Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt is a four-star general and the current Chief of Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). He was appointed in place of Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Rao Qamar Suleman by the President of Pakistan on March 7, 2012 . He took charge as ACM on March 19, 2012. His term as Chief of Air Staff is coming to end this month, which is usually a three years long appointment.
ACM Tahir Rafique is the 20th Chief of Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force. Here is some of his background:
- 2001 Master’s degree in Defence and Strategic Studies, NDC / Quaid Azam University Islamabad
- 1995 Master’s degree in Strategic Studies, Staff College Turkey
- 1975 Bachelor’s degree in science, Punjab University
- 1973 FSc, PAF College Sargodha
- 1971 Matriculation, PAF College Sargodha
If sources are to be believed, the current Vice Chief of Air Staff (VCAS), Air Marshal Sohail Gul Khan is likely to be elevated to the rank of Air Chief Marshal as the new Chief of the Air Staff. He was appointed as VCAS last year on August 7, 2014.
The approval of the new appointment of chief will follow due process, which is to be accorded by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who will consign it to President Mamnoon Hussain for formal appointment.
The other names could be of Air Marshal Muhammad Jamshaid Khan, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff Support (DCAS-S), Air Marshal Sohail Aman, and Deputy Chief of Air Staff (DCAS-Operation).
Air Marshal Sohail Gul Khan throughout had been outstanding in his career. He is the the senior-most commander among Principal Staff Officers. Here is snapshot of his major milestones:
- 2006 Master’s degree in Defence and Strategic studies, NDU / Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad
- 1998 Master’s degree in Defence studies, King’s College, London
- 1993 Bachelor’s degree in War Studies, Karachi University
- 1978 Bachelor’s degree in Science, PAF College, Sargodha
- 1975 FSc, PAF College, Sargodha
- 1973 Matriculation, Cantt Public School, Peshawar