ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – The suspense over the successor to Pakistan Army s powerful chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has concluded after confirmation of Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif s appointment as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Dunya News reported on Wednesday.
He will take command of Pakistan Army on Friday. On the other hand, Lieutenant General Rashid Mahmood has been appointed as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJSC).
Lt. Gen Raheel was serving as Inspector General Training and Evaluation while Lt. Gen Mahmood was serving as Chief of General Staff before their elevation to the top posts. Earlier today, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held separate meeting with both senior generals where he conveyed them the decision. They also discussed national security as well professional matters relating to the military.
Meanwhile, the prime minister is scheduled to host a farewell dinner for General Kayani today, where he will have an opportunity to interact with the military high command. Political leaders, corps commanders and senior military officials will be present in the event.
This was the fourth time that PM Nawaz selected an Army Chief. He picked up Abdul Waheed Kakar as the Army chief in 1993 but the General soon ditched him and played a key role in Sharif s resignation. Kakar had superseded at least four senior generals.
In 1998, he hand-picked Pervez Musharraf to head the Army and he too had superseded at least two Generals. Musharraf first plotted the Kargil misadventure derailing Sharif s India-Pakistan peace dialogue in 1999 and then engineered a coup against the Prime Minister in the same year.
Sharif selected Ziauddin Butt in October 1999 but he could not take over as the Army chief due to the coup by Musharraf.
Kayani, who also served as the Director-General of the spy agency ISI and director of the Directorate-General of Military Operations, will hang his boots on Friday after being at the helm of the Army for six years.