His postings as CGS and DG SPD afforded him an opportunity to work very closely with PM Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
During his tenure as a major general, he was general officer commanding (GOC) Sialkot and later headed the Staff Duties (SD) Directorate, whose personnel are commonly known in the army as ‘paper tigers’. His stay at the directorate and his earlier posting as principal staff officer to the army chief brought him closer to Gen Kayani, and he is generally seen as Gen Kayani’s protégé.
However, his primary shortcoming is that he has never served in a conflict zone.
Some of those who worked with him describe him as “workaholic” and a “vociferous reader”.
He is also said to have a very sharp memory.
Gen Zubair is a second generation officer. His father retired as a major general, while two of his brothers are generals: Pakistan Ordnance Factories Wah Chairman Lt Gen Omar Hayat and Inter-Services Intelligence DG (Analysis) Maj Gen Ahmad Mahmood Hayat.