ISLAMABAD - Following his supersession with the elevation of two military men at the top army slots who were next to him in the seniority list, Lieutenant General Haroon Aslam has proceeded on LPR (leave preparatory to retirement), with effect from Wednesday.

Haroon Aslam was performing duties at the General Headquarters (GHQ) as chief of logistics staff. His going on LPR implies that only two Lt-Gens – Tariq Khan (Corps Commander Mangla) and Zaheerul Islam Abbasi (ISI director general) would be retiring in October next year.

Aslam, the senior-most officer in Pakistan Army's top command after Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, was superseded after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday respectively appointed Lt-Gen Rashad Mahmood and Lt-Gen Raheel Sharif as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and COAS. The two officers are entitled to hold these offices for a three-year official term starting tomorrow (Friday) and completing on November 28, 2016.

The practice of proceeding on LPR in case of supersession is traditionally followed in Pakistan Army at the three-star general-level. In October 1998, Lt-Gen Ali Kuli Khan Khattak and Lt-Gen Khalid Nawaz had proceeded on LPR when they were superseded, with the appointment of General Pervez Musharraf as COAS by the then PM Nawaz Sharif.

In case of two-star generals, the officers concerned usually stay in the offices till their retirement. Some prominent two-star generals who were superseded in the ongoing year but are still serving in the military include Major General Isfandiyar Pataudi, Maj-Gen Raza Muhammad, Maj-Gen Khawar Hanif and Maj-Gen Noel Israel Khokhar.

Raheel Sharif, the newly appointed COAS, is to take charge tomorrow (Friday) at Farewell to Arms ceremony outside GHQ. Like Gen Kayani, Gen Sharif also belongs to Infantry, the foremost fighting arm of Pakistan's largest armed force.

The new COAS Wednesday visited Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Rawalpindi where outgoing COAS General Kayani inaugurated the newly constructed Outdoor Patient Department, Accident, Emergency and Diagnostics Blocks. COAS Kayani and other senior army officers felicitated Sharif on his elevation for the new assignment.