Asif Sandila

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Muhammad Asif Sandila
Native name محمد ﺁصف سندیلہ
Born 1954 (age 63–64)
Sheikhupura, Punjab Province, West-Pakistan
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch  Pakistan Navy
Years of service 1974 – 2014
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Unit Naval Operations Branch
Commands held Chief of Naval Staff
Chief of Staff
Commander Pakistan Fleet
DCNS(Projects and Operations)
25th Destroyer Squadron
Pakistan Coast Guard
Naval Strategic Forces Command
Pakistan Naval Observatory
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
Atlantique Incident
Operation Enduring Freedom - HOA
Operation Madad-I
Operation Madad-II
Operation Umeed-e-Nuh
Awards Legion of Honour
Hilal-i-Imtiaz (military)
Sword of Honour
Nishan-e-Imtiaz (military)

Muhammad Asif Sandila, (Urdu: محمد ﺁصف سندیلہ; born: 1954, HI(M), L'honneur, NI(M)), is a retired 4-star rank admiral who was the 14th Chief of Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy. He was later replaced by Admiral Muhammed Zakaullah.[1][2] Before being appointed to this 4 star assignment, Sandila was serving at the 3 star assignment— the Chief of Staff in the Pakistan Navy which he assumed in 2010.[3][4]

In 2011, President Asif Ali Zardari, on the request of Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, promoted Sandila to 4 star rank and appointed him as the Chief of the Naval Staff on 7 October 2011 upon retirement of the then Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir.[5]


Sandila jatt family s, Sheikhupura, Punjab Province where he completed his primary education.[6] Thereafter, he studied at the prestigious Cadet College Kohat where he gained a high school diploma.[6] In 1971, shortly after the 1971 Winter war, Sandila passed the university entrance exam and the officers' exam from Sheikhupura. Sandila was admitted to the Pakistan Naval Academy in 1972 and entered the Business Administration Department at the Naval Academy.[6] Sandila also attended the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, United Kingdom from where he is a certified surface warfare officer.[6] In 1975, Sandila earned a B.B.A. degree in Business Administration and was commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant in the Naval Operations Branch of the Navy.[6]

Sandila is also a graduate of Pakistan Naval War College from where he earned a M.Sc. in Naval strategy.[6] While at the Naval College, Sandila went to Indonesia on a year's deputation where he attended the Indonesian Navy's Naval Command and Staff College and completed a Naval Staff course.[6] Sandila also holds an M.Sc. in War studies from National Defence University (NDU).[6]

Naval career[edit]

Asif Sandila joined the Pakistan Navy in 1972 as a non-commissioned officer and was commissioned into the Naval Operations Branch in June 1975. He specialized as a Principal Warfare Officer in United Kingdom. Throughout his naval career, Sandila has held challenging naval command and staff appointments. During the 1980s Sandila served as the ADC to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey.[6]

As Captain, Sandila commanded the PNS Badr, a guided-missile destroyer. As Commodore, Sandila commanded the 25th Destroyer Squadron during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1999.

In 2002, Sandila was promoted to the 2-star rank of Rear-Admiral and served as the Chief of Staff of Pakistan Coast Guard which he commanded until 2005. From 2006 till 2007, Rear-Admiral Sandila served as the Commander of Naval Logistics (COMLOG) and commanded all logistic naval facilities of Pakistan Navy. In October 2008 Sandila commanded the Pakistan Naval Fleet. From 2008 till 2009, Sandila commanded the entire Pakistan's naval combatant fleet and entire naval combatant operations. In 2010, Sandila was promoted to the 3-star rank of Vice-Admiral and was made Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Navy.

Staff appointments[edit]

Sandila has held several important staff positions during his career. He has served as Divisional Officer and Training Commander at the Pakistan Naval Academy.[3] In 2001, he served as the Fleet Operations Officer to the Commander of the Pakistan Fleet.[3] At the Naval Combatant Headquarters (NHQ), he was assigned the duties of Flag Lieutenant to Chief of Staff, Director Project (Plans), Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Plans) and Principal Secretary to Chief of the Naval Staff.[3] As Flag Officer, he has headed the Operations and Project Branches of Navy in the capacity of Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations) and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Projects) at the Naval Headquarters, Islamabad.[3] On field, he was Chief of Staff of Pakistan Coast Guard, Commander Pakistan Naval Fleet and Commander Logistics before being appointed Chief of Staff (COS) of the Pakistan Navy. He is a recipient of the Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military) and of the Chevalier de II order National Due Merit for the rescue of French nationals in Maldives during the tsunami of December 2004.[3]

Chief of Naval Staff[edit]

On 5 October 2011, Pakistani media reported Sandila's appointment as the new Chief of Naval Staff.[7] As Chief of Staff, Sandila was promoted to his present 4 star rank by the President on the request of the Prime minister.[7] His 4 star promotion became headline news in the countrywith much media speculation on the nature of his assignment.[7] On 6 October, Presidential and Prime ministerial spokeswoman Farahnaz Ispahani confirmed media reports about his appointment and the following day Admiral Sandila took over command of Pakistan Navy as its Chief of Naval Staff.[8] The change of command ceremony was held at Naval Headquarters, Islamabad.[9] Admiral Sandila received the guard of honor prior to the assuming the navy's command.[9]


  1. ^ Staff Report (2011). "Admiral Asif Sandila sworn in as Chief of Naval Staff". Daily Times. Rawalpindi, The Naval Combatant Headquarter (NHQ): Daily Times. p. 1. Retrieved 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ "Admiral Asif Sandila assumes command of Pakistan Navy". 7 October 2011. Retrieved 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d e f Islamabad Desk (12 August 2010). "Sandila made Chief of Staff". The Nation. Nawa-i-Waqt Group. p. 1. 
  4. ^ News Headlines (August 2010). "Rear-Admiral Asif Sandila Promoted to Vice Admiral". Aaj TV. Business Recorder Group. Retrieved 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ Islamabad News Desk Report. "New Naval Chief Calls on President". Dawn Newspapers. Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory: Dawn Media Group. p. 1. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Islamabad Desk (9 October 2011). "Admiral Sandila takes charge as new naval chief". Online News. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. ^ a b c Pakistan Observer. (5 October 2011). "Admiral Asif Sandila to be CNS". Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Asif Sandila confirmed as Navy chief". 7 October 2011. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  9. ^ a b GEO TV: Nation News (5 October 2011). "Admiral Sandila takes charge as new naval chief". GEO TV. Retrieved 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
ADM Noman Bashir
Chief of Naval Staff
7 October 2011 – 1 October 2014
Succeeded by
ADM Muhammad Zakaullah
Preceded by
VADM Shahid Iqbal
Chief of Staff
10 August 2010 – 6 October 2011
Succeeded by
VADM Tayyab Ali Dogar