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Admiral Zafar Abbasi appointed as new naval chief

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October 4, 2017

ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain has appointed Vice Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi as Chief of the Naval Staff and promoted him to the rank of Admiral. His promotion to the rank of admiral will be effective from the date of assuming the command of Pakistan Navy.

Vice Admiral Zafar Mahmood will succeed Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah who will relinquish the command of Pakistan Navy on October 7. The change of command ceremony will be held at PNS Zafar, Islamabad.

Vice Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, who is top on the seniority list after Admiral Zakaullah, was commissioned in Operations Branch of Pakistan Navy in June 1981. The officer undertook initial training at the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, UK. On commissioning, the officer won the coveted sword of honour from Pakistan Naval Academy. During his distinguished career, the admiral attained vast experience of both command and staff appointments.

His command appointments include command of surface ships, commandant Pakistan Naval Academy, commander 25th Destroyer Squadron, DG Pakistan Maritime Security Agency, commander Coast, commander Logistics, commander Pakistan Fleet and Command of Multi-National Combined Task Force 150 at HQ NAVCENT, Bahrain.

His key staff appointments include Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Plans), Chief Inspector (Navy) and Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff (Operations). Presently, the admiral is serving as Chief of the Staff at the Naval Headquarters.

The flag officer is a graduate of the National Defence University, Islamabad, and Royal Australian Navy Staff College. In recognition of his meritorious services, the admiral has been awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military).

Meanwhile, the outgoing Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah made a farewell call on Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat at the Joint Staff Headquarters, Rawalpindi.

During the meeting, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat acknowledged and commended the remarkable services of Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah as the naval chief. The chairman also highlighted the dynamic role played by Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah during his tenure of service to enhance the operational capabilities of Pakistan Navy, inter services cooperation and transformation of Pakistan Navy into a potent force.
On the occasion, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah thanked chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee for his gratitude and well wishes. In 2014, Vice-Admiral Abbasi was in the race to be appointed as a four-star admiral and to take over the command of the Navy as its Chief of Naval Staff, alongside with Vice Admiral Khan Hasham bin Siddique and Vice-Admiral SA Hussaini. However, the most senior admiral in the Navy, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah was promoted to the four-star appointment, he continued serving as the DCNS (Operational) at the NHQ.

Upon the retirement of Vice-Admiral Khan Hasham, Vice-Admiral Abbasi took over as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff in June 2017. Admiral Khan Hasham was appointed Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia upon his retirement.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the appointment of Admiral Abbasi has been made on summary initiated by the Ministry of Defence in terms of Article 243(4) (c) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, read with the entry at S. No. 12A of Schedule V-B to Rule 15-A (1) of the Rules of Business 1973.

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