Who will New Army Chief of Pakistan
The lingering wait for appointments to two of the most critical positions in the country’s military hierarchy is about to end with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif all set to make the much-awaited decision later this week. While the official announcement is not expected to be made before November 28, government and military sources seem to suggest that, barring last-minute changes, Lt-Gen Rashad Mahmood, the current Chief of General Staff, is all but certain to become the country’s next army chief. Similarly, Lt Gen Haroon Aslam is expected to assume the role of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). Although the government has been tight-lipped over these key appointments, a retired military officer privy to the development disclosed that Gen Ashfaq Parvaiz Kayani, who will be stepping down on November 29 after six years, proposed the names of Lt Gen Rashad as his successor and Lt Gen Aslam as CJCSC. “It is now up to the prime minister whether he accepts Kayani’s suggestion or not,” said the retired officer, speaking on condition of anonymity. Meanwhile, reports also suggest that the government is considering rotating the post of CJCSC among the three armed forces. If the rotation policy is restored, naval chief Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila will be given the position of CJCSC. However, sources told The Express Tribune that the army was suggesting that the head of three armed forces should be from the army, given its strength among the three armed forces. When contacted, officials from both the government and the military were unwilling to say anything on the new appointments. However, one government source called for patience until Thursday, when the government would formally make the announcement of the new army chief.
Once the announcement is made, the new army chief will take charge of his new position at a resplendent handover ceremony at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
Meanwhile, the prime minister is scheduled to host a farewell dinner for the outgoing army chief, General Kayani today (Wednesday), where he will have an opportunity to interact with the military high command. All corps commanders and senior military officials have been invited to attend the reception.