List of Chiefs of Army Staff of Pakistan Army (1947 to date)

List of Pakistan Army Chiefs.

By Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema, Retd (2nd SSC): This article about Pakistan Army Chiefs mentions the tenure of each COAS, his course, Army number, and parent unit. First two Pakistan Army Chiefs were British officers.

Photos of Pakistan Army Chiefs - Images and List of COAS Pakistan Army

List of Pakistan Army Chiefs (1947 to date)

C-in-C (Commander-in-Chief) of Pakistan Army
1.  ?? Gen Sir Frank Messervy (Aug 15, 1947 – Feb 10, 1948)
Parent unit: 9th Hodson’s Horse.
2.  IA-38 Gen Sir Douglas Gracey (Feb 11, 1948 – Jan 16, 1951)
Parent unit: 1st Gurkha Rifles.
3.  PA-10 Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan (Jan 17, 1951 – Oct 26, 1958)
Parent unit: 5 Punjab.
Course: Trained at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (Date of Commission in British Indian Army; Feb 02, 1928).
4.  PA-28 Gen Muhammad Musa (Oct 27, 1958 – Sep 17, 1966)
Parent unit: 1 FF.
Course: Joined British Indian Army as a Jawan in 1926. Later joined Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun as a cadet in October 1932 and got commission in 1935.
5.  PA-98 Gen Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan (Sep 18, 1966 – Dec 20, 1971)
Parent unit: 10 Baloch.
Course: Commissioned from Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, on July 15, 1939.
6.  PA-457 Lt Gen Gul Hassan Khan (Acting C-in-C: Dec 20, 1971 – Jan 21, 1972. C-in-C: Jan 22, 1972 – Mar 2, 1972).
Parent unit: 9th Battalion Frontier Forces Rifles. Posted to 5 Horse (Probyn’s) before Independence.
Course: Commissioned from Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun, in 1942.
He was the only Army Chief who was not a four-Star General.

COAS (Chief of Army Staff) of Pakistan Army
7.  PA-124 Gen Tikka Khan (Mar 3, 1972 – Mar 1, 1976)
Parent unit: 12 Med Regt Arty.
Course: Joined the British Indian Army as a NCO in 1935, got commission on Dec 22, 1940.
8.  PA-1810 Gen Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (Mar 1, 1976 – Aug 17, 1988)
Parent unit: Guides Cavalry (FF).
Course: Commissioned from the Officer Training School, Mhow, on May 12, 1943.
9.  PA-4064 Gen Mirza Aslam Beg (Aug 17, 1988 to Aug 16, 1991)
Parent unit: 16 Baloch.
Course: 6th PMA L/C.
10. PA-5336 Gen Asif Nawaz Janjua (Aug 16, 1991 – Jan 8, 1993)
Parent unit: 5 Punjab.
Course: 15th PMA L/C.
11. PA-5977 Gen Abdul Waheed Kakar (Jan 12, 1993 – Jan 12, 1996)
Parent unit: 5 FF.
Course: 20th PMA L/C.
12. PA-6399 Gen Jehangir Karamat (Jan 12, 1996 – Oct 7, 1998)
Parent unit: 13 Lancers.
Course: 24th PMA L/C.
13. PA-6920 Gen Pervez Musharraf (Oct 7, 1998 – Nov 29, 2007)
Parent unit:16 (SP) Fd Regt Arty.
Course: 29th PMA L/C.
14. PA-12850 Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (Nov 29, 2007 – Nov 29, 2013)
Parent unit: 5 Baloch.
Course: 45th PMA L/C.
15. PA-???? Gen Raheel Sharif (29 Nov 29, 2013 – Nov 29, 2016)
Parent unit: 6 FF
Course: 54th PMA L/C.
16. PA-???? Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa (Nov 29, 2016 – Present)
Parent unit: 16 Baloch
Course: 62nd PMA L/C.

Reference: Official Website of Pakistan Army

List of Army Vice Chiefs
When President Yahya Khan was C-in-C, Gen Abdul Hamid Khan was appointed as Chief of Staff to run the Army affairs. Later, the post of VCOAS was created when Gen Zia-ul-Haq and Gen Pervez Musharraf, in addition to COAS, were also the President of Pakistan.

Pictures of Vice Army Chiefs of Pakistan Army - Images of VCOAS Pakistan Army
Chief of Staff
1. PA-95 Gen Abdul Hamid Khan (25 March 1969 – 20 Dec 1971)
Parent unit: 10 Baloch.
Course: ???
When Martial Law was imposed by Gen Yahya Khan on 25 March 1969, Lt Gen Hamid Khan was made the Deputy C-in-C of Pakistan Army and Deputy Martial Law Administrator of the country. During that time he briefly held the cabinet portfolio of Home Affairs for four months. He was promoted to full general in February 1971 and was appointed as the Chief of Staff of the Army (also known as the de facto Commander-in-Chief of the army).

VCOAS (Vice Chief of Army Staff)
2. PA-??? Gen Sawar Khan (13 Apr 1980 – 23 March 1984)
Parent unit: 1 (SP) Med Regt Arty (FF).
3. PA-3107 Gen Khalid Mahmud Arif (22 March 1984 – 29 March 1987)
Parent unit: 11 Cavalry (FF).
Course: 1st OTS Course (from OTS Kohat).
4. PA-4064 Gen Mirza Aslam Beg (29 March 1987 – 17 Aug 1988)
Parent unit: 16 Baloch.
Course: 6th PMA L/C.
5. PA-???? Gen Muhammad Yusaf Khan (8 Oct 2001 – 6 Oct 2004)
Parent unit: Guides Cavalry (FF).
Course: 37th PMA (Converted into Short Course).
6. PA-9572 Gen Ahsan Saleem Hayat (7 Oct 2004 – 7 Oct 2007)
Parent unit: 33 Cavalry.
Course: 11th War Course.
7. PA-12850 Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (8 Oct 2007 – 28 Nov 2008)
Parent unit: 5 Baloch.
Course: 45th PMA L/C.

Ends the List of Pakistan Army Chiefs.

Related Pages:
Sword of Honour Winners, PMA, Kakul
COAS Cane Winners, PMA, Kakul
Sword of Honour & COAS Cane Winners at OTS Kohat/Mangla
Comdt’s Cane Winners: Lady Cadets’ Courses in PMA,Kakul
Pakistan Army Cadets Trained at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, UK
Army Blog (Retired Officers)

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  1. Lt Col Naeem Ahmed Khan ( R ) says:

    Cheema jee…… Highly impressive & dedicated work indeed.

  2. Lt Col Azizur Rashid (retd) says:

    I think Gen Sawar Khan also served as NCO and later commissioned like Gen Tikka Khan.

  3. Arash Jan Babar says:

    Lt Gen Gul Hassan’s parent unit was not 5 Horse. As per his memoirs, he was commissioned in FF Rifles (probably 5/13 FF Rifles). He later went to armour.
    Gen Ahsan Saleem Hayat was from 11th War Course.

    • Dear Arash Jan Babar,
      Thanks a lot for pointing out the mistakes.
      Lt Gen Gul Hassan’s parent unit was 9th Battalion Frontier Forces Rifles. He was posted to 5 Horse (Probyn’s) before Independence. The correction has been made in the Post.
      Gen Ahsan Saleem Hayat’s course has also been corrected as 11th War Course. But a small doubt still exists. The Wikepedia mentions that he was commissioned in 1968 and was from 11th War Course. The Passing Out Parade of 11th War Course was held on 26 Aug 1967.
      Please see the following two posts:-
      COAS Cane Winners in PMA
      Ahsan Saleem Hayat

      • Arash Jan Babar says:

        Dear Col Cheema,
        Sir, I hadn’t seen the Wikipeadia article before you pointed it out. However, I believe 11th W/C (1967) is correct. Officers from 10/11/12th WC or 39/40th PMA may provide confirmation.

        One more thing, only a suggestion, should the officers’ unit designation at the time of commission be mentioned in brackets as well? For example Gen Sawar Khan would have been commissioned in 1 Mountain Regiment not 1 (SP) or Gen Janjua in 1/14th Punjab. (Suggestion only).

  4. Lt Col Saleem A Chowdry, Retd (42nd PMA) says:

    Dear Cheema,
    Good effort. Try to have missing PA #s of of COASs.

  5. Lt Col Qabil Shah Tirmizi (R) says:

    Col Rashid Cheema,

    Sir, Memorable Effort. Allah Bless You.

  6. Maj Azmat Rashid, Retd (77 PMA) says:

    It is a commendable effort. Can we come to know about their parent units please?

  7. Brig Zafar Chaudhry (R) says:

    Dear Cheema,
    Good reference / research material.

  8. Maj M. Azam (37th PMA) U.K. says:

    Lt Col Cheema,
    Thanks for the useful list provided by you. Could anyone carry out the research and highlight the successes and failures of all the COASs?

  9. Brig Shaukat Qadir, Retd (42nd PMA L/C) says:

    Thanks Rashid. Good to have a list.

  10. Thanks for the List.

  11. Lt Gen Khateer Hasan Khan, Retd (16th War Course) says:

    Thanks Cheema. You are making great contributions. I wholeheartedly appreciate your dedication and hard work in this regard. Well Done and keep your good work moving forward.
    Stay blessed and Regards.

  12. Lt Col Muhammad Munir (3rd Graduate Course) says:

    Thanks for this information.

  13. Khalique Akram (USA) says:

    Dear Cheema,
    Thanks for sharing. I really appreciate your effort.

  14. Thank you, Cheema Jee, for this timely information to coincide with the change of Chiefs.

  15. Lt Col Amir Afzal Khan, Retd (40th PMA Long Course) says:

    Thank you Cheema. Very kind of you and God bless you.
    With regards,
    Col Afzal

  16. Lt Col Qadeer Ahmad, Retd, 24/29 Punjab (2nd SSC) says:

    Thanks Col Rashid Cheema. Good effort.

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