Military Wiki
General Sawar Khan (Vice Chief of Army Staff)
13th Governor of Punjab (Pakistan)

In office
September 1978 – March 1980
President General Zia-ul-Haq
Preceded by Aslam Riaz Hussain
Succeeded by LTG Ghulam Jilani Khan
Personal details
Born Sawar Khan
01 December
Rawalpindi District, British Raj
Nationality Pakistani
Spouse(s) Khadijah Bano
Residence Westridge 1 Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Alma mater Officers' Training School (Bangalore, India)
Profession Soldier
Military service
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
Years of service 1946-1984
Rank General
Unit Army Artillery Regiment
Commands Adjutant General (AG)
XI Corps, Peshawar
IV Corps, Lahore
Vice Chief of Army Staff (VCOAS)
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Awards Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Military)

Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military)


Post-Retirement Work Community Service

President Northern University, Nowshera Khyber Pakhtunkhuwa

General Sawar Khan سو ا ر خا ن, NI(M) is an ex-four-star general of the Pakistan Army who was the Punjab (Pakistan) of the largest province, Punjab and the Vice Chief of Army Staff during the era of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq when Zia was simultaneously the chief of army staff and the President of Pakistan.

Military career

Sawar Khan was commissioned before partition into the Indian Army's Corps of Artillery. He later opted for Pakistan Army in 1947. As a captain, Sawar became the Instructor Gunnery (IG) at the Artillery School.[1]

General Officer

He was promoted to Lt General on 24 March 1976 by General Zia-ul-Haq after he became the Chief of Army Staff superseding five other generals. Sawar Khan who at the time was serving as Adjutant General (AG) at the GHQ was sent as the Commander XI Corps, Peshawar, where he replaced the recently superseded Lt Gen Majeed Malik.[2] He continued to serve in Peshawar till January 1978 when he was replaced by Lt Gen Fazle Haq.[3] In 1978, Lt Gen Sawar Khan moved to Lahore to take over IV Corps as its Corps Commander. He took over from Lt Gen Iqbal Khan who proceeded as the Deputy Chief of the Army Staff (DCOAS), a newly created post.

Martial Law Administrator of Punjab

When Zia imposed martial law, the then Lt Gen Sawar Khan was sent as the governor of Punjab province in 1978, in addition to his responsibilities as Commander IV Corps, Lahore. He was part of small coterie of generals under General Zia ul-Haq, who determined the national security policies in the martial regime. The other generals were Lt Gen Faiz Ali Chishti (Commander X Corps, Rawalpindi), Lt Gen Jehanzeb Arbab (Governor of Sindh and Commander V Corps, Karachi), Lt Gen Iqbal Khan (CJCSC), and the other military governors of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan Fazle Haq and Rahimuddin Khan.[4]

After two-year stint, he was replaced with Lt Gen Ghulam Jilani Khan and promoted to four-star general.

Awarded by the Sovereign, on the advice of the Government
Type Award
Day 14 August
Eligibility Pakistani or Foreign citizen
Awarded for For the highest degree of service to the state, and for services to international diplomacy.
Status Currently constituted
Sovereign President of Pakistan
Sovereign Prime minister of Pakistan
Grades (w/ post-nominals) 5 grade: Star (1st Class)
Badge (Second Class)
Ribbon (military only)
Collar Chain (4th class)
Medal (5th Class)[5]
Established 23 March 1956.
First induction 19 March 1957
Next (higher) None
Next (lower) Hilal-i-Imtiaz
Order of Excellence Nishan-e-Imtiaz.png
Ribbons: military (only)

Vice Chief of Army Staff

In March 1980, when the post of the deputy chief of army staff (created by Zia-ul-Haq) was redefined and re-designated as the Vice Chief of Army Staff, General Sawar replaced Lt Gen Iqbal Khan. General Sawar was replaced by the Zia's deputy General Khalid Mahmud Arif in March 1984 after completing the four-year term. Sawar was a professional soldier and hailed from the Potohar plateau of north Punjab, which had been a traditional recruitment area for the British and the Pakistani armies.[6]


  1. EAS Bokhari "Late Lt Gen SM Abbasi" Defence Journal, April 2002
  2. A.H. Amin "Remembering Our Warriors: Maj Gen (Retd) Tajammal Hussain Malik" Defence Journal, September 2001
  3. Rahimullah Yusufzai. "Change of Guard at Peshawar's 11th Corps" The News, 10 May 2001
  4. Rizwan Hussain. "Pakistan and the Emergence of Islamic Militancy in Afghanistan" Ashgate Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-7546-4434-0
  5. Note: It is usually given all together. Only Military officers from Pakistan Defence Forces are awarded the ribbon which is attached to their respected uniform
  6. Pakistan under Zia, 1977-1988 By Shahid Javed Burki Asian Survey, Vol. 28, No. 10 (Oct., 1988), pp. 1082-1100
Political offices
Preceded by
Aslam Riaz Hussain
Punjab (Pakistan)
1978 – 1980
Succeeded by
Ghulam Jilani Khan
Military offices
Preceded by
Iqbal Khan
Vice Chief of Army Staff
1980 – 1984
Succeeded by
Khalid Mahmud Arif

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).