Islamabad - Prime Minister Imran Khan has appointed Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), said a statement issued by the Prime Minister Office on Thursday.

Lt-Gen Nadeem, who is serving as the Chief of General Staff at the General Headquarters, will assume his new assignment on Nov 27, when the incumbent CJCSC Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat will retire. Gen Zubair had already begun making the ritual farewell calls earlier this month.

The statement said that notification for reappointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as Chief of Army Staff for three years tenure has already been issued on August 19 this year. Gen Bajwa, who was set to retire on Nov 29 on completion of his three-year term, will now continue to serve as army chief until Nov 2022.

Following his appointment as the CJCSC, Lt-Gen Nadeem Raza called on Prime Minister Imran at his office.

The development comes after a week of civil-military huddles in which the prime minister met the army chief twice and once with ISI chief Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed.

The latest meeting between the Army Chief and the Prime Minister took place on Thursday where, according to sources, matters related to national security were discussed. Officially, there was no word on the meeting, which was second between the two in less than a week.

In their last meeting, the prime minister and the army chief had discussed the security situation of the country, including the developments in Indian Occupied Kashmir, according to official statement issued at the time.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had also hailed Pakistan Army’s efforts to defend the borders while also ensuring internal security and facilitating the ongoing socio-economic development.

Earlier this week, Chief Military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor refuted claims of an alleged divide between the civilian and military leadership, reiterating that both were on the same page.

“This is baseless gossip. There is absolutely nothing of the sort,” said Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) as he dismissed speculation that there was lack of consensus between the PM and COAS over some issues.

“The army is supporting a democratically-elected government as per the Constitution. There will be no let-up in this support as it is a must for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan,” the military spokesman had said.

Maj-Gen Ghafoor also sought to quell the assertions that the Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff were not communicating as often as they did in the early days of the PTI-led government.

Besides Lt-Gen Raza, the top contenders for the office of CJCSC were Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Director General Lt-Gen Sarfraz Sattar and Commander V Corps, headquartered at Karachi, Lt-Gen Humayun Aziz.

The CJCSC, in principle, is the highest-ranking military officer across the armed forces. He serves as the government’s top adviser on matters related to national defence and security. His job description also includes working for promotion of unity and cross-service cooperation in all military processes.

By virtue of being a tri-services office, the position of CJCSC has to be rotated among all three services but it has come to be dominated by the army, especially after the establishment of the National Command Authority (NCA) - which controls the key areas of nuclear command and strategic assets. The CJCSC is also the deputy chairman of the NCA’s development committee.

Of the 16 chairmen who have served the office so far, 13 were from the army, two from navy and one from the air force. Within the army, the position has mostly been bagged by men from the infantry.

Profile of new CJCSC

Lt-Gen Nadeem, Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military), was commissioned in 10 Sindh Regiment in Sep 1985. He is a graduate of Command & Staff College Quetta and NDU Islamabad. He has also attended Infantry Coy Command Course in Germany in 1994.

The General Officer carries with him a varied experience of command, staff and instructional appointments. He has been a BM of an Infantry Brigade, General Staff Officer (GSO)-1 at the Military Operations Directorate (MO Dte), Chief of Staff (COS) of a Strike Corps.

On the instructional side, he has been on the faculty of School of Infantry and Tactics (SI&T), Command and Staff Collage (C&SC) Quetta, and War College Islamabad as well as Commandant Pakistan Military Academy (PMA).

Lt-Gen Nadeem Raza has commanded an Infantry Battalion and Infantry Brigade along the Line of Control (LOC), an Infantry Division in South Waziristan and 10 Corps. He assumed the appointment of Chief of General Staff (CGS) on Sep 10, 2018.

The officer is happily married and blessed with three sons and a daughter.