ISLAMABAD: In the latest military reshuffle, new corps commanders have been appointed for the Peshawar and Mangla Corps.

Maj Gen Omer Bukhari on his promotion as a three-star (lieutenant) general was appointed as the commander of the Peshawar-based XI Corps. He would replace Lt-Gen Hassan Azhar Hayat Khan, who will be retiring later this month.

Gen Khan had been serving as Peshawar Corps Commander since Aug 2022 and his tenure was supposed to end in November. However, upon achieving the age of superannuation, he will be retiring on May 16.

Interestingly, the new posting became public a day after Commander of United States CENTCOM Gen Michael Kurilla visited several locations in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bordering Afghanistan for discussing counterterrorism operations in those regions.

Together the two developments indicate a renewed focus on countering militancy in the province.

Gen Bukhari, the new commander in Peshawar, was previously serving as vice chief of general staff (alpha) at the General Headquarters.

The appointment of a new corps commander in Peshawar may also lead to changes in the delicate relationship between the PTI-led government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the military leadership there.

In another significant change, Chief of Logistics Staff Lt Gen Nauman Zakria was a few days back posted as the commander of Mangla Corps.

The position had been vacant since Lt Gen Ayman Bilal Safdar opted for early retirement under unclear circumstances.

During a recent media conference, Maj Gen Ahmad Sharif Chaudhry, director general ISPR, addressed a question about General Safdar’s early retirement. He explained, “Self-accountability in the military is a stringent and challenging yet transparent process. It operates automatically and is always active. Whenever there is a breach of regulations, corruption, or a disciplinary issue, the accountability process is triggered. We maintain a robust internal accountability system that functions continuously across various domains.”

Meanwhile, at the CLS secretariat Gen Zakria was replaced by another newly promoted officer Lt Gen Inayat Hussain. Gen Hussain was as major general serving as vice chief of general staff (bravo).

DG ISPR Maj Gen Ahmad Sharif was promoted to the rank of a lieutenant general and retained at ISPR for the time being. Gen Sharif belongs to the Corps of Electrical & Mechanical Engineers and very few officers from EME have made it to three-star rank.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2024

The online version of this story has been updated for clarity.

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