Asif says requirements for army chief's appointment being fulfilled; allies being taken into confidence
ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif is seeing the speculations surrounding thearmy chief's appointment ending soon, as the date for the crucial decision about who will be chosen for the top military post draws near.
The Prime Minister's Office confirmed receiving a summary for the appointment of the army's two top posts from the Ministry of Defence this morning. On Tuesday, the defence minister said that the much-anticipated appointment of the next army chief will be made in 48 hours.
"There have been apprehensions [regarding the army chief's appointment] for the past few months, which will end in a day or two," Asif said while talking to the media on Wednesday.
He said that the requirements are being fulfilled while allies and the federal cabinet is being taken into confidence.
"I don't know about much Articles," the minister said when asked if Article 243 of the Constitution of Pakistan doesn't state about taking people into confidence.
Asif said that he doesn't want to fuel speculation because such an appointment shouldn't be a part of public discourse. He said that the president and prime minister should take decisions in the country's interest and in line with the law and Constitution.
The statement came after the minister's meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to deliberate over the names suggested in the summary for the appointments on the top two military slots.
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.
Sources said that no final decision has been made in this regard but all the consultations will be completed today. It may be noted that PM Shehbaz Sharif has called a meeting of the ruling coalition leaders for consultation on the matter.