Admiral Zakaullah appointed as new navy chief

Published: October 2, 2014
Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah. PHOTO: US NAVY

Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah. PHOTO: US NAVY

ISLAMABAD: Two-time Asian games gold medalist Vice Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah has been appointed as the new chief of the Pakistan navy.

President Mamnoon Hussain, who is also supreme the commander of the armed forces of the country, on Thursday approved Zakaullah’s promotion as a four star admiral and appointed him as the new chief of naval staff.

He will take charge of office on October 7 — the day outgoing Naval Chief Muhammad Asif Sandila will be retiring.

A keen yachtsman, Zakaullah had represented Pakistan in numerous international events including the 1984 Olympics (USA), 1986 Asian Games (South Korea) and 1990 Asian Games (China).

He won gold medals twice at the Asian Games and is the recipient of various other awards at International Sailing Championships.

Zakaullah was among the three other three star vice admirals of the Pakistan navy whose names were being considered for the top slot. Being vice chief of naval staff, he was the senior most among all serving vice admirals.

In the tenure post, the newly promoted admiral will command the navy for the next three years.

In a ceremony scheduled to take place at PNS Zafar Naval Complex in the federal capital on October 7, the outgoing naval chief will handover command of the Pakistan navy to the new chief.

According to the media wing of the Pakistan navy, Vice Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah was commissioned in the Operations Branch of Pakistan Navy in June 1978.

On commissioning as officer, he won the coveted Sword of Honour from the Pakistan Naval Academy and was also awarded the chief of the naval staff gold medal at his graduation.

During his career, the admiral attained a vast experience of operational, training and command assignments, the Pakistan navy said.

His command appointments included Command of a Destroyer and 25th Destroyer Squadron, Commandant Pakistan Naval Academy, Commander Pakistan Fleet and Command of Multinational Maritime Task Force.

Some of his key staff appointments included Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Plans), Defence Attache in Qatar, Director General National Accountability Bureau (Rawalpindi), Chief Inspector (Navy), Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Training & Personnel), Naval Secretary and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations).

Before being appointed as the chief of the naval staff, he was serving as vice chief of naval staff at the naval headquarters Islamabad.

Zakaullah is a graduate of the Royal Naval Staff College in UK and National Defence University Islamabad. He holds a masters degree in Defence Studies from London University and an MSc (in War Studies) degree from the Quaid-e-Azam University.

The new navy chief also holds awards such as the Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Military), Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Military), Tamgha-i-Imtiaz (Military), President’s Medal and President’s Award for Pride of Performance.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Sonya
    Oct 2, 2014 - 3:09PM

    Sandhila was already declared unfit for the command for his heart surgery – he was kept Navy Chief suspiciously to avoid going the command to an Admiral from a minority sect.


  • Riz
    Oct 2, 2014 - 4:22PM

    What is the role of our President. Whatever, PM (Nawaz) desires he will do or appoint without considering it. lol


  • pk
    Oct 2, 2014 - 4:53PM

    @Sonya: your analysis is wrong. The second said nominee wasn’t appointed back then as during his tenure as heading the fleet the Mehran carnage happened while Admiral Sandila was the senior one as nominee!


  • A Muslim
    Oct 3, 2014 - 9:56AM

    Which Admiral is from minority sect and from which sect???


  • A Muslim
    Oct 3, 2014 - 9:59AM

    which Admiral from minority sect and from which sect???


  • Test
    Oct 3, 2014 - 11:45PM

    There z no concept of sects in islam….so no such idea of minority n majority. ..All Muslim brethren in uniform compete on open merit. @A Muslim:


  • Patriot
    Oct 4, 2014 - 12:15AM

    @A Muslim:
    Please don’t pay heed to those who are trying to drag sectarianism in every matter as their minds are overwhelmed with sectarian discrimination. If Sandhila was unfit, how could he manage to run the navy’s affairs for 3 years?


  • Patriot
    Oct 4, 2014 - 12:18AM

    Please don’t try to drag sectarianism in this matter. There is no sectarian discrimination in military at least.


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