Pakistan MoD sends Names for Next Army Chief to PMO
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) issued a brief statement on Twitter that it received the summary from the Ministry of Defence for the appointment of the new Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and new Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
The prime minister will take a decision on the appointments as per the laid down procedure, according to the statement. The Army also confirmed that it had sent the names of six top lieutenant generals for the appointments. Although no names were mentioned, it is believed that the six men include Lt Gen Asim Munir (currently Quarter Master General), Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza (Commander 10 Corps), Lt Gen Azhar Abbas (Chief of General Staff), Lt Gen Nauman Mehmood (National Defence University Presi-dent), Lt Gen Faiz Hamid (Commander Baha-walpur Corps), and Lt Gen Mohammad Amir (Commander Gujranwala Corps).
The CJCS is the highest authority in the hierarchy of the armed forces but the key powers including mobilisation of troops, appointments and transfers lie with the Chief of Army Staff which makes the person holding the post the most powerful in the military.
The powerful Army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 75-plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in matters of security and foreign policy.
Thus the clouds of uncertainty around the appointment of Pakistan’s new army chief has begun to clear after the government announced on Wednesday that it has received the names of senior generals for the post to succeed incumbent General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Gen Bajwa, 61, is scheduled to retire on November 29 after a three-year extension. He has ruled out seeking another extension.
Two of them would be picked by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for promotion and appointment for the posts of CJCSC and COAS before November 29.
Sharif will send the summary to President Arif Alvi who will notify the appointments.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Monday that the process of appointment of the next army chief will be completed by November 25.
Meanwhile Gen Bajwa is continuing with his farewell visits. He visited the Naval and Air Headquarters in Islamabad as part of his farewell visits. He also visited Rawalpindi Corps Headquarters and laid a floral wreath at the Martyrs’ Monument.