Shahida Badshah, a top officer in the Pakistan Army, is in the running to become the country's first woman three-star general later this year.
Badshah is the senior-most of the army's two-star generals and is currently posted at the Army Medical College. She is expected to be promoted when five lieutenant generals retire in October, The News daily reported on Monday.
Surgeon General Lt Gen Rehan Burney and four other three-star generals are due to retire in October. Badshah may be elevated to replace Burney, sources said. "The process has already started to promote at least five major generals to the next rank of lieutenant general," a military source said. Of the other two-star generals, National Logistics Cell chief Maj Gen Junaid Rehmat tops the seniority list.
The other three-star generals set to retire are Southern Command chief Lt Gen Javed Zia, Pakistan Ordnance Factories chairman Lt Gen Shujaat Zamir Dar, Lt Gen Mohsin Kamal, military secretary in the general headquarters, and Army Strategic Force chief Lt Gen Jamil Haider.
Pakistan is the only Islamic country to have women major generals. Most women in the army are limited to medical and educational work though the force recently opened up combat positions to them.