General Wyne new JCSC chairman
By Iftikhar A. Khan
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army retained the top military slot for a sixth consecutive term as the incumbent Chief of General Staff, Lt-Gen Khalid Shamim Wyne, was promoted on Tuesday as four-star general and appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
According to an official notification issued from the Presidency, President Asif Ali Zardari promoted Lt-Gen Khalid Shamim Wyne as general and appointed him as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee on the advice of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Gen Wyne will replace Gen Tariq Majid, who is set to retire on Oct 8. The dramatic move, which surprised many, was the result of a meeting held on Monday amid rumours of change in government.
Although it was clear from the very beginning that Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani was not interested in his elevation as CJCSC, it was generally believed that either the Naval Chief or the Air Chief would be chosen for the post.
The CJCSC, in principle, is the highest ranking military official of the country and also custodian of the strategic assets.
With the elevation of Gen Wyne as four-star general, two posts of three-star generals have fallen vacant while four more three-star generals, including two corps commanders, will retire in October, setting the stage for a large-scale promotions and a possible reshuffle in the army.
The post of CJCSC was created by the then prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1976. Gen Wyne will be the 14th CJCSC.
The office is supposed to rotate between the three services, but has so far gone to the Navy twice only while the PAF has got the office once.
Admiral Mohammad Sharif (1978-1980) and Admiral Iftikhar Ahmad Sirohey (1988-1991) are the two naval officers to have clinched the top military office.
Air Chief Marshal Farooq Feroze Khan was the only PAF officer to get the important appointment.Gen Wyne comes from an army background. His father, Colonel Arshad Shamim Wyne, served in the Pakistan Army till 1972.
After his intermediate examination in 1971, he joined the army, passing out in April 1972 in the 1st Special War Course to join his father’s battalion, 20 Punjab Regiment.
Gen Wyne has held various command, staff and instructional appointments during his military career. He has been a Brigade Major of two Infantry Brigades.
Gen Wyne has commanded his own 20th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment, two Infantry Brigades, including the prestigious 323 Infantry Brigade in Siachen, the 41st Infantry Division in Quetta and the Southern Command in Quetta.
On the academic side, he has held various instructional appointments and served on the faculty of School of Infantry and Tactics Quetta, Command and Staff College, Quetta, and Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul.
He also served as Chief of Staff in a Corps Headquarters and Commandant School of Infantry and Tactics Quetta. Gen Khalid Shamim Wyne has also served in General Staff directorate, staying as Deputy Chief of General Staff (DCGS) from 2006 to 2007.