Since his mother married ColonelMusa Ali Khan when he was still a toddler, for all documentation purposes he came to be known as Brigadier Abbas Ali Khan son of Musa Ali Khan. Brigadier Abbas was the only child of his parents but has a few stepbrothers and -sisters. His wife Salhia Hussain (maiden name) hails from a rajput family and is a direct descendant of the Raja Prithvi Raj Chohan.
Abbas joined the Kakul military academy in 1971 and was the sergeant of his platoon during his training years. Among other achievements, he was also a boxing color holder in the academy. He is a graduate of the Command and Staff College in Quetta.