ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is likely to appoint the new Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) from among three vice-admirals – Zafar Mehmood Abbasi, Syed Arifullah Hussaini and Shah Sohail Masood – as the term of Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, the serving CNS, is coming to an end on October 7.
Theoretically, naval chief’s appointment is notified by President on the advice of PM, but practically PM has the final say in the related appointments since his advice to president is binding.
All the three officers, whose names are being considered for the post of CNS, belong to the PN’s operations branch.
Zafar Mehmood Abbasi is the incumbent Chief of Staff at Naval Headquarters. Syed Arifullah Hussaini is Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Projects) and Shah Sohail Masood is Commander Naval Strategic Force Command.
He also served as spokesperson for the defence ministry a few years ago.
PM had decided to prefer seniority factor in line with the navy’s tradition, instead of resorting to a pick-and-choose policy.