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.