- PM’s Office receives summary from Ministry of Defence.
- “[PM] will take decision on appointments,” says PMO.
- ISPR also confirms sending summary to defence ministry.
ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister’s Office Wednesday morning confirmed receiving a summary for the appointment of the army’s top posts from the Ministry of Defence.
In a statement, the PM’s Office said it had received the summary with a panel of names for the appointment of chairman joint chiefs of staff committee and the chief of the army staff.
“Prime Minister [Shehbaz Sharif] will take a decision on the appointments as per the laid down procedure,” the brief statement read, after there were speculations overnight.
Government officials, including Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, continued to reject late-night reports that the PMO had received the summary.
The picture was cleared only after Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) issued a statement confirming the development late last night.
“GHQ has forwarded the summary for selection of CJCSC and COAS, containing names of 6 senior most Lt Gens, to MoD,” said the ISPR in its tweet.
After an hour of the ISPR’s tweet, the defence minister also confirmed that the PM’s Office had received the summary.
Earlier, sources had told The News that the summary contains the names of Lt Gen Asim Munir, Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Lieutenant General Azhar Abbas, Lieutenant General Nauman Mehmood, Lieutenant General Faiz Hamid and Lieutenant General Mohammad Amir as candidates for the army chief and chairman joint chiefs of staff committee posts, said the well-placed sources.
When will army chief be appointed?
Earlier on Tuesday, the defence minister had said that the much-anticipated appointment of the next army chief will be made in 48 hours.
Asif said that nominating candidates for the post of army chief is the prerogative of the General Headquarters (GHQ).
Rejecting rumours, the minister said that there is no civil-military tension over the matter. “COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa respects Nawaz Sharif,” he added.
PM Shehbaz calls meeting
Amid the crucial appointments, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has summoned a meeting of parliamentary leaders belonging to the ruling alliance, sources told Geo News Wednesday.
The meeting is set to take place at 6pm to discuss the overall political situation in the country, the sources said, as the government faces uphill tasks on several fronts.
The summoning comes a day after the prime minister met former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari at the PM House, a statement from the PM Media Wing said.
Both leaders discussed the “country’s overall political situation”, the statement said.