Allies pledge support to PM on ‘important appointments’

-PM Office receives summary of COAS, CJCSC appointments
-Defence Minister says the process to be completed before PM’s Türkiye trip
-Another meeting of coalition partners summoned for today
-Imran Khan says President to consult him on new Army Chief’s appointment

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: Coalition partners on Wednesday while expressing complete confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and said that they will stand by him in every decision.
This was said in a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif regarding the appointment of Army Chief and Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Former President Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Federal Minister Chaudhry Salik Hussain, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leader Khalid Magsi, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of MQM, Jamiat Ahl-Hadith Professor Sajid Mir and others participated in the meeting.
During the meeting, consultation was held on the appointment of the COAS and the CJCSC, while country s political situation also came under discussion. The prime minister also took the allies in confidence ahead of the Army Chief and forwarding summary to the President.
During the meeting, former President Asif Ali Zardari said that the constitution has given PM Shehbaz Sharif right and the privilege to appoint the Army Chief. On the occasion, Ch Shujaat said that Allah Almighty has given you this position and the appointment of Army Chief is your constitutional right.
Balochistan Awami Party leader Dr Khalid Magsi said that his party will fully support the PM over the appointment. Bilawal also threw weight behind PM and said that his party stands by all his decision.
Earlier in the day, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said he expected the new army chief to be appointed before Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Turkey on Friday, hours after the premier’s office announced that it has received the names of six top generals.
He said the formalities, the procedure laid down in the law would likely take a day. However, he expected that the process would be completed before the prime minister’s scheduled two-day visit to Turkiye on the invitation of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
The Prime Minister’s Office Wednesday morning confirmed receiving a summary for the appointment of the army’s top posts from the Ministry of Defence.
In a statement, the PM’s Office said it had received the summary with a panel of names for the appointment of chairman joint chiefs of staff committee and the chief of the army staff.
“Prime Minister [Shehbaz Sharif] will take a decision on the appointments as per the laid down procedure,” the brief statement read, after there were speculations overnight.
Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, 61, is scheduled to retire on November 29 after a three-year extension. He has ruled out seeking another extension. “The prime minister will leave the day after tomorrow in the evening. So it (the appointment of new army chief) will be settled before then,” Asif said Wednesday.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) will send the summary to President Arif Alvi who will notify the appointments of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
Prime Minister Sharif was scheduled to leave for Ankara on a two-day visit on Friday at the invitation of Turkish President Reccip Tayyip Erdogan.
Earlier, the PMO issued a brief statement on Twitter announcing that it has received the summary from the Ministry of Defence for the appointments of the COAS and CJCSC. “The prime minister will take a decision on the appointments as per the laid down procedure,” according to the statement. The Army also confirmed that it had sent the names of six top lieutenant generals for the appointments.
On the other hand, former Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has said that President Dr Arif Alvi will discuss matters relating to Summary for appointment of Army Chief.
Speaking to a private channel on Wednesday, he said that he is in contact with President Dr Arif Alvi on matters pertaining to summary for appointment of Army Chief.
Imran Khan said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held consultation with a fugitive on Army Chief’s appointment and he is the chairman of a party and the President will surely talk to him over the summary.
The former PM said, “If someone thinks that he will bring his army chief to unleash violence, then the nation will stand against him, adding that Shehbaz Sharif was fully involved in the Wazirabad attack and Nawaz Sharif would also know but it is now up to Tasnim Haider how the police would present evidence in the court.”