The Government Receives Six Names From GHQ For The Top Rank In The Army

The military confirmed late Tuesday that it had sent the summary to the defense ministry after the government spent Tuesday trying to dispel the impression of a stalemate.

Even though multiple ministers spent the day denying that the summary had been received by the PM Office — Defence Minister Khawaja Asif even tweeted as much as around 11 pm after multiple TV appearances.

GHQ has forwarded to the MoD the summary for the selection of the CJCSC and COAS, which includes the names of six senior most Lt Gens.

Although the communique did not specify which six names had been forwarded, it is widely assumed that the six men are currently in the running for the next chief of army staff.

Earlier, on a TV talk show, Mr. Asif stated that there were no differences between the army and the government and that the concerns expressed by various quarters in this regard were unfounded

Following rumors and denials, the army says a summary for the appointment of the next chief has been sent to the defense ministry; an ISPR release mentions no names.

Several PML-N leaders, including former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, had indicated a day earlier that the army was impeding the process.

However, the defense minister stated that he had assured Mr. Abbasi that his concerns would be addressed. According to a senior PML-N leader, the delay in submitting the summary could undermine the government and leave the process open to speculation and legal challenges.

PM Shehbaz Sharif is also expected to consult with Gen Bajwa on the selection of his successor on Thursday. It is customary for the prime minister to hold this discussion with the departing chief; however, it is referred to as an “informal consultation.”

On Monday, the Prime Minister requested a summary for the appointment of the next army chief, as well as the service dossiers of the candidates, from the Defense Ministry. The prime minister’s letter was then forwarded to General Headquarters by the Defence Ministry.

The government now anticipates that the summary, along with the service dossiers, will arrive on the prime minister’s desk on Wednesday. 

The government had previously planned to finish the process by Friday.

After making his decision, the prime minister would advise President Arif Alvi to appoint the general as the next army chief. It remains to be seen whether the president will accept the advice or return it for reconsideration.

On Wednesday, Gen. Bajwa will deliver his final public speech before retiring, most likely at a Defense Day ceremony.

He is expected to discuss developments during his extended six-year tenure in his speech. Meanwhile, as part of his farewell tour, Gen Bajwa paid a visit to the Quetta garrison on Tuesday. 

According to ISPR, he visited the martyrs' monument and interacted with officers and troops. He praised the corps and its formations for their efforts and contributions to Balochistan's peace and stability, as well as their assistance to the provincial government during the recent floods.