Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir (born January 4, 1949) is the former Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) of the Pakistan Navy, who retired on 7 October, 2008 after completing the three-year service and passed the baton to newly-appointed Admiral Noman Bashir. Tahir took over the command of Pakistan Navy from Admiral Shahid Karimullah on 7 October 2005, after Karimullah ended his three-year Naval chief tenure. On promotion, Admiral Tahir superseded at least one senior officer, Vice Admiral Mohammad Haroon the then Chief of Staff (COS), but he continued to serve and was later made Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS) on 7 November, 2005.
Admiral Tahir joined Pakistan Navy on 11 May, 1967 and attended the Pakistan Military (with 40th PMA Long Course) and Naval Academies at Abbottabad and Karachi respectively prior to commissioning in December 1970 in the operations branch. He saw action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. He served on surface ships and minesweepers before opting to join Naval Aviation in March 1974. His tours of duty in Aviation Service took him twice to the United Kingdom for Basic Observer and Helicopter Warfare Instructor (HWI) courses.
In July 1985 he was promoted to the rank of Commander, to Captain in July 1992 and to Commodore in 1998. In 2000 he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral, to that of Vice Admiral on 1 September 2004 when he was serving as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (training and personnel) and to that of Admiral on 7 October 2005 and appointed as Chief of the Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy. He is a graduate of Joint Services Staff College, Chaklala and National Defence College, Islamabad.
His staff appointments include deputy chief of naval staff (operations), deputy chief of naval staff (projects), chief staff officer to the Pakistan fleet commander and instructor at the Joint Services Staff College. His command assignments include the command of a guided missile destroyer and command of naval aviation. His last command appointment was as the commander of the Pakistan fleet (COMPAK). He is a recipient of the Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Hilal-e-Imtiaz. He is married and has three daughters and two sons.