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Brigadier General Muhammad Siddiq Salik: Biography

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Brigadier General Muhammad Siddiq Salik (1935) (September 6, 1935 – August 17, 1988), was a 1 star general in the Pakistan Army and former director-general of the Inter Services Public Relations who headed ISPR from August 1985 till his death. Brigadier-General Salik is most known as a close associate of former Pakistani President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. Siddique Salik was born in village Manglia Kharian, Gujrat District, Punjab.

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He belongs to a noble Jat family. Salik schooled in Lahore and graduated from Punjab University earning a degree in English literature and international relations.

Before receiving his commission in the Pakistan Army, Salik had taught English literature in few colleges in Lahore. Salik fought in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. In 1971, Salik, as Major, was stationed in East Pakistan, when the 1971 Pakistan-India (fought between 26 March-16 December) and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 (fought between 3 December-16 December) took place. Captured by Indian troops on December 19, 1971, Salik was initially incarcerated in Agra jail before being shifted to various other prisons as a Prisoner of War.

He was eventually handed over to Pakistan under the Simla Agreement which vouched for exchange of prisoners. Salik was a celebrated writer. He wrote an insightful book titled Witness to Surrender (Urdu version: “Meinay Dhaka Doobtay Dekha”) based on his recollection of the war. In 1977, General Zia became President of Pakistan following a bloodless coup. Zia-ul-Haq removed civilian officers from top posts and appointed a new military junta, which included Salik amongst its members.

On August 17, 1988, Salik was traveling with President Zia in his plane as his press secretary and director general inter services public relations, alongwith U. S. ambassador Arnold Raphel, when the plane crashed under mysterious circumstances killing all on board. Salik authored six Urdu and 3 English books. Among these, the “Witness to Surrender” (ISBN 81-7062-108-9) recounts the 1971 Pakistan-India war, as seen by Salik who was posted there as the Public Relations Officer. His other books include humaa yaran dozak(a recollection of his years as a risoner of war after the fall of Dacca, East Pakistan), ta damay tehreer (Urdu), emergency, pressure cooker (both novels in Urdu), Salute (biography of his years in army), State vs Politics, A Case study of Pakistan. All his books became best sellers. Brigaidier Siddique Salik is survived by his widow,three daughters and a son. His son Sarmad Salik is a known Islamabad based journalist. He has been director news of state run TV channel Ptv and director current affairs of Ary news besides having worked for national and international newspapers and TV networks.