Ali Aurakzai was born in 1947 in Orakzai Agency of Pakistan's tribal areas. He got his education mainly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and did his bachelors from the historic Islamia College Peshawar. He was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in April 1968 and was posted in a mechanized infantry battalion which he later commanded. He commanded two infantry brigades (one in Kashmir) and two infantry divisions (Kashmir and Northern Areas/Siachen). His last command was of the Peshawar Corps which he took over on 9 Oct 2001 immediately after 9/11 and commanded it till 12 Mar 2004 whence he retired from the Army. He launched scores of military operation in FATA against foreign militants and succeeded in capturing hundreds of them.