General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Pakistan’s Army head, and Joint Chief General Nadeem Raza is set to retire in November. Imran Khan’s PTI-led government will have to choose the next Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). While the Pandits have begun discussing the future of the country’s most powerful seat after Prime Minister Khan stated that he has not yet decided on any extension for General Bajwa.
The possible looking at the existing Corp Commanders can help us see some of the seniors and prospective contenders for the positions of COAS and CJCSC.
Lt Gen. Sehr Shamshad Mirza
After the Army Chief and Joint Chiefs of Staff, he is the most senior lieutenant General. He is an officer of the Pakistan Army’s Sindh Regiment. So far, General Mirza has had a distinguished career. Lt. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza is now serving as the X Corps’ Commander in Rawalpindi.
He was previously the Chief of General Staff at the Pakistan Army’s General Headquarters. Prior to his CGS assignment, he served as Adjutant General. Vice Chief of General Staff (A), Director General Military Operations, and General Officer Commanding at Dera Ismail Khan were among his previous positions. He led the 40th Infantry Division throughout his time at Military Operations.
Lt. Gen Azhar Abbas
General Abbas is the army’s 35th Chief of General Staff. After the army chief, the CGS is regarded as the most powerful position inside the army. The Directorates of Military Operations and Military Intelligence are responsible for operational and intelligence affairs at General Headquarters under the command of the CGS.
Abbas was commissioned into the Baloch Regiment’s 41st Battalion. He formerly held the positions of Commandant School of Infantry and Tactics in Quetta, Division Commander in Murre, Brigade Commander in the Operations Directorate, and Personal Secretary to General Raheel Sharif, the former Chief of Army Staff. Interestingly, five CGS have been named CJCSC thus far.
Lt. Gen Nouman Mahmood Raja
He is President of the National Defence University in Islamabad. He was previously the Corp Commander of Peshawar. In On 1987, General Raja was commissioned into an Infantry Battalion. He attended the Command and Staff College in Quetta, Egypt, as well as the Command and Staff College in Cairo and the National Defence University in Islamabad.
Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade, Commanding Officer of an Infantry Regiment, Brigade Commander of two Infantry Brigades, Chief of Staff of a Corps, General Officer Commanding of an Infantry Division, Director General (Analysis), Directorate General ISI, Inspector General Communication & Information Technology Branch General Headquarters Rawalpindi, and Corps Commander of a Corps are among his various Command, Staff, and Instructional assignments.
Lt. Gen Faiz Hameed
At the moment, he is the Commander of the XI Corps in Peshawar. He served as the 24th Director-General of the Intelligence Agency ISI. He was commissioned in the Baloch Regiment. Previously, Faiz served as Adjutant General in Rawalpindi’s General Headquarters (GHQ). Also, in his military career, he was the chief of the ISI’s counter-intelligence wing.
He was also the Chief of Staff to then-Corps Commander Rawalpindi, General Bajwa, who is currently the COAS. Only three XI Corp Commanders have ever been promoted to four-star general rank: General Sawar Khan, General Mirza Aslam Baig, and General Ahsan-ul-Haq. Gen. Faiz as DG ISI remained in limelight.
He also visited Kabul soon after the Afghan Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Many circles are talking about the positioning of Gen. Faiz as possible next COAS. However, only the exact time will decide the future command of the Pakistan Army.
Lt. Gen Muhammad Amir
He is currently serving as Corp Commander of the Gujranwala Corps. Before this, he served as Advocate General. As a Major General, Amir served as GOC 10 Infantry Division, Lahore.
He also served as DG Staff at COAS Secretariat.
Lt. Gen Muhammad Chiragh Haider
He is currently serving as Corps Commander Multan, Prior to being Corp Commander Multan, Haider was serving as DG Joint Staff Headquarters.
Previously, he also undertook responsibilities as DG Military training and GOC Infantry Division Jhelum.
Lt. Gen Nadeem Anjum
He is serving as the Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence (DG ISI). He was commissioned in the 28th Punjab Regiment of infantry.
He has also served as Inspector-General of the Frontier Corps, Brigadier Commander Waziristan, and Kurram Agency. Anjum also served as Corp Commander of V Corps at Karachi.
The Army contenders for the future COAS are promoted by name through the outgoing Chief of Army Staff, from whom the Prime Minister selects the new COAS and CJCSC, according to protocol. Now it’s up to Prime Minister Imran Khan to decide whether to stick to the seniority list or choose any senior official from the list who meets his criteria.