Aboobaker Osman Mitha

Aboobaker Osman Mitha

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Aboobaker Osman Mitha

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Major General Aboobaker Osman Mitha, usually shortened to AO Mitha, (1923–99), HJ, SPk, SQA, was a legendary two-star rank general who was the pioneer of the "stay behind" concept and founder of Pakistan's Special Service Group (SSG), an independent Commando Brigade of the Pakistan Army. He was to the SSG what David Stirling was to Britain's Special Air Service.

Early life and Marriage

Major General AO Mitha was born in 1923 to an affluent and politically influential Memon family in Bombay. Mitha grew up in Bombay, spending his childhood and early years under the influence of a joint-family system presided over by an imperious grandfather and an omnipresent, all-powerful grandmother. He married the classical dancer, Indu Mitha and had a daughter Tehreema also a dancer.

Career in the British Indian Army

Mitha, as a young man, rejected both a career in business and the bride chosen for him by his grandfather, deciding instead to embark upon a career in the army.

After finishing high school he joined a pre-cadet academy, and was selected for a commission in the British Indian Army. He passed out of the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, in 1942 and was commissioned in the 4th Bombay Grenadiers. After volunteering for the Parachute Regiment, he served in Burma during World War II and was dropped behind Japanese lines for high-risk operations.

Maj Gen Mitha refers to the blatant racism that British officers practiced against their Indian colleagues in his...
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