Jehangir Karamat

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jehangir Karamat
جہانگیر کرامت
Karamat lecturing in Washington D.C.
Pakistan Ambassador to the United States
In office
17 November 2004 – 3 June 2006
President Gen Pervez Musharraf
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz
Preceded by General Jehangir Qazi
Succeeded by MGen Mahmud Ali Durrani
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
In office
9 November 1997 – 7 October 1998
Preceded by ACM Farooq Feroze Khan
Succeeded by Gen Pervez Musharraf
Chief of Army Staff
In office
12 January 1996 – 6 October 1998
Preceded by Gen Abdul Waheed Kakar
Succeeded by Gen Pervez Musharraf
Personal details
Born February 1941 (age 73)
Karachi, Sind, British India (now Karachi, Pakistan)
Citizenship  Pakistan
Nationality Pakistan
Alma mater Pakistan Military Academy
Command and Staff College
Command and General Staff College
National Defence University
Religion Islam
Institutions National Defence University (NDU)
Armed Forces War College (afwc)
Field(s) Political science
Notable students Pervez Musharraf
Ali Kuli Khan
Aziz Mirza
Fasih Bokhari
Notable work(s) Work in civil-military relations and Decentralization
Military service
Nickname(s) Spearhead
Service/branch  Pakistan Army
Years of service 1961–1998
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg General
Unit 13th Lancers, Army Armoured Corps
Commands DG for Military Operations
II Strike Corps
Pakistan Army Rangers
6th Armored Brigade Group
Pakistan Armed Forces, Middle East Contingent
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Awards Order of Excellence Nishan-e-Imtiaz.png Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Military)
Star of Good Conduct Sitara-e-Basalat.pngSitara-e-Basalat

General Jehangir Karamat, (Urdu: جہانگیر کرامت; born 20 February 1941) NI(M), SBt, is a retired four-star rank general officer, military academic, and a former professor of political science at the National Defense University who held four-star assignments, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee from 1997 to 1998, and as well as the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army from January 1996 to October 1998. After retiring from military service, he served as a professor of Political science at the National Defence University (NDU) in Islamabad. In 2004 he was appointed as Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States where he served from November 2004 until June 2006. He is also one of very few army generals in the military history of Pakistan to have resigned over a disagreement with the civilian authorities.

He attended and graduated from Pakistan Military Academy and served well in 1965 war and the 1971 Winter war with India. After his long active service in the army in which he held numerous prestigious assignments, he came to national prominence in 1995 when along with Major-General Ali Kuli Khan of Military Intelligence exposed the attempted coup d'état against the government of Prime minister Benazir Bhutto who conferred him with national award. In 1996, he was promoted to four-star rank and became Chief of Army Staff, and later became Chairman of Joint Chiefs in 1997. He played a vital role in enhancing the democratic institutions in Pakistan, and staunchly backed Nawaz Sharif's authorisation of atomic testing programme (See Chagai-I and Chagai-II) in 1998. On 6 October 1998, Karamat was forced to resign from his four-star assignments by Prime minister Nawaz Sharif over a disagreement on national security. After his resignation, he became a diplomat and served as the military-civil adviser to the Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI).


Early and education[edit]

Jehangir Karamat was born 20 February 1941 in Karachi, British Sindh, British Indian Empire to an Urdu-speaking class. His father was a government servant. After attending a private Christian-operated Saint Patrick's High School and received his high-school diploma, with emphasis on science courses. In 1957, Karamat passed the university entrance exam, and entered Kakul in the same year, and his mother also moved with him in Kakul to overlook his education. In 1961, Karamat gained his BS in Military Science after submitting his senior thesis that contained the details of solving problems in civil-military relations. Karamat is the class call of 24th PMA Long Course and stood as a top-ranking cadet at Kakul. On 14 August 1961, Karamat was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant the 13th Lancers, Armoured Corps.

In 1969, Karamat attended the Command and Staff College at Quetta where he gained a diploma in joint services before switching back to his war assignments. After participating in 1971 war, Karamat was accepted at the National Defence University. The same year, Karamat went to attend the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.[1] In 1976, Karamat completed his MSc in International Relations from there; and following his return, Karamat completed his master's programme at the National Defence University. In 1977, Karamat was awarded MSc in War studies where his master's thesis argued and enlightened on the failure of performance of armed forces in 1971 war.

Between wars[edit]

In 1963, Karamat promoted as 1st-Lieutenant. As Lieutenant he fought in Indo-Pakistani war of 1965 where he commanded a combined infantry and armoured company in Akhnur Sector, Jammu and Kashmir. His company was the first unit that had penetrated 23 miles into enemy territory, which encouraged back-up companies to move forward into the enemy territory. Overall in this war, the 13 Lancers had suffered death of fourteen soldiers, including three officers, while twenty eight were wounded. For this action, the 13th Lancers was awarded the battle honour Dewa— Chumb and Jaurian of 1965 and was also awarded the title of The Spearhead Regiment.

As a Major, Karamat commanded an armoured squadron in Indo-Pakistani Winter War of 1971. After the war, Karamat served as an instructor at the Armoured Corps Headquarters. In 1966, Karamat was promoted to Captain; and became Major in 1970. Later, Karamat participated in Indo-Pakistani war of 1971 when he was the Commanding officer of the 15th Armoured Troop, 13 Lancers. During this time, 13 Lancers was part of the 8th Armoured Brigade that fought in the Shakargarh area of Sialkot Sector, which is now known as Battle of Barapind.

The regiment was awarded battle honour of Bara Pind 1971. After the war, Karamat went on to attend premier military institutions for higher education where he specialised in administration and civil-military relations. In 1977, Karamat was situated as Lieutenant-Colonel and he commanded his parent regiment, the 13 Lancers. Karamat was promoted as a Colonel in 1981. .

Staff appointments[edit]

After completing his advanced studies on military sciences, Karamat was sent to hold academic assignments rather than holding combat assignments. Karamat did not take part in Soviet war in Afghanistan but was stationed in Lahore, Punjab Province. In 1985, Karamat was promoted as Brigadier-General, a 1-star rank, and served as Commander of the 6th Armored Brigade Group. Soon, Karamat was sent to Saudi Arabia with his brigade. There he served as a military adviser to Saudi Army while he also commanded his brigade and supervised military exercises between two countries. Following the death of General Zia-ul-Haq in a mysterious aircraft incident, Karamat was called back to his country where he was given another desk assignment. Promoted as Major-General in 1988, Karamat was appointed as Director-General of the Directorate-General of Military Operations (DGMO) by then-Chief of Army Staff General Mirza Aslam Beg; he played a crucial role in advancing the fighting capabilities of the Pakistan Army while he planned numerous military exercises for Pakistan Army. In 1991, Karmat took the command of Army Rangers for a short time. Prior to that, Karamat served as associate military professor at the Armed Forces War College. In 1991, Karamat was promoted to Lieutenant-General, a three-star rank, and was made Corps-Commander of the II Strike Corps, stationed at Multan. In 1994, Lieutenant-General Karamat was appointed Chief of General Staff (CGS) at the General Headquarters (GHQ).

General Karamat rose to public prominence in 1995, when he exposed the attempted coup d'état against the government of Prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Major-General Ali Kuli Khan, then-Director-General of the Military Intelligence tapped the conservations and tracked down the culprits behind the coup. Lieutenant-General Karamat facilitated the JAG Branches hearings at the specified military courts, and convened many proceedings while the hearings were heard by the military judges of Judge Advocate General Branch. His actions were widely perceived in the country, and for his efforts, General Karamat was conferred with national honours in public conventions and state gatherings.

Chief of Army Staff[edit]

Karamat was appointed the Chief of Army Staff by the then-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who gave her green signal and authorisation to President Farooq Leghari on 18 December 1995 when the outgoing Chief of Army Staff General Abdul Waheed Kakar's three-year term was near expiration. On Prime minister Benazir Bhutto's recommendation, President Leghari promoted Lieutenant-General Karamat to four star rank and was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff when General Kakar was due to retire on 12 January 1996. He was the senior most general at that time, and therefore at promotion to four-star general, he superseded no one.[2] At the time of his promotion, there were four senior generals in the race to replace Kakar as Chief of Army Staff: Lieutenant-General Jehangir Karamat, chief of general staff (CGS); Lieutenant-General Nasir Akhtar, quarter-master general (QMG); Lieutenant-General Muhammad Tariq, inspector-general training and evaluation (IGT and E) at the GHQ; and Lieutenant-General Javed Ashraf Qazi, commander XXX Corps, Gujranwala.[3] As Chief of Army Staff, General Karamat tried to work with the Prime minister and President at once, but soon came to understand that the misconducts of politicians and bureaucrats would eventually lead to the dismissal of Benazir Bhutto's final government.[4] General Karamat reached to then-Speaker of the National Assembly Yousaf Raza Gillani and "leaked" an intelligence information and tried convincing Benazir Bhutto and President Leghari to resolve their issues, and emphasised on focused on good governance. At one point, General Karamat wrote:

In my opinion, if we have to repeat of past events then we must understand that Military leaders can pressure only up to a point. Beyond that their own position starts getting undermined because the military is after all is a mirror image of the society from which it is drawn.

—General Jehangir Karamat commenting on Benazir's dismissal, [4]

Chairman of Joint Chiefs[edit]

General Karamat was appointed for a prestigious four star assignment, the chairmanship of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee in November 1997 by the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when the previous chairman Air Chief Marshal Farooq Feroze Khan's three-year term ended. General Karamat drove Pakistan Armed Forces to focus on more professional duties rather than playing politics. In 1998, Karamat let the decision of county's atomic experiments on Prime minister and was publicly hailed for backing the democracy in the country.

Dismissal of General Jehangir Karamat[edit]

In 6 October 1998, Karamat presented the idea of establishing a formal body where armed forces could have representation in the country's politics. Nawaz Sharif perceived this idea as chairman Joint Chief's interference in politics, therefore Sharif forced to resign Karamat when he criticised Pakistan's political leadership and advocated a National Security Council that would give the military a constitutional role in running the country, similar to Turkey's.[5] He retired as chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, and as Chief of Army Staff in October 1998.

Academic career[edit]

Before elevating to four-star assignments, General Karamat was the full tenured professor of the Strategic studies at the National Defense University and held the chair of military science at the Armed Forces War College. Among his notable students included Pervez Musharraf. He had deep influence on Musharraf's critical thinking and political philosophy. He played an important role in Musharraf's career and subsequently got him closer to Benazir Bhutto on military strategies and foreign affairs matters.[citation needed]

After his retirement, General Karamat became a visiting professor of war studies at CISAC Stanford University, and research associate at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He was also part of a U.N.-sponsored study on Afghanistan, and was chairman of the board of Governors of the Islamabad Policy Research Institute. He has stayed as the Colonel Commandant and Colonel-in-Chief, both ceremonial posts, of the Pakistan Armored Corps. He also stayed as the President of the Pakistan Polo Association.

Ambassador to the United States[edit]

General Karamat's name was first mentioned as a replacement for Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi around the end of September 2004, when Mr Qazi was appointed by Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, to be his Special Representative to Iraq.

On 23 March 2006, Pakistani media reported that Ambassador Karamat was to be replaced by retired Major General Mahmud Ali Durrani. The reports further stated that it was not clear why Ambassador Karamat, who took his post on a two-year contract, would be returning home after only a year and a half.[6]

Founding think tank[edit]

After ambassadorship, General Jehangir Karamat founded a socio-political policy and analysis institute, Spearhead Research, which focuses on social, economic, military and political issues concerning Pakistan and Afghanistan. General Jehangir Karamat is the director and contributor to the Spearhead Research Institute.


  1. ^ Constance Hale. International Hallway Dedication Ceremony" U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 14 September 2000
  2. ^ Ihtashamul Haque. "Karamat named COAS" Daily Dawn, 12 December 1995
  3. ^ Shuja Nawaz. Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  4. ^ a b Mazhar Aziz (2008). Military control in Pakistan: the parallel state. Milton Park, Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK: Taylor and Francis-e-Library. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-0-415-43743-1. 
  5. ^ Owen Bennett-Jones. 'Analysis: Resignation shifts balance of power' BBC News, 8 October 1998
  6. ^ Khalid Hasan. 'Durrani in, Karamat out' Daily Times, 23 March 2006

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Farrakh Khan
Chief of General Staff
Succeeded by
Iftikhar Ali Khan
Preceded by
Abdul Waheed Kakar
Chief of Army Staff
Succeeded by
Pervez Musharraf
Preceded by
Farooq Feroze Khan
Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Ashraf Jehangir Qazi
Pakistan Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Mahmud Ali Durrani