominated for the post of Pakistan Army chief on 12 Oct 1999 by then-Prime minister Nawaz Sharif after the dismissal of General Pervez Musharraf, who had begun a coup against the government. The coup went ahead regardless of this appointment as Ziauddin told his supporters not to resist the move as it would cause dangerous in-fighting among the army.
Both Nawaz Sharif and Ziauddin were arrested by the coup-makers and taken to different locations. Ziauddin was kept in solitary confinement for two years, and was subject to three army investigations which aimed to find some element of wrongdoing on his part. Musharraf decided to use a 'Scouts penalty', a discretionary punishment not requiring a crime, to dismiss General Ziauddin from service.
He revealed in October 2011 that according to his knowledge the then former Director-General of Intelligence Bureau of Pakistan (2004 – 2008), Brigadier Ijaz Shah, had kept Osama bin Laden in an Intelligence Bureau safe house in Abbottabad.
Kamran Khan of The News wrote disparagingly about Ziauddin in a news column called "the news/national intelligence unit (NIU)". Ziauddin broke silence after 11 years and categorically challenged Kamran Khan's version of the events in a television interview to the GEO news channel. General Rashid Quraishi was quoted as saying "General Ziauddin was one of the best generals in our army's history, so now we have to change the history". Noted author Shuja Nawaz (brother of former Pakistan army chief Asif Nawaz) wrote in his prize winning book that Musharraf intentionally created the impression that Ziauddin and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had family connections when in reality there was no such truth.
Ziauddin Butt, as a retired general, was the only one man who told Carlotta Gall, the correspondent for The New York Times, that he thought Musharraf had arranged to hide Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad.