The military high command has sent the prime minister the dossiers of four main contenders.

Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal Ramday

  • Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal Ramday is currently the commander of XXXI Corps.
  • Previously, he was the President of the National Defence University (NDU).
  • He led a 2009 operation to drive the Pakistani Taliban militant movement from Swat Valley near the Afghan border.
  • Ramday is considered among the front-runners, in part because his family has been associated with Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) for many years.
  • He is also seen by some security officials as popular with General Sharif.

Lieutenant General Zubair Hayat, Chief of General Staff

  • Lt Gen Zubair Hayat is from the artillery and is the serving Chief of General Staff.
  • He was commissioned in artillery regiment of Pakistan Army in early 1980s.
  • General Hayat’s father Mohammad Aslam Hayat retired as a Major General and his two brothers — Umer Hayat and Ahmed Hayat — have also served as 2-star Generals.
  • He had served as Bahawalpur Corps Commander and Director-General of the Strategic Plans Division.
  • He also served as General Officer Commanding, Sialkot.
  • He is due to retire on January 13, 2017.

Lieutenant General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad

  • He has served as Chief of General Staff from November 2013 to April 2015.
  • He is currently serving as Multan corps commander and has previously served as CGS.
  • He is considered to have had a ‘textbook career’ in Pak Army.
  • Many see him as the man behind Gen Sharif’s successes.
  • The blueprint for Operation Zarb-e-Azb had been prepared by Gen Ishfaq as director general of military operations (DMGO).
  • Gen Ishfaq also took part in the Swat operation as a major general and served in Waziristan as a brigadier.
  • He belongs to the Azad Kashmir Regiment. Therefore, his elevation as army chief would be a rare achievement for that smaller group within the military.

Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa

  • Gen Bajwa is currently serving at GHQ as Inspector General of Training and Evaluation, a position Gen Sharif held before becoming COAS.
  • He has led the biggest 10 Corps [Rawalpindi Corps], which has the responsibility of the Line of Control. He has a vast experience in Kashmir and Northern Areas.
  • Gen Bajwa does not like publicity and works keenly to obtain his objects.
  • He belongs to the Baloch Regiment, which has produced three Army Chiefs, including Gen Yahya Khan, Gen Aslam Beg and Gen Ashfaq Kayani.

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