Process of appointments for the army's top positions has begun: Khawaja Asif

Process of appointments for the army's top positions has begun: Khawaja Asif

Islamabad (Web Desk): Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday confirmed that the process of appointment to the highest positions of Pakistan Army has started today.

In a tweet, the minister said it will be completed soon as per the constitutional requirements.

Separately, in an informal talk with newsmen in Islamabad, the minister ruled out reports of a deadlock over the name of the new army chief.

“There is no deadlock. Once the summary is received, then a discussion will be held,” he said.

The defence minister also said the process of appointing the army chief would be completed by November 25, and the summary would be moved within a day or two.

Khawaja Asif said that the prime minister would take the army leadership into confidence, following which a decision would be taken. “Currently, there are five to six senior-most candidates. But no decision has been taken as yet on the names.”

Sources had earlier claimed that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) received a summery regarding the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff committee (CJSC).

They had stated that the much-anticipated summary includes names of five senior generals Lt Gen Asim Munir, Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Lt Gen Azhar Abbas, Lt Gen Nauman Mehmood, and Lt Gen Faiz Hamid.

On Sunday, former foreign minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that that President Arif Alvi will not stop the summary for the appointment of a new Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

“We have no differences with the institution or had any in the past. We do not want any rift with it in future,” said Qureshi while talking to the media and added, “Imran has also clarified that the

PTI has neither any favourite nor objection to the appointment of any person as the army chief.”

On November 18, President Dr Arif Alvi had also said that he will follow Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s advice on the appointment of the next Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

In a conversation with his close aides, President Alvi said that he could not create hurdles in the much-anticipated process of new army chief’s appoints.

“I do not have the legal authority to stop the prime minister’s advice,” the president said and added, “I have never interfered in the affairs of the state.”

In response to the president’s statement, PTI Vice President Fawad Chaudhry said that the president would fulfil his constitutional duty when it comes to the crucial appointment.