List of Presidents of Bangladesh, Politicians



(President of Bangladesh from 1977 to 1981, Founder of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Freedom fighter, Chief of Army Staff and Politician)
(19 January 1936 – 30 May 1981)


Ziaur Rahman was a brave independence warrior who served as the Chief of Army Staff before becoming the President of Bangladesh from 1977 to 1981.
During the country’s independence struggle from Pakistan in 1971, Ziaur Rahman was a Bangladesh Forces Commander of BDF Sector BDF Sector 1 at first, then as BDF commander of BDF Sector 11 of the Bangladesh Forces from June to mid-July, and the Brigade Commander of Z Force from mid-July. On March 27, he aired the Bangladesh declaration of independence proclaimed by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from Chittagong’s Kalurghat radio station. He rose through the ranks of the Bangladesh Army, eventually becoming a brigade commander, deputy head of staff, and chief of staff.
Ziaur Rahman founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party as president in 1978. (popularly known by its abbreviation BNP). Multi-party politics, press freedom, free speech, free markets, and accountability were all restored by him. He started vast irrigation and food production programs, as well as social programs to improve people’s lives. His government spearheaded attempts to form a South Asian regional organisation, which became SAARC in 1985.
Ziaur Rahman received two bravery honors for his service in two South Asian conflicts. For his wartime achievements, he was awarded Hilal-i-Jurat in 1965 for the Indo-Pak War and BirUttom in 1972 for the Bangladesh Independence War in 1971. Rahman retired from the Bangladesh Army as a Lieutenant General on April 28, 1978, according to Anthony Mascarenhas’ 1986 book Bangladesh: A Legacy of Blood.
BNP, the political party he founded in 1978, became one of Bangladesh’s two major political parties. His wife, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, is the BNP’s current chairperson.


Real Name: Ziaur Rahman
Nick Name: Komo
‣ President of Bangladesh from 1977 to 1981
‣ Founder of Bangladesh Nationalist Party
‣ Valiant freedom fighter
‣ Chief of Army Staff
‣ Politician
Born: 19 January 1936
Place of Birth: Bagbari, Bogra District, Bengal Presidency, British India
‣ British India (1936-1947)
‣ Pakistan (1947-1971)
‣ Bangladesh (1971-1981)
Religion: Islam
Alma Mater:
‣ Command and Staff College
‣ Pakistan Military Academy
‣ D. J. Sindh Government Science College
‣ Hare School
‣ BograZilla School
Father: Mansur Rahman
Mother: Jahanara Khatun
‣ Ahmed Kamal
‣ Khalilur Rahman
Spouse: Khaleda Zia (Bangladeshi politician who served as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 1991 to 1996, and again from 2001 to 2006 and is the current chairperson of BNP)
Children: 2
‣ Tarique Rahman (Bangladeshi politician who is the current acting chairman of BNP since February 2018.
‣ Arafat Rahman (Lt, was a Bangladeshi cricket organizer and former Chairman of the Development Committee of Bangladesh Cricket Board)
Death: 30 May 1981
Death Age: 45 Years old
Cause of Death: Assassination
Place of Death: Chittagong, Bangladesh
Burial: Chandrima Uddan, previously named as Zia Uddan, across the road of the national parliament house, in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
‣ Turkey dedicated a road in Ankara after him, Ziaur Rahman Caddesi.
‣ Ranked number 20 in BBC’s poll of the Greatest Bengali of all time in 2004
‣ Zia was also honoured by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation for his statesmanship and vision
‣ Order of the Nile by Egypt
‣ Order of the Yugoslav Star by Yugoslavia
‣ Hero of the Republicby North Korea
President of Bangladesh: (21 April 1977 – 30 May 1981)
‣ Prime Minister : Mashiur Rahman (Acting), Shah Azizur Rahman
‣ Vice President: AbdusSattar
‣ Preceded by: Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem
‣ Succeeded by: AbdusSattar
Chairman of Bangladesh Nationalist Party : (1 September 1978 – 30 May 1981)
‣ Preceded by: Position Established
‣ Succeeded by: AbdusSattar
2nd Chief of Army Staff: (24 August 1975 – 3 November 1975)
‣ Preceded by: K M Shafiullah
‣ Succeeded by: Khaled Mosharraf
2nd Chief of Army Staff: (7 November 1975 – 1 December 1978)
‣ Preceded by: Khaled Mosharraf
‣ Succeeded by: Hussain Muhammad Ershad
Military service:
‣ Pakistan (before 1971)
‣ Bangladesh
‣ Pakistan Army (1955-1971)
‣ Bangladesh Army (1971-1978)
Years of service:
‣ 1955–1971 (Pakistan)
‣ 1971–1978[1] (Bangladesh)
‣ Rank: Lieutenant General
‣ Service number: BA-69
‣ Unit: East Bengal Regiment
‣ Brigade Commander of Z Force
‣ BDF Commander of the Sector 1
‣ BDF Commander of the Sector 11

Early Life and Education of “Ziaur Rahman” :

Ziaur Rahman was born on 19 January 1936  inGabtali, Bogra. His near and dear one used to call him Komol. He was the son of Mansur Rahman and Jahanara Khatun. Mansur Rahman worked for a government agency at Kolkata’s Writer’s Building as a scientist specializing in paper and ink chemistry. ZiaurRahman was born and raised in Bagbari, where he attended BograZilla School. Ahmed Kamal and Khalilur Rahman were his younger brothers.

Mansur Rahman enrolled ZiaurRahman at a Calcutta boys school, Hare School, in 1946, where he studied until the British Empire in India was disbanded and India and Pakistan were partitioned in 1947. Mansur Rahman chose to become a citizen of a Muslim-majority Pakistan and relocated to Karachi, the country’s first capital, in Sindh, West Pakistan, in August 1947. In 1947, Zia, at 11 years old, enrolled in class six at the Academy School in Karachi. Rahman spent his adolescent years in Karachi, where he finished his secondary education in 1952 at the age of 16.

He was enrolled at the D. J. Sindh Government Science College in 1953. In the same year, he joined as a cadet at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul.

His marriage to KhaledaKhanamPutul, the 15-year-old daughter of Iskandar Majumder and TaiyabaMajumder from the Feni District, was planned in August 1960. (part of thenNoakhali District). KhaledaKhanamPutul, who subsequently became known as Khaleda Zia, was Bangladesh’s Prime Minister three times. Ziaur Rahman, a captain in the Pakistan Army who was stationed as a Defence Forces Officer at the time. Mansur Rahman, his father, was unable to attend the wedding since he was in Karachi. Zia’s mother had died a few years before.

His marriage to KhaledaKhanamPutul, the 15-year-old daughter of Iskandar Majumder and TaiyabaMajumder from the Feni District(part ofthenNoakhali District), was planned in August 1960. KhaledaKhanamPutul, who subsequently is known as Khaleda Zia, was Bangladesh’s Prime Minister three times. Ziaur Rahman, a captain in the Pakistan Army who was stationed as a Defence Forces Officer at the time. Mansur Rahman, his father, was unable to attend the wedding since he was in Karachi. Zia’s mother had died a few years before.

Military career in Pakistan:

Ziaur Rahman was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Pakistan Army after graduating from the Pakistan Military Academy’s 12th PMA long course in the top 10% of his class on September 18, 1955. He got commando training, became a paratrooper, and completed a special intelligence school while in the army.

ZiaurRahman paid a brief visit to East Pakistan and was shocked by the Bengali middle class’s hostility against the military, which consumes a significant portion of the country’s resources. Although the low participation of Bengalis in the military was mostly due to prejudice, he believed that the Bengali attitude about the military may have discouraged potential young Bengalis from pursuing military jobs. He promoted military professions for Bengali youngsters as a Bengali army officer. In 1957, he was posted to the East Bengal Regiment after serving for two years in Karachi. He went to British Army military training programs. From 1959 until 1964, he also served in the military intelligence branch.

From 1958 to 1968, Ayub Khan’s very successful military leadership convinced ZiaurRahman that a major shift in Bengali attitudes toward the military was required. Rahman served as the leader of a company (military unit) of 100–150 men in the Khemkaran region of Punjab during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. The Pakistan government awarded Rahman the Hilal-i-Jur’at for gallantry, Pakistan’s second highest military honor, and the first Battalion of the East Bengal Regiment (EBR), under which he fought, received three Sitara-e-Jurat (Star of Courage) medals and eight Tamgha-i-Jurat (Medal of Courage) medals for their role in the 1965 War with India. He was employed as a military teacher at the Pakistan Military Academy in 1966, and then went on to the Command and Staff College in Quetta, Pakistan, where he completed a command and tactical warfare course.

During his time as an instructor, ZiaurRahman assisted in the formation of two Bengali battalions, the 8th and 9th Bengals. On November 20, 1966, his wife Khaleda Zia, then 24 years old, gave birth to their first child Tarique Rahman. In 1969, Rahman joined the 2nd East Bengal regiment as its second-in-command at Joydebpur in Gazipur district, near Dhaka, and then traveled to West Germany to get advanced military and command training from the British Army of the Rhine, where he afterwards stayed a few months.


The next year, Ziaur Rahman returned to Pakistan and was promoted to major. In October 1970, he was sent to the 8th East Bengal Regiment in Chittagong as second-in-command. East Pakistan had been ravaged by the Bhola storm in 1970, and the public was enraged by the central government’s tardy reaction and the political rivalry between Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Awami League and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s PPP. The Awami League had gained a majority in the 1970 Pakistan Parliamentary elections, and its leader Sheikh Mujib claimed the right to form a government, but Pakistan President Yahya Khan postponed the legislature’s assembling under pressure from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s PPP party.

Bangladesh War of Independence 1971:

Yahya Khan proclaimed martial law and ordered the army to crack down on Bengali political activity after last-ditch discussions failed. On March 26, 1971, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was arrested before midnight, brought to Tejgaon International Airport, and flown to West Pakistan.

Ziaur Rahman, who had already begun planning a revolution against Pakistan’s government, imprisoned and executed his commanding officer, Lt. Col. Janjua. Some Awami League supporters requested him to read out the Declaration of Independence issued by Sheikh Mujib before his incarceration on March 27, 1971, in Kalurghat, Chittagong:

“I, Major Ziaur Rahman, Provincial Head of the government, do hereby declare that Independence of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.”

Later on the same day (27 March), a second broadcast was read:

“I, Major Ziaur Rahman, do hereby declare the Independence of Bangladesh in the name of our great leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.”

ZiaurRahman later discussed his 27 March declaration in an interview with German radio.

In Chittagong, ZiaurRahman organized an infantry force that included all Bengali men from military and EPR groups. Sector No. 1 was assigned to it, with Sabroom as its headquarters. He was relocated to Teldhala a few weeks later, where he organized and established Sector 11. All sectors were formally reformed as the Chittagong and Hill Tracts sector under Colonel M. A. G. Osmani, the Supreme Commander of Bangladesh Forces, of the Provisional Government of Bangladesh, which had its headquarters on Theatre Road in Calcutta, India.

On July 30, 1971, ZiaurRahman was assigned commander of the Bangladesh Forces’ first conventional brigade, which was dubbed “Z Force” after his first initial. Rahman’s brigade, which included the 1st, 3rd, and 8th East Bengali regiments, allowed him to conduct large strikes against Pakistani soldiers. According to The New York Times, Rahman “developed a reputation for chilly courage” with the Z Force, and was given the BirUttom, Bangladesh’s second-highest military honor (and the highest for living commanders).


On April 21, 1977, Ziaur Rahman was elected President of Bangladesh. Years of chaos caused by the Awami League and BAKSAL’s prior political administration had left most of Bangladesh’s governmental institutions in shambles, with frequent internal and external threats. Rahman became president in 1977 and oversaw the lifting of martial law and the implementation of substantial changes for the country’s prosperity.

A failed coup attempt against his administration happened in late September 1977. Armed with firearms and ammunition, a gang of Japanese Red Army terrorists hijacked Japan Airlines Flight 472 from India and forced it to land at Tejgaon International Airport. While the government’s attention was focused on the crisis, a mutiny broke out at Bogra Cantonment on September 30th, as a result of the spread of panic and disinformation. Despite the fact that the insurrection was immediately put down on the night of October 2nd, another revolt broke out in Dhaka cantonment, headed by misled Bangladesh Air Force personnel (BAF).Armed troops from these army and air force soldiers attempted but failed to attack Zia’s home, briefly seized Dhaka Radio, and killed eleven air force officials and 30 airmen at Tejgaon International Airport, where they were assembled for talks with the hijackers. While the government was seriously rattled, Wing Commander M. Hamidullah Khan TJ, SH, BP (BDF Commander Bangladesh Forces Sector 11), then BAF Ground Defence Commander, rapidly put down the mutiny inside the Air Force. Wing Commander Hamidullah Khan was reappointed as Provost Marshal of the BAF by Chief of Air Staff AVM AG Mahmud.

President Ziaur Rahman named Wing Commander Hamidullah Khan as ZMLA (Dhaka) and Director of Martial Law Communications and Control at Tejgaon (the current Prime Minister’s Office) on the spot. The DG-NSI and the DFI chief, AVM Aminul Islam Khan of the 9th GD(P), a former coursemate of AVM A. K. Khandkar of the Pakistan Air Force, were soon removed by President Rahman. Hamidullah initiated the transfer of DFI at Old Bailey Road from the Ministry of Defense to Dhaka Cantonment under the administration of the president and restructured as DGFI following Zia’s Presidential direction. Following a military tribunal, at least 200 troops implicated in the coup attempt were executed.

Bangladeshi police forces have been doubled in strength, while the army’s number of soldiers has expanded from 50,000 to 90,000. He promoted Hussain Muhammad Ershad to the rank of lieutenant general after appointing him as the new Chief of Army Staff in 1978. Because of his detention in erstwhile West Pakistan during the Bangladesh War of Independence, he was seen as a professional soldier with no political ambitions. Ershad quietly ascended through the ranks to become Zia’s closest political and military adviser.

Domestic and foreign policies:

Ziaur Rahman was “hailed as the rigorous leader that the ailing nation needed” when he took office. Illiteracy, extreme poverty, persistent unemployment, shortages, and economic stagnation plagued Bangladesh. Rahman’s policies, which were secular, democratic socialist, and pro-Indian, were overturned. He established a “19-point economic emancipation agenda” that emphasized self-sufficiency, rural development, decentralization, free markets, and population management. Rahman spent a lot of time traveling over Bangladesh, preaching “hope politics” and encouraging people to work more and create more. In Bangladesh, he convened cabinet sessions all across the country.

Ziaur Rahman emphasized increasing agricultural and industrial production, particularly in food and grains, as well as integrating rural development through a range of programs, the most significant of which was population planning. He established the Bangladesh Jute and Rice Research Institutes and opened them. In 1977, he initiated an ambitious rural development initiative, which included a well-publicized and well-received food-for-work scheme. He advocated for the expansion of the private sector, increased exports, and the reversal of agriculture collectivization. His government lowered agricultural and industrial quotas and restrictions.Irrigation canals, power stations, dams, highways, and other public works projects were begun under Ziaur Rahman. Rahman founded the Gram Sarkar (Village Councils) system of self-government and the “Village Defence Party” system of security and crime prevention as part of his drive to mobilize rural support and development. On a large scale, programs to promote elementary and adult education were launched, with an emphasis on rural Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s economy grew rapidly during this time period, both economically and industrially.

Ziaur Rahman began reorienting Bangladesh’s foreign policy, answering the concerns of largely hardline rightists, as well as a few renegade leftists, who feared Bangladesh was overly dependant on Indian economic and military help. Rahman shifted his focus away from India and the Soviet bloc, where his predecessors had concentrated, and toward the United States, Western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He also sought to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China, a Pakistani ally that had opposed Bangladesh’s formation and had not recognized it until 1975. Normalizing relations with Pakistan was a priority for Ziaur Rahman. Rahman aspired to establish connections with other Islamic countries while separating Bangladesh from India.

The country’s status in the Middle East improved as a result of Zia’s shift to Islamic state policy. One goal of these programs, according to historian Tazeen M. Murshid, was to expose the Gulf nations to personnel exports. Zia was successful in this, and remittances formed a significant component of Bangladesh’s economy.

Ziaur Rahman has recommended forming an organization of South Asian states to promote regional economic and political cooperation. The inaugural meeting of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation was held in Dhaka in 1985, under the presidency of Hussain Muhammad Ershad. The organization has given Zia a posthumous prize for his vision.

Islam and nationalism:

Ziaur Rahman argued that a large segment of the populace was experiencing an identity crisis, both religiously and as a people, and that they had a very limited sense of sovereignty. To address this, he started the process of re-Islamizing Bangladesh. He made a proclamation order revising the constitution, on the basis of which new laws would be enacted in order to improve religious and national self-awareness. He added “Bismillahir-Rahmaanir-Rahim” to the prologue as a greeting (“In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful”). The phrase “total confidence and faith in Almighty Allah” was substituted for the socialist commitment to secularism in Articles 8(1) and 8(1A). During his presidency, socialism was renamed “economic and social justice.”

“The state must endeavor to maintain, sustain, and promote fraternal ties among Muslim nations based on Islamic solidarity,” Rahman said in Article 25(2). Some academics accuse Rahman of altering the republic’s nature from that of Sheikh Mujib and his allies, who advocated for secularism. However, detractors of this charge claim that the logic is nonsensical and oversimplified, pointing out that secular leaders such as Gamal Abdel Nasser and Ahmed Ben Bella embraced similar approach.

Later, ZiaurRahman made Islamic religious education a mandatory topic for Muslim students in school. Many Islamists backed the Pakistani Army’s war for independence at the time of Bangladesh’s formation, and were excluded from politics by the Bangladesh Collaborators (Special Tribunals) Order of 1972. This, as well as the restriction on community parties and groups, was lifted by Rahman.

ZiaurRahman began expounding “Bangladesh Nationalism” and its “Sovereignty” in public speeches and policies.  Rahman emphasized Islam’s significance as a national guide to life’s principles. Rahman claimed to be promoting a more inclusive national identity by reaching out to non-Bengali minorities including the Santals, Garos, Manipuris, and Chakmas, as well as Bihari Urdu-speaking peoples. He even changed the constitution to convert people’ nationality from Bengali, an ethnic identity, to Bangladeshi, a national identity, based only on sovereign allegiance rather than political opinion or party affiliation. Bangladeshi nationalism, on the other hand, excluded the country’s non-Muslim minority, notably the Hindu Community.

Following the formation of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party in 1978, ZiaurRahman spearheaded the establishment of political institutes and funded seminars for young people to learn about Bangladesh nationalism. He addressed the students during such a session in September 1980.


On May 29, 1981, Ziaur Rahman traveled to Chittagong to assist in the resolution of a regional BNP intra-party political disagreement. The Chittagong Circuit House hosted Rahman and his entourage for the night. He was killed by a gang of army officers in the early hours of the 30th of May. Six of his bodyguards and two aides were also slain.

The burial, which took place in Parliament Square, was anticipated to gather around two million people.

Personal Life:

Ziaur Rahman is the son of Mansur Rahman and JahanaraKhatun. He had two younger brothers, Ahmed Kamal and Khalilur Rahman.

In August 1960, he married KhaledaKhanamPutul, the 15-year-old daughter of Iskandar Majumder and TaiyabaMajumder of the Feni District. (At the time, it was part of the Noakhali District). KhaledaKhanamPutul, who later became known as Khaleda Zia, served as Prime Minister of Bangladesh three times.

ZiaurRahman had two sons with Khaleda Zia: Tareq Rahman and Arafat Rahman (d. 2015). Khaleda became the leader of the BNP and organized an alliance of anti-Ershad political organizations. She became Bangladesh’s first female prime minister after leading the BNP to victory in 1991 elections. She lost the 1996 elections to Sheikh Hasina of the Awami League, but came back to power in 2001. Tareq was the senior joint secretary of the BNP.


After Ziaur Rahman’s death, Turkey named a road in Ankara Ziaur Rahman Caddesi in his honor. In a BBC poll of the Greatest Bengali of All Time in 2004, Ziaur Rahman was placed number 20. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation also honored Zia for his statesmanship and vision.

Other distinctions include:

◉ Egypt: Order of the Nile
◉ Yugoslavia: Order of the Yugoslav Star
◉ North Korea: Hero of the Republi


Ziaur Rahman is regarded as a war hero by many Bangladeshi leaders. Zia’s economic reforms are credited with reviving the economy, and his shift toward Islamisation won him popular support in Bangladesh. Many people disliked the other political parties’ purported links to India and the Soviet Union, therefore his nationalist ideology appealed to them. ZiaurRahman claimed an Islamist political identity for Bangladesh and involvement in the larger Muslim community, which received widespread support. He is regarded as a war hero by all Bangladeshi politics.

It is generally acknowledged that he lived a simple life, which included opting to have his food supplied from the army canteen.

President ZiaurRahman  was mostly successful in restoring political and economic peace to the country after a time of severe turmoil.This remarkable leader will be loved, respected, and remembered by the nation forever.


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এই ওয়েবসাইটের সমস্ত বিষয়বস্তু সরল বিশ্বাসে এবং শুধুমাত্র সাধারণ তথ্যের উদ্দেশ্যে প্রদান করা হয়েছে। একটি জীবনী তথ্যের সম্পূর্ণতা, নির্ভরযোগ্যতা বা সঠিকতা সম্পর্কে কোন গ্যারান্টি দেয় না। এই ওয়েবসাইটের উপাদানের ফলস্বরূপ আপনি যে কোনও পদক্ষেপ গ্রহণ করেন তা সম্পূর্ণরূপে আপনার নিজের ঝুঁকিতে। একটি জীবনী আমাদের ওয়েবসাইট ব্যবহার করার ফলে কোনো ক্ষতি বা ক্ষতির জন্য দায়ী নয়।

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