Muhammad Zakaullah

Muhammad Zakaullah (Urdu: محمد ذكاءالله; b. 10 January 1958[1]), NI(M), SI(M), TI(M), LOM, is a retired admiral in the Pakistan Navy, who was the 15th Chief of Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy. He was later replaced by Admiral Zafar Mahmood abbasi.

Muhammad Zakaullah
Chief of Naval Staff
In office
2 October 2014  7 October 2017
Preceded byAdm. Asif Sandila
Succeeded byAdm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi
Director-General of the National Accountability Bureau
In office
16 November 1999  17 November 2003
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byLt-Gen. Shahid Aziz
Personal details
Muhammad Zakaullah

(1958-01-10) 10 January 1958
Lyallpur, Punjab, Pakistan
(Now Faisalabad, Punjab in Pakistan)
Citizenship Pakistan
Military service
Allegiance Pakistan
Branch/service Pakistan Navy
Years of service1975–2017
UnitNaval Operations Branch
CommandsVice Chief of Naval Staff
Commander Pakistan Fleet
DCNS (Ops)
DCNS (Trig.)
Combined Task Force 150
Ins-Gen. Naval Police
Pakistan Naval Academy
Battles/warsIndo-Pakistani wars and conflicts

Piracy off the coast of Somalia

War in Afghanistan

Operation Decisive Storm

AwardsOrder of Military Service
Order of Abdulaziz al Saud
Legion of Merit
Nishan-i-Imtiaz (military)
Sitara-i-Imtiaz (military)
Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (military)
Pride of Performance
Sword of Honour

He is noted for his sportsmanship, having represented Pakistan at the Olympics for a sailing class category, for which he is a recipient of a national honor.[2]

As naval chief, Admiral Zakaullah is noted for revolutionizing the role of the navy, emphasizing the role of the navy in economic corridor with China and took initiatives to strengthened ties with the Turkish Navy.[3][4] He also played an active role in establishing the very low frequency facility to provide communications with the submarines as well as ensuring the second-strike capability by commissioning the cruise missile system in the strategic command of the Navy.[5]


Early life and career in Navy

Muhammad Zakaullah was born in Lyalpur (now Faisalabad) in Punjab, Pakistan on 10 January 1958[1] After graduating from the Cadet College Hasan Abdal, he joined the Pakistan Navy in 1975 where he was sent to join the Pakistan Naval Academy, graduating at top of his class and conferred with coveted Sword of Honour and awarded the chief of the naval staff gold medal at his graduation.[6][7] Sub-Lieutenant Zakaullah gained commissioned in the Operations Branch, and was sent to United Kingdom for his training and education later his career.

He attended and did his military training from the Royal Naval Staff College, and later attended the London University where he gained MA in Defence studies.[8] He also a attended and graduated from the Quaid-e-Azam University, having attained the MSc in War Studies.[9]

Upon returning to Pakistan, he joined the faculty of and National Defence University to teach war studies.[10]

War and staff appointments

Zakaullah qualified as a surface officer from the United Kingdom, serving first in the Babur which he later commanded as Commander.[7] He also served as a military attaché at the Pakistan Embassy, Doha in Qatar.[11] Captain Zakaullah served as the Directing Staff at the Pakistan Naval War College before taken as secondment by the President Musharraf.[12]

From 1999 till 2003, Commodore Zakaullah tenured as the Director-General of the National Accountability Bureau, before taking over the command of the 25th Destroyer Squadron.[12][13] His other command appointments included his role as Chief Inspector of Naval Police and military secretary to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz for a short brief of time.[13] Rear-Admiral Zakaullah also commanded the CTF–150 in Arabian Sea to guard off operations on Somalian piracy.[14]

At the Navy NHQ, he was appointed as ACNS (Plans), DCNS (Training and Personnel), and DCNS (Operation).[13]

Vice-Admiral Zakaullah's last war assignment included command of the Pakistan Fleet as its senior commander.[15]

On the height of border escalation with India, he reportedly responded to the incident to media that, Pakistan has ability to answer the disturbance of border.[16]

In an emergency address to the media representatives at the ISPR directorate, he quoted to the media that "Pakistan forces are prepared for any critical situation."[16] Answering the question of Indian Army's further capabilities, Admiral Zakaullah said that Pakistan was not concerned due to New Delhi's ground capability as it had the ability to defend itself against any aggression.[17][18]

Chief of Naval Staff

In 2014, Vice-Admiral Zakuallah was promoted to four-star rank admiral.


He is a keen yachtsman and has represented Pakistan at numerous international events, including 1984 Olympics and Asian Games of 1986 and 1990. He has won Gold medal at the Asian Games twice.[2] He is also a recipient of President's Award for Pride of Performance for outstanding performance in yachting.[2]


  1. "Muhammad Zakaullah Bio, Stats, and Results". Olympics at Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  2. "Commodore Zakaullah promoted as Rear Admiral". Associate Press of Pakistan. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  6. "Welcome to MMSP". Master Mariners Society of Pakistan:. Retrieved 10 October 2017.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  7. Ghauri, Irfan (2 October 2014). "Admiral Zakaullah appointed as new navy chief—The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. The Express Tribune Press 2014. The Express Tribune, Islamabad. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  8. Desk, News (2 October 2014). "Admiral Zakaullah appointed new Chief of Naval Staff - Pakistan - Dunya News". Dunya News. Dunya News 2014. Dunya News. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  9. "Daily Pakistan Release". Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  10. "Three naval officials made vice admirals". Daily Pakistan. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  11. Staff, Writers (3 October 2014). "Vice Admiral Zakaullah is new naval chief". Paktribune. Paktribune, 2014. Paktribune. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  12. Alumni, Abdalians. "Admiral Zakaullah appointed as Navy Chief". Cadet College Alumni Association. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  13. "Vice Admiral Zakaullah appointed vice chief of naval staff". Pakistan Today. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  14. Staff (14 November 2012). "Commander of Sri Lanka Navy Visits Pakistan". Naval Today. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  15. Press Release. "Two rear admirals promoted to vice admiral". Pakistan Times. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  16. APP; et al. (13 January 2013). "Pakistan has ability to answer the disturbance of border (Pakistan Navy)". The Newstrack and APP. Archived from the original on 12 October 2017. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  17. Front DEsk (12 January 2013). "Pakistan Navy able to repel border attack". GEO TV. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  18. "'Pak Navy able to repel border attack'". The News International. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
Military offices
Preceded by
ADM Asif Sandila
Chief of Naval Staff
2 October 2014 6 October 2017
Succeeded by
ADM Zafar Mahmood Abbasi
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