ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif convened a federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday in a bid to decide upon the new face of Pakistan’s powerful military.
While lauding Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif’s services for Pakistan, the high-level meeting deliberated on the key choices the premier has regarding who will run the armed forces next.
A three-year term of the current Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif will end this month.
PM Sharif has until November 28 to name his choice of a replacement for the retiring army chief. Main contenders include Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal Ramday, Lieutenant General Zubair Hayat, Lieutenant General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad and Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
The premier had named the then Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif, brother of a war hero, on November 27, 2013, to take charge of the world’s sixth-largest army, with a formal handover from General Ashfaq Kayani.
General Sharif has been immensely popular among Pakistanis, who see him as having effectively tackled crime, terrorism and corruption.
The cabinet meeting also criticised rising Indian aggression across the border. At least nine people were killed and seven others wounded in the cross-border fire which hit a Pakistani bus in disputed Kashmir on Wednesday.
Members of the cabinet discussed a 16-point agenda which included revision of basic pay for some public office holders and public representatives, the amendments in Public Procurement Rules 2004, issuance of no objection certificate for Indian-origin medicines, agreement with Azerbaijan on disaster management and separate defence cooperation agreements with Kuwait and South Africa.
Besides, the meeting also gave approval to the decisions taken by Cabinet Committee on Restructuring (CCoR) in an earlier meeting.
Parliamentarians get increment
As part of a 16-point agenda, the cabinet meeting also revised the basic pay structure for the parliamentarians with an average rise of Rs 70,000 per month.
According to details, chairman senate and speaker national assembly will now receive a basic salary of Rs2,0,5000 per month with an increment of Rs 86,000.
Similarly, deputy chairman senate and deputy speaker national assembly will now get a basic salary of Rs 1,75,000 per month with an increment of Rs 65,000.
Members of the parliament will now get a basic salary of Rs 1,50,000 instead of a previous amount of Rs44,500 while federal ministers will take a salary of Rs 2,00,000 home every month.
State Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb informed that state ministers were also given Rs 74,000 basic pay rise in the meeting.