Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa is set to retire on November 29. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has already started the process of appointing his successor, saying that they will be finalising the names by this week.
Gen. Bajwa, 61, has already served his three-year extension and refused to extend his tenure further.
The Express Tribune newspaper has reported that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sent a list of recommendations to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952, the MoD issues the ‘discharge summary’ of the incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) to pave the way for the appointment of his successor.
According to the newspaper, the MoD has named five potential successors, even as the government is holding discussions to select the next army chief.
As per the seniority list, these are the five potential candidates who can replace Bajwa. Lt General Asim Munir, Lt General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Lt General Azhar Abbas, Lt General Numan Mahmud and Lt General Faiz Hameed.
Lieutenant General Nauman Mahmood
Lieutenant General Nauman Mahmood currently serves as the president of the of the National Defence University, Pakistan’s top military education institution.
He previously headed a department of the spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that monitors foreign policy and security issues.
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Lieutenant General Asim Munir
Lt. Munir is the senior most officer after outgoing Gen. Bajwa, and is currently serving as Quartermaster General in the Pakistan Army. He previously served as the head of ISI, but was removed by Imran Khan during his premiership within eight months of his appointment.
Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed
Lt. Hameed is a three-star ranking general in the Pakistani Army, considered to be an Imran Khan loyalist. He is currently serving as Commander of the XXXI Corps
He was in charge of the ISI when the Taliban took over Afghanistan.
Hameed once boastfully claimed to have helped the Taliban oust the Americans last August and Americans suspect Hameed’s role in supporting Khan’s foreign conspiracy claims against the US for his ouster, reported Islam Khabar.
Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza
He is the senior-most serving officer in the army after General Bajwa. As director general of military operations, he oversaw strikes against the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and other militant groups in the North Waziristan province, near the Afghan border, according to Bloomberg.
Lieutenant General Azhar Abbas
General Azhar Abbas Abbas currently holds the second most important position in the military- chief of general staff- and oversees the military’s operational and intelligence business.
(With inputs from agencies)
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