- PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says General Bajwa doesn’t seek an extension to his term.
- Says the government is not considering the option of extension.
- Says the PM will appoint the next army chief when there is the time for it.
Former Prime Minister and senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the government will appoint the next army chief as the time arrives.
The government is neither considering extending the incumbent army chief’s term nor does he want it, the PML-N leader said speaking on the Geo News programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath” on Tuesday.
“General Bajwa is not seeking an extension and it is not in the cards. His six years are coming to an end after an extended term. And, I don’t believe an extension after an already-extended term will go in the interest of the country or the army.”
Referring to the demand of Imran Khan, Abbasi said that a short-term extension is not a reasonable demand.
The PML-N leader said the prime minister appoints the army chief and he will carry out his duty. “It is the PM’s prerogative and he will announce the name of the next army chief on time,” he said.
Taking a jibe at Chairman PTI Imran Khan, Abbasi said that a curtain should be drawn on democracy if the army chief’s appointment is the focal point of the country’s politics.
“If we can make difficult economic decisions, then the prime minister should have the right to appoint the army chief,” he asserted.
Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi asked Imran Khan to show no-confidence on the floor of the assembly. “If you want to create a path [into power corridors while agitating] from the road, there is no room for it,” he added.
What Imran Khan said
On September 12, Imran Khan proposed to extend the tenure of Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa till the next elections.
In an exclusive interview with a private news channel on Monday, Imran Khan suggested deferring the appointment of the new army chief until the country has a newly formed government. Per Imran Khan, the upcoming government should appoint the leader of the Pakistan Army.
Khan said that the appointment of an army chief should be deferred until the government is elected, which should then choose the new military head.
Khan has been making headlines since his ouster in April this year because of his constant remarks regarding the army chief.
Earlier this month, while speaking during a public rally in Faisalabad, the PTI chairman had called out the government, saying that it was delaying the elections to appoint an army chief of its own and that if a “patriotic chief of army staff comes in, he will not spare the incumbent rulers.”