Allies throw weight behind PM over appointment of Army Chief


Zardari says constitutionally PM has right to appoint army chief

The coalition partners on Wednesday entrusted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with full authority to make the all-important decision.

The leaders of the coalition parties including former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain among others attended a high-level meeting, chaired by the prime minister.

“Shehbaz Sharif sahib, you are the prime minister and the Constitution has assigned this authority and right to you,” insiders quoted Zardari as saying during the meeting.

“God has placed you on this position… it is your constitutional right,” said Chaudhry Shujaat.

BAP’s Khalid Magsi said that whatever the premier decides, he will firmly stand with him over the crucial appointment.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and MQM-P’s Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui also expressed their support for PM Shehbaz. “We have full confidence in you. This is your constitutional right. We’re thankful to you for making us part of the consultation process,” said Siddiqui.

Sources revealed that the prime minister took all the allies into confidence on which they expressed full confidence in the premier’s decision, announcing that they will stand by PM Shehbaz in whatever decision he takes.

Sources say the prime minister also took all the allies into confidence over the appointment of the army chief

Earlier, a meeting was held between Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Asif Ali Zardari at the Prime Minister’s House, in which the country’s political situation including the appointment of next army chief was discussed.

The crucial appointment continues to dominate national discourse for the last few days despite appeals by the government ministers not to create unnecessary hype.

On Tuesday, there was a flurry of meetings during the day, including PM Shehbaz making a first public appearance after staying in isolation due to Covid-19 when he met Asif Ali Zardari.

The prime minister continued closed-door consultations in the power corridors in order to develop a consensus among the stakeholders for the appointment of the military chief a day after he recovered from Covid-19.


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