Three of the lieutenant generals, including incumbent Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, are scheduled to retire next month. However, according to informed sources, Lt-Gen Pasha in all probability will get an extension 'in the interest of continuity'.
A senior security official told Dawn that the army chief did not need to send a summary for extension in the tenure of a three-star general. He cited the example of Lt-Gen Masood Aslam, Corps Commander for Peshawar, who was to retire last year but was given an extension by the army chief.
The other extensions in the recent history of Pakistan Army were of Lt-Gen Hamid Javed, chief of staff to former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, and the chief of Strategic Plans Division, Lt-Gen Khalid Kidwai.
Lt-Gen Kidwai was due to retire in 2006, but was given extensions more than once due to the technical nature of his assignment. He continues to be the chief of the SPD even after completion of his extended term as lieutenant general.
The incumbent ISI chief will reach the age of superannuation on March 18. Others who are due to retire next month include Lt-Gen Tanvir Tahir, Inspector General of Communications and Information Technology, General Headquarters (GHQ); and Lt-Gen Mohammad Ashraf Saleem, Commander of Air Defence, Pakistan Army.
Lt-Gen Ahsan Azhar Hayat, currently serving as Inspector General of Training and Evaluation at the GHQ, will retire in the middle of March.
Another four lieutenant generals, including two corps commanders, will be retiring in May. They are Corps Commander for Lahore Lt-Gen Ijaz Ahmad Bakshi, Corps Commander for Mangla and Chairman of the Special Support Group, Lt-Gen Nadeem Ahmed, former Corps Commander for Mangla and incumbent Deputy Chairman Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) Lt-Gen Sajjad Akram, and Lt-Gen Sikandar Afzal, force commander for the United Nations mission in Liberia last year.
Others who are scheduled to retire during the current year are Lt-Gen Masood Aslam, Corps Commander for Peshawar, who is already on extension, Lt-Gen Shahid Iqbal, Corps Commander for Karachi, Lt-Gen Zahid Hussain, Quarter Master General (QMG), and Lt-Gen Mohammad Asghar, Rector of National University of Science and Technology (NUST).