PM Office receive summary of next army chief’s appointment

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COAS appointment
  • General Qamar Bajwa is set to retire on November 29
  • PM Office receives summary from Ministry of Defence
  • Summary includes names of the top 5 Lieutenant Generals
  • PTI has no objection; PDM throws weight behind PM Shehbaz

Islamabad: In a major development toward the appointment of the next army chief, the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday received a summary from the Ministry of Defence.

According to reports, a high-level meeting was held on Monday in the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif. The meeting was also attended by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Defence Minister Khawja Asif, and Law Minister Ayaz Sadiq.

The summary from the Defence Ministry includes the names of the five senior-most military officials — Lt Gen Asim Munir, Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Lt Gen Azhar Abbas, Lt Gen Nauman Mehmood, Lt Gen Faiz Hamid.

Two names from the list will be picked by the Prime Minister for the slots of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and Chief of Army Staff (COAS). After that, the two names will be forwarded to the President’s Secretariat for ratification. Following that, it will be sent back to the PM’s Office for an official announcement.

The incumbent Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is set to retire on November 29 of this year after serving for six years. He was chosen for the top position by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 2016 and was later granted an extension by Imran Khan in 2019.

On the matter of another extension, General Bajwa has already clarified that he holds no such intentions and that he will be retiring at the end of the term. This is also evident from his various farewell visits to several garrisons across Pakistan that he has undertaken so far since the beginning of this month.

COAS pledges to retire at end of second term

Last week, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah claimed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had completed the “consultation process” over the appointment of the new COAS.

Similarly, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also claimed that the process would start on Monday (today) and, hopefully, the decision would be made by this week.

The senior leadership of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — ruling alliance — have thrown their weight behind PM Shehbaz, saying he should appoint the new army chief as per the set procedure.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has also claimed that it neither has any favourite nor objection to the appointment of any person as the army chief, adding that President Arif Alvi will not stop the summary for the appointment of the new COAS.

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