India would like to see the back of General Raheel Sharif. In Indian official circles, it is said that General Sharif is bad news and the sooner he retires, the better it would be.
It is also said that if an extension is given to General Sharif, it would mean a military adventure against India is on the cards.
General Sharif is due to retire in November. All eyes would be on Pakistan to see if he is given an extension or stages a coup considering his strained relations with Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.
If all goes as per plan and General Sharif, as he himself has indicated, steps down in November then the choice of the next army chief is what everyone would talk about. For now, Pakistan has narrowed it down to four names.
Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday, commander of Bahawalpur-based XXXI Corps, Lt Gen Zubair Hayat, Chief of General Staff, Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad, commander of the Multan-based II Corps and Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, who heads the army's training and evaluation wing, are the four names that are being considered.
Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday
Lt Gen Javed Iqbal Ramday, commander of Bahawalpur-based XXXI Corps is a name that is being considered seriously. He is the choice of the ruling party.
He is the senior most of the generals and also has political backing. He comes from a political family. He is also credited with leading the 2009 operation against the Tehri-e-Taliban in the Swat valley.
Lt Gen Zubair Hayat
Lt Gen Zubair Hayat, is the Chief of General Staff. Hailing from Lahore he is responsible for managing Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. He has served as the director general of the Strategic Plans Division.
He currently is in charge of the intelligence and operational affairs at the army's General Headquaters. Hayat could be a compromise candidate since he is favoured both by the military and civilian leadership.
Lt. Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad
Lt. Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad is the commander of the Multan-based II Corps. He was the man behind the preparations for Zarb-e-Azb, an operation launched to drive out militants from the tribal areas.
This operation which was very close to the heart of General Raheel Sharif, was managed by Lt Gen Ahmed. He was also responsible for several operations against the Taliban insurgency.
He was also the Director General of Military Operations and this gives him the advantage of taking over as the next general if merit is considered.
Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa
Lt Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa heads the army's training and evaluation wing. His name figures last in the list. He was the commander of the X-Corps which is responsible for the area along the Line of Control. His name being announced as the next General could in fact be a surprise choice.