Islamabad, 23 November 2022 (TDI): General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) is set to retire on November 29. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will name a new commander to lead the influential military.

The office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan released a tweet about receiving the summary from the Ministry of Defence with a panel of names for the appointment of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC).

It is to be noted that the slot of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) will become vacant a day before the Army Chief’s retirement.

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All eyes are on Shehbaz Sharif and whom he will choose for the position as the appointment is expected to decide the future of Pakistan’s burgeoning democracy. It will set the tone for relations with India, Afghanistan, China, and the United States.

Who are the Fore-Runners?

According to the Directorate-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR), the contenders for COAS & CJCSC are six senior-most lieutenant generals to Pakistan’s Defense Ministry.

Asim Munir Shah

Lieutenant General Asim Munir Shah holds a three-star rank in the Pakistan Army. He is currently serving as a Quartermaster General in the Army.

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Previously he worked as Commander of Force Command Northern Areas, followed by DG Military Intelligence, and Director General of the ISI between October 2018 and June 2019.

Sahir Shamshad Mirza

Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad belongs to Mulhal Mughlan in the district Chakwal. He is currently serving as Corps Commander Rawalpindi.

Previously, he was Chief of General Staff in the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army, Director General of Military Operations, and Vice Chief of General Staff.

Azhar Abbas

Lieutenant General Azhar Abbas is serving as Chief of General Staff at the moment. Prior to his, he commanded the Rawalpindi Corps, Personal Secretary to Raheel Sharif, Former Army Chief. He has further served as General Officer Commanding the 12 Infantry Division in Murree.

Nauman Mahmood

Lieutenant General Nauman Raja is the President of the National Defense University (NDU). Previously, he held the positions of Corps Commander in Peshawar, and Inspector General of Communication and IT.

Faiz Hamid

Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid hails from the Latifal district Chakwal. He is currently serving as Corps Commander in Peshawar. He has served as the DG ISI and adjutant general, DG Counter Intelligence/ Internal Security ISI.

Mohammad Amir

Lieutenant General Mohammad Amir Raza belongs to the Artillery. He is serving as the Corps Commander Gujranwala. Previously, he has served as the Adjutant General & Director General Staff duties at the COAS secretariat.