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Pakistan

No discussions held between Shehbaz and Nawaz on COAS appointment, says Khawaja Asif

  • Defence minister says it is PM Shehbaz's discretion to appoint army chief
Published November 14, 2022
No discussions held between Shehbaz and Nawaz on COAS appointment, says Khawaja Asif

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday refuted claims that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif held discussions on appointment of the next chief of army staff.

Speaking to journalists outside the National Assembly, he said that “no decision has been taken on the matter”.

When asked whether any discussions were held during PM’s visit to London and if Nawaz Sharif had a view on it, Asif said: ”It is the PM who will decide whom to appoint and no discussion has been held on the matter with Nawaz Sharif.”

His statement comes in response to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan who claimed that PM Shehbaz violated the Official Secrets Act by consulting with Nawaz on appointment of the new army chief.

"How can the PM consult a fugitive [Nawaz Sharif] on a chief of army staff's appointment," Imran had said.

Meanwhile, speaking about Imran’s recent comments aimed at restoration of relations with Washington, Asif said “Imran hardly stands by his statements. He forgets what he said and takes U-turns frequently.”

Last week, PM Shehbaz travelled to London after attending the COP27 in Egypt to meet Nawaz in a bid to discuss vital matters of the country.

At the time, with PML-N supremo and elder brother Nawaz Sharif residing in London since November 2019 and the party’s vice-president, Maryam Nawaz, joining her father in October, the premier’s trip to the metropolis had given rise to speculation that important decisions would be made during the visit.

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