The choice for the next military chief has officially begun as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has started his farewell tours and is set to retire on November 29.
According to insiders, a conference is being held to choose the new army chief and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee. High-ranking officials are also there.According to the sources, PM Shehbaz is presiding over the meeting, which also includes the ministers of the interior and law as well as the minister of defence, Khawaja Asif.
As per additional sources, the list also included the names of the five senior-most military officials: Lt Gens Asim Munir, Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Azhar Abbas, Nauman Mehmood, and Faiz Hamid.
After the PM’s Office has given its approval to the applicants for these highly sought-after jobs, the list will be forwarded to the President’s Secretariat for approval. It will then be returned to the PM’s Office for a formal announcement.
In a press conference last week, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari made it clear that if President Arif Alvi rejects the Prime Minister’s summary regarding the COAS appointment, it will be interesting to see how he chooses to be remembered: whether upholding the Constitution or disobeying it in favour of his friend, in which case he will pay a price.
The next army chief’s name would be revealed by “Tuesday or Wednesday,” according to Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif.