Lt-Gen Asim Munir is technically the senior-most of the top generals who are in the running for the coveted slot of Pakistan Army chief. However, he is set to retire a few days before the incumbent hangs up his uniform, local media reported.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif could theoretically find a way out if he decides on Gen Munir as the next COAS, since he has the authority to elevate a Lt-Gen to the rank of a four-star general before his retirement, a move that may add another three years to his career, Dawn reported.
“Mian sahib feels it should be the senior-most man, but the other side has a different point of view,” one insider told Dawn on condition of anonymity.
Given the controversies that have marked Gen Bajwa’s consecutive terms, it is learned that Nawaz is “aware that he needs to strike a balance”.
“The younger Sharif will do as ordered – by who, I don’t know,” said the source, with a chuckle, Dawn reported.
The source said that while Nawaz Sahrif knows the brinkmanship needed, “the question is whether the prime minister will be able to withstand the pressure when the summary comes to him”.
“Some sanity will have to prevail or there is a chance of things going south with diverging viewpoints. Both sides have cards to play, but Nawaz Sahrif is clear that a decision will be taken when the summary comes.” There are several factors being considered by the Sharifs. One, that serious repercussions stem from an appointment of this gravity; second, that there is a huge trust deficit between them and the army, Dawn reported.