Timeline: Army Chiefs who preceded Qamar Javed Bajwa

Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa has been appointed as the 16th Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan. 

The Chief of Army Staff is the the highest and most prestigious four-star rank appointment in the Pakistan Army. The position of COAS was earlier known as the Armed Commander in Chief.

Here is a brief look the the army chiefs in the history from Pakistan from independence in 1947 till to-date.


General Sir Frank Walter Messervy (August 1947 – Feburary 1948)

General Sir Frank Walter Messervy was born in 1893. He was commissioned in the Indian Army in 1913 and served as a British Indian Army officer in both the First and Second World Wars.

He became the first Commander in Chief of Pakistan Army from 15 August 1947 to 10 February 1948.


General Douglas David Gracey (February 1948 – April 1951)

General Sir Douglas David Gracey was born on 3 Sept 1894 to English parents living in India. He was commissioned in British Army and served in the First and Second World Wars.

He is the second Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan, and held the office from 11 February 1948 to 16 January 1951.


Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan (17 January 1951 – 26 October 1958) 

Field Marshal General Muhammad Ayub Khan was born on 14 May 1907, and was selected for Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1922 and was commissioned on 2 Feb 1928.

He joined the 1st Battalion of the Punjab regiment and was promoted to Major in the British Indian Army in 1940. In 1946, he was posted in the North West Frontier Province and commanded a Brigade in South Waziristan in 1947.

He was made Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army on January 17, 1951, and become the first native Pakistani General to hold this position after succeeding General Sir Douglas Gracey. He is also the only Field Marshal in the history of Pakistan.


General Muhammad Musa (Commander-in-Chief) (27 October 1958 – 17 September 1966) 

General Muhammad Musa was born on 20 Nov 1908 and was commissioned from Indian Military Academy in Dehradun on 1 Feb 1935.

He was posted to the 6th Royal Battalion, the 13th Frontier Force Rifles as a Platoon Commander in 1936. He rose to the rank of the Commander in Chief of Pakistan Armed Forces on 1st April 1957 and held the office till 17 Sept 1966.


General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan (18 September 1966 – 20 December 1971)

General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan was born on 4 Feb 1917. He was commissioned in British Army on 15 Jul 1939 from Indian Military Academy Dehra Dun on 15 July 1939.

After independence, he was commissioned in the Baloch Regiment of the Pakistan Army. He became Chief of Army Staff on 18 Sep 1966 and held this office till 20 Dec 1971.

General Gul Hassan (Commander-in-Chief) (20 December 1971- 2 March 1972)

General Gul Hassan Khan was born on 9 June 1921 in Quetta. He graduated from Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, India and was commissioned on 22nd Feburary 1942.

He commanded First Armed Division and remained Chief of General Staff before he was appointed acting Commander in Chief on 20 December 1971. He was appointed Commander in Chief on 22 January 1972 till 3rd March 1972.


General Tikka Khan (3 March 1972 – 1 March 1976) 

General Tikka Khan was born on 7 Jul 1915. He was a graduate of the Indian Military Academy at Dehradun, and was commissioned in British Army on 22 Dec 1940.

After independence he joined Pakistan Army as a Major in the Regiment of Artillery in 1947. In 1949, he was promoted as Lieutenant Colonel and commander of his unit.

General Tikka Khan was the Chief of Army Staff from 3rd March 1972 to 1st March 1976.


General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (1 March 1976 – 17 August 1988)

General Zia-ul-Haq was born in Jalandhar India on 12 September 1924. He was commissioned in the British Army on 12 May 1943 and saw action is World War II.

After independence, he joined the Pakistani Army as a major. He was trained US Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas from 1962-64.

On 1 April 1976, he was appointed Chief of Army Staff. He was killed in a mysterious plane crash near Bahawalpur on 17 August 1988.

General Mirza Aslam Beg (17 August 1988 – 16 August 1991)

General Mirza Aslam Beg was born in Azam Garh, British India on 2 August 193. He was commissioned in the Baloch Regiment of Pakistan Army on 23 August 1952.

He completed special forces training with the US Army Special Forces in Fort Bragg, North Carolin, and was inducted in the Special Service Group (SSG) after being promoted to the rank of major.

He was made Chief of Army on 17 August 1988 and remained in the office till 1 August 1992.

General Asif Nawaz Janjua (16 August 1991 – 8 January 1993)

General Asif Nawaz Janjua was born on 3 January 1937. He was selected for Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned on 31 March 1957 through the Punjab Regiment.


He also stayed as Corps Commander in Karachi and Chief of General Staff before becoming the Chief of Army Staff.  He was made Chief of Army Staff from 1991 to 1993. His tenure was cut short by his death after suffering a heart attack.


General Abdul Waheed Kakar (12 January 1993 – 12 January 1996)

General Abdul Wahid Kakar was born on 20 March 1937 and was commission on 18 October 1959 in the Frontier Force Regiment through the 20th Long Course at Pakistan Military Academy.

He is a graduate from Command and Staff College, Canada and National Defence College, Rawalpindi. He is remembered for starting the Shaheen Nuclear Missile Project.

He was promoted Lieutenant General in 1989 and appointed Commander XII Corps at Quetta. He was made Chief of Army Staff on 12 January 1993 and held the office till 12 January 1996.

General Jehangir Karamat (12 January 1996 – 7 October 1998)

General Jehangir Karamat was commissioned on 14 October 1961 from Pakistan Military Academy Kakul.

He is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, USA. He also served in the 1965 and 1971 war with India.

In 1996, he was promoted to four-star rank and became Chief of Army Staff, and later became Chairman Joint Chief of Staff in 1997.

He was made Chief of the Army Staff on 12 January 1996 and held the office till 7 October 1998. He also served as the Pakistan Ambassador to the United States from November 2004 until June 2006.


General Pervez Musharraf (7 October 1998 – 29 November 2007)

General Pervez Musharraf was born on August 11, 1943 in Delhi, British India was raised in Karachi and Istanbul. He studied at the Forman Christian College in Lahore and the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1991 in United Kingdom.

He was commissioned from Pakistan Millitary Academy Kakul on 19 April 1964. Musharraf saw action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as a second lieutenant, and commanded an artillery brigade in 1980s. In the 1990s, he was promoted to major general and assigned an infantry division, and commanded the Special Services Group.

Later, he served as deputy military secretary and the Director General Military Operation. In 1998 he was promoted to four-star general and became the Chief of Army Staff. He held the position till November 2007.


General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (29 November 2007 – 29 November 2013)

General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was commissioned from Paksitan Military Academy, Kakul in Baloch Regiment in 1971.

He is a graduate of the Command and Staff College Quetta, Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth (USA), Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, Hawaii (USA), and National Defence College Islamabad.

He commanded an infantry Battalion, Infantry Brigade, Infantry Division and a Corps. He has been on the faculty of School of Infantry and Tactics Quetta, Officer Training School Mangla, Command and Staff College Quetta and National Defence University Islamabad.

He has also served for the coveted Director General Military Operations, and served as Director General Inter Services Intelligence. He was awarded Hilal-i-Imtiaz and Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military) for his services.

He served as the Chief of Army Staff from 29 November 2007 to 29 November 2013 and was the first army chief to receive an extension by a democratic government.


General Raheel Sharif (29 November 2013 – 29 November 2016)

General Raheel Sharif was born in Quetta on 16 June 1956. He is the son of Major Muhammad Sharif, and the younger brother of Major Shabir Sharif who embraced martyrdom in 1971, and Major Mumtaz Sharif.

He is an alumnus of Govt College Lahore and passed from the 54th Long Course of the Pakistan Military Academy and was commissioned in October 1976 from the Frontier Force Regiment.

He started his military career serving in Infantry Brigade in Gilgit and as adjunct of Pakistan Military Academy. He served as an instructor in the School of Infantry and Tactics. He also graduated with distinction from Command and Staff College Canada.

Raheel Sharif served in the Infantry Brigade and commanded the 6th Frontier Force Regiment at Kashmir along Line of Control, and 26 Frontier Force Regiment along the Sialkot Border.

He was a faculty member of the Command and Staff College Quetta, and attended Armed Forces War Course at National Defence University, Islamabad in 1998. He is also a graduate of the prestigious Royal College of Defence Studies United Kingdom.

Raheel Sharif has been Chief of Staff the 30 Corps and 12 Corps, and the General Officer Commanding of an Infantry Division and the Commandant of the Pakistan Military Academy.

As a Lieutenant General he served as Corps Commander 30 Corps for two years before taking over as Inspector General Training and which oversees the training of Pakistan Army.

He was appointed as the 15th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army in 27 November 2013. He was conferred with Nishan-e-Imtiaz (military) in 2013.

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