ISLAMABAD: Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is expected to be posted as Corps Commander Peshawar anytime after 10 October for his likely elevation to the post of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) following incumbent COAS’ end of three-year extension next year.
Well-placed sources told Business Recorder that Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed is most likely to be posted as corps commander Peshawar to ensure continuity keeping in view his critical role in dealing with the Afghan situation since his appointment as DG ISI on June 16, 2019.
Lt-Gen Nauman Mahmood has been commanding 11 Corps headquartered in Peshawar at present since December 2, 2019. Sources told this newspaper that the decision on appointment of Gen Faiz Hameed as corps commander Peshawar is expected anytime after October 10, 2021 given that three 3-Star Lt-Generals are due to retire on October 18, 2021.
Those retiring include Lt Gen Majid Ehsan, Inspector General Arms (IG Arms), GHQ Rawalpindi; Lt Gen Aamir Abbasi, Quarter Master General, GHQ Rawalpindi; and Lt Gen Hamooduz Zaman Khan, Commander Army Air Defence, Rawalpindi.
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As per the seniority list of Pakistan Army, the candidates for the future COAS’ post [seniority-wise] are Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Commander, X Corps, Rawalpindi, Lt Gen Azhar Abbas, Chief of General Staff (CGS), GHQ, Rawalpindi, Nauman Mahmood, Commander, XI Corps; and Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed, Director General, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) - all three are 3-star generals.
Lieutenant General Muhammad Amir, Adjutant General and Lieutenant General Muhammad Chiragh Haider, who is Multan Corps commander, are also on the seniority list.
Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa who got a three-year extension as per the notification of January 28, 2020 after parliament passed the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2020, is due to retire on November 29, 2022.
Sources said that it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister to appoint the country’s army chief, and Gen Faiz Hameed is among the top contenders. However for his elevation to COAS the precedent is that he must first serve as a corps commander.