Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee

The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) is, in principle, the highest-ranking and senior most military officer, typically at four-star rank, in the Pakistan Armed Forces who serves as a principal military adviser to the civilian government led by elected Prime minister of Pakistan and his/her National Security Council.:153–154[1] The role of advisement is also extended to the elected members in the bicameral Parliament and the Ministry of Defence.:42[2] The Chairman leads the meetings and coordinates the combined efforts of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), comprising the Chairman, the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Air Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff, Commandant of Marines, DG Strategic Plans Division, and commanders of the service branches in the paramilitary command.:145–146[3]

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee

چیئرمین مشترکہ رؤسائے عملہ کمیٹی
Flag of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
General Nadeem Raza

since November 27, 2019
Ministry of Defence
Member ofJoint Chiefs of Staff Committee
Reports toPrime Minister of Pakistan
SeatJoint Staff Headquarters
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
NominatorThe Prime Minister
AppointerThe President
Term length3 years
renewable once
PrecursorChief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy
FormationMarch 1, 1976 (1976-03-01)
First holderGeneral Muhammad Sharif
DeputyDG Joint Staff

Even as the Principal Staff Officer (PSO), the Chairman does not have any authority over the command of the combatant forces.:145[4] The individual service chiefs are solely responsible for the coordination and logistics of the armed and combatant forces. Due to this constraint, the chiefs of army, navy and air force are much in command and control of their respected commands.:146–147[4]

The Chairman's mandate is to transmit strategic communications to the combatant commanders from the Prime minister and President as well as allocate additional funding to the combatant commanders if necessary.:146–147[4] The Chairman is nominated and appointed by the Prime Minister; and is finally confirmed by the President.:1147[4] Unlike United States's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the appointment of Chairman does not need confirmation via majority vote by the Parliament. Although, the appointment needs confirmation from the Prime minister. By statute, the Chairman is appointed as a four-star general, four-star air chief marshal and/or four star admiral. By law required, all four-star officers are required to have vast experience in joint uniformed services of Pakistan during their 40-year-long military careers.:148[4]

The post of CJCSC was created by former Prime minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in March 1976, and the first Chairman was four star rank officer, General Muhammad Shariff. The current holder of the office is General Zubair Mahmood Hayat appointed in 2016. Graduated from Cantt Public School (F G Cantt Public School) Malir Cantt Karachi in 1976.[5]

Appointment preferences

Despite the post of the chairmanship is bound constitutionally for the rotation, the army generals are strongly preferred for such post, despite coming short of their qualifications, by the civilian prime ministers in a view of stabilizing the civil military relations.:229[6]:426–427[7]

Unlike the American system where the balance is made between the branches of the U.S. military, the majority of the chairmen are appointed from the department of the army, superseding the officers in the navy, marines, and the air force.[8]

In 1999, Prime Minister Sharif notably refused to appoint the senior most officer, Admiral Fasih Bokhari, to such post in favor of appointing junior-most officer, Gen. Pervez Musharraf. This action of Prime Minister Sharif led towards Adm. Bokhar revolting against this decision in public in 1999, creating strain in the relation between the civilian government and the military.[9]

The four-star admirals in the Pakistan Navy have been notably superseded by the junior army officers, in instances took place in 2005 when Adm. Karim was superseded by junior-most Lt-Gen. Ehsan ul Haq[10] and, in 2011 when Adm. Numan was bypassed in favor of Lt-Gen. Wynne.[11] In 2014, the practice continued by the civil government when Adm. Asif Sandila was bypassed and overlooked when the junior most officer, Lt-Gen. Rashad Mahmood was eventually appointed as Chairman joint chiefs.[12][13]

Seniority in Navy's Candidacy for Chairman joint chiefs Eventual Appointment for Chairman joint chiefs from ArmyYear Zone of appointment
Adm. Fasih BokhariLt-Gen. Pervez Musharraf1999
Adm. Shahid Karim-ullahLt-Gen. Ehsan ul Haq2006
Adm. Noman BashirLt-Gen. K. Shamim Wynne2011
Adm. Asif SandilaLt-Gen. Rashad Mahmood2014

Due to such preferential treatments given to army department, the retired admirals have given a strong criticism of such criterion, expressing their dissatisfaction towards the appointment processes.[14]

List of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee

No. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff CommitteeTook officeLeft officeTime in officeDefence branchPrime Minister
Shariff, MuhammadGeneral
Muhammad Shariff NI(M), SI(M)
1 March 197622 January 1977327 days Pakistan ArmyBhutto, Zulfikar AliZulfikar Ali Bhutto
Shariff, MohammadAdmiral
Mohammad Sharif NI(M), HI(M), SI(M), HJ, SJ, SK
[lower-alpha 1]
22 January 197713 April 19803 years, 82 days Pakistan NavyBhutto, Zulfikar AliZulfikar Ali Bhutto
Khan, IqbalGeneral
Iqbal Khan NI(M), SBt
13 April 198022 March 19843 years, 344 days Pakistan Army*None
1977 – 1985
Khan, RahimuddinGeneral
Rahimuddin Khan NI(M), SBt
(born 1924)
22 March 198429 March 19873 years, 38 days Pakistan ArmyJunejo, Mohammad KhanMohammad Khan Junejo
Rahman, Akhtar AbdurGeneral
Akhtar Abdur Rahman NI(M), SBt
29 March 198717 August 1988 1 year, 110 days Pakistan ArmyJunejo, Mohammad KhanMohammad Khan Junejo
Sirohey, Iftikhar AhmedAdmiral
Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey NI(M), HI(M), SI(M), SBt
(born 1934)
10 November 198817 August 19912 years, 280 days Pakistan NavyBhutto, BenazirBenazir Bhutto
Khan, Shamim AlamGeneral
Shamim Allam NI(M), SJ, SBt
(born 1937)
17 August 19919 November 19943 years, 84 days Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Khan, Farooq FerozeAir Chief Marshal
Feroz Khan NI(M), SBt
(born 1939)
10 November 19949 November 19972 years, 364 days Pakistan Air ForceBhutto, BenazirBenazir Bhutto
Karamat, JehangirGeneral
Jehangir Karamat NI(M), SBt
(born 1941)
9 November 19977 October 1998332 days Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Musharraf, PervezGeneral
Pervez Musharraf NI(M), TBt
(born 1943)
7 October 19987 October 20013 years, 0 days Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Khan, AzizGeneral
Aziz Khan NI(M), SBt
(born 1947)
7 October 20017 October 20043 years, 0 days Pakistan ArmyJamali, Zafarullah KhanZafarullah Khan Jamali
ul Haq, EhsanGeneral
Ehsan ul Haq NI(M)
(born 1949)
7 October 20047 October 20073 years, 0 days Pakistan ArmyAziz, ShaukatShaukat Aziz
Majid, TariqGeneral
Tariq Majid NI(M), HI(M)
(born 1950)
7 October 20077 October 20103 years, 0 days Pakistan ArmySoomro, Muhammad MianMuhammad Mian Soomro
Yousaf Raza Gillani
Wynne, Khalid ShameemGeneral
Khalid Shameem Wynne NI(M)
8 October 20108 October 20133 years, 0 days Pakistan ArmyGillani, Yousaf RazaYousaf Raza Gillani
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf
Mir Hazar Khan Khoso
Kayani, Ashfaq ParvezGeneral
Ashfaq Parvez Kayani NI(M), HI(M)
(born 1952)
8 October 201327 November 201350 days Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Mahmood, RashadGeneral
Rashad Mahmood NI(M)
(born 1953)
27 November 201328 November 20163 years, 1 day Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Hayat, Zubair MahmoodGeneral
Zubair Hayat NI(M)
(born 1960)
28 November 201627 November 20193 years, 30 days Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Imran Khan
Raza NaveedGeneral
Nadeem Raza HI(M)
27 November 2019Incumbent5 days Pakistan ArmyImran Khan

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by Branch of Service

  • Army - 13
  • Navy - 2
  • Air Force - 1

See also


  1. General Sharif resigned in 1977 after the coup but had been ineffective from his duty as early as 22 January 1977. Admiral M.S. Khan filled his position on several occasion. General Sharif's resignation was not approved until March 1979.


  1. USA, IBP (2009). "Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee". Pakistan Air Force Handbook: Strategic Information and Contacts (google books) (3rd ed.). Islamabad: p. 222. ISBN 9781438737027.
  2. Cheema, Pervaiz Iqbal (2002). The armed forces of Pakistan (1st ed.). New York: New York University Press. p. 200. ISBN 9780814716335. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  3. Rizvi, H. (2000). "Civilian interlude". Military, State and Society in Pakistan (googlebooks) (1st ed.). New York, U.S.: Springer. p. 295. ISBN 9780230599048. Retrieved 30 December 2017.
  4. Rizvi, H. (2000). "Civilian Interlude". Military, State and Society in Pakistan (google books). U.K.: Springer. p. 300. ISBN 9780230599048. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  6. Shafqat, Saeed (1997). Civil-military relations in Pakistan : from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Benazir Bhutto. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press. ISBN 9780813388090.
  7. Nawaz, Shuja. Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195476606. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  8. Dogar, PA, Brig. Yakob Ali (January 1999). "Pakistan's Higher Defence Organization". Islamabad, Pakistan: defence Journal, Ali. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  9. Siddiqi, M A (8 September 2017). "Only PM to choose 30% of Pakistan's army chiefs". The Friday Times. The Friday Times. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  10. "New JCSC chief, VCOAS appointed". Dawn Newspapers. 3 October 2004. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  11. Maverick Pakistan release. "Navy chief to command Pakistani military". Maverick Pakistan release. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  12. "Nawaz meets Kayani; appointment of new CJCSC discussed". DAWN.COM. 4 October 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  13. "CJCSC headhunt: Names shortlisted for Gen Wynne's replacement | The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 2 October 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  14. Amin, A.H (May 2001). "Remembering Our Warriors – Vice Admiral Tasneem". Islamabad, Pakistan: Defence Journal, Amin. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
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