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PM Shehbaz to appoint new army chief in a "day or two" says Pak Interior Minister Sanaullah
Karachi: Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be appointing a new army chief in a "day or two" as he believes that further delay over the appointment will not be appropriate.
Sanaullah shared that PM Sharif has completed the consultation process over the appointment of the next army chief and an announcement on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa's successor will be made in a "day or two," reported Geo News. The incumbent, Gen Bajwa, will hang up his boots on November 29.
Hinting at finalizing the name for the coveted post, the interior minister said, "Just formal announcement is yet to be made."
He maintained that the appointment of the army chief is the prerogative of the prime minister and he would make the final decision soon, reported Geo News.
"In my opinion, further delay over the appointment will not be appropriate," he added.
On the other hand, the coalition partner Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said that his party strongly believes in the internal promotion system of the Pakistan Army, reported Geo News.
Zardari's remarks came after PTI chairman Imran Khan suggested that the appointment of the chief of the armed forces should be done like that of the Supreme Court's chief justice. The PTI chairman had been demanding a merit-based appointment of the army chief.
In a statement, the PPP leader said that all three-star generals are equal and fully capable to head the army. "The prime minister will appoint the new army chief as per the law," he added.
Earlier, Imran Khan claimed that President Arif Alvi has met Bajwa to discuss immediate and transparent elections, reported Geo News.
Meanwhile, Alvi said that he will follow through on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's advice regarding the high-level appointment and he could not create hurdles in the much-anticipated process.
Khan made the claim during an informal discussion with senior journalists in Lahore, where he also spoke regarding the army chief's appointment.
"Appointment of the chief of the armed forces should be done like that of the Supreme Court's chief justice," Khan said, according to the sources.
The PTI chairman also added that the incumbent government is making proposed amendments to the Army Act for its own benefit.
"The proposed amendment to the Army Act will be challenged in the Supreme Court," the former prime minister said and informed journalists that he hasn't met General Bajwa in Lahore.
Speaking about hitting the road during his party's long march as it moves ahead in Punjab's Gujar Khan, Khan said that his doctors will examine him tomorrow and give their opinion accordingly.
"I will lead the long march myself from Rawalpindi," the PTI chief said, according to sources.
Commenting on his attacker being presented in the court a day earlier, as per sources, the PTI chairman said: "Prime suspect of the Wazirabad attack was produced in the court after 14 days. I'm afraid that the evidence will be lost in these 14 days." (ANI)