No consultation held on COAS appointment yet: Asif

Ijaz Kakakhel

While rejecting reports about consultations over the army chief’s appointment between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Nawaz Sharif in London, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif Monday maintained that the army chief’s appointment will be done on the prime minister’s discretion.

Talking to journalists outside the Parliament House, Khawaja Asif said that “Consultations have not yet taken place on the army chief’s appointment. These are just newspaper reports.”

Responding to another question about the role of Nawaz Sharif in the appointment, Khawaja Asif said that it will be done at the “premier’s discretion” and he will decide.

While reacting to the last day’s address said that Imran Khan has changed his statement on the American conspiracy, adding that it will still be called a conspiracy. He asked if it was the first time that Khan has denied something. “He denies everything. In the past four years, he has talked so much. Has he stood by any of his statements?” he took a dig at the PTI chief.

Khawaja said that “Imran Khan said yesterday that the FIR of my murder was not registered, this man does not know what he is talking about if some people are willing to believe his words. If so, it is their matter.”

Last week, PM Shehbaz flew to London — after returning from his visit to Egypt to attend and co-host the United Nations’ COP27 — where he met the PML-N supremo and party’s senior leadership. It was reported that discussions during these high-level meetings revolved around crucial political matters in Pakistan including the new army chief’s appointment.

Meanwhile, after extending his visit twice following health reasons, the prime minister returned to Islamabad earlier today; however, the decision on the important appointment — according to the defence minister — is yet to be taken.

Commenting on the U-turn taken by PTI chief Imran Khan on the United States-backed conspiracy in relation to his ouster in April this year following a no-confidence motion in the parliament, Asif asked if it was the first time that Khan has denied something.


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