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

1. Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal Ramday

  1. Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal Ramday is currently the commander of XXXI Corps.
  2. Previously, he was the President of the National Defence University (NDU).
  3. He led a 2009 operation to drive the Pakistani Taliban militant movement from Swat Valley near the Afghan border.
  4. 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.
  5. He is also seen by some security officials as popular with General Sharif.

2. Lieutenant General Zubair Hayat, Chief of General Staff

  1. Lt Gen Zubair Hayat is from the artillery and is the serving Chief of General Staff.
  2. He was commissioned in artillery regiment of Pakistan Army in early 1980s.
  3. 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.
  4. He had served as Bahawalpur Corps Commander and Director-General of the Strategic Plans Division.
  5. He also served as General Officer Commanding, Sialkot.
  6. He is due to retire on January 13, 2017.

3. Lieutenant General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad

  1. He has served as Chief of General Staff from November 2013 to April 2015.
  2. He is currently serving as Multan corps commander and has previously served as CGS.
  3. He is considered to have had a ‘textbook career’ in Pak Army.
  4. Many see him as the man behind Gen Sharif’s successes.
  5. The blueprint for Operation Zarb-e-Azb had been prepared by Gen Ishfaq as director general of military operations (DMGO).
  6. Gen Ishfaq also took part in the Swat operation as a major general and served in Waziristan as a brigadier.
  7. 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.

4. Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa

  1. Gen Bajwa is currently serving at GHQ as Inspector General of Training and Evaluation, a position Gen Sharif held before becoming COAS.
  2. 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.
  3. Gen Bajwa does not like publicity and works keenly to obtain his objects.
  4. He belongs to the Baloch Regiment, which has produced three Army Chiefs, including Gen Yahya Khan, Gen Aslam Beg and Gen Ashfaq Kayani.