Process of appointments to top army slots has begun: Kh Asif


Advises media to avoid making speculations

Ijaz Kakakhel

Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Monday said that the process for the appointment of new army chief will be completed in next one to three days.

Speaking on the floor of the House, he said the Ministry of Defence has received a formal letter from the Prime Minister, which has been communicated to the General Headquarters, to initiate the process for the appointment of the next army chief. The Minister urged the media to uphold the sanctity of the process and avoid making speculations in this regard.

He said that the process of appointment of the next army chief has started and would be completed by November 25, with five or six top generals in the race to succeed incumbent General Qamar Javed Bajwa. “The process for appointment of the highest posts of army has started from today. By the grace of God, it will be completed soon, by fulfilling all constitutional requirements,” Asif maintained..

Separately, in an informal talk with journalists, the defence minister said that a formal recommendation having the names of five or six top three-star generals would be sent by the defence ministry to the Prime Minister’s Office. The minister also said that there was no deadlock over the appointment of the army chief. “There is no deadlock. Once the summary is received, then a discussion will be held,” he said. He said the prime minister would take the army leadership into confidence, following which a decision would be taken. “I hope the process of appointment will be completed by Nov 25,” he said.

Though the discussion about the new appointment is focused on the army chief, another key appointment of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCS) will also be made at the same time. Hence two lieutenant generals will be promoted as four-star generals. The Prime Minister after receiving the names of senior most generals would pick one each for the CJCS and COAS and send the recommended names to the president who would appoint them as per laws of the country.

The defence minister further told the national assembly one institution (army) openly said that they would remain neutral and would work according to the constitution but another political party chief asked why they could not take action to save his government. He termed it a big achievement that the military establishment after 75 years of history, now decided not to take part in any political activities.

PTI chief Imran Khan wanted to drag establishment and save his government, which he said removed through a constitutional way. The defence minister claimed that despite of establishment full support, the PTI government totally failed to deliver. He also claimed that several other cases will now be surfaced against Imran Khan in next few days.

The defenc minister also claimed that not only politicians were responsible for the destruction of the country but all other components, including military establishment, judiciary, highest civil servants, media and others were responsible.

Meanwhile, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Talha Mahmood has announced to start a registration drive for unregistered Afghan refugees in the country. During question hours, Responding he said there are 1,282,963 registered Afghan refugees residing in the country.


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