ISLAMABAD - The military command has promoted three major generals to the next rank against the positions that fell vacant with the recent promotions and retirement of three top generals.

In its maiden meeting under the chair of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif held in the ongoing week, the Pakistan Army's Promotion and Selection Board recommended the promotions of Maj-Gens Zahid Latif Mirza, Ikram-ul-Haq and Obaidullah Khan Khattak.

The COAS on Friday granted approval for these promotions with immediate effect, military sources said. Mirza is from Air Defence (AD), Haq is from Infantry's Azad Kashmir Regiment and Khattak is from Artillery. The promoted officers have not been immediately assigned postings and would expectedly be appointed at the vacant slots.

The three officers were promoted from brigadier to maj-gen rank in March 2010 along with 26 other brigadiers, out of which, nine have already been superseded with the denial of promotions to the lieutenant-general rank, the sources informed.

Presently, the positions of chief of logistics staff (CLS), inspector general training and evaluation (IGT&E), Bahawalpur corps commander and engineer-in-chief are lying vacant following the early retirement of Lt-Gen Haroon Aslam, appointment of Gen Raheel Sharif as COAS, appointment of Lt-Gen Zubair Mehmood Hayat as Strategic Plans Division (SPD) director general and appointment of Lt-Gen Najeebullah Khan as Quarter Master General (QMG).

Before promotion, Maj-Gen Zahid Mirza was Personnel Services DG at the Military Secretary (MS) branch at the General Headquarters (GHQ). Maj-Gen Ikram-ul-Haq was Vice Chief of General Staff (VCGS) at the CGS branch whereas Maj-Gen Obaiudllah Khattak was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 37 Infantry Division Kharian.

The nine superseded maj-gens are: Allah Ditta, GOC 21Artillery Division Pano Aqil, Inam-ul-Haq, GOC 18 Infantry Division Hyderabad, Imran Zafar Housing DG at GHQ, Agha Masood, Vice Chief of Logistics Staff (VCLS) at GHQ, Sohail Khan, Commandant Command and Staff College Quetta, Imtiaz Sherazi, Farms Corps DG at GHQ, and Nasrullah Dogar, Sajid Iqbal and Jamal Shahid – the three officers awaiting retirement.

The military sources said that Army Promotion and Selection Board's meeting for the promotion of officers from brigadier to maj-gen rank would be held next year to elevate the officers against the vacant two-star positions. This year's board meeting for brigadier to maj-gen promotions was held in March.

Earlier on Wednesday, Gen Raheel Sharif had nominated Lt-Gen Zubair Hayat for the SPD DG position that was subsequently approved by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Immediately after assuming charge on November 29, Raheel had appointed Lt-Gen Ishfaq Nadeem as CGS.

On November 19, the then COAS Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had replaced Lt-Gen Ijaz Chaudhry with Lt-Gen Sajjad Ghani as Karachi Corps Commander. Chaudhry was assigned the position of Inspector General Armaments (IGA) at the GHQ. Pakistan Army's Engineer-in-Chief Lt-Gen Najibullah Khan was appointed the new QMG.

In September, Lt-Gen Naweed Zaman was appointed Lahore Corps Commander, Maj-Gen Ahmad Mahmood Hayat Deputy Director General (Analysis) at Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) headquarters, Maj-Gen Javed Bukhari GOC 17 Infantry Division Swat while Maj-Gen Abid Ejaz Kahloon was appointed GOC 40 Infantry Division Dera Ismail Khan. The two staff appointments that were made then involved the placements of Lt-Gen Mazhar Jamil as Military Secretary at GHQ and Lt-Gen Khalid Asghar as Communication and Information Technology (C&IT) IG.