Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is considering an array of factors as the country braces up for the appointment of next army chief, the Dawn has reported.
Lieutenant general Zubair Hayat, lieutenant general Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmed, lieutenant general Javed Iqbal Ramday, and lieutenant general Qamar Javed Bajwa are the four prospective candidates to take over lieutenant general Raheel Sharif, the report says.
Interestingly, the daily mentions that among that the Pakistan Prime Minister is relying on intelligence inputs for the selection process and 'India factor' would also be one of the aspects that would be considered by Sharif.
The prospective candidates' views on foreign policy issues, particularly ties with India, is another point of consideration for Shairf, the Dawn says.
Quoting an anonymous politician, who is close to Sharif, the daily says that the Pakistan Prime Minister has considered officers who have been directly in contact with him.
Meanwhile, Lt Gen Bajwa is said to consider extremism a bigger threat for the country than India even after his extreme involvement in Kashmir and northern areas, the report reads.
While on the other hand, Lt Gen Hayat has worked in the artillery and is currently serving in the chief of general staff. Further, Lt Gen Ramday is ex-president of the National Defence University in Islamabad and now leads the Bahawalpur corps, it says.
"Gen Raheel Sharif would not like to become controversial and would not like the Prime Minister to use his recommendation as an excuse to distort the seniority list," a retired general was quoted as saying.