From the scenes of chaos and bloodshed being witnessed in Egypt and the toppling of the government by a seemingly pliant general, therein is a stark lesson for our Prime Minister to guard against selecting a sycophant for the next COAS. There are two lessons for us in the selection of late Gen. Zia-ul-Haq and Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf as army chiefs by our Prime Ministers, being trusted as prime sycophants prior to their selection, ignoring seniors and more capable persons that resulted in later take over by the army. The ‘Poet of East’ had said that epitome of sycophancy is when the proverbial owl is called an eagle of the night. The selection of next COAS ought to be based on seniority cum merit alone, with no hint of personal likes and dislikes, which should be treated as the cardinal principle by our Prime Minister, in view of our past experience. It is however said that history repeats itself, as happened in the past and we should be well advised to guard against the tendency in selection of a sycophant which has been our bane.DR. M. YAQOOB BHATTI, Lahore, July 4.