Who will be next Army Chief of Pakistan? List of Probables

Who would be the next army chief after Gen Raheel Sharif’s retirement is the most important question being asked today. Here are the top four generals on the seniority list who could be promoted and appointed as the next COAS.

Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Zubair Hayat is the senior most followed by Multan Corps Commander Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, Bahawalpur Corps Commander Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday and Inspector General Training and Evaluation Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Lt. Gen. Zubair Mehmood Hayat remained on important appointments like Corps Commander Bahawalpur and Director General Strategic Plans Division before assuming his present office. He was also Principal Staff Officer with former Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani as a Brigadier. His retirement is due in January 2017.

After a lot of speculations for over a year, final decision on Army Chief General Raheel Sharif’s extension has been taken.  According to reports available, COAS Gen Raheel Sharif will retire on the due date of November 28, 2016, just as he had previously announced.

The four generals whose names are doing the rounds for the most predicted powerful position in Pakistan are following

  • Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday,
  • Lt Gen Zubair Hayat,
  • Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad,
  • Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa

Lt. Gen. Ishfaq Nadeem, who had been Chief of General Staff and was also Director General Military Operations. Presently, he is commanding Multan Corps. His retirement is due in August 2017.

Lt. Gen. Javed Iqbal is another prominent officer from 62nd Long Course, who is presently commanding Bahawalpur Corps and was previously president of National Defence University. His retirement is due in August 2017.

Lt. Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa is also among the runners who 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. His retirement is due in August 2017.

However, it is the prerogative of the prime minister to appoint the Army Chief by promoting a three-star general to a four-star General.

As chances of extension in service of General Raheel have become negligible, it’s not unwarranted to look for the possible candidates for the post of army chief.

The incumbent army chief, who through his professional excellence and dedication to service has won laurels at home and abroad, has announced that he would retire on the due date – November 29, 2016.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed has recently said that there is no proposal on the table to give the COAS (Chief of Army Staff) extension in service.

Under the Constitution it is the prime minister’s prerogative to appoint new army chief. He may go by seniority or may also bring in a dark horse.

As per the practice, five senior-most lieutenant generals on date of retirement of the outgoing COAS are considered to be the main contenders. Name of new chief of Pakistan Army will soon come to the fore as outgoing Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif  has already started farewell visits.  According to sources, there are four lieutenant generals in the seniority list with Chief of General Staff Lt. General Zubair Hayat in the lead.

Corps Commander Multan, Lt. General Ishfaq Nadeem is second in this list, followed by Corps Commander Bahawalpur Javed Iqbal Ramday and Inspector General Training and Evaluation Lt. General Qamar Bajwa in third and fourth positions respectively.

Presently, Maqsood Ahmad, Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Syed Wajid Hussain, Najib Ullah Khan and Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed are five-senior most lieutenant generals after Genral Raheel.

Traditionally, the outgoing COAS proposes one or two names from among the senior-most officers to the prime minister, who has the choice to either accept the recommended name or select some other senior officer for the coveted post.

Who will be next Army Chief of Pakistan? List of ProbablesWho will be next Army Chief of Pakistan? List of Probables

All the above five senior-most officers are due to retire next year – four of them on January 13 and the fifth one (Lt-Gen Ishfaq) on August 8.

Choosing someone from among them has therefore an obvious drawback – the new chief army chief will be either transitory or he will be seeking extension in his service, a practice General Raheel wants to discourage through his own practice.

But selecting someone other than these senior officers too has disadvantages: One, ignoring seniority in itself is not a good thing. Two, the junior officers are not as much experienced as these men who have already served at key positions.

Lt-Gen Maqsood Ahmad is the senior-most officer after General Raheel. He is currently in the US serving as Military Adviser, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), at the United Nations.

Maqsood has commanded IV Corps Lahore, besides heading an infantry division in Murree which is a part of X Corps, Rawalpindi. He also served as deputy director general in Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Lt-Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat is second on the seniority list, excluding General Raheel. He is currently serving as Chief of General Staff (CGS) in GHQ. He has also headed XXXI Corps Bahawalpur, besides serving as director general of the Strategic Plans Division (SPD) and General Officer Commanding, Sialkot.

Lt-Gen Syed Wajid Hussain is third on seniority list and he is currently serving as chairman of Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT). Wajid hasn’t commanded any corps as yet.

Lt-Gen Najib Ullah Khan currently serving as DG Joint Staff, JS HQ, Chaklala is the forth on the seniority list. He has also served as General Officer Commanding of Kharian.

Lt-Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, who is currently commanding II Corps Multan (II Strike Corps), is on the list. He has served as Chief of General Staff from November 2013 to April 2015.

Background interviews with security officials suggest that Zubair Mahmood and Ishfaq Nadeem are likely to be the strongest candidates for the COAS slot keeping in view their professional trek record.

Both have held the position of Chief of General Staff, which is considered second-most important position in the army after the COAS. Gen Zubair is currently serving as CJS and Gen Ishfaq had served on this position before posting to II Corps Multan.

The two generals have also been corps commanders. Gen Zubair has commanded XXXI Corps Bahawalpur and Gen Ishfaq is currently heading II Corps Multan.

Lt-Gen Maqsood who falls at number one in the seniority list has also commanded IV Corps Lahore, besides leading ISI as its Deputy Director General but the security officials consider Zubair and Ishfaq as the two leading candidates for the next COAS.

The most recent predicted generals whose names are doing the rounds for the most powerful position in Pakistan are Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday, commander of Bahawalpur-based XXXI Corps, Lt Gen Zubair Hayat, Chief of General Staff, Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad, commander of the Multan-based II Corps, and Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, who heads the army’s training and evaluation wing. Lets watch who will be upcoming and write your owen prediction in comments section below. Your views will be always welcome.

One Response to “Who will be next Army Chief of Pakistan? List of Probables”

  1. shoaib

    Nov 21. 2016

    Unfortunately, word seniority has no such meaning which we think. These generals passed out from PMA military academy on same date and are colleagues and will retire on same date next year. But when 400-500 cadets pass out together then some has senior army number like 1, then 2 then 3 till 400. So the one with Army no 1 is called senior . And till becoming general, this seniority is considered.Let me clear that after passing out, in 36 years service, when some colleagues become general among 400 passed cadets, then still that PMA academy seniority is called seniority in media like there is huge difference.No they are same colleagues and passed out together and will retire together

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