Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid, the former ISI chief and one of the top military officers of Pakistan, has opted to seek an early retirement, days after he was shortlisted but not appointed as the Army chief, according to media reports on Tuesday.
Gen Hamid was one of the six senior-most generals shortlisted by the General Headquarters (GHQ) for the post of the Chief of Army Staff. The list was sent to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for approval last week.
Bahawalpur Corps Commander Lieutenant-General Hamid has decided to seek an early retirement days after he was not selected as the Army chief of the country, the Dawn newspaper reported quoting its sister media outlet DawnNews TV.
Gen Asim Munir, a former ISI chief was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff by the Pakistan government on Thursday, ending intense speculation on the high-profile and sensitive post.
The report said that Gen Hamid has sent his resignation to the high command. The authorities have already accepted his resignation ahead of the new postings, expected to take place after Chief of Army Staff Gen Munir takes charge on Tuesday, it said.
There was no official confirmation from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan Army’s media wing, on the development, but the reports seem credible as neither the ISPR nor Gen Hamid himself has come out with a denial.
Geo News also reported his resignation quoting “family sources”.
It also reported that Lt Gen Azhar Abbas had opted for early retirement, quoting his brother. He was working as the Chief of General Staff at the GHQ. Both officers were among the six senior-most generals shortlisted for the post of the Chief of Army Staff.
Before assuming charge as Bahawalpur corps commander, Gen Hamid had worked in the same position in Peshawar.
He had been criticised by PML-N supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz for allegedly having a role in their convictions and for backing the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf administration led by its chairman and ousted premier Imran Khan.
It is also alleged that former premier Khan wanted to appoint him as the army chief but Khan denied having any such inclination.
Both officers were set to retire in April 2023. They were junior to Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza and Gen Munir who were appointed as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Chief of Army Staff respectively last week.