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October 6, 2011

Admiral Sandila appointed naval chief

October 6, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Upholding the principle of seniority, President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday appointed Vice Admiral M Asif Sandila as chief of naval staff (CNS). The president also promoted Sandila to the rank of Admiral. He will assume command of the Pakistan Navy most likely on Friday. The change of command ceremony will be held at PNS Zafar Naval Complex, Islamabad.
Admiral Asif Sandila is the first Kohatian (he studied at Cadet College Kohat) to gain the top naval rank (Lt Gen (Retd) Sabahat Hussain and Maj Gen (Retd) Haroon Sikander Pasha are other prominent Kohatians who rose to the rank of three and two-star generals). He will succeed Admiral Noman Bashir who completes his three-year term on Friday (October 7, 2011).
The News had hinted some 5 weeks ago that Vice Admiral Asif Sandila was likely to be appointed the new naval chief. Now, President Zardari has appointed Admiral Sandila after getting input from Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.
Admiral Sandila, HI (M), called on the president on Wednesday after the issuance of the notification of his appointment as CNS. Vice Admiral Abbas Raza, the other contender, missed the bus reportedly because of the Mehran Base attack. “We fully appreciate the appointment of Asif Sandila as new CNS and it goes to the credit of the government and the president that they upheld the principle of seniority in this appointment,” said a former colleague of Admiral Asif Sandila.
Sandila belongs to Sangla Hill, Sheikhupura and has one son and two daughters. He won the sword of honour at the academy and also served as ADC to Admiral Sirohey when he was chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
Admiral M Asif Sandila HI (M) was commissioned in the Operations Branch of Pakistan Navy in 1975. A highly qualified surface navy officer, Sandila has held challenging command and staff appointments, which include command of a guided missile Destroyer PNS Badr and 25th Destroyer Squadron. He served as Director General

Maritime Security Agency and Commander Logistics and also commanded the Pakistan Navy Fleet from October 2008 to November 2009.
His staff appointments include deputy commandant Pakistan Naval Academy, assistant chief of naval staff (Planning), deputy chief of naval staff (Projects) and the all-important deputy chief of naval staff (Operations). Prior to his appointment as CNS, he was serving as chief of staff at the Naval Headquarters, Islamabad.
The Flag Officer is a graduate of the Naval Command and Staff College of Indonesia and the Armed Forces War College at the National Defence University. He is a recipient of the Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military) and “Chevalier de I’ Ordre National de Merite” for rescuing French nationals in the Maldives during the Tsunami in December 2004.

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