Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif has approved Bahawalpur Corps Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed’s application seeking early retirement.

He was in the running for the top slot for army chief and was scheduled to retire in April 2023.

Earlier, Lt Gen Hameed sent his application to General Headquarters (GHQ), from where it was forwarded to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval via the Ministry of Defence.

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The development comes days after the federal government appointed General Asim Munir as the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).

Previously, Lt Gen Hameed served as the Director-General (DG) of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) while Imran Khan was the Prime Minister. He had been criticised by former Premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz for allegedly playing an unconstitutional role in their convictions and for backing the previous set-up under PTI.

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Just a day after the appointment of Lt Gen Asim Munir as the new army chief of Pakistan, the media had reported that Lt General Hameed was considering an early appointment.