History of Army Chiefs (COAS) of Pakistan till 2019

Current Chief of Army Staff General (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa has been given three year extension. He is 16th Army Chief in 72 years of Pakistan’s history. He assumed charge on 29 November 2016. His tenure was to end in 29 November 2019. He has been given a three year extension by taking in view of the regional security environment till 29 November 2022.

History from 1947 to 2019

1

First Commander in Chief was Sir Frank Walter Messervy. He was General. He served from 15 August 1947 to 10 February 1948. His Unit of Commission was 9th Hodsons Hore.

2

Second Commander in Chief was Douglas David Gracey.  He was General. He served from 11 February 1948 to 16 January 1951. His Unit of Commission was 1st Gurkha Rifles

3

Third Commander in Chief was Muhammad Ayub Khan. He was Field Marshal. He served from 16 January 1951 to 26 October 1958. His unit of Commission was 5th Punjab.

4

Fourth Commander in Chief was Muhammad Musa. He was General. He served from 27 October 1958 to 17 September 1966. His unit of Commission was 13th Frontier Force Rifles.

5

Fifth Commander in Chief was Muhammad Yahya Khan. He was a General. He served from 18 September 1966 to 20 December 1971. His unit of Commission was 10th Baloch.

6

Sixth Commander in Chief was Gul Hassan Khan. He was a Lieutenant General. He served as interim Commander in Chief from 20 December 1971 to 21 January 1972. He was appointed as Commander in Chief on 22 January 1972 to 2 March 1972. His unit of commission was 5 Horse.

 

Then designation for head of Army was changed from Commander in chief to Chief of Army Staff.

7

Seventh Army Chief was Tikka Khan. He was a General. He served from 3 March 1972 to 1 March 1976. His unit of commission was 12th Med Regiment of Artillery.

8

Eighth Army Chief was Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. He was a General. He served from 1 March 1976 to 17 August 1988. His unit of commission was Guides Cavalry.

9

Ninth Army Chief was Mirza Aslam Beg. He was a General. He served from 17 August 1988 to 16 August 1991. His unit of commission was 16 Baloch.

10

Tenth Army Chief was Asif Nawaz Janjua. He was a General. He served from 16 August 1991 to 8 January 1993. His unit of commission was 5 Punjab.

11

Eleventh Army Chief was Abdul Waheed Kakar. He was a General. He served from 12 January 1993 to 12 January 1996. His unit of commission was 5 Frontier Force.

12

Twelfth Army Chief was Jehangir Karamat. He was a General. He served from 12 January 1996 to 7 October 1998. His unit of commission was 13 Lancers.

13

Thirteenth Army Chief was Pervez Musharaf. He was a General. He served from 7 October 1998 to 29 November 2007. His unit of commission was 16 Field Regiment of artillery.

14

Fourteenth Army Chief was Ashfaq Pervez Kayani.  He was a General. He served from 29 November 2007 to 29 November 2013. His unit of commission was 5 Baloch.

15

Fifteenth Army Chief was Raheel Sharif. He was a General. He served from 29 November 2013 to 29 November 2016. His unit of commission was 6 Frontier Force.

16

Sixteenth Army chief is Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. He took charge from 29 November 2016.  His tenure was to end in 29 November 2019. He has been given a three year extension till 29 November 2022 to serve Pakistan Army.

 

Contextual background of appointments:

Gen. Muhammad Ayub Khan was first native Commander in Chief of Pakistan Army.  Upon his elevation 2 Major generals were superseded, Maj Gen Akbar Khan and Maj Gen Nam Raza. Ayub Khan removed Governor General Iskandar Mirza and imposed Martial Law in the country. Ayub appointed Gen Muhammad Musa on October 27, 1958 as his Commandar in Chief upon his elevation 3 Major Generals were superseded, Maj Gen Sher Ali Khan Pataudi, Maj Gen Latif Khan and Maj Gen Adam Khan.

Gen Muhammad Yahya Khan was designated as Deputy Commander in Chief on March 1966. He took charge of Commander in Chief in June 1966.  During his elevation he superseded 2 Lt Gen, Lt Gen Altaf Qadir and Lt Gen Bakhtair Rana.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto elevated Gen Gul Hassan to post of interim Commander in Chief on 20 December 1971 to 21 January 1972. He was appointed as Commander in Chief on 22 January 1972 to 2 March 1972. Gen Gul superseded Lt Gen Tikka Khan. But on 3 March 1972 Gen Tikka Khan was appointed as first Army Chief. He is only Lt Gen to be Army Chief. He was promoted to full General on Seniority and did not superseded any officer.

Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto appointed Gen Zia ul Haq as Army Chief. He superseded 7 Lt. Gen. The names are Lt Gen Ghulam Jilani Khan, Lt Gen Abdul Majeed Malik, Lt Gen Ibrahim Akram, Lt Gen Azmat Baksh Awan, Lt Gen Ahmed Khan, Lt Gen Muhammad Akbar Khan and Lt Gen Muhammad Sharif.

Gen Zia took over from government of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and imposed Martial law in 1977. Gen Zia gave himself extension as Army Chief. After death of Army Chief Zia ul haq in air crash, Vice Chief of Army Staff Gen Mirza Aslam Baig took over command as Army Chief.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after completion of tenure of Gen Mirza Aslam Baig in June 1991 appointed Gen Asif Nawaz as Army Chief. He superseded 1 Gen, Gen Shamim Alam Khan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Gen Shamim Alam Khan as Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee.

After death of Gen Asif Nawaz in January 1993, Prime Minister Nawaz appointed Gen Abdul Wahid Kakar as Army chief. His tenure was from 12 January 1993 to 12 January 1996. He superseded 4 Lt Gen, Lt Gen Arif Bangash, Lt Gen Rehm Dil Bhatti, Lt Gen Farrakh Khan and Lt Gen Muhammad Ashraf.

Gen Jehangir Karamat was appointed as Army Chief on 12 January 1996 to 7 October 1998 by the then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. He left office 3 months early due to differences with then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He was most senior Lt Gen when he was appointed Army Chief.

After resignation of Gen Jehangir Karamat. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Gen Pervez Musharaf as Army Chief on 6 October 1998. He superseded 2 Lt Gen, Lt Gen Ali Quli Khan and Lt Gen Khalid Nawaz Khan. Prime Minister tried to dismiss Gen Musharaf and appoint Gen Zia-ud-Din butt as Army Chief. Gen butt was not allowed to continue after 12 October 1999. Gen Musharaf dismissed government in 1999. He remained Army Chief and gave himself extension until a Lawyers movement forced him to resign in November 2007.

Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani became Army Chief on 28 November 2007. Gen Ashfaq was serving as Vice Chief of Army Staff. He superseded to Vice Chief over 1 Lt Gen, Lt Gen Khalid Kidwai was serving on extension given by Gen Musharaf. Gen Kayani was first General to get extension from civilian government of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani. His tenure was to end in November 2010 but after 3 year extension his tenure ended on 29 November 2013.

Lt Gen Raheel Sharif was appointed as Army Chief on 29 November 2013. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed Lt Gen Raheel sharif by superseding two Generals, Lt Gen Muhammad Haroon Aslam and Lt Gen Rashad Mehmood. Gen Rashad Mehmood was elevated to Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. He was first general to retire on time in two decades.

Gen Qamar Javed bajwa was appointed as Chief of Army Staff by Nawaz Sharif. He superseded 5 Lt Gen, Lt Gen Zubair Hayat, Lt Gen Syed Wajid Hussain, Lt Gen Najibullah Khan, Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad and Lt Gen Javed Iqbal. Lt Gen Zubair Hayat was promoted to Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff Committee. Gen Bajwa assumed charge on 29 November 2016. His tenure was to end in 29 November 2019. He has been given a three year extension by taking in view of the regional security environment till 29 November 2022.

This extension comes at a time when Pakistan is facing a standoff with India at Kashmir issue.

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