New Delhi, 11 August 2016
Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif is retiring on 28th November 2016 as Pakistan’s ISPR some time back made it clear that he will not seek extension. Or is its just a ploy? Speculations are rife as who will be the next Army Chief of Pakistan. ND presents you the top 10 Lt. Generals who are in the race to become next Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of Pakistan.
1) Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem will be fifth in the seniority list of lieutenant generals on November 29. General Nadeem is most likely to be the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan. Currently, he is Corps Commander Multan. He has served on crucially important position of Chief of General Staff during most difficult times from November 2013 to April 2015. Before his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General, General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad was Director General Military Operations (DGMO) for over two years. Lt Gen Ishfaq belongs to 34-AK and he commanded a strike infantry division and led successful military operation in Swat. He was also Chief of Staff of strike Corps Mangla as Brigadier and is rated as one of the finest soldiers in today’s Army. He is due to retire on August 8, 2017.
2) Lt Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat, an artillery officer will be second in the seniority list of lieutenant generals on November 29, 2016. He is currently serving as Chief of General Staff (CGS) in GHQ. Lt Gen Zubair served as Bahawalpur Corps Commander and Director-General of the Strategic Plans Division. He also served as General Officer Commanding, Sialkot. Lt Gen Zubair is due to retire on January 13, 2017.
3) Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday, Sind, Currently serves as Commander 31 Corps, Bahawalpur. Previously was posted as President National Defence Uuniversity. The only battle scarred/hardened general in the Pakistan Army. Led operation Rah-e-Nijat in Swat valley against insurgents. He suffered a sniper bullet when he was airborne while leading from the front as a GOC of 19th Division. A strong contender for the top post.
4) Lt Gen Maqsood Ahmad will be the senior most lieutenant general on November 29. He is currently in USA serving as Military Adviser, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) at the United Nations in New York. He will be back in Pakistan in August this year after completing his three-year term as military adviser. He has commanded IV Corps Lahore from January to August 2013. Lt Gen Maqsood has commanded Infantry Division in Murree and was serving in the ISI as one of the directors general before his Lahore posting. Lt Gen Maqsood is due to retire on January 13, 2017.
5) Lt Gen Syed Wajid Hussain will be third in the seniority list of lieutenant generals on November 29 this year. Currently, he is chairman, Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) and before that he was Commandant of School of Armour, Nowshera. He also served on important position of vice chief of general staff but hasn’t commanded any corps as yet. He is due to retire on January 13, 2017.
6) Lt Gen Najib Ullah Khan will be forth in the seniority list of lieutenant generals on November 29. Currently, he is DG Joint Staff (DG JS), JS HQ, Chaklala. Lt Gen Najibullah was formerly General Officer Commanding of Kharian. He has also served as Engineer-in-Chief at the GHQ, director general of Frontier Works Organisation and is from the Engineer Corps. He is due to retire on January 13, 2017.
7) Lt General Mazhar Jamil, An Artillery officer, he currently oversees Pakistan’s nuclear complex as DG, Strategic Plans Division having taken charge from Lt General Zubair Hayat in April 2015. He is known to be close to former Pakistan Army chief General Kayani and was promoted to the rank of Lt General superseding four officers during Kayani’s tenure. Between September 2013 and December 2013, he was Military Secretary and Vice Chief of General Staff from 2012 to 2013. It is also interesting to note that Lt General Jamil was garrison commander at Abbottabad and Commandant, Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), Kakul when the US Navy SEALs attacked a compound near PMA to kill Osama Bin Laden in May 2011.
8) Lt. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa is also in contention. He was previously Commander of important Rawalpindi Corps and is presently employed as Inspector General Training and Evaluation, at GHQ, a position General Raheel Sharif held before becoming the army chief.
9) Lt. Gen. Rizwan Akhtar, the present ISI Chief is considered to be close to Army chief General Raheel Sharif. Even though Akhtar is not from an intelligence background and PM Nawaz Sharif reportedly wanted Lt Gen. Naveed Zaman as the ISI chief, the Army chief backed Akhtar. Officially, the ISI chief reports to the prime minister but in reality it’s the Army chief who controls the ISI. Akhtar was commissioned into the Frontier Force Regiment in September 1982. As a career Army officer, Akhtar commanded an infantry brigade and division in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and also served as director general of the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers in Sindh.
10) Lt Gen Muhammad Zahid Latif Mirza is presently the Commander, Army Air Defence Command Rawalpindi. He is due to retire on 20 December 2017