The History of Supersessions Caused by Pakistani C-in-Cs and COASs

By Maj (R) Zuha Saeed (12 OTS)

Editor’s Note: Maj Zuha Saeed is from 28 Cavalry. He got early retirement in 1995. He has settled in Islamabad.

Major Zuha Saeed, Maj

Zuha Saeed

Just for the record and remembering our glorious military history, I was intrigued and I started to collect data after Gen Raheel Sharif was announced our 15th COAS on 27th Nov 2013 (He took over on 29 November 2013).

To my surprise and grief, there I found such big names we have lost in dust of history, I just could not stop myself to write this piece …I BET, my finding in the last paragraph of this article will be worth a read, just as reminder to all and my gratitude to their service to our great Army.

Here are the names of  GENERALS  who got trampled in this dirty game of POWER in the last 66 years!!

I am not taking into consideration the first two British Army Chiefs; Gen Sir Frank Messervy (August 15, 1947 – February 10, 1948) and Gen Sir Douglas Gracey (February 11, 1948 – January 16, 1951).

Ayub Khan

Ayub Khan

1. Field Marshal Muhammad Ayub Khan (January 16, 1951 – October 26, 1958) was the first NATIVE officer to take over Pakistan Army. When he was promoted as C-in-C, he superseded 3 Maj Gens on his elevation:-
– Maj Gen Akbar Khan
– Maj Gen N A M Raza
– Maj Gen ??? (PA-6, a Bengali officer)

Musa Khan

Musa Khan

2. Gen Muhammad Musa (October 27, 1958 – June 17, 1966). He superseded the following on his promotion:-
– Maj Gen Sher Ali Khan Pataudi
– Maj Gen Latif Khan
– Maj Gen Adam Khan

Yahya Khan

Yahya Khan

3. Gen Muhammad Yahya Khan (June 18, 1966 – December 20, 1971) was designated Deputy C-in-C in March 1966, and later became the C in C in June 1966. He supersede the following Generals:-
– Lt Gen Altaf Qadir
– Lt Gen Bakhtiar Rana

Gul Hassan

Gul Hassan

4. Lt Gen Gul Hassan Khan (December 20, 1971 – March 3, 1972). He was the only 3 star C-in-C we ever had. He superseded only one Gen:-
– Lt Gen Tikka Khan

Tikka Khan

Tikka Khan

5. Gen Tikka Khan (March 3, 1972 – March 1, 1976). He was the only superseded 3 star to become Army Chief in our history. He was made 4 star C in C after Gul Hassan was removed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on 2nd March 1972. He was promoted on seniority and did not supersede any officer.



6. Gen Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq (March 1, 1976 – August 17, 1988). When Bhutto elevated him as COAS in March 1976, Zia superseded the following Generals:-
– Lt. Gen Muhammad Shariff
– Lt Gen Aftab Ahmad Khan
– Lt Gen Akbar Khan
– Lt Gen Azmat Baksh Awan
– Lt Gen Ghulam Jilani
– Lt Gen Abdul Majid Malik
(Some put Lt Gen Agha Ibrahim Akram as senior to Zia-ul-Haq, but I am not very sure about it).

Aslam Beg

Aslam Beg

7. Gen Mirza Aslam Beg (August 17, 1988 to August 16, 1991). He was promoted after the plane crash of Gen Zia. He was already VCOAS and did not supersede any officer.

Asif Nawaz

Asif Nawaz

8. Gen Asif Nawaz (Aug ust16, 1991 – January 8, 1993). He was promoted on seniority and did not supersede any officer.

Waheed Kakar

Waheed Kakar

9. Gen Abdul Waheed Kakar (January 11, 1993 – January 12, 1996). When Gen Waheed Kakar was promoted after the sudden death of Gen Asif Nawaz, the following four Lt Gens were superseded:-
– Lt Gen Rehm Dil Bhatti
– Lt Gen Mohammad Ashraf
– Lt Gen Farrakh Khan
– Lt Gen Arif Bangash
(Among these generals, last two opted to continue serving as per Gen Kakar’s request).

Jehangir Karamat

Jehangir Karamat

10. Gen Jehangir Karamat (January 12, 1996 – October 6, 1998). He was promoted on seniority and did not supersede any officer.

Pervez Musharraf

Pervez Musharraf

11. Gen Pervez Musharraf (October 6, 1998 – November 28, 2007). His elevation to COAS superseded the following:-
– Lt Gen Ali Kuli Khan
– Lt Gen Khalid Nawaz

Ashfaq Parvez Kayani

Ashfaq Parvez Kayani

12. Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (November 29, 2007 – November 29, 2013). He was made VCOAS in Oct 2007 and was made COAS on the departure of Gen Pervez Musharraf. He superseded one Gen officer to become VCOAS:-
– Lt Gen Khalid Kidwai

Raheel Sharif

Raheel Sharif

13. Gen Raheel Sharif has been promoted as COAS on 29 Nov 2013. He superseded only one officer:-
– Lt Gen Haroon Aslam

So as the history tells us, out of the 15 Commander-in-Chiefs and Chiefs of Army Staff that have been promoted in 66 years, barring the first two British Chiefs, out of the 13 NATIVES, 9 were promoted OUT OF TURN. In PLAIN WORDS, out of 13 ARMY CHIEFS we are so proud of, 9 were not the TOP MEN at the time of their elevation, so much for the words SENIORITY, MERIT and REWARD that we harp. And frankly they have been the PERSONAL choice of a SINGLETON LOYALTY SEEKING head of state of their time.

Out of these 9 who were apparently choice of a SINGLE man, 3 imposed martial law and bit the same hand that fed them!!!

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Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

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  1. 93,000 Coward-Darpook, Genocidal Pakistan Army/ Air Force/ Navy Surrendered Unconditionally to joint Bangladesh Mukti Bahini + Indian Forces at a Public Surrender ceremony on 16 December 1971 in front of millions of civilians at Dhaka Ramna Race Course ground (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s historic 7th March speech site). 1971 Bangladesh Liberation Struggle showed that Darpook Pakistan Army/ Air Force/ Navy morale would not stand more than a couple of hard blows at the right time and place.

  2. Pakistan Army is a mega-Defeated and mega-Surrendered army.

  3. K Janjua says:

    !st martial law was not imposed by Gen Ayub, although he was CMLA but martial law was imposed by Col. Sikander Mirza.

  4. Concerned says:

    Just a humble point.
    Most of you know fully well, in fact been a part of the organization whose command is being discussed. Consider the selection and promotion procedures. Not perfect but exists nevertheless and hopefully is constantly improved. Going all through this one reaches certain position. And then look at the procedure of arbitrary final appointment on personal whim or reasons. Should not there be a proper system/procedure may a board and finally approved by Commander-in-Chief (President). Or at least improve the political system/institution and bring them to some sanity level. The seniority and suitability on technical ground should remain the guiding principle.
    The history of promotions as discussed brings wastage of professionals, possible infusion of unprofessional jealousies and endeavors.
    At least this is the lesson we should learn and make efforts to improve our political system.

    • Hasan Jawaid (USA) says:

      Dear Concerned,
      Good suggestion and makes perfect sense. However, there is a little caveat. Leaving it to President/Prime Minister under instability in essence is subjecting it to political ramifications and scope-creep. I think system review and approval (policies/procedures) should come from COAS in consent with senior brass until political instability exists. Million dollar question is ‘ How & who would bring the stability?’.

  5. Brig (R) Muhammad Iqbal Awan says:

    There is no mention of Gen Zia Ud Din, he was also designated to be COAS.

    • Zuha Saeed says:

      Brig Awan, sir,
      A very pertinent query to which i fully agree.
      Sir, this article is one of the 1st on the series and was still embryonic when it was being shared on the emails. Another one that I have pasted below was more recent. Any ways to an ex army officer like me, Gen Butt is a valid COAS the Prime Minister, as per the constitution can remove and appoint, at his will any one he desires as Chief. Gen Zia ud Din Butt was appointed by Mian Nawaz Sharif and should be placed in our history as a COAS who survived for 4 hours only. Please read para 7:-

      4 stars and NAWAZ sharif: a historic perspective.
      by Zuha Saeed..

      for the past so many months we are hearing about the THEORIES along with the
      conspiracies being hatched at all levels about the appointments of CJCSC and
      COAS, both the decisions seem to be pending on part of ONE MAN, Mian Nawaz Sharif the incumbent PM of Pakistan.

      Some wheat and lot of chaff is thrown in the air everyday, high time we did some research on the HISTORIC PERSPECTIVE on appointments of the mostcpowerful men of the 6th largest population on this planet, THE 4 STARS, in our country by this ONE man, Mian nawaz Sharif.

      MNS is in office for the 3rd time, but in the NOT VERY FAR past, MNS has had 2 tenures as PM of Pakistan, 1st one from
      Nov 1990 till Jul 1993 and the 2nd term from Feb 1997 to Oct 1999. During these 2 seemingly incomplete terms, MNS PROMOTED/APPOINTED/ELEVATED 12, YES 12 four star generals of our armed forces. For those who are surprised, it surprised me
      too, and MNS has interacted with over 22, four stars as PRIME MINISTER in total till date.

      To start with, the list of his appointees follows. We follow the seniority of the senior most HQ, a few names exist in the list of SERVICE CHIEFs and the CJCSC simultaneously, I purposely did not remove them as we are discussing the APPOINTMENTS done by MNS. He had a free hand to appoint anyone in his mind on these seemingly vacant slots but he filled them with DUAL charge, so for all practical purposes, the MAN was appointed AFRESH..

      1. Gen Shamim Alam Khan, designated CJCSC as a 3 star in Jul 91 and he took over on 9th Nov 91 upon retirement of Adm Iftikhar Sirohi for a term of 3 yrs as a four star.
      2. Gen Jahangir Karamat was already the COAS when MNS took over for his 2nd term. MNS appointed Gen JK as CJCSC on 9th Nov 97, upon retirement of Air Chief Marshal Farooq Feroze Khan. Gen JK retained 2 offices CJCSC and COAS simultaneously.
      3. Gen Pervaiz Musharraf was already his COAS, appointed by him and he gave the Gen addl responsibilities of CJCSC in Oct 98.

      4. Gen Asif Nawaz Janjua was designated COAS in Aug 91 and he took over as 4 star on 9th Nov 1991.
      5. Gen Whaeed Kakar was appointed COAS upon the demise of Gen Asif Nawaz on 12 Jan 93.
      6. Gen Pervaiz Musharraf was made COAS on 7th Oct 98.
      7. Gen Zia ud Din Butt, a legitimate COAS appointed by MNS on 12th Oct 99, he was removed by Gen Mush the same day as a result of a coup.

      8. Adm Saeed Muhammad Khan was promoted as MNS’s 1st ever NAVAL 4 star promotee during MNS’s 1st tenure on 9th Nov 1991.
      9. On 2nd May 1997 MNS removed Adm Mansoor from office on charges of corruption and promoted Adm Fasih Bokahari as Naval Chief. Adm Fasih sent in his PAPERS in PROTEST in Oct 99, when Gen Mush was elevated to the coveted appointment of CJCSC.
      10. Adm Abdul Aziz Mirza was the next Naval Chief, elevated in Oct 99.

      PAF Chiefs by MNS.
      11. ACM Farooq Feroze Khan appointed CAS on 9th Mar 1991. FFK is MNS 1st ever 4 star promotion in any service, later, he received
      one year extension as CAS and then elevated as CJCSC for another term of 3 years as a 4 star. FFK enjoyed the 4 star status for little under 7 years, the subsequent graft was from Benazir Bhutto.
      12. ACM Pervaiz Qureshi Mehdi was promoted as CAS on 7th Nov 97 during MNS 2nd tenure.

      As you can see THESE 12 are the 4 stars he either PROMOTED/elevated, in two casse elevated and given dual charge of CJCSC.
      MNS had a DIRECT hand in elevating these 12.

      As far as the INTERACTION with the 4 stars is concerned, on three occasions that he became the PM he inherited a few CJCSCs and Chiefs, they include:-
      1. Adm Iftikhar Ahmad Sirohi, sitting CJCSC in 1990 during MNS’s 1st tenure.
      2. Gen Aslam Beg, sitting COAS in 1990.
      3. Adm Yastoor ul Haq Malik, sitting CNS in 1990.
      4. ACM Hakim Ullah, sitting CAS in 1990.
      5. ACM Abbass Khatak, sitting CAS in 97, MNS’s 2nd tenure.
      6. Adm Mansur ul Haq, sitting CNS in 1997.
      7. Gen Khalid Shameem Wyne, sitting CJCSC in 2013. MNS’s 3rd tenure.
      8. Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani, sitting COAS in 2013.
      9. Adm Asif Sandila, sitting CNS.
      10. ACM Pervaiz Butt, sitting CAS.

      So safely, MNS has rubbed shoulders with 22 of our 4 stars, rather he was their BOSS as the PRIME MINISTER of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. BIG NUMBER FOR SURE.

      Now the most interesting FACTS.
      1. Out of the 14 COASs we have had in 66 yrs of independence, 15 if we add Gen Zia ud Din Butt to this list, which ETHICALLY we must,
      MNS has PROMOTED 5, meaning 33% of COASs in our history were his choice.
      2. Gen Asif Nawaz and JK were made on seniority.
      3. Gen Waheed was 3rd on the seniority list.
      4. Gen Mush was 3rd on the seniority list.
      5. Gen Zia ud Din was 5th on the seniority list.
      6. The 1st ever 4 star Chief sent home from office on corruption charges was Adm Mansur ul Haq, so MNS was the 1st PM to lay his hands on a sitting 4 star.
      7. As an aide to CJCSC, I remember MNS was on a tangent with Gen Asif Nawaz for sure, had the general lived a little longer there was a TUSSLE written on the wall, in fact two smaller battles between the two, one with the Police in Lahore and one with Khokhar, Dy Speaker of the national assembly had already taken place..and MNS was already feeling THREATENED,i remember
      his ABBA JEE intervening on both the occasions.
      8. Tussle with Gen Waheed Kakar is a recorded history, MNS was sent home along with the President Ishaq Khan despite orders of reinstatement by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
      9. Gen Jahangir Karamat is the story of MNS’s 1st act of deceit, he elevated Gen JK to CJCSC before seeking his resignation on National Security Council issue, while the hidden BLACK MAILING point was flimsy tax returns.
      10. Gen Pervaiz Musharraf was another story of confusion, on part of MNS, Gen Mush was elevated to the slot of CJCSC on 5th Oct and removed on 12 Oct 99, while he was in Sri Lanka.
      11. Gen Zia ud Din Butt, although linked to the saga of Gen Mush, but was yet another story of SHOWING LEFT and HITTING RIGHT on part of MNS.
      12. Adm Fasih Bokhari, gave in his papers on NOT being elevated to CJCSC, but the inside story is now known to all.
      13. Out of all these generals, only GENs Shamim Alam, Asif Nawaz, JK and Adm Saeed were the senior most at the time of their elevation, rest mostly weer PERSONAL choice and LOYALTY was a KEY PLAYER.
      14. During MNS political career spanning over 32 years now, HISTORICALLY he has been operating with senior military leadership and on numerous occasions he is on record COMMITTING to few DIRECTLY and to a few GUARANTORS, of an elevation and then at the right moment pulling the rug from under their feet. Gens TP, Javed Ashraf Qazi, Khalid Janjua and a few more can be a few examples out of many.


      I have tried my best to remain unbiased and NEUTRAL while compiling this data, the entire effort and the OBSERVATIONS are a result of my service spread over a prolonged stay in these power corridors. Most of the details are PUBLIC knowledge and easily accessible/verifiable on the Internet. Any way, any non conformity/incorrect date/data mentioned is purely unintentional.

      my ONLY feeling that I want to share with all of you is that, not last but the least, MIAN NAWAZ SHARIF is a old hand, an expert in this field of gimmickry. He has seen it all, HE HAS DONE IT A DOZEN TIMES. He is no novice, the present delay is because he has not been able to find HIS man is the top leadership of our MILITARY. Fortunately the institution is still STANDING TALL despite all the disinformation hurled on to it by default or design.

      Lets hope and pray that the ARMY remains UNITED in these testing times, whoever becomes the next CJCSC/COAS, beyond an iota of doubt he will be the BEST man for the slot.


  6. Brig (R) Khaled Saeed says:

    Well done Maj Zoha, you did a good job of igniting a discussion. I may add here that fitness followed by seniority, in true sense, should be the criteria for such an elevated post or for that matter any post. Seniority alone is insufficient for any post. We will have to guard against vested interests.

  7. A revealing article.

  8. Major Nabil Ahmed (72 PMA) says:

    Good efforts must be encouraged.

  9. Lt Col (R) Shaukat Zaidi, Kinshasa says:

    Dear Zuha,
    Interesting and informative article. May I recommend digging into another fact… Lt Gen Akbar was offered the Baton of Command (of Pakistan Army). He excused himself and therefore a general officer,(name ???) next in seniority was offered the post, after a course in UK. However, he died in a plane crash and so the mantle passed on Gen Ayub. This was narrated by one senior officer, long time ago so there may be some errors due to my bad memory.

    • Zuha Saeed says:

      Sir Shaukat Zaidi,

      Gen Akbar was PA-1 his brother Gen Iftikhar was PA-2. Gen Akbar declined as he had no COMMAND EXPERIENCE, so his brother was in line to take over the Army. Gen Iftikhar unfortunately was killed in an air crash near Karachi with a few other senior Army officers. AS THE STORY GOES, Sikandar Mirza, the mentor of FM Ayub Khan pushed him in limelight…still Ayub was not the senior most but he was mead, so was his destiny!!!

      Ppl read this too:

      • Dear Zuha,
        PA-2 was Brig Faiz Mohammad Khan (Commissioned in 1921). Maj Gen Iftikhar Khan was Commissioned in 1929 and junior to brig Faiz by 8 years.
        He died in an air crash at Jung Shahi near Karachi on the night 11/12 December 1949. He had no PA number, as the allotment of PA numbers of officers was carried out later in Jan 1950.
        Had he been alive, he would have got the PA No. 16 or 17, as he and Lt Gen Azam Khan were both commissioned on 29 Aug 1929.
        Please see the following Post, it shows PA Nos 1 to 27 :-
        Pakistan Army Cadets Trained at Sandhurst

  10. Brig (R) Yasub Dogar says:

    A fine article.

    Maj Gen Ishfakul Majid was also senior to Ayub, Brig Fazulur Rahman Kallue, Brig Faiz & Brig Zaman were also senior but they did not make Gen’s rank for some reason therefore out of race.

    Yahya superseded 10 officers, they were, Lt Gens Altaf Qadir at CENTO & Bakhtiar Rana Comd 1 Corps, Maj Gens Wisal Muhammad MGO, Syed Gawas QMG, Malik Sher Bhadar who was the CGS, Sarfaraz Malik GOC 10 Div & also Lt Gen Hamid though his course mate who continued to serve, E-in C Gen Anwer though senior was not fit to promoted for not having commanded an Inf Div.

    Gul Hassan also superseded Lt Gen Bhadur Sher & Lt Gen Irshad who resigned besides Gen Tikka Khan who kept serving.

  11. An interesting research work. Some deserving ones were sidelined, but none can fight the destiny. In my humble view, among all the chiefs, Gen Musharraf inflicted greater damage to Pakistan.

    In the pyramid system, not only some deserving Lt Gens didn’t make it to the top, there were many outstanding Lt Cols, Brigs and Maj Gens who fell prey to the whims of likes and dislikes of their seniors. However, by and large the system of promotions is quite fair.

  12. Qaiser Khalil says:

    Seems Maj. Zuha has hit some chords therefore so many remarks, some if them quite lengthy. As an ‘outsider’ (non-military) I can not give my opinion on the article, but I can give some observations about affairs of the State where our Generals are also responsible.

    Promotions and appointments should be a routine but, nothing in our country is routine except rampant corruption by politicians and civil and military bureaucracy. Having said that, if you ask me, Musharraf’s time was much better than the 5 years of last Govt and a few months of present Govt. I’m afraid a time is drawing near when a French Revolution type anarchy will engulf our beloved country. Then who superseded who will become irrelevant.

  13. M. Ashraf Zafar says:

    Good brief. Please also write on Kargil real story. Don’t take side of Army, just plain truth of Kargil, this started series of events which derailed democracy.

    • Dear Mr. Ashraf Zafar,
      Please read an article about Kargil, though it only covers military action briefly but doesn’t cover the political aspects:
      Some “Facts” About Kargil Conflict, 1999

      Visitors of this website are requested to write on Kargil. Are you listening Maj Zuha Saeed?

      • Maj (R) Zuha Saeed says:

        Sirs, I had written a paper on Kargil but in those days I was not on net/FaceBook, so it needs to be scanned and placed on net. Please wait, will have it up in a few days. Regards.

  14. Lt Col (R) Muhammad Naseem Akhtar, 54 Cav/56 Cav (53rd PMA) says:

    Dear Zuha! You have replayed very interesting info from the archives.

    I think we must not indulge in discussing as to why leading horse (Lt Gen Haroon) could not finish, rather should appreciate/strengthen the winning horse (Gen Raheel Sharif). Being from 53rd Long Course, I happen to know both. To me Raheel is Lucky having his mother alive, her PRAYERS worked.

    We all know that Raheel comes from a very decorated martial family, his elder brother Maj Shabbir displayed highest standards of bravery both in 1965 & 1971 Wars. He got SJ in 1965 & embraced Shahadat securing NH in 1971 War.

    What a proud Mother Raheel has……………my Salute to her.

  15. Maj (R) Ali Malik says:

    Good effort must be appreciated rather than dragging it into irrelevent and negative direction.

  16. Syed Haroon Wasti says:


    1- The 2nd Coup was by a C-In-C, NOT against any civilian, but it was, in fact against its own Field Marshal .

    2- No General refused to take promotion, superseding his own seniors.

    3- Only one general REQUESTED his seniors to stay and keep serving.

    4- Rest all preferred that his seniors may vanish from the scene quietly.

    Kindly draw your own conclusions.

  17. Brig (R) Iftikhar Siddiqi (1st SSC) says:

    Nice collection of data, Maj Zuha; allowing a flight to the past. A political leader will, try and find a politically suitable person to head the Army. Since PM has been given prerogative under the constitution to appoint the COAS, we the ones in uniform shall accept the decision. Afterall, the COAS exercises his prerogative of promoting Lt Gens out of Maj Gens who may be equally qualified to be promoted.

    I will, however, not agree with the contention that every Lt Gen will be equally suitable to be the COAS; the system of pyramid has to work and best of the best must rise to the top, of course with luck and destiny on his side.

    Best wishes to Gen Raheel Sharif for his tenure, a day has already passed. If I am asked to suggest an area to focus for the next COAS, it will be “stop the government officials and media” from maligning the Army and ISI.

  18. Nasir Ali Khan says:

    If you ran your own company and had to choose a manager, would you simply choose your oldest employee or the person you thought was most fit to run your organization? I do agree that Haroon Aslam should not have been superseded if he was the man most fit for the job but I don’t agree that he should have had the job just because he was the senior most.

    Even more, in the case if appointment of the Chief Justice of Pakistan we should look for the most competent judge and not the senior most one. The Army has a rigorous system of promotion and the top generals are mostly the most competent too but in the judiciary this is not the case. In fact, if two judges were appointed on the very same day, the older in age is considered senior. This should not be the case.

    • Maj Hasan Jawaid (R),1st SSC (USA) says:

      Nice example but there are anomalies in it. First let’s get some facts right. Lt. Gen Haroon did not make it to the rank of Lt. Gen by fluke, age or seniority. He earned it and his credentials and meritorious service vouch for it and perhaps speak volume on it. He would have been history long ago if he had fallen short of standards professionally or otherwise. He was a trusted officer who held critical appointments and delivered his responsibilities like any other officer of his rank. In my opinion, none of this have to do with him getting axed for the COAS position. Rather, it was his SSG background that might have sent bad vibes implying a hawkish behavior. 1999 episode still lurks in PM’s mind and he is well aware of strong bonding and comradery that exists in SSG. He probably feared that this might be the case between Musharraf and Haroon Aslam as they both were from SSG.T his was enough for PM to choose Raheel Sharif over Haroon Aslam averting future adventurism. Again, it’s just an assumption.

  19. Maj (R) Rehmat Elahi says:

    It’s commendable effort for keeping in the record/archives.

  20. Hasan Jawaid (USA),1st SSC says:

    Although most appointments upto the rank of major within a unit are discretionary and depends on CO’s judgement, yet officer’s performance in the unit, courses, training and attitude make a significant difference in getting appointments within and outside the unit. However, as one moves up the ladder, there are two important factors that outweigh and outclass all factors and make a significant difference in attaining prominence.
    1. Possessing a personality that clicks with key position holders.
    2. Possessing a personality that is non-threatening and non-challenging.

    On the flip side, hawkish attitude raises red flag, suspicions, doubts and becomes questionable to the key position holders who shy away in handing out crucial positions to such individuals. Unfortunately none of this holds true for Lt. Gen Haroon Aslam who was a true professional and a dedicated officer, he simply fell victim to being from SSG. ‘Once bitten, twice shy’ had scared the daylights out of PM.

  21. Lt Col (R) Philip Utarid, Ord (30 PMA), Canada says:

    Dear Zuha, a special effort put in by you in compiling a history of the Chiefs in the evolution of the Pakistan Army & its subsequent evaluation. Regards.

    • Maj (R) Zuha Saeed says:

      Hello sir. I know you, I am from Lahore Cantt. My father was Maj Saeed, we lived on Arif Jan Road, have nostalgic memories of you and your family. Regards.

  22. Col (R) Asif Burhan Malik says:

    Maj Zuha, nice work. Keep writing.

    • Maj (R) Zuha Saeed says:

      Thank you, sir. I do write, this one came on this forum courtesy Col Cheema. I hope more will come up soon. Regards.

  23. Lt Col (R) Muhammad Iftikhar, Avn (49 PMA) says:

    A good article from history but merit has never been on seniority in the Armed Forces. PM has the power to elevate any Lt Gen to COAS and he has done that. Last time he followed the improper course and got the result. Let’s hope Gen Raheel handles the situation in the country.

  24. Furqan Tareen says:

    The great debate all over the media spectrum indicates; how important is Pakistan, Pakistan Army and its COAS in regional as well as in international context. Godspeed Pakistan.

  25. Shahbaz Thuthaal says:

    Gul Hasan also superseded Gen Bahdar Sher, an excellent Commander, who was Comd 4 Corps and Azmat Baksh Awan and another Lt Gen. All the other resigned except Tikka Khan and AB Awan. Later Tikka Khan was promoted for this very act and the operation/actions that he took as GOC Eastern Comd in East Pakistan. Yahya Khan also superseded Gen Sarfraz GOC 10 Div.

    But the maximum damage was caused by Zia-ul-Haq, who passed over six senior and professionally competent officers. Tragedy is Gen Sharif, Gen Akbar and Gen Majid Malik were Maj Generals when Zia-ul-Haq was only a Lt Col. He was promoted as COAS after less than six months as Comd 2 Corps. If Ali Kuli Khan had been COAS or even appointed as CJCS there would have no Kargil hence no 12 OCT 1999. But then ALLAH knows Best.

  26. Lt Gen Jamil Haider (R), 2nd SSC says:

    Dear Zuha, good to hear from you after a long time. How is Talha ? Thanks for the info. One thing has been missed out and that is how many good officers lost their chance due to prolonged tenures of some Chiefs and had to retire.

    • Maj (R) Zuha Saeed says:

      Hello sir, pleasure seeing you here. Talha is fine. This has been as always a tale of illusions, I hope we find a better way of finding our Chiefs, sincerely.

  27. Lt Col (R) Waseem Rashid Hashmi (53 PMA) says:

    I appreciate the pondering and quest for merit. We, as a nation are suffering for not respecting MERIT. Army has some institutionalization in place, but unfortunately factors like race, ethnic background, shallow assessment systems, seniority/supporting strength of respective regiments are some factors that ‘kill’ the merit repeatedly. If merit is the criterion, there is no harm in sacrificing few well connected people.

  28. Dear Maj Zuha,
    It’s good to have some facts collected and put together. However, at such a stage when its one man to be appointed, it cannot simply be on seniority. If you have not already forgotten the way things are done in Army, every single Promotion Board has multiple people to participate and they defend or oppose the people in question for promotion, depending on their personal experiences and record. Then why you find it difficult to digest that at such a high level appointment it can not be made on choice? I can assure you it’s not just one man’s choice rather the ruling political party’s choice.

    Having an Army background myself, it hurts to see “one of the own biting the hand that fed them….” (probably this line suits this article more).

    Having all said, I am afraid you are in no good position, having left Army early as a Major, to comment on appointments of such high level.

    Disclaimer: I am no relative or acquaintance of the promoted COAS, rather I am a relative of one of those superseded along this time.

    • Hasan Jawaid (USA),1st SSC says:

      To be honest with you Mr. anonymous, I am more surprised with your cocky behavior (comment) than Maj. Zuha leaving Army as a major. What does presenting the facts and offering an insight have to do with him leaving Army as a major? How does this prevent or disqualify him from presenting the facts? He is entitled to express his opinion and there is nothing wrong with that. He has consolidated the facts and briefly elucidated on who got superseded by who, why this seems to be a big deal to you which has led you to make such an irresponsible statement.

      I think you should improve your writing etiquette and writing skills. They are both sub standard and do not deserve a place here. Learn to write before you pen your ideas. Were you really in the Army?

      Disclaimer: I have no relationship with Lt Gen Haroon Aslam or Maj. Zuha. I have just thrown in my 2 cents and my harsh reply is based on Mr. Anonymous inept comment.

      • Maj (R) Zuha Saeed says:

        My dear Mr. Anonymous, I have nothing to say to you except that what I wrote is our HISTORY and we can not dispute that, rather it would be pointless.

        PS. Thank you sir Hasan Jawaid, your comments strengthen my love for our common roots, indebted.

  29. Lt Col (R) Ansar Khas, UK says:

    Wonderful article. But in the present circumstances who would like to appoint a COAS who under the orders of senior officers played a key role in the arrest of the then PM and his ministers? But, let us leave it to Allah who is the best Judge.

    • Brig (R) Majid Azim says:

      The then PM deserved that as he tried to humilate the COAS, although he had the powers to change but not in a disgrace manner as he did please.

  30. Brig (R) Khawaja Alamzeb says:

    Maj Zuha, thank you for updating our knowledge.

  31. Major (R) Fateh Alam Sheikh says:

    As per prevalent circumstances, the study is OK, with some ‘Ifs an Buts’ nevertheless, do not worry, history has its colours, and its effects, no doubt in some cases evidently better officers were superseded, this is Muqaddar of the officers, who were affected, but all did their best in deliverance. Good topic for discussion.

  32. Lt Col (R) Kamran Gul Abdullah says:

    Well researched article, Maj Zoha. Ayub Khan was superseded as a Brig while serving in East Pakistan as GOC. He was promoted as Maj Gen on his return to West Pakistan before Gen Gracey’s departure (with 2 years anti date). Maj Zoh,a what about Lt Gen Azam Khan and Lt Gen Habibullah Khattak. Were they not superseded?

  33. Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd) says:

    A good collection of facts and figures from the history of Pakistan Army. In the Army right from the PMA and through out the Army life we are taught that seniority does not matter when it comes to appointments. One gets appointment in PMA and he becomes senior. In unit Adjutant detailed by CO may be junior than the other officers. A junior Maj can become a 2I/C if CO desires so.

    No big deal if COAS gets promote after superseding other officers. At this stage, as a matter of fact, all Lt Gens are same as far as merit goes. Please correct yourself “it is not the hand which fed” yes, you can say the hand which promoted. But in broader prospective it is the Divine hand of ALLAH. Regards.

  34. Engr Gulzar Ahmed Memon says:

    PM Nawaz Sharif has not learnt lesson from History. Ayub Khan, Zia and Pervaiz Musharraf overturned Govts and imposed Martial Law. Similarly now Gen Raheel Sharif being cousin of Kalsoom Nawaz has been elevated as COAS where as right person was Gen Haroon Aslam. More over why Chief of Navy was not promoted to CJCSC? He is senior to Gen Rashid Mehmood. In my personal opinion it might repeat History. God forbids it might be a big disaster for country. More over, this is good information worth to keep it in record.

    • Brig (R) Majid Azim says:

      Engr Gulzar Sahib, good to read your views but one has to be aware of the system to know that why Naval Cheif was not made CJSC. Now a days CJSC has under his command Strategic Forces of the Army headed by a Lt Gen and so on.

      How come Gen Raheel is Kalsoom Nawaz’s cousin?

  35. Lt Col (R) Farooque Akhtar (2nd SSC) says:

    Impressive article about history of Pakistan Army chiefs. I have serious objection to the last para “……………  3 imposed martial law and bit the same hand that fed them!!!” was written either to please civilians or because of underlying hatred of the writer for Army.

    • Maj (R) Zuha Saeed says:

      Sir Farooque,
      Let me REPHRASE my last line and bring it more close to reality so that if you think I have a BIAS against the Army, it can be removed.

      OUT OF THE 3 Chiefs who were promoted OUT OF TURN purely on CHOICE by the Chief Executives OF PAKISTAN, imposed Martial Laws.
      The 1st CMLA ,FM Ayub EXILED his creator Siakander Mirza. Mirza Sb opened a cigar shop in London and died a penniless pauper, he was BURIED with funds collected from his friends and neighbours.

      2nd Chief Zia ul Haq, HANGED his creator ZAB. ZAB is the only man in judicial history of Pakistan who was hanged for abetting a murder, neither before nor after him anyone has been punished for this crime.

      Lastly Gen Mush; he EXILED his mentor and his FAMILY, for 10 years, HAND CUFFED to a plane seat and confiscated his property in the Land of the Pure.

      Sir, if you agree with these HISTORIC FACTS, using the line ‘THEY BIT THE HAND THAT FED THEM’ seems much lighter. NAHI?

  36. Lt Col (R) Mir Zahid Arshad says:

    Statistics for history and record only.

  37. Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

    Great information and recognition of reality when it comes to selective and subjective merit, reward and recognition. One Question: Was it not Oct 1999 when Pervez Musharraf took over?

  38. Azam Gill, France says:

    Thank you for such an informative article.

  39. Lt Col (R) Rashid Zia Cheema (Editor) says:

    Dear Zuha, it’s a wonderful article and very interesting statistics. Please write more articles.

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