Tonight with Moeed Pirzada: Appointment of new COAS: Future Challenges

Dr. Moeed Pirzada evaluated the decision of the appointment of new Joint Chief and Army Chief by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Being a political decision by the head of the government Dr. Pirzada evaluated the decision critically in two aspects. The positive aspect of this decision was that neither Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif granted extension to Chief of Army Staff, nor General Raheel Sharif asked for it. Which is good for the institution and the system? While second positive aspect was that the pick was among the top four Generals who were already in consideration. Unlike some of the previous examples when tenth General in seniority list was appointed as Chief of Army Staff during Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s era. Superseding the senior Generals in a list caused the gap of thirty years of experienced Generals. The negative aspect of such political decision to pick of the Chief of Army Staff by the Prime Minister is because he is an elected Prime Minister and can take such decision on his discretion as per tradition and constitutional powers he got. This policy should be revisited and selection should be merit based among at least top three Generals. Supreme Court had set the precedent of the appointment of Chief Justice who is the senior most among other judges. This is a political debate which should be initiated to reform the system.