President Arif Alvi. — Reuters
President Arif Alvi. — Reuters
  • President Alvi says he “cannot” meet army, naval or air chiefs and “play his part” in current crisis.
  • Says dialogue is possible only when all stakeholders agree.
  • Says “neutrals needs to remain neutral always.”

President Arif Alvi on Tuesday said that it is not a bad idea to appoint the next chief of army staff before the time fixed for appointment — November.

The statement came during an interaction with journalists in response to a question. The president was asked what he thinks of the suggestion that the new army chief be appointed in advance due to the ongoing political crisis in the country.

“It’s not such a bad idea,” he said in response.

President Alvi said that it is suggested he “play his part” after meeting the army, naval or air chiefs, which he “cannot do”.

He said that a dialogue is possible only when all the stakeholders agree. “The President House can play its role only in this case.”

“The neutrals need to remain neutral always,” the president said.

Elaborating further, he said that as the president of Pakistan, he does not have the constitutional authority to ask parties to have a dialogue.

“The elephant in the room has not appeared now, it has been there for 50 years,” he said, adding that the matter is a ground reality and that it can be solved through dialogue.

He said that he has received 74 summaries since the coalition government has come into office and he signed and forwarded 69 of them on the day of receiving them.

“I held back the summaries regarding NAB amendment Ordinance, electronic voting machines and the Punjab governor but I didn’t have any pressure to do so,” he said.

When asked, President Alvi said that he didn’t have any talk with PTI chairman Imran Khan on the matter of EVMs and NAB amendment ordinance and the last time they spoke was when there was an issue regarding the Punjab governor.

Moving on to the current situation in the top courts, Alvi said that he regrets that such an atmosphere has been created.

“I had appreciated the houbara bustard ruling by Justice Qazi Faez Isa,” he said, adding: “I don’t want to create controversy again and again.”

“I forwarded the reference pertaining to Justice Isa that was sent to me,” the president.

He said that a person should change their views if the time and circumstances change.

President Alvi said that a parliamentary system is better and he does not support the president’s authority to dissolve assemblies under Article 2B of the Constitution of Pakistan.


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