Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday appointed Lt Gen Nadeem Raza, HI (M), as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) with effect from November 27, 2019, according to a statement issued by the PM Office. The statement added that the notification for reappointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as chief of army staff (COAS) for another tenure has already been issued. “It may be recalled that the notification for reappointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, NI (M) as Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) for another tenure has already been issued on August 19, 2019,” the statement added. Currently, General Zubair Mahmood Hayat is serving as the CJCSC and is set to retire on November 28, 2019. Following his appointment as CJCSC, Lt Gen Nadeem Raza called on Prime Minister Imran at his office. Besides Lt Gen Raza, who has been serving as Chief of General Staff (CGS), the other top contenders for the office of CJCSC were Strategic Plans Division (SPD) Director General Lt Gen Sarfraz Sattar and Commander V Corps Lt Gen Humayun Aziz. The CJCSC, in principle, is the highest-ranking military officer across the armed forces. He serves as the government’s top adviser on matters related to national defence and security. His job description also includes working for promotion of ‘jointness’, or cross-service cooperation, in all military processes. But in practice, the position has been reduced to a ceremonial one in the scheme of things. During the entire three-year tenure of Gen Zubair, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, created in 1976 to address the shortcomings of ‘joint effort’ in the East Pakistan war, reportedly met only once, on July 3, 2018, although the forum has to meet quarterly. By virtue of being a tri-services office, the position of CJCSC has to be rotated among all three services, but it has come to be dominated by the army, especially after the establishment of the National Command Authority (NCA), because it controls the key areas of nuclear command and strategic assets. The CJCSC is also the deputy chairman of the NCA’s development committee. Of the 16 chairmen who have served the office so far, 13 were from the army, two from navy and one from the air force. Within the army, the position has mostly been bagged by men from the infantry.