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How new Army Chief is appointed in Pakistan?

Since the government is expected to reveal the new COAS’s name next week, Pakistan’s politics have appeared to be uniting around this one issue over the past few weeks.

Retiring COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa will step down On November 29.

On November 29, 2019, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government gave him a three-year extension to his term.


  • On the recommendation of the country’s prime minister, the president appoints the heads of the three armed forces and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, as stated in Clause 3 of Article 243 of the Constitution.
  • The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) sends a letter to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) requesting a summary per the Constitution’s procedure.
  • The ministry asks the departing army chief for the names of the top generals.
  • The COAS sends a list of names to the premier after receiving the list.

According to business rules, for any government appointment, three names must be submitted if one position is open and five names must be submitted if two appointments are needed. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the COAS will be vacant. The prime minister will receive five names from the departing army chief via the defence ministry.

  • The president will be recommended to appoint two lieutenant generals who will be promoted to general status as the army chief and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, respectively.
  • The notification of the appointment of the new army chief and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee will be issued following the president’s approval.

Seniority, qualification of officers

Military experts claim that each officer has a service file that includes information about their prior service in addition to the list of names sent to the prime minister.

An officer’s seniority is based on the date of his commission, and that date determines that officer’s seniority.

Although the army chief must submit a list of five qualified candidates in order of seniority, a Lt. General appointed to the position of COAS typically comes from the fighting corps and has at least one year of experience there.

PM finalizes names

The most recent reports, obtained through sources, state that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has finished his reading of the defence ministry’s summary.

According to sources, the premier is willing to choose the new chief based solely on seniority, without dismissing any candidates.

He has held discussions about the same matter with significant federal ministers, staff members, and his confidantes.

Pavan Manzoor
Written By

Pavan Manzoor is an experienced content writer , editor and social media handler along with a track record of youth-oriented activities in Pakistan and abroad. She was selected as a fully-funded delegate as a leadership fellow in Turkey. She also led a team of 5 volunteers at the week-long Young Professionals Fellowship in Maldives. She is also a member of the Youth Standing Committee on Higher Education.

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