Wednesday, March 29, 2023
HomeWorldPakistan likely to get new army chief this week, Gen Bajwa set...

Pakistan likely to get new army chief this week, Gen Bajwa set to retire on 29 November

Appointment to the top post is likely to take place Tuesday or Wednesday, according to reports. Under Pakistani law, the incumbent PM is empowered to select the army chief.

Text Size:

New Delhi: The nomination of a new Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) is at the center of the country’s politics at the moment, and an official announcement is expected this week.

The incumbent General Qamar Javed Bajwa is set to retire on 29 November and the appointment of the new COAS is likely to take place Tuesday or Wednesday, according to reports.

Traditionally, the Pakistan Ministry of Defence issues a retirement notice prior to appointing a new army chief. In the run-up to the politically-charged appointment, a summary containing the names of probables for the post of army chief is initiated by the defence ministry.

According to The Dawn, this summary for the latest appointment has been initiated by the defence ministry. As reported by ThePrint earlier, among the frontrunners for the job are Lt Generals Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Azhar Abbas, Nauman Mahmood Raja and Faiz Hameed.

According to Article 243 of the Pakistani Constitution, the selection of a COAS is an exclusive responsibility of the federal government.

In 2016, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif nominated General Bajwa, then 61 years old, to lead the Pakistani armed forces. General Bajwa, a four-star general, got an extension of three years as a COAS.

How is a Pakistan army chief appointed 

Under Pakistani law, the incumbent prime minister is empowered to select a COAS. The PM receives a list of four to five senior-most lieutenant generals from the General Headquarters — via the Ministry of Defence — in the form of the summary.

As soon as the summary is moved, the PM exercises his constitutional authority to appoint the individual considered most conducive to the success of the country and the Pakistani Army, after a discussion with the military, government officials, and their allies.

The Dawn also reported that Sharif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), was contacted by Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif during the latter’s recent trip to London recently. According to the report, the PM got all coalition partners on board regarding appointment of the new COAS.

Bajwa’s successor

After Bajwa retires, Lt General Mirza will be the highest-ranking active officer in the Pakistan Army. Commissioned in 1987 into the 8th battalion of the Sind Regiment, an infantry force, he has been the commander of the X Corps in Rawalpindi since September 2021.

Since the current Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Nadeem Raza, is also retiring this month, many in the Pakistani military also anticipate that Lt Gen Mirza may succeed him and not as the army chief.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular