webISLAMABAD: General Zubair Mehmood Hayat assumed the charge of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) from the outgoing General Rashad Mehmood at the JS Headquarters here on Monday.

A guard of honour comprising of contingents from the tri-services was also presented to the new chairman.

Gen Zubair Mehmood Hayat, the 32nd Chief of the Gen Staff in the country’s history, is now the 17th Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee since March 1, 1976, when this slot was created by the then premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, writes Sabir Shah.

Till date, 13 Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee have come from the army, two from the navy and one from the air force.

Profile of Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat:

The new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat was commissioned in Artillery Regiment on October 24, 1980. He is a graduate of Fort Sill Oklohoma, US, Command and Staff College Camberlay United Kingdom and National Defence Univesity, Islamabad.

He has wide experience of command, staff and instructional appointments. He has commanded an artillery regiment, mechanized division artillery, an infantry brigade and an infantry division.

He has been adjutant at Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade, Army and Air adviser at Pakistan embassy in UK. He has also been Chief of Staff of a strike Corps, private secretary to COAS and Director General Staff Studies Directorate at GHQ, Rawalpindi.

He had also held the position of Director General Strategic Plan Division (SPD). Besides, he has commanded 31 Corps Bahawalpur and is presently Chief of General Staff at GHQ.

Why the office of CJCSC is important!

The trend shows that the office of Chairman JCSC has now been allocated to the senior most military office after every three years. The basis of the decision to appoint a senior military officer as Chairman JCSC was firstly because of numerical strength of the Army which makes almost 80 percent of three services and it’s logical to give this post to a military officer.

Secondly, Pakistan’s war strategy is land-based thus it felt essential to appoint a military office to this position; thirdly, controlling and supervising Pakistan’s strategic assets by Pakistan Army and as such it was felt that the military officer should be appointed Chairman JCSC. Lastly, the Pakistan Army deals at international level with leaders of top powers besides sending its troops for UN peacekeeping force and as such it was felt essential that the office of Chairman JCSC must be occupied by a senior military officer at all times.

Another aspect is that Chairman JCSC is considered an important person in all the higher defence organizations including the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) and he chaired meetings of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee wherein chiefs of three services are in attendance.

So the office of Chairman JCSC has become very important and it would be a big challenge for highly able General Zubair Hayat, who had served as DG SPD and thus has full knowledge of Pakistan’s strategic assets, to meet future requirements of the country and maintain high level military acumen in that context besides dealing with affairs of the three services.

Following is the list of all the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee:

Gen Muhammad Shariff (March 1976 – 1978), Admiral Muhammad Sharif (1978 – 13 April 1980), Gen Iqbal Khan (13 April 1980 – 22 March 1984), Gen Rahimuddin Khan (March 22, 1984 – March 29, 1987), Gen Akhtar Abdur Rehman (March 29, 1987 – August 17, 1988), Admiral Iftikhar Sirohey (Nov 10, 1988 – August 17, 1991), Gen Shamim Alam Khan (August 17, 1991 – Nov 9, 1994), Air Chief Marshal Farooq Feroze Khan (Nov 10 1994 – Nov 9, 1997), Gen Jahangir Karamat (Nov 9, 1997 – Oct 7, 1998), Gen Pervez Musharraf (Oct 8, 1998 – Oct 7, 2001), Gen Aziz Khan (Oct 7, 2001 – Oct 6, 2004), Gen Ehsanul Haq (Oct 7, 2004 – Oct 7, 2007), Gen Tariq Majeed (Oct 8, 2007 – Oct 7, 2010), Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne (Oct 8, 2010 – Oct 8, 2013), Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani (Oct 8 2013 – Nov 27 2013) and Gen Rashad Mehmood (Nov 29, 2013 – Nov 26, 2016).