Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army

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Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army
Flag of the Pakistani Army.svg
Flag of the Pakistan Army
Ministry of Defence
Army Secretariat-I at MoD[1]
Abbreviation C-in-C
Seat Army GHQ
Rawalpindi Cantonment in Punjab, Pakistan
Nominator President of Pakistan
Appointer President of Pakistan
Formation August 15, 1947; 70 years ago (1947-08-15)
First holder General Frank Messervy
Final holder Lieutenant-General Gul Hassan Khan
Abolished 3 March 1972
Succession Chief of Army Staff
Deputy Chief of General Staff
Deputy C-in-C
Website Official website

The Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army (abbreviation: C-in-C of the Pak Army) was the most senior appointment of the Pakistan Army till 1972. This post was held by a full-general except in the case of Gul Hassan Khan who served the post in the rank of Lieutenant-General and was not promoted. The C-in-C was assisted by deputy C-in-C till mid 60's, the last deputy C-in-C was Yahya Khan served till 1966. The C-in-C designation was changed to 'Chief of Army Staff' in 1972, Tikka Khan was the first person to hold the new title.[2][3][4][5][6][7]Six men have served as C-in-C, the first two of them were native British.


The Commander-in-Chief was the main commandant of the whole army, he oversaw the new plans and strategies for any conflict with India. Though designated as ‘Commander’ this was a staff appointment. The Deputy Commander-in-Chief helped him easing his works and served in his chair while he left for abroad.

List of Commanders-in-Chief

# Picture Name Rank Start of tenure End of tenure Notes
1 Gen Sir Frank Messervy.jpg Frank MesservyFrank Messervy General General August 15, 1947 February 10, 1948 The first Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army who took command in the rank of Acting General.
2 Gracey Douglas David.jpg Douglas GraceyDouglas Gracey General General February 11, 1948 January 16, 1951 The first officer with the rank of substantive full general (honorary) to hold the C-in-C title.
3 Ayubnewarmychief.jpg Ayub KhanAyub Khan General of the Army Field Marshal January 16, 1951 October 26, 1958 The first native Pakistani person to be the C-in-C, also the only five-star ranked officer till date. He has also served as the President of the country for 11 years.
4 GeneralMuhammadMusaKhanHazara .jpg Ayub KhanMusa Khan General General October 27, 1958 June 17, 1966 C-in-C during the Indo-Pak war of 1965 and also the longest serving officer to hold the post (8 years).
5 Yahya Khan (cropped version).jpg Yahya KhanYahya Khan General General June 18, 1966 December 20, 1971 Last C-in-C of unified west and East Pakistan and also President of the country from 1969 to 1971.
6 Lieutenant-General Gul Hassan Khan of Pakistan Army..jpg Gul Hassan KhanGul Hassan Khan Lieutenant-General Lieutenant General December 21, 1971 March 2, 1972 First C-in-C of the Pakistan Army after the secession of East Pakistan, serving till 1972 in the rank of Lieutenant General.


  1. ^ MoD, Ministry of Defence. "Organogram of MoD" (PDF). Ministry of Defence (Pakistan). Ministry of Defence Press. Retrieved 22 July 2017. 
  2. ^ Cheema, Pervaiz Iqbal (2002). "Defence Administration". The Armed Forces of Pakistan (google books) (1st ed.). New York, U.S.: NYU Press. p. 225. ISBN 9780814716335. Retrieved 25 July 2017. 
  3. ^ Shabbir, Usman (2003). "Command and Structure control of the Pakistan Army" (html). PakDef Military Consortium. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 
  4. ^ Cloughley, Brian (2016). A History of the Pakistan Army: Wars and Insurrections. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781631440397. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 
  5. ^ "Pakistan: Army and Paramilitary Forces". Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Cloughley, Brian (2016). A History of the Pakistan Army: Wars and Insurrections. New York [u.s[: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781631440397. Retrieved 21 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "The Army Chief's". Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
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