New Pak-Army chief to be named this week: PML-N minister

04:20 PM | 22 Oct, 2016
New Pak-Army chief to be named this week: PML-N minister

ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan government will appoint a new army chief within a week or 10 days to replace incumbent General Raheel Sharif who is poised to retire by end of November, State Minister for Capital Administration Tariq Fazl Chaudhry has said.

“The government has not yet decided [as to who will be the new army chief] but is likely to announce his name in week or ten days’ time,” said Chaudhry in response to a question asked during a news conference which he addressed together with PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz.

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Army chief General Raheel Sharif is set to retire in November this year and has announced not to seek an extension in his tenure.

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The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been under pressure to rename the successor of General Raheel to end uncertainty amidst domestic and external security challenges.

Under the law, it is prerogative of the Prime Minister to appoint the new army chief.

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Earlier this year, General Raheel had announced that he will not seek a second term unlike his predecessor General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani.

Pakistan's new army chief General Raheel Sharif (R) and outgoing army chief General Ashfaq Kayani attend the change of command ceremony in Rawalpindi on November 29, 2013. General Raheel Sharif on November 29 formally took over as the head of Pakistan's army, the most powerful position in the troubled military-dominated nation which is battling a homegrown Taliban insurgency. AFP PHOTO/Aamir QURESHI

In January, Pakistan Army rubbished reports that the army chief would seek to extend his tenure from three to four years. “Speculations about extension in service of COAS are baseless,” ISPR Director General Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said in a series of messages on Twitter.

Further, the Islamabad High Court dismissed this week a petition seeking to elevate the current Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to the rank of field marshal.

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Justice Aamer Farooq stated that the petitioner’s contention regarding the elevation to the post of field marshal” falls within the domain of the legislature and no direction can 144% be issued to the legislator to this effect”.