Pakistan to get new army chief as Gen Bajwa retires on Nov 29

Among the frontrunners for the Army Chief post are Lt Generals Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Azhar Abbas, Nauman Mahmood Raja and Faiz Hameed

New Delhi: The nomination of a new Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) is at the center of the country’s politics at the moment, and an official announcement is expected this week.

The incumbent General Qamar Javed Bajwa is set to retire on 29 November and the appointment of the new COAS is likely to take place soon, according to reports.

Traditionally, the Pakistan Ministry of Defense issues a retirement notice prior to appointing a new army chief. In the run-up to the politically-charged appointment, a summary containing the names of probables for the post of army chief is initiated by the defence ministry.

According to The Dawn, this summary for the latest appointment has been initiated by the defense ministry. Among the frontrunners for the job are Lt Generals Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Azhar Abbas, Nauman Mahmood Raja and Faiz Hameed.

In 2016, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif nominated General Bajwa, then 61 years old, to lead the Pakistani armed forces. General Bajwa, a four-star general, got an extension of three years as a COAS. After Bajwa retires, Lt General Mirza will be the highest-ranking active officer in the Pakistan Army. Commissioned in 1987 into the 8th battalion of the Sind Regiment, an infantry force, he has been the commander of the X Corps in Rawalpindi since September 2021.

Gen Bajwa’s family became billionaires in last six years: Report

Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s family members and relatives became billionaires during his six-year tenure, making assets amounting to ₹ 12.7 billion, a Pakistani website has claimed, prompting the government to order a probe into the “illegal and unwarranted” leak of their tax records.

According to FactFocus website, the current market value of the known assets and business of the army chief, both within and outside Pakistan, amounted to ₹ 12.7 billion.

It claimed that the assets of Gen Bajwa’s wife, Ayesha Amjad, went from zero in 2016 to ₹ 2.2 billion (declared and known) in six years. The amount did not include residential plots, commercial plots and houses given by the Army to her husband.

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