ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif convened a federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday in a bid to decide upon the new face of Pakistan’s powerful military.
While lauding Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif’s services for Pakistan, the high-level meeting deliberated on the key choices the premier has regarding who will run the armed forces next.
A three-year term of the current Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif will end this month.
PM Sharif has until November 28 to name his choice of a replacement for the retiring army chief. Main contenders include Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal Ramday, Lieutenant General Zubair Hayat, Lieutenant General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad and Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The premier had named the then Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif, brother of a war hero, on November 27, 2013, to take charge of the world’s sixth-largest army, with a formal handover from General Ashfaq Kayani.
General Sharif has been immensely popular among Pakistanis, who see him as having effectively tackled crime, terrorism and corruption.
The cabinet meeting also criticised rising Indian aggression across the border. At least nine people were killed and seven others wounded in the cross-border fire which hit a Pakistani bus in disputed Kashmir on Wednesday.