Wednesday May 22, 2024

Navy’s new chief to take over on Oct 7

By Muhammad Anis
September 27, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), will formally transfer command of the Pakistan Navy during the ‘Change of Command’ ceremony scheduled for October 7.

Sources say that the Ministry of Defence has forwarded a list of the five most senior vice-admirals to Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq for approval of the new naval chief’s appointment for a three-year term.

Vice- Admiral Naveed Ashraf, currently serving as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS) at Naval Headquarters, ranks as the most senior among three-star Pakistan Navy officers. He has a distinguished career, having previously served as Commander Pakistan Fleet, Naval Secretary, Vice President of the National Defence University, and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff at Naval Headquarters.

Following Vice-Admiral Naveed Ashraf in seniority is Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations), Vice- Admiral Ovais Ahmed Bilgrami. He has held key positions such as Commander, Pakistan Fleet, and Principal Secretary to the Chief of Naval Staff during his career.

Vice-Admiral Abdul Samad, who assumed the role of Commander of Naval Strategic Forces Command, stands third on the seniority list of three-star officers. He earned his promotion to vice-admiral in July of this year.

Vice-Admiral Abid Hameed, who holds the position of Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Materials), ranks fourth in seniority. However, he is not considered for the top slot in the Pakistan Navy due to his engineering branch background.

The next three vice-admirals on the seniority list are Commander Coastal Areas, Raja Rabnawaz, and Commander Pakistan Fleet, Vice-Admiral Muhammad Faisal Abbasi. They too were promoted as three-star officers in July of this year.

Vice-Admiral Abdul Samad, Vice-Admiral Raja Rabnawaz, and Vice-Admiral Faisal Abbasi are expected to retire in the middle of the year 2027. They will be the most senior three-star officers when the newly appointed Naval Chief assumes office on the seventh of the next month, completing his three-year tenure on October 7, 2026.