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Pak Army Reshuffle and Bajwa’s Reaffirmation at the Top

Published Nov 25, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the appointment of Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) with effect from November 27.

General Zubair Mahmood Hayat presently serving as the CJCSC and is set to retire on November 28, 2019.

There were three contenders, including Lt General Nadeem Raza for the post the others being Lt Gen Sarfraz Sattar, the head of Strategic Plans Division (SPD), and Lt Gen Hamyun Aziz, the GOC 5 Corps Karachi.

CJCSC while technically the senior most advises the government on issues of national security and defence but does not have the clout of the Army Chief.

He is expected to work for promotion of ‘jointness.’

Dawn News however reports that during the entire three-year tenure of Gen Zubair, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, created in 1976 to address the shortcomings of ‘joint effort’ in the East Pakistan war which is required to meet quarterly, met only once, on July 3, 2018.

The Army Corps Commanders Forum on the other hand meets regularly each month.

Technically the appointment of CJCSC has to be rotated among all three services, but it has come to be dominated by the Pakistan army, especially after establishment of the National Command Authority (NCA) which controls nuclear command and control.

Lt Gen Nadeem was corps commander Rawalpindi before being appointed as the Chief of General Staff at the GHQ, second only in clout to the army chief, in August last year and was widely expected to be nominated as the CJCSC.

Setting at rest speculation the press release from the PM Office also clarified that notification regarding General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s extension as army chief was issued on August 19.

Gen Qamar set to retire on November 29 on completion of his three-year term will now serve as army chief until November 2022.

There was some speculation that a section of the Pakistan Army was unhappy with the extension given to General Bajwa and was also behind the Azadi March of the JUI F chief Fazlur Rehman which has now turned out to be a fizzle.

Importantly ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed also called on Imran Khan after the JUIF March had blown over and when the Army Chief was away on a visit to Iran.

There appears to be some concert in the civil military leadership for now but the turbulence is likely to continue.

In a string of other appointments  as per the ISPR, two major generals have been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Generals. Major General Muhammad Saeed has also been promoted to the rank of Lt General and appointed as the president of the National Defence University.

 According to the ISPR, following postings and appointments have been made.

 • Lieutenant General Nadeem Zaki Manj appointed Director General Strategic Plans Division Force

 • Lieutenant General Muhammad Amir appointed Adjutant General

 • Lieutenant General Shaheen Mazhar Mehmood appointed Commander Mangla Corps

 • Lieutenant General Nauman Mahmood appointed Commander Peshawar Corps

 • Lieutenant General Ali Amir Awan appointed Inspector General Communications & Information Technology (IG C&IT)