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Govt has yet to decide new army chief: Khawaja Asif

The minister says the top commander of the Pakistan Army will be chosen from five generals



Govt has yet to decide new army chief: Khawaja Asif
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad: Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif Wednesday said the coalition government had yet to finalize the name of the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

He said anyone from among the five nominated names could be appointed as the next chief of army staff.

Incumbent Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa will be completing his extended term in November this year. 

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Asif announced that the process would either start by the end of this month or the beginning of the next and that it will be done in line with the law and Constitution.

Asif added that it is the discretion of the sitting prime minister to pick any name forwarded by the Ministry of Defence.

The defence minister said that in the past, names other than the five suggested have also been chosen for the military chief’s position.

Speaking on the appointment of the army chief on the basis of seniority, the defence minister said: “All three-star generals are eligible for this.”

The minister also commented on the probability of the next general elections and said that polls will be held as per schedule.

Taking a jibe at PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s apprehension over the appointment of the military's top brass, Asif said the former premier is anxious about November approaching, but the month will pass by peacefully.

“Imran Khan proved that he was not eligible for the prime minister’s position,” he said, adding that it’s people like him who come into power when the Results Transmission System (RTS) stops working.

Asif said Imran Khan always bit the hand that fed him. "For as long as Khan was in power, he was indebted to someone; and look how he talks today."

Imran Khan asked for forgiveness when meeting "them" but flared up during his rallies, the minister maintained