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Khawaja Asif says defence ministry informed GHQ about PM Shahbaz's letter on COAS' appointment

Defence minister says process of army chief's appointment will be completed in two to three days

By Web Desk
November 21, 2022
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif speaks in the National Assembly on November 21, 2022. — YouTube screengrab via PTV News.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif speaks in the National Assembly on November 21, 2022. — YouTube screengrab via PTV News.

ISLAMABAD: The General Headquarters (GHQ) has been informed that the Ministry of Defence has received Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s letter in relation to the appointment of a new chief of army staff, revealed Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday.

Addressing the National Assembly session, Asif said: “The process will be completed in two to three days. The excitement will end; after which we will deal with [PTI chief] Imran Khan.”

Earlier today, the minister announced on his official Twitter handle that the process of appointing the new army chief and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee (CJCSC) had begun.

Commenting on news regarding the army chief’s appointment, the defence minister said: “Fake news was spread regarding the appointment of an institution’s head.

“This institution has had a role in the past, which was extra-constitutional. Today, the institution wants to play its role based on the constitution. Today, after 75 years, the institution wants to obey the constitution which shouldn’t be hindered.”

Berating Khan for whining about state institutions’ bias, Asif said that these institutions supported him for four years.

“Despite getting the support, if Khan couldn’t do anything in four years then he should not attack these institutions,” the minister maintained.

Commenting on the Toshakhana case against the PTI chief, the defence minister said that Khan used to sell the gifts first and then gave the money — accumulated through them — to the government.

“The planning to bring Khan to power was done for 15 years. This is a shameful story. Not only politicians but all those responsible within the power structure were involved in it,” the minister added.

'Process will finish by November 25'

Earlier today, in a conversation with media personnel after meeting PM Shahbaz, the senior minister said the process of appointing the army chief would be completed by November 25, and the summary would be moved within a day or two.

"There is no deadlock over the appointment of the army chief. Once the summary is received the names will be discussed — which would probably be five or six senior-most officers," he said.

The defence minister said the PML-N is consulting its allies over the appointment to the coveted post, and there was no pressure on the government regarding the army chief's appointment.