Pakistan Army: Pakistan’s Defense Ministry on Monday sent a list of five names to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for the next army chief. The current Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa will retire on 29 November. Under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952, the Ministry of Defense issues a discharge summary document of the current army chief. Will issue to pave the way for the appointment of his successor.
General Bajwa (61) is retiring on November 29 after three years of service extension. He has refused to take another extension.‘The Express Tribune’ Quoting sources, the newspaper reported that the PMO has received the Defense Ministry’s report on Monday regarding the appointment of the new army chief.
Why is the army chief important for Pakistan?
According to the news, the names of five top generals are in the report. The paper said that the PMO has not confirmed receipt of the report from the Defense Ministry. The new army chief will take over on November 29 and Bajwa will retire on the same day after a tenure of six years. There is a lot of interest in the appointment of Bajwa’s successor. Many believe that the former Prime Minister Imran Khan is related to the change of leadership in the army. Khan has asked his supporters to gather in Rawalpindi on 26 November. This is three days before Bajwa’s retirement.
Who are the contenders?
A senior government official on Sunday dismissed any speculation of a standoff between the army and the government over the crucial appointment. As per the seniority list, Lt Gen Asim Munir, Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Lt Gen Azhar Abbas, Lt Gen Noman Mehmood and Lt Gen Faiz Hameed are contenders for the post of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff and Chief of Army Staff.
What is the political angle?
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif recently went on a private visit to London where his elder brother and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is currently living. He has consulted Nawaz Sharif on this issue and on his return held talks with all the alliance partners.
The role of President Arif Alvi has become crucial in the appointment process, as some media reports have claimed that he may withhold the notification for 25 days. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Saturday advised President Alvi not to create any disturbance in the appointment of the army chief.