Sharif's move is aimed at ending an ongoing guessing game about Kayani's successor and ensuring a smooth transition at a time when the military is fighting militants on many fronts, media reported on Monday.

“Consultations have already begun to choose Kayani’s successor. The government will not wait until November 28. The decision will come much earlier than the cut-off date,” a close aide of Nawaz Sharif said on terms of anonymity.

Kayani, 61, was appointed as the Army Chief by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007. He was given an unprecedented three-year extension by then Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani in 2010 and is set to retire on November 28.

Siddiqul Farooq, the spokesman for the ruling PML-N, said that a decision would be taken at an "appropriate time".


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