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 or Prime Minister of Pakistan
Appointer President or Prime Minister of Pakistan
Formation August 15, 1947; 70 years ago (1947-08-15)
First holder Gen. Frank Messervy
Final holder Lt-Gen. Gul Hassan Khan
Abolished 3 March 1972
Succession Chief of Army Staff
Deputy Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army
Chief of General Staff
Website Official website

The Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army reporting name: C-in-C) was generally recognized to be a single and senior most appointment held by the four-star officer in the Pakistan Army.:105[2] Though, not a statutory office in existence, the Commander was subordinate to the Defence Minister but this was contested.

Direct appointments to the command of the Pakistan Army came from the British Army Council until 1951, when the first native commander-in-chief was nominated and appointed by the Government of Pakistan.:24[3]

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. Six men have served as C-in-C, the first two of them were native British and the post was largely akin to the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. [4][5][6][7][8][9]


The Commander-in-Chief was the main commandant (supreme commander) and chief general of the whole army, he made new plans and strategies for any conflict with India. 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 Muhammed Ayub Khan 1940-41.jpg Ayub KhanAyub Khan General General January 16, 1951 October 26, 1958 The first native Pakistani person to be the C-in-C, also the first chief to become President of the country. He was a self promoted Field Marshal after becoming the President.[10]
4 General Muhammad Musa Khan Hazara (1958–1966).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 served as 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. ^ Bajwa, Kuldip Singh (2003). "Kashmir Valley saved". Jammu and Kashmir War, 1947-1948: Political and Military Perspective (googlebooks) (1st ed.). New Delhi, India: Har-Anand Publications. p. 320. ISBN 9788124109236. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  3. ^ Harmon, Daniel E. (2008). Pervez Musharraf: President of Pakistan: Easyread Super Large 20pt Edition. ISBN 9781427092038. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Shabbir, Usman (2003). "Command and Structure control of the Pakistan Army" (html). PakDef Military Consortium. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 
  6. ^ Cloughley, Brian (2016). A History of the Pakistan Army: Wars and Insurrections. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. ISBN 9781631440397. Retrieved 24 July 2017. 
  7. ^ "Pakistan: Army and Paramilitary Forces". Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "The Army Chief's". Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "Gen. Ayub becomes President". Dawn (newspaper). 6 September 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017. 
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