Pakistan cabinet likely to discuss new army chief, Kashmir

Islamabad, Nov 23 (IANS) Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected on Wednesday to discuss the crucial issues, like selection of the new army chief and Indias “aggression” along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border, with his cabinet members, ARY News reported.

The army on Monday put to rest all speculations about possible extension of tenure to army chief General Raheel Sharif as it announced that he has begun his farewell visits ahead of his retirement on November 29.

Analysts believe that the government’s pick should be one who will have a major influence on the country’s often strained relationships with the US and nuclear rival India.

Contenders this year include Lt. Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday, Lt. Gen Zubair Hayat, Lt. Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad and Lt. General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The Prime Minister had named the then Lt. Gen. Raheel Sharif, brother of a war hero, on November 27, 2013, to take charge of the world’s sixth largest army from General Ashfaq Kayani.

Some official circles are of the view that Nawaz Sharif will consult Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan before finalising any names for the slots as Khan is said to have cordial relations with security establishment.

The cabinet meeting will also discuss the heightened hostilities between Pakistan and India and the eastern neighbour’s “repeated violations” of ceasefire agreement on the LoC.

–IANS

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