Tariq Kamal Khan

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Tariq Kamal Khan
Birth name Tarik Kamal Khan
Nickname(s) Metal Gear
Born 1930 (age 85–86)
Jeluum, British State of Punjab, British Indian Empire
Allegiance  Pakistan
Service/branch Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Navy
Years of service 1950-1986
Rank US-O10 insignia.svg Admiral
Unit No. 25th Destroyer Squadron
Commands held Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)
Pakistan 1st Combatant Fleet
18th Destroyer Squadron
PNS Jehangeer
Naval Communication Branch
Battles/wars Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Operation Somnath
Bangladesh Liberation War
East-Pakistan Naval Operations
Operation Jackpot
Awards Nishan-e-Imtiaz (military)
Sitara-i-Imtiaz (military)

Tariq Kamal Khan (Urdu: طارق کمال خان‎; NI(M)), was a high profile military official who served as the 9th Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) of Pakistan Navy from 1983 to 1986.[1][2] He is a recipient of Nishan-i-Imtiaz (Military), which is awarded to all the services chiefs upon taking over their respective commands.[3][4]

He rose to national prominence in 1986 after assuming the command of the Pak Navy and served as the close confidential of President General Zia-ul-Haq in the matters of national security.


Khan was born in Jhelum, British India where he did his early education from there. In 1946, he graduated from Military College Jhelum and attended the Punjab University where he did his B.A. in Mass communication from Karachi University in 1950. The following year, he given commissioned as Midshipman (Ensign) in Destroyer Squadron of the Navy. He received his naval training and graduated from Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 1956. In 1960, he was promoted to Lieutenant in the Navy, and became a junior-staff officer at the Naval Headquarters (NHQ), Islamabad.

Naval career[edit]

In 1965, he actively participated in the India-Pakistan War of 1965, and is distinguished for his participation in Operation Dwarka. As, Lieutenant-Commander, he was put in charge of Satellite communication system of PNS Shah Jahan. His action in the war led him to earn the military decoration after the war. In 1970, Khan was promoted to Commander and was stationed in the East-Pakistan in 1970. He actively participated in the conflict, where he was stationed at Chittagong Naval base. Khan was the commander of PNS Jehangir, the destroyer. He helped the Pakistan Army with communication gears and firing at East Pakistan Rifles headquarters to crush Bengali resistance in Chittagong area.[5]

Khan was one of the Pakistan Armed officers who were re-called to West-Pakistan, following the successful Indian Navy's Operation Trident. By the time, he joined the Karachi Naval Base, Indian Navy had paralyzed the Pakistan Navy and most of her ships were forced to remain in the port. After the 1971 Winter War, he quickly elevated the ranks as many of the officer in the Pakistan Defence Forces were forcefully retired by President (later Prime minister) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto . In 1972, he was promoted to Captain, and in 1974, he was promoted to 1-Star rank of Commodore where he was Chief of Staff at the Naval Headquarters (NHQ). In 1977, he was promoted to 2-star Rear-Admiral in the Navy, and assumed the command of "25th Destroyer Squadron". As Officer Commanding of the Destroyer Squadron, he sought to modernize and upgraded the Destroyer and Surface Fleet, and led successful negotiation with Foreign partners to induct the newer destroyers fleet in the Navy.

In 1979, Khan was promoted to 3-Star Vice-Admiral, and assumed the command of Pakistan Fleet. The following year, he was a permanent officer at the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Secretariat. In 1983, after the retirement of Admiral K.R. Niazi, Khan was elevated to 4-star rank, and was promoted to Admiral in the Navy. With the promotion, he was appointed to Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Navy on March 22, 1983.[6] As Chief of Naval Staff, he commanded the Pakistan Navy till April 9, 1986. After his retirement, Khan moved to Islamabad where he lives a quiet and peaceful life there.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Karamat Rahman Niazi
Chief of Naval Staff
1983 – 1986
Succeeded by
Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey