Sawar Khan (Urdu: سوار خان) NI(m), was a senior Pakistan Army general who served as the Vice Chief of Army Staff under President Zia-ul-Haq from 1980 until 1984. Prior to that, he served as the Governor of Punjab to enforce martial law imposed by then-army chief Gen. Zia against civilian government in 1977.

Sawar Khan
13th Governor of Punjab
In office
18 September 1978 – 1 May 1980
Preceded byAslam Riaz Hussain
Succeeded byLt-Gen. Ghulam Jilani Khan
Personal details
Sawar Khan

1 December 1924
Rawalpindi District, British Raj
SpouseKhadijah Bano
Military service
Branch/servicePakistan Army
Years of service1946–1984
UnitPakistan Army Corps of Artillery
Post-Retirement WorkCommunity Service President Northern University, Nowshera Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa


Sawar Khan was commissioned into the Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army in 1946 after his passing out from the OTS in Bangalore.[1] As an army captain, Sawar served as an instructor gunnery (IG) at the School of Artillery.[2] His combat services witnessed his participation in second and third war with India. In 1975–1976, Maj-Gen. Sawar was posted in Army GHQ in Rawalpindi as an Adjutant-General.: 209 [3]

On 24 March 1976, Major-General Sawar was informal by then-Defence Secretary, Ghulam Ishaq, of government's decision of retiring the commissions of seven army generals, with Sawar promoting to three-star rank.: contents [4] Lieutenant-General Sawar Khan was eventually appointed as the field commander of the XI Corps based in Peshawar.[5] In 1978, Lt-Gen. Sawar Khan was posted as a field commander of the IV Corps in Lahore, taking over the command by Lt-Gen. Iqbal Khan.[6][7]

Governorship of Punjab and vice-chief of army staffEdit

In 1978, Lt-Gen. Sawar was appointed as martial law administrator and took over the governorship of Punjab, performing a difficult task in the province where the democratic movements were taking place.: 34 [8][9]

In 1980, Lt-Gen. Sawar Khan was promoted to four-star rank and was posted as the Vice Chief of Army Staff under President Zia-ul-Haq at the Army GHQ in Rawalpindi. His views reflected the anti-Russian views and supported the covert operations against the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, which he viewed as a direct threat to Pakistan.: xix [10] In 1984, Lt-Gen. Sawar sought retirement from the military and was eventually replaced by Lt-Gen. Khalid Mahmud Arif; and by the time, Sawar retired from the army, he built up his reputation in the army as a professional soldier.[11]

Awards and decorationsEdit



(Order of Excellence)

Sitara-e-Harb 1971 War

(War Star 1971)

Tamgha-e-Jang 1965 War

(War Medal 1965)

Tamgha-e-Jang 1971 War

(War Medal 1971)

Pakistan Tamgha

(Pakistan Medal)


Tamgha-e-Sad Saala Jashan-e-


(100th Birth Anniversary of

Muhammad Ali Jinnah)


(Republic Commemoration Medal)


Hijri Tamgha

(Hijri Medal)


War Medal


India Service Medal


Queen Elizabeth II

Coronation Medal


Foreign DecorationsEdit

Foreign Awards
  UK War Medal 1939-1945  
  UK India Service Medal 1939–1945  
  UK Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal  


  1. ^ EAS Bokhari "Late Lt Gen SM Abbasi" Defence Journal, April 2002
  2. ^ "LATE LT GEN SM ABBASI". 23 July 2012. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 7 April 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Malik, Maj-Gen. Tajammal Hussain (1991). The Story of My Struggle (snippet view) (1st ed.). Karachi, Pakistan: Jang Publishers. p. 249. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  4. ^ Sehri, Inam (2012). "§(Who Supported Zia?)". Judges and Generals of Pakistan Volume - I (google books) (1st ed.). Grosvenor House Publishing. ISBN 9781781480434. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  5. ^ A.H. Amin "Remembering Our Warriors: Maj Gen (Retd) Tajammal Hussain Malik" Defence Journal, September 2001
  6. ^ Rahimullah Yusufzai. "Change of Guard at Peshawar's 11th Corps" The News, 10 May 2001
  7. ^ Burki, Shahid Javed (2018). Pakistan: Fifty Years Of Nationhood, Third Edition (3rd ed.). Routledge. ISBN 9780429978135. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  8. ^ Cloughley, Brian (2008). War, Coups & Terror: Pakistan's Army in Years of Turmoil. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. p. 34. ISBN 978-1-60239-698-2. Retrieved 7 April 2018 – via Internet Archive. sawar khan governor.
  9. ^ Rizwan Hussain. "Pakistan and the Emergence of Islamic Militancy in Afghanistan" Ashgate Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-7546-4434-0
  10. ^ Service, United States Foreign Broadcast Information (1982). Daily Report: People's Republic of China. National Technical Information Service. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Pakistan under Zia, 1977–1988", by Shahid Javed Burki Asian Survey, Vol. 28, No. 10 (Oct., 1988), pp. 1082–1100

See alsoEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Punjab
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by Vice Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by