General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq today took over as the Chief of Army Staff for the next three years on 25 June 2015. His appointment as 14th CAS was revealed earlier on June 10.
He replaced Gen Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan, who handed over the charge to him through asimple ceremony on the same day at Army Headquarters around 12:15pm. Principal staff officers and high-ups of the Bangladesh Army were present at the ceremony.
Gen Belal is the first armored corps officer and the first sword of honor to be the chief of staff of Bangladesh Army.
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Gen Belal was promoted to four star general on the same day. Navy chief Vice Admiral M Farid Habib and Air Force chief Air Marshal Abu Esrar adorned Gen Belal with the rank badge of General in the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office. After adorning the rank Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina congratulated Gen Belal and said, "Bangladesh Army is the pride of the nation’’.
Prime Minister's Security Affairs Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Principal Secretary Abul Kalam Azad, PMO Secretary Suraiya Begum and high officials of the military, among others, joined the ceremony.
Earlier that day on 25 June, the outgoing army chief Gen Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan placed floral wreaths at Shikha Onirban and paid tribute to the martyrs of the country’s war of independence in 1971.
A smart contingent of armed forces gave him a guard of honor at Senakunja and then he was seen off as per the army tradition. Gen Karim served as chief of army staff since June 25, 2012.
Gen Belal, prior to take over as Chief Of Army Staff has been working as the principal staff officer (PSO) of the Armed Forces Division (AFD) under the Prime Ministers' Office (PMO) since January 1, 2013.
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Born in December 1958, Gen Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq was commissioned in Armoured Corps on June 18, 1978 from Bangladesh Military Academy. For his outstanding performance in the Military Academy, he was adjudged as the best all round cadet of his batch and was awarded with ‘Sword of Honor’. He obtained his bachelor's degree from Dhaka University, master's in Defence Studies from National University and another master's in Philosophy from Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP). Currently, he is doing PhD in Regional Connectivity under the BUP.
During his long 39-year career in Army Gen Belal held different important command and staff positions. As a Major he served as the ADC to the then President Lt Gen H M Ershad. As a staff officer he served as Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade and Chief of Staff of an Infantry Division. He commanded two Armour Units, three Brigades and two Divisions. He also served as Military Secretary and Adjutant General of Bangladesh Army. He was also the commandant of prestigious Military Academy- Bhatiary,Chittagong. From 1988 to 1989, Huq served as a Military Observer with the United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIIMOG). Huq was appointed Deputy Force Commander and Chief Military Observer of UNMEE on 4 January 2007.
A keen golfer, Gen Belal is married to Shoma Huq and has a daughter and a son.
[Compiled By: Sabera Jahan]