Pakistan President meets Imran Khan hours after PM Shehbaz picks army chief
Islamabad: Hours after receiving Lieutenant General Asim Munir's name for appointment as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Pakistan's President Arif Alvi, on Thursday, landed in Lahore to meet Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, Dawn reported.
Earlier today, Pakistan Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb announced that Lt Gen Asim Munir has been named as the chief of army staff and Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza has been named as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. It is pertinent to mention that the final decision of appointing the army chief has to be taken by the Pakistani President.
According to Dawn, Pakistan's President reached Lahore on Thursday afternoon to meet with Imran at the PTI chief's Zaman Park residence, where he is recuperating from injuries he sustained in an assassination attempt.
After the announcement of the names of COAS, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that the matter had been decided according to the law and the Constitution. He called on the nation to refrain from viewing it through a "political lens".
He also said that the names of Munir and Shamshad have been sent for approval to President Arif Alvi, who is also the supreme commander of Pakistan's armed forces, according to Dawn.
The defence minister reiterated that the president should endorse the premier's advice so that a "controversy may not arise". "This will also help our country and the economy to get on track. Currently, everything is at a standstill."
Taking to Twitter, Asif said, "This is also a test for President Alvi, whether he will follow political advice or the constitutional and legal advice. As the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, it is his duty to protect the country from political conflicts."
Earlier today, Pakistan Information Minister said, "The Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has decided to appoint Lt. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir as the Chief of the Army Staff using the constitutional authority."
On Wednesday, the Pakistan government confirmed that it had received the summary from the Ministry of Defence with a "panel of names" for the appointment of the new COAS.
"The PM office has received the summary from the Ministry of Defence with a panel of names for the appointment of Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of the Army Staff. The Prime Minister will take a decision on the appointments as per the laid down procedure," the Pakistan prime minister's office said in a statement.
Gen Bajwa, 61, is slated to retire next week after a three-year extension.
On Tuesday, Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the summary had been forwarded to the PMO from the defence ministry. "The rest of the steps will be completed soon," he tweeted.
Pakistan's defence minister has warned opposition leader and former Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying that the coalition government will deal with him, after the completion of the appointment process of the new Army chief.
"The process will be completed in two to three days. The excitement will end, after which we will deal with Imran Khan," the Pakistan defence minister was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune. (ANI)