After being superseded by two of his juniors for top posts, Lt. General Haroon Aslam tendered his resignation on Thursday, according to media reports.
Prime Minister Muhammed Nawaz Sharif chose to ignore the claims of the senior most officer in the army after General Ashfaque Parvez Kayani and appointed Lt. General Raheel Sharif as the Chief of Army Staff and Lt. General Rashad Mehmood as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
Lt. General Aslam was the Chief of Logistics Staff and led the operation against the Taliban in Swat in 2009. There was speculation after Mr. Sharif announced the two appointments yesterday that Lt. General Aslam would resign. He is due for retirement in April next year.
However, possibly his background went against him. News reports said that he was Director General Military Operations in 1999 when the military staged a coup to remove Mr. Sharif who was Prime Minister then. The entire cabinet was placed under arrest along with Mr. Sharif. He is, like former president General Pervez Musharraf(retd.), a Special Services Group commando.
Meanwhile the outgoing chief of army staff General Kayani held his last meeting of Corps commanders and paid farewell visits to the Prime Minister and President. He will hand over charge to General Sharif on Friday. General Kayani retires after six years of heading the army, all of it under civilian rule. He also witnessed the first democratic transition in Pakistan and has repeatedly indicated that he was on the same page as the civilian government favouring dialogue to end militancy. He had also ruled out the possibility of a post retirement position.