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Lt. Col. (Retd.) Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir, Bir Protik, Swadhinata Padak Awardee, is an independent researcher and author on the Bangladesh Liberation War. In 1971, when the war of independence broke out, he was posted as a Battery Officer in the 78 Field Regiment Artillery, 14 Para Brigade in Sialkot, West Pakistan. He managed to escape from Pakistan across the Jammu-Kashmir Border and came to join the Liberation War. He first operated as a Guerrilla Commander in Sector 4 and later raised 2 Field Artillery Battery. As a Gun Position Officer and an Artillery Observer, he participated in the battles of Borolekha, Shamshernagar, Monglabazar, Juri, Kulaura and Fenchuganj in Sylhet. For his valour in the battle of Borolekha, he was awarded the ‘Bir Protik’ Gallantry Award.

Sajjad is the founder and Executive Director of Shudhui Muktijuddho (Our Struggle for Freedom), an initiative that documents the narratives of ordinary freedom fighters of the Liberation War and the experiences of civilians in 1971. The organization conducts research on war crimes that were committed during the nine-month war and also extensively documents information about the missing and disappeared during this period. Sajjad has published extensively on the history and contributions of Freedom Fighters, and his articles on survivors and good Samaritans during the War has been published in both national and international newspapers. He is also the creator of the documentary series Deshtake Bhalobeshe (For the Love of Our Country) of Bangladesh Television (BTV) and Jagroto Ahongkar of Boishakhi Television. These regular television programme have been aired which uncovers genocidal sites in different parts of the country and the stories of survivors and witnesses who lived through the atrocities. He is also researching and creating regular radio magazine programme Darpan and Muktijuddho Amar Ahongker of Government-owned radio channel Bangladesh Betar which have been aired based on battlefields of Liberation War.

Sajjad is a regular guest speaker at schools, colleges and universities in urban and rural areas of the country and is currently the project director of the Bangladesh Army History project. In 2013, he was awarded the Swadhinata Padak (Independence Award). In 2011, he was awarded the Bazlur Rahman Memorial Award for Best Television Documentary on the 1971 Liberation War. He is the author of 38 books published by Bangla Academy, Islamic Foundation of Bangladesh, Asia Publications Ltd., Bangladesh Army Publication, Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd. and his own publication house Shudhui Muktijuddho. He regularly teaches Bangladesh history and Liberation War in the Islamic Foundation of Bangladesh where he is also a book reviewer. He is a member of the committee for modernizing educational subjects of Islamic Foundation. He is also a national committee member under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs composed for honoring foreign nationals who have contributed in the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

For more information on publications and other activities related to the Liberation War, see Curriculum vitae.

 

I. ACADEMIC BACKGROUND

  • Bachelor of Science (BSC), Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, Pakistan, 1971
  • Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC), Faujdarhat Cadet College, Chittagong, Bangladesh, 1969
  • Secondary School Certificate (SSC), Faujdarhat Cadet College, Chittagong, Bangladesh, 1967

 

II. AWARDS AND HONOURS

  • Swadhinata Padak (Independence Award), Highest National Award in Bangladesh, 2013
  • Bir Protik, National Gallantry Award for the Liberation of Bangladesh, 1971
  • Bazlur Rahman Memorial Award for Best Electronic Media Documentary on the Liberation War for 2 episodes based on genocide and war crime, organized by Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh, 2011
  • Included in the OFA Hall of Fame, 2014
  • Rotary Club Dhaka Award, 2015
  • Mercantile Bank Shammanona, 2013
  • Cadet College Club Award, 2013
  • RAOWA Club Award, 2013
  • Included in the list of International Who’s Who as a professional, 1998
  • Chief of Army Staff Commendation for Excellent Performance in Training Course in Oklahoma, USA, 1978
  • Chief of Army Staff Commendation for Outstanding Performance in Training Course in India, 1972
  • First Position in Debate Competition, Faujdarhat Cadet College, 1965-67
  • College Champion in Table Tennis Competition, Faujdarhat Cadet College, 1965-67

III.  MILITARY COURSE WORK

  • Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul, Pakistan, 1969-71
  • Basic Artillery Course (OBY), School of Artillery, Deolali, India, 1972
  • Gun Position Officers Course (GPO), Royal School of Artillery, Lurkhill, UK, 1973
  • Group Testing Officers Course (GTO), ISSB, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1974
  • Junior Tactical Course, School of Infantry, Jessore, Bangladesh, 1976
  • Advance Gunnery Course, School of Artillery, Oklahoma, USA, 1978
  • Officers Instructional Course, School of Artillery, Oklahoma, USA, 1979

 

IV.  MILITARY SERVICE RECORD

  • Battery Officer in 78 Field Regiment Artillery, 14 Para Brigade, Sialkot, Pakistan, 1971
  • Artillery Observer in the battles of Borolekha, Shamshernagar, Monglabazar, Juri, Kulaura and Fenchuganj in Sylhet for the independence of Bangladesh in 1971
  • Bangladesh Army, 1972-81

    – GSO-3, HQ 46 Brigade

    – Adjutant, 2-Field Regiment, Artillery

    – DAMS, MS Branch, AHQ

    – GTO, ISSB

    – Battery Commander and 2IC, 14 Mortar Regiment

    – SI, School of Artillery

    – CI, School of Artillery