- Defence minister says no summary has been received by government yet
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Monday that the process of appointment of the next chief of army staff (COAS) has begun.
In a tweet, Asif wrote that "the process of appointment to the highest position of Pakistan Army has started today, soon the appointment will be completed as per the constitutional requirements."
Speaking to the media on Monday, the defence minister said that no summary has been received until now and "there was no deadlock with regard to the names for next COAS."
"We will start discussions to finalise the name when we receive the summary," he said.
"The armed forces will also be taken into confidence before finalisation of the name of the next COAS."
Earlier, Aaj News reported that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had received the summary on Monday pertaining to the appointment of the next COAS of Pakistan. According to it, the document contains the names of 5-6 senior army officials along with their credentials and details.
The report said a meeting is underway to discuss the matter at the PM House. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Minister for Law and Justice Ayaz Sadiq are part of the meeting. It added that the name of the new COAS will be revealed soon in an announcement by PM Shehbaz.
“The government and Ministry of Defence are in agreement with each other over the matter,” Aaj News reported, citing sources.
Following the selection of next COAS by the PM's Office, the name will be forwarded to President Dr Arif Alvi for ratification. After that, it will be sent back to the PM Office for an official announcement.
Current COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa is set to retire on November 29.
On Friday, the defence minister had announced that the process to appoint the next COAS would be completed in the ongoing week.
He added that the name of the new army chief will be finalised after consultation with the military leadership.
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan wanted to make the appointment of a new army chief controversial and he was looking to sabotage the process.
Bilawal expressed these views, while addressing a news conference at Zardari House, Islamabad.
“Imran fixed the date of the long march and gathering in Rawalpindi close to the day of appointment of the new COAS,” he stressed. “Imran wants to politicize and make the appointment of the new army chief controversial.”
He urged Imran to postpone long march and let the process of appointment of new army chief complete.
He claimed that Imran wants to stop institutions to play their democratic role. “He wants to play undemocratic games but we will stop him,” he said.