Open main menu

Chief of General Staff, shortly abbreviated as CGS, is the most coveted position within the Pakistan Army after that of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Although four-star Chief of Army Staff (COAS) is the nominal head of the land forces, CGS is "the organisational lead on both intelligence and operations"[1]. A three-star lieutenant general is appointed to the post of CGS.

Chief Of General Staff
Country Pakistan
Allegiance Pakistan Army
BranchActive Duty
TypeStaff Office
Chief Of General StaffLt Gen Nadeem Raza

Traditionally, the selection for COAS or Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) has a preference for the officer candidate having served as Chief of General Staff. Of the last 13 four-star army generals, eight officers had served a tenure as CGS. Of the five who hadn't, Pervez Musharraf and Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had served as Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), while Ehsan ul Haq had served as Director General of Military Intelligence (DGMI), all two-star postings under the CGS.

The current CGS is Lt Gen Nadeem Raza since September 2018.[2]



The CGS heads the General Staff Branch of Army General Headquarters. He is also assisted by a Vice Chief of General Staff (VCGS) and Deputy Chief of General Staff, both two-star major generals. The critical directorates of Military Operations and Military Intelligence (headed by DGMO and DGMI respectively) also come under his purview.


Historically, the CGS post, in addition to Commander X Corps, Rawalpindi, had political significance when the army chief wanted to overthrow political leadership. The 1999 Pakistani coup d'état, which brought General Pervez Musharraf to power had active involvement of Lt Gen Muhammad Aziz Khan, then CGS and Lt Gen Mahmud Ahmed, commander X Corps Rawalpindi.

Therefore, the army chief essentially positions most trusted aides for these two postings before making a routine reshuffle. General Ziauddin Butt, who was nominated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after retiring Pervez Musharraf, passed his first orders to appoint Lt Gen Muhammad Akram as CGS and Lt Gen Salim Haider as Commander Rawalpindi Corps. But before this order could be conveyed to the rest of the army, Aziz and Mahmud took steps to reverse the order by overthrowing the government and thus essentially starting the 1999 coup.

List of Chiefs of General StaffEdit

Rank and Name Start of Term End of Term
Lt Gen Nadeem Raza , September 2018 Present
Lt Gen Bilal Akbar, December 2016 September 2018
Lt Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat, April 2015 November 2016
Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad, – November 2013 April 2015
Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood, January 2013 November 2013
Lt Gen Waheed Arshad, October 2010 January 2013
Lt Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne April 2010 October 2010
Lt Gen Muhammad Mustafa Khan, October 2008 April 2010
Lt Gen Salahuddin Satti, October 2006 October 2008
Lt Gen Tariq Majid, December 2003 October 2006
Lt Gen Shahid Aziz, October 2001 December 2003
Lt Gen Muhammad Yusaf Khan, August 2000 October 2001
Lt Gen Muhammad Aziz Khan, October 1998 August 2000
Lt Gen Ali Kuli Khan Khattak May 1997 October 1998
Lt GenIftikhar Ali Khan, January 1996 May 1997
Lt Gen Jehangir Karamat, July 1994 January 1996
Lt Gen Farrakh Khan August 1991 July 1994
Lt Gen Asif Nawaz April 1991 August 1991
Lt GenShamim Alam Khan, May 1989 April 1991
Lt Gen Mian Muhammad Afzaal, January 1988 May 1989
Maj Gen (later Lt Gen) Mirza Aslam Beg, June 1980 – October 1985
Maj Gen Sirdar Farooq Shaukat Khan Lodi, March 1978 June 1980
Maj Gen Abdullah Malik, March 1976 March 1978
Maj Gen Muhammad Iqbal Khan July 1974 March 1976
Maj Gen M. Rahim Khan, 1972 1974
Maj Gen (later Lt Gen) Gul Hassan Khan 1969 1971
Maj Gen Sahabzada Yaqub Khan 1966 1969
Maj Gen Malik Sher Bahadur, 1962 1966
Maj Gen Yahya Khan, 1957 1962
Maj Gen Sher Ali Khan Pataudi, 1955 1957
Maj Gen Mian Hayaud Din 1953 1955
Maj Gen Yusuf Khan 1951 1953
Maj Gen Akbar Khan 1950 1951


  1. ^ [:// ://] Check |url= value (help). Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ [:// ://] Check |url= value (help). Missing or empty |title= (help)

External linksEdit