Amid tight security, the Pakistan army has began preparations for a ceremony, expected to take place within 48 hours, at which President Pervez Musharraf will formally step down as army chief and his hand-picked deputy will assume the post.
The ceremony at the army headquarters in the nearby garrison city of Rawalpindi is expected to be held "within the next 48 hours" and ahead of Musharraf taking oath as a civilian president, Dawn News channel quoted military sources as saying on Monday.
Attorney General Malik Qayyum has said Musharraf will doff his army uniform and take oath for a second presidential term on Thursday.
Musharraf is expected to step down as army chief and hand over charge to Gen Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani on November 28.
Musharraf last month appointed Kayani, a former chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, as the vice chief of the army.
The military ruler had said he would quit as army chief as soon as the Supreme Court validated his re-election in the October 6 presidential poll. The apex court issued an order upholding his election victory last week and directed the Election Commission to formally notify the result.
Musharraf will chair a meeting of the corps commanders before stepping down as army chief, Dawn News reported.
The president's security will remain with the military even after he quits the army chief's post. An elite Special Service Group unit headed by a brigadier will be responsible for guarding Musharraf, the military sources said.
Musharraf was appointed as army chief by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in October 1998 after the resignation of Gen Jehangir Karamat. Sharif personally promoted Pervez Musharraf over other senior officers.