Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
صدرنشین مجلسِ مشترکہَ رؤسائے افواجِ پاکستان
Flag of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.svg
Flag of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
General Sahir Shamshad Mirza
since 27 November 2022
Pakistan Armed Forces
TypeFour-star officer
StatusLeader of the Armed Forces, Highest ranking military officer
Member of
Reports toMinister of Defence
ResidenceIslamabad, Pakistan
SeatJoint Staff Headquarters
Rawalpindi, Pakistan
NominatorPrime Minister of Pakistan
AppointerPresident of Pakistan
Term length3 years
renewable once
PrecursorChief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force
Formation1 March 1976; 47 years ago (1976-03-01)
First holderGeneral Muhammad Sharif
DeputyVice Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee

The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) (Urdu: صدرنشین مجلسِ مشترکہَ رؤسائے افواجِ پاکستان) is, in principle, the highest-ranking and senior most uniformed military officer, typically at four-star rank, in the Pakistan Armed Forces who serves as a Principal Staff Officer and a chief military adviser to the civilian government led by elected Prime minister of Pakistan and his/her National Security Council. The role of advisement is also extended to the elected members in the bicameral Parliament and the Ministry of Defence.[1]: 42  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 Coast Guards and Strategic Plans Division, and commanders of the service branches in the Civil Armed Forces and the National Guard.[2]: 145–146 

Even as the Principal Staff Officer (PSO), the Chairman does not have any authority over the command of the combatant forces.[3]: 145  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.[3]: 146–147 

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.[3]: 146–147  The Chairman is nominated and appointed by the Prime Minister; and is finally confirmed by the President.[3]: 147  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.[3]: 148 

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 Sahir Shamshad Mirza appointed in 2022.[4]

Appointment preferences[edit]

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.[5]: 229 [6]: 426–427 

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.[7]

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.[8][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 Army Year Zone of appointment
Adm. Fasih Bokhari Lt-Gen. Pervez Musharraf 1999
Adm. Shahid Karim-ullah Lt-Gen. Ehsan ul Haq 2006
Adm. Noman Bashir Lt-Gen. K. Shamim Wynne 2011
Adm. Asif Sandila Lt-Gen. Rashad Mahmood 2014

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[edit]

No. Portrait Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch Prime Minister
Muhammad Shariff NI(M), SI(M)
Shariff, MuhammadGeneral
Muhammad Shariff NI(M), SI(M)
1 March 197622 January 1977327 days Pakistan ArmyBhutto, Zulfikar AliZulfikar Ali Bhutto
Mohammad Sharif NI(M), HI(M), SI(M), HJ, SJ, SK
Shariff, MohammadAdmiral
Mohammad Sharif NI(M), HI(M), SI(M), HJ, SJ, SK
22 January 197713 April 19803 years, 82 days Pakistan NavyBhutto, Zulfikar AliZulfikar Ali Bhutto
Iqbal Khan NI(M), SBt
Khan, IqbalGeneral
Iqbal Khan NI(M), SBt
13 April 198022 March 19843 years, 344 days Pakistan Army*None
1977 – 1985
Rahimuddin Khan NI(M), SBt
Khan, RahimuddinGeneral
Rahimuddin Khan NI(M), SBt
22 March 198429 March 19873 years, 38 days Pakistan ArmyJunejo, Mohammad KhanMohammad Khan Junejo
Akhtar Abdur Rahman NI(M), SBt
Rahman, Akhtar AbdurGeneral
Akhtar Abdur Rahman NI(M), SBt
29 March 198717 August 1988 †1 year, 110 days Pakistan ArmyJunejo, Mohammad KhanMohammad Khan Junejo
Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey NI(M), HI(M), SI(M), SBt
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
Shamim Allam NI(M), SJ, SBt
Khan, Shamim AlamGeneral
Shamim Allam NI(M), SJ, SBt
17 August 19919 November 19943 years, 84 days Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Feroz Khan NI(M), SBt
Khan, Farooq FerozeAir Chief Marshal
Feroz Khan NI(M), SBt
10 November 19949 November 19972 years, 364 days Pakistan Air ForceBhutto, BenazirBenazir Bhutto
Jehangir Karamat NI(M), SBt
Karamat, JehangirGeneral
Jehangir Karamat NI(M), SBt
(born 1941)
9 November 19977 October 1998332 days Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Pervez Musharraf NI(M), TBt
Musharraf, PervezGeneral
Pervez Musharraf NI(M), TBt
7 October 19987 October 20013 years, 0 days Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Aziz Khan NI(M), SBt
Khan, AzizGeneral
Aziz Khan NI(M), SBt
(born 1947)
7 October 20017 October 20043 years, 0 days Pakistan ArmyJamali, Zafarullah KhanZafarullah Khan Jamali
Ehsan ul Haq NI(M)
ul Haq, EhsanGeneral
Ehsan ul Haq NI(M)
(born 1949)
7 October 20047 October 20073 years, 0 days Pakistan ArmyAziz, ShaukatShaukat Aziz
Tariq Majid NI(M), HI(M)
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
Khalid Shameem Wynne NI(M)
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
Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
Ashfaq Parvez Kayani NI(M), HI(M)
Kayani, Ashfaq ParvezGeneral
Ashfaq Parvez Kayani NI(M), HI(M)
(born 1952)
8 October 201327 November 201350 days Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Rashad Mahmood NI(M)
Mahmood, RashadGeneral
Rashad Mahmood NI(M)
(born 1953)
27 November 201328 November 20163 years, 1 day Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Zubair Hayat NI(M)
Hayat, Zubair MahmoodGeneral
Zubair Hayat NI(M)
(born 1960)
28 November 201627 November 20192 years, 364 days Pakistan ArmySharif, NawazNawaz Sharif
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
Imran Khan
Nadeem Raza HI(M)
Raza NaveedGeneral
Nadeem Raza HI(M)
(born 1965)
27 November 201927 November 20223 years, 0 days Pakistan ArmyKhan, ImranImran Khan
Shehbaz Sharif
Sahir Shamshad Mirza NI(M), HI(M)
Shamshad, SahirGeneral
Sahir Shamshad Mirza NI(M), HI(M)
27 November 2022Incumbent182 days Pakistan ArmySharif, ShehbazShehbaz Sharif

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by Branch of Service[edit]

Car used by Chairman Joint Chiefs with the flag and star plate (General Ehsan ul Haq's car in 2006)
  • Army - 14
  • Navy - 2
  • Air Force - 1

See also[edit]


  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. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b c d e Rizvi, H. (2000). "Civilian Interlude". Military, State and Society in Pakistan (google books). U.K.: Springer. p. 300. ISBN 9780230599048. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Who is Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, the new CJCSC?". DAWN.COM. November 24, 2022.
  5. ^ Shafqat, Saeed (1997). Civil-military relations in Pakistan : from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Benazir Bhutto. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press. ISBN 9780813388090.
  6. ^ Nawaz, Shuja (2008). Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195476606. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  7. ^ Dogar, PA, Brig. Yakob Ali (January 1999). "Pakistan's Higher Defence Organization". Islamabad, Pakistan: defence Journal, Ali. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Remembering Fasih Bokhari".
  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. Archived from the original on 5 August 2018. 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. ^ "Remembering Our Warriors - Vice Admiral Tasneem". 14 March 2021. Archived from the original on 14 March 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2022.

External links[edit]