The Pakistan government is going to appoint new army chief within a week or ten days to replace incumbent General Raheel Sharif, who is scheduled to retire by the end of November, a senior minister has said.
“The government has not yet decided [as to who will be the new army chief] but is likely to announce his name in a week or ten days’ time,” Associated Press of Pakistan quoted State Minister for Capital Administration Tariq Fazl Chaudhry as saying.
General Raheel had announced several months ago that he will not look for a second term unlike his predecessor General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani.
While on Friday, a petition seeking Field Marshal’s status for Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif was dismissed by the Islamabad High Court, weeks ahead of his retirement from the powerful post.
Raheel Sharif, currently serving as the 15th Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army, was appointed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on November 29, 2013, for a three-year term. If Sharif hangs up his boots on November 30, he would be the first army chief to retire on time in two decades.
The succession would take place upon the retirement of Gen Sharif at the end of November.
This will be the fifth time that PM Sharif — who already holds a record of sorts for being the prime minister who has appointed the most army chiefs — will pick the top commander of the country’s nearly 550,000 ground troops. If his botched attempt to replace Gen Musharraf with Ziauddin Butt in 1999 is also counted, this will be the sixth time PM Sharif gets to choose a chief of army staff.
His earlier picks were Gen Asif Nawaz Janjua (1991), Gen Waheed Kakar (1993), Gen Pervez Musharraf (1998) and Gen Raheel Sharif (2013). Of the seven army chiefs after Gen Zia, five were handpicked by Sharif.