Events in motion to have new chief within the week.

ISLAMABAD -- Prime MinAister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday sought a defence ministry summary for the appointment of the new army chief, along with the service dossiers of all prospeActive candidates, as the government seems set to name outgoing Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's successor by Friday.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said his ministry had received the prime minister's letter, asking for the initiation of the appointment process on Monday, which had been forwarded to General Headquarters.

He said the summary, along with the service dossiers of the senior-most lieutenant generals proposed for elevation and appointment as chief of army staff and chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, was likely to be sent to the Prime Minister's Office within two days.

Speaking on a point of order, he said it was possible that the process of the army chief's appointment would be completed in two to three days.

Blaming the media for giving the matter too much hype, Mr Asif said: 'The media itself in a state of confusion.... I request them from the floor of this house to maintain the sanctity of the process'.

The defence minister believed that the commotion being witnessed in the political domain would fizzle out once a new army chief was appointed, after which they would 'take on' Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, who has called on his supporters to hold a sit-in in Rawalpindi on Nov 26.

He also lashed out at Imran Khan for 'causing damage' to the honour and prestige of state institutions after being ousted from office.

'Today, an institution [army] is categorically stating that it has decided to give up its political or unconstitutional role and has made the announcement that it will play its constitutional role of defending the motherland, but Imran Khan has made their neutrality a curse,' he said, an apparent reference to speeches by Mr Khan where he has attacked the military establishment over their decision to stay neutral during no-confidence proceedings against him earlier this year.

The minister regretted that the PTI chairman was attacking that institution that had extended him 'unconditional support' for nearly four years.

Referring to a recent speech by the PTI chief, the minister regretted that the former prime minister had openly criticised the establishment for not coming to his rescue at the time, with Mr Khan saying that the establishment could have prevented his ouster.


To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT