Focus shifts to race for Gen Raheel's successor

Published: November 22, 2016

ISLAMABAD: As General Raheel Sharif formally started his farewell visits on Monday and by doing so put at rest all speculations about possible extension in his tenure, the focus has now shifted on to who will be his successor.

Defence sources told The Express Tribune that a summary containing the names of four three-star generals had already been forwarded to the Prime Minister Office.

Army ends retirement guessing game

Traditionally, the outgoing army chief also gives his input for the appointment of his successor, though his recommendations are not binding on the prime minister.

However, a senior military official, when approached, insisted that Gen Raheel had not given any specific recommendation for the appointment of a new army chief and instead would favour a decision based on the principle of seniority and merit.

If the prime minister heeds Gen Raheel’s advice, the equation is quite simple.

At the time of Gen Raheel’s retirement, current Chief of General Staff (CJS) Lt-Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat will be the senior-most general, followed by Corps Commander Multan Lt-Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed.  This means, barring any exception, Gen Hayat is likely to be elevated as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) while Gen Nadeem is expected to be appointed as the next army chief.

As army chief’s tenure nears end, PM Nawaz faces key choice

However, next two generals in seniority list – Corps Commander Bahawlpur Lt-Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday and Inspector General Training and Evaluation in the GHQ Lt-Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa – are not out of the race either.

Military sources said all four generals have an ‘impeccable career’ and are capable both as ‘strategists and operational commanders’.

The announcement of the appointment of the new army chief and CJSC is expected on November 27.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2016.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Asad
    Nov 22, 2016 - 9:35AM

    Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad (Y)Recommend

  • Nikki KHAN
    Nov 22, 2016 - 10:36AM

    If the Prime Minister believes in merit than merit should prevail Recommend

  • Come-on
    Nov 22, 2016 - 11:09AM

    @Nikki KHAN: Prime Minister does not, we know that! but even then the merit should prevail.Recommend

  • nadeem
    Nov 22, 2016 - 11:25AM

    COAS of Pakistan = Defacto ruler of Pakistan Recommend

  • Ahmad Saeed
    Nov 22, 2016 - 3:09PM

    @Come-on, don’t forget this very dear General Raheel Shareef was also chosen by NS :)Recommend

  • Najmussaqib
    Nov 22, 2016 - 4:01PM

    Pakistan is at critical juncture of fight against terrorism. Terrorists might believe that with the departure of Raheel Sharif, its time for them to payback and at this stage, consolidation is required to stop reversing tide of terrorism. Nawaz made excellent choice of Raheel Sharif and I can hope that he takes decision in the best interest of Pakistan. Recommend

  • M.S.
    Nov 22, 2016 - 6:48PM

    All four are from same course and were commissioned on same day, therefore seniority is only a formality. Anyone who believes that terrorism is our number one problem should be given task. War against terrorism should continue with more rigor and determination. Declaring victory is nonsense.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Nov 22, 2016 - 8:15PM

    GEn Zubair Hayat will be JCS and Gen Bajwa will be COAS.Recommend

  • JKhan
    Nov 23, 2016 - 8:03AM

    Nawaz Sharif will not be able to take a decision. He will pick the wrong person. Any bets.Recommend

  • JKhan
    Nov 23, 2016 - 8:06AM

    That would be Nawaz Sharif choice. But he is not replacing Pervez Rashid! Recommend

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