Millennium Post

‘PM Sharif soon to decide on army chief Raheel’s successor ’

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is poised to pick a “safe” successor to Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Raheel Sharif from among four generals and key considerations will include the candidate’s views on foreign policy issues, especially ties with India, a leading newspaper reported on Sunday.

The four Generals in line to succeed General Raheel are 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, the Dawn reported.

In the build-up to the appointment of the next army chief, all candidates appear to be evenly poised and there are no clear front-runners, it said.

When Prime Minister Sharif sits down to choose 60-year- old Gen Raheel’s successor, his decision will be guided by personal choices, political considerations, and, in a couple of cases, his own experience of working with the candidates with a great temptation to go for “someone safe”, retired and serving bureaucrats and military officials told the newspaper.

Another consideration likely to be taken into account would be the prospective candidates’ views on foreign policy issues, particularly ties with India, the report said.

The succession would take place upon the retirement of Gen Sharif at the end of November.

This will be the fifth time that 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 Pervez Musharraf with Ziauddin Butt in 1999 is also counted, this will be the sixth time Sharif gets to choose a chief of army staff, the report said. 
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