As I sit down to pen my thoughts, my heart swells with pride and nostalgia. My nephew, General Waker-uz-Zaman, has achieved what many can only dream of – becoming the Chief of the Bangladesh Chief of Army Staff. I, Hosneara Zaman Ali (Munni Fupi), have had the privilege of watching Waker grow into the remarkable individual he is today.

General Waker-uz-Zaman with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday 23 June 2024 in Dhaka.

On Sunday 23 June 2024, Waker officially assumed the position of Bangladesh Chief of Army Staff (CAS), a testament to his leadership, strategic vision, and dedication to the nation. His international experience includes deployments with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM).

Waker, the son of my late eldest brother, Asad-uz-Zaman, a distinguished district judge, was born in Dhaka in 1966. His paternal grandfather, the late Khan Bahadur Fazlur Rahman of Sherpur, and maternal grandfather, the late Khan Bahadur Sadeque Khan, would have been proud of the man he has become.

General Waker-uz-Zaman with uncle Mr Kazi Ali OAM and aunty Mrs Hosneara zaman Ali at Coogee Beach in Sydney in July 2022.

Waker’s childhood was marked by his kind nature and good manners. His mother, my beloved bhabi, devoted herself to his education and personal growth. Despite losing his father in 1992, Waker’s parents’ dedication to his upbringing has paid off in the most remarkable way.

Commissioned in the East Bengal Regiment in 1985, Waker has had a distinguished military career, serving in various command and staff appointments, including commanding officer of the 17th East Bengal Regiment, commander of the 46th Independent Infantry Brigade in Dhaka, and General Officer Commanding (GOC) and Area Commander of Savar Area, 9th Infantry Division.

He has also served as the Principal Staff Officer of Armed Forces Division from 2020 to 2023 and as the Chief of General Staff (CGS) of the Bangladesh Army from 2023 to 2024.

General Waker-uz-Zaman with uncle Mr Kazi Ali OAM and aunty Mrs Hosneara zaman Ali (Munni fupi) and cousin Shakira Ali at a Coogee Beach restaurant in Sydney in July 2022.

General Waker-uz-Zaman holds master’s degrees in defence studies from both the National University of Bangladesh and King’s College, University of London.  He has had the rare privilege of commanding the National Victory Day Parade three consecutive times and has been awarded the coveted Army Medal of Glory (SGP) and Extraordinary Service Medal (OSP) for his remarkable contributions to modernizing the army.

Waker is married to Sarahnaz Kamalika Zaman (Sarah), a devoted spouse and supportive partner throughout his military career. Together, they have two daughters, who are both pursuing their higher education.

General Waker-uz-Zaman, during his visit to Sydney in July 2022 paid respect to his uncle late Simon Zaman’s grave at Rookwood Cemetery with his aunty Munni fupi.

Our entire family, including the Sherpur district community, extends our heartfelt best wishes to him. We have every confidence that Waker will courageously meet every challenge and uphold his commitments to our country. Our thoughts and prayers are always with him, and we look forward to seeing him continue to serve our nation with distinction.

In this moment of triumph, I am filled with pride and joy, knowing that Waker’s roots are firmly grounded in our family’s values and traditions. I am honored to be his aunt and to have played a small part in his journey.

Congratulations, dear Waker, may your star continue to shine bright!