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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Who are the six top contenders racing for COAS, CJCSC?

COAS Gen Bajwa and CJCSC Gen Nadeem Raza are set to retire soon. Since the crucial appointments will be from the senior most Army Officers, here is a brief profile of the candidates. 

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Currently, all eyes are on the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the new chairman joint chief of staff committee (CJCSC).

The process of the appointment has also begun formally as the Prime Minister’s Office has confirmed that it received the summary of the names of the six senior-most Pakistan Army officers.

“The PM Office has received the summary from the Ministry of Defence with a panel of names for the appointment of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Army Staff. The Prime Minister will take a decision on the appointment as per the laid down procedure,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The spokesperson of the military’s media wing also said in a statement that GHQ has forwarded the summary for the selection of CJCSC and COAS, containing names of 6 senior most lieutenant generals (Lt Gens) to the Ministry of Defence.

COAS Gen Bajwa and CJCSC Gen Nadeem Raza are set to retire soon. Since the crucial appointments will be from the senior most Army Officers, here is a brief profile of the candidates.

Read more: Process for appointment of next COAS begins?

The top contenders

Lt Gen Asim Munir is the senior most officer and is currently serving as Quartermaster General in the Pakistan Army. He was appointed DG of the Military Intelligence in early 2017 and then ISI Director General in October 2018. Lt-Gen Munir is the recipient of the Sword of Honour from the 17th course of the Officers Training School in Mangla. Also, he is the recipient of the Hilal-i-Imtiaz.

Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza is a three-star general in the Pakistan Army who is currently serving as a commander for Rawalpindi Corps. He has served as the director-general of military operations (DGMO), Chief of General Staff, and Adjutant General at the General Headquarters. He has also received Hilala-e-Imtiaz (Military).

Lt Gen Azhar Abbas is a three-star ranking general. He has been serving as the 35th Chief of General Staff (CGS) since September 8, 2021, and is responsible for operational and intelligence matters at the GHQ in Rawalpindi. He was commissioned in the 41st Battalion of the Baloch Regiment.

Lt Gen Nauman Mehmood is currently president of the National Defence University (NDU). He has served as chief instructor at the Command and Staff College, Quetta. In 2019, he was promoted to a three-star general and was also appointed Corps Commander Peshawar where he oversaw security along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and its fencing at a time when the US withdrew its forces.

Lt Gen Faiz Hameed is currently serving as Bahawalpur Corps Commander. Previously, he served as commander of the Peshawar Corps for less than a year. He also served as DG ISI for two-and-a-half years before being promoted to the rank of Lt Gen.

Read more: Lt. General Faiz Hameed’s new appointment

Lt Gen Mohammad Amir belongs to the Artillery Regiment and is, at present, commanding the XXX Corps in Gujranwala. Previously, he was adjutant-general at the GHQ. As major-general, he headed the 10 Infantry Division stationed in Lahore from 2017-18.