Chief of Army Staff (Pakistan)
|Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army
Ministry of Defence|
Army Secretariat-I at MoD
|Member of||Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee|
Prime Minister of Pakistan|
Minister of Defence
General Headquarters (GHQ)|
Rawalpindi Cantonment, Punjab, Pakistan
|Nominator||Prime Minister of Pakistan|
|Appointer||President of Pakistan|
Renewable only once
|Formation||March 3, 1972|
|First holder||General Tikka Khan|
|Succession||On basis of seniority, subjected to the decision of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.|
|Unofficial names||Army Chief|
Chief of General Staff|
Vice-Chief of Army Staff
|Salary||According to Pakistan Military officer's Pay Grade(apex Scale)|
The Chief of Army Staff (Urdu: سربراہ پاک فوج) (reporting name: COAS), is a military appointment and statutory office held by the four-star rank army general in the Pakistan Army, who is appointed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and final confirmation by the President of Pakistan.
The Chief of Army Staff is a senior most appointment in the Pakistani military who is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee in a separate capacity, usually consulting with the Chairman joint chiefs to act as a military adviser to the Prime Minister and its civilian government in the line of defending the land borders of the country. The Chief of Army Staff exercise its responsibility of command and control of the operational, combatant, logistics, and training commands within the army, in contrast to the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army. Due to its stature, the Chief of Army Staff have been instrumental in enforcing martial laws against the civilian government due to the meltdown of a civil-military relations in the past decades.:168
The appointment, in principle, is constitutionally subjected to be for three years but extension may be granted from the approval and recommendations of the Prime Minister by the President. The Chief of Army Staff is based in the Army GHQ, and the current Chief of Army Staff is General Qamar Javed Bajwa, serving in this capacity since 29 November 2016
Prior to creation of Pakistan from the partition of India on 14 August 1947, the senior military general officer commanding of the Pakistan Army were the ad-hoc appointments made by the Army Board of the British Army.
The appointment was known as Commander-in-Chief who directly reported to the Governor-General who was also under British monarchs.:105 The first commander-in-chiefs of the army were senior officers of the British Army who commanded the amalgamated army of British and Pakistani army officers from 1947 until 1951.:105
In 1969, the title of the army command was changed from "Commander-in-Chief" to "Chief of Staff" with President Yahya Khan acting as Commander-in-Chief and General A.H. Khan as Chief of Staff.:contents On 20 March 1972, the post was renamed as "Chief of Army Staff" (COAS) with Lieutenant-General Tikka Khan elevated to four star rank to be appointed as army's first chief of army staff.:62
The term of the superannuation was then constrained to three years in the office as opposed to four years and was made a permanent member of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.:62 Since 1972, there has been 10 four-star rank army generals to be appointed as chief of army staff by statue. The Prime Minister approved the nomination and appointment of the Chief of Army Staff, with President confirming the Prime Minister's appointed choosing and nomination.
The army leadership is based in the Army GHQ whose functions are supervised by the Chief of Army Staff, assisted by the civilians from the Army Secretariat of the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The Chief of Army Staff exercise its responsibility of complete operational, training and logistics commands.:131
There are several principle staff officers (PSO) that assists in running the operations of the Army GHQ:
- Engineer-in-Chief (Eng-in-C)
- Chief of General Staff
- Chief of Logistics Staff
- Inspector-General of Training and Evaluation (IGT&E)
- Inspector-General Communications and IT (IGC&IT)
- Inspector-General Arms (IG Arms)
- Military Secretary (Mil Secy)
- Quartermaster General (QMG)
- Master-General of Ordnance (MGO)
- Judge Advocate General Corps
- Director-General EME (DGEME)
- Director-General Frontier Works Organisation (DGFWO)
- DG Combat Development Directorate
Martial law and turnover
Due to the powers granted by the Constitution of Pakistan to assist the civilian government led by popularly-elected Prime Minister to control and command the law and order, the chief of army staff has been instrumental in instigating and enforcing the coups d'état against the civilian government and the Prime Minister.:40 In 1977, General Zia-ul-Haq was the first army chief who carefully planned a coup against Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto when the right wing opposition instigated popular demonstration after the general elections held in 1977.
After the Pakistan Army's performance in Kargil sector, Prime Minister Sharif terminated the commission of General Musharraf, as an army chief and chairman joint chiefs, but Musharraf refused to follow the orders by instigating and leading the military coup by turning over the government under his control on 12 October 1999.
The army chiefs, including the previous army's commanders-in-chiefs, had justified their course of actions by noting to attempt to control the worsening of the law and order situation in the country, as in the case of Yahya Khan (1969):239 and General Zia-ul-Haq:239 (1977), or by attempting to revive the economic prosperity in a threat of financial crises, as seen in the case of General Ayub Khan (1958):contents and General Pervez Musharraf (1999).:154:254
List of Chiefs of Army Staff
|№||Chief of Army Staff||Took office||Left office||Time in office||Unit of Commission|
Tikka Khan HJ, HQA, SPk
|3 March 1972||1 March 1976||years, 364 days3||2 Fd Regt Arty|
|1 March 1976||17 August 1988||years, 169 days12||13 Lancers|
Mirza Aslam Beg NI(M), SBt
|17 August 1988||16 August 1991||years, 364 days2||16 Baloch|
Asif Nawaz NI(M), SBt
|16 August 1991||8 January 1993 †||year, 145 days1||5 Punjab|
Abdul Waheed Kakar NI(M), SBt
|11 January 1993||12 January 1996||years, 1 day3||5 FF|
Jehangir Karamat NI(M), TBt
|12 January 1996||6 October 1998||years, 267 days2||13 Lancers|
Pervez Musharraf NI(M), TBt
|6 October 1998||28 November 2007||years, 53 days9||16 (SP) Medium Regt Arty|
Ziauddin Butt HI(M)
(Appointment lasted few hours)
|12 October 1999||12 October 1999||days0||Corps of EME|
Ashfaq Parvez Kayani NI(M), HI(C)
|29 November 2007||29 November 2013||years, 0 days6||5 Baloch|
Raheel Sharif NI(M),HI
|29 November 2013||29 November 2016||years, 0 days3||6 FF|
Qamar Javed Bajwa NI(M), HI(M)
|29 November 2016||Incumbent||year, 278 days1||16 Baloch|
Vice Chief of Army Staff
The Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS), is the post that is principle deputy and second-in-command (S-in-C) of the Pakistan Army, reporting under the Chief of Army Staff. The position was created in the existence of army chief is simultaneously the President of Pakistan, having taking over by imposing the martial law against the elected civilian government.:contents The post is now nonexistence and no longer in commission with the army— the Chief of General Staff now serves as the second-in-command in the army leadership.
The function and scope of the vice army chief was to "exercise and perform all the powers and functions vested in the chief of army staff under the law. rules, regulations, orders, and instructions for the time being in the force.":contents
The vice army chiefs are considered to be the principle commander of the army but not altogether, as the vice army chief has to report to the army chief, specifically in taking decisions regarding the promotions.:contents The post of the vice army chief is a senior position and its officer is a four-star rank army general.
List of vice chiefs of army staff
All persons mentioned below have served as the Vice Chief of the Army Staff with distinction of General Abdul Hamid Khan who acted as the 'Chief of Staff' (COS) of the army under General Yahya Khan who was the President of Pakistan and also the holder of the title 'C-in-C of the Army'.
|Order||Name||Rank||Photo||Appointment Date||Left Office||Unit of Commission||Decorations|
|±||Abdul Hamid Khan||General||25 March 1969||20 December 1971||10th Baloch||HQA, SPk|
|1||Sawar Khan||General||13 April 1980||23 March 1984||1st (SP) Med Regt Arty (FF)||NI(M)|
|2||Khalid Mahmud Arif||General||22 March 1984||29 March 1987||11th Cavalry (FF)||NI(M), S Bt|
|3||Mirza Aslam Beg||General||29 March 1987||17 August 1988||16th Baloch||NI(M), S Bt|
|4||Yusaf Khan||General||8 October 2001||6 October 2004||Guides Cavalry||NI(M)|
|5||Ahsan Saleem Hayat||General||7 October 2004||7 October 2007||33rd Cavalry||NI(M)|
|6||Ashfaq Parvez Kayani||General||8 October 2007||28 November 2007||5th Baloch||NI(M), HI|
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