Rawalpindi: Lt Gen Avais Dastgir, who was recently promoted to three star rank, has been named Pakistan Army’s 38th Chief of General Staff, local media reported.
The CGS, second in influence only to the army chief, oversees operational and intelligence matters, with the Directorates of Military Operations and Military Intelligence under his command.
Senior military promotions in Pakistan, especially at the three-star level, are closely watched as they are indicative of potential future leaders within the powerful Army, Dawn reported.
The first significant reshuffle under Gen Asim Munir, who took command last year, was not officially publicised last December. The latest promotions and reshuffles, including the appointment of the CGS position, were too made discreetly.
The promotion of Gen Dastgir, from the 58th Cavalry Armoured Corps and former director general of military operations, is viewed as a sign of the army chief’s continued confidence in him. His immediate appointment as CGS following promotion is a rarity in the military, a precedent set by Gen Bajwa with Lt Gen Bilal Akbar.
Gen Dastgir, who has also worked under COAS Gen Asim Munir during his days as commander Gujranwala Corps, is seen as a symbol of policy continuity. His shift from DGMO to CGS suggests an acceleration of existing policies, said a retired lieutenant general, Dawn reported.
Additionally, new commanders for the Gujranwala and Quetta corps were appointed.
Lt Gen Syed Imdad Hussain Shah is taking over the Gujranwala-based 30 Corps. Previously, he served as director general of H Secretariat at the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), focusing on external intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region. He has, as a brigadier, served as a peacekeeper with the UN forces in Congo.
In a widely discussed swap, Lt Gen Rahat Naseem, President of the National Defence University (NDU), was appointed as commander of the 12 Corps in Quetta. His predecessor, Lt Gen Asif Ghafoor, former director general of ISPR, now heads the NDU, Dawn reported.
Further appointments include Lt Gen Muhammad Aqeel of the 2nd Frontier Force Regiment as Inspector General Communication and Information Technology at GHQ, and Lt Gen Shakir Ullah Khan Khattak of the 13th Lancers Armoured Corps as Chairman of HIT Taxila. Lt Gen Tahir Hameed Shah of the Medium Regiment (Artillery) was named Chairman of the Pakistan Ordnance Factory, Wah.