In a precursor to the appointment of the next Pakistan Army chief, a proposal for appointing a new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee has been sent to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, media reports said on Tuesday.
The formal proposal included the names of Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Asif Sandila, Lt Gen Haroon Aslam and Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt as potential candidates to head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, reports said.
Rumours did the rounds in Islamabad that army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani could be appointed the new head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, a largely ceremonial post.
The current chairman, Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne, is scheduled to retire on October 6 while Kayani will step down on November 28.
Sharif will decide on the appointment of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee on October 6, Geo News channel quoted its sources as saying.
The appointment of the chairman is expected to have a direct fallout on selecting the new army chief, an issue that has gained widespread attention because of difficulties faced by past civilian governments in choosing a person for the coveted post.
Leading the race for the army chief's post on the basis of seniority is Lt Gen Haroon Aslam, currently Chief of Logistics Staff. However, if Aslam is made the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, the race for the army chief's post will be wide open.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, the government's spokesman, refused to comment on the proposal sent to Sharif.