The Prime Minister's Office confirmed Wednesday morning that it has received a summary from the Ministry of Defence with a panel of names for the appointment of the new chief of army staff (COAS) and chairman joint chiefs of staff committee (CJCSC).
"The Prime Minister will take a decision on the appointments as per the laid down procedure," the brief tweet from PM Office read.
Earlier, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had confirmed late night that the Prime Minister Office has received the summary sent by the army's general headquarters with nominations for the top two slots of the military.
The minister's confirmation came almost an hour after the military's media wing said it had moved the summary for the top two slots. He tweeted that the PM Office has received the GHQ's summary dispatched by the ministry of defence.
"GHQ has forwarded the summary for selection of CJCSC and COAS, containing names of six senior most lieutenant general gens to Ministry of Defence," tweeted director general of the military's media wing Lieutenant General Babar Iftikhar.
Earlier, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif categorically rejected the rumours claiming that the Prime Minister's Office has received the much-anticipated summary for the appointment of the new chief of army staff.
Taking to Twitter, Khawaja Asif said that the PM’s Office has not yet received the summary. The PMO will receive the summary at the confirmed time.”
Earlier, sources had told The News that a summary has been prepared for the appointment of the new army chief and it will be received by the PM's Office any time.
Sources said that names of six senior-most generals have been included in the summary of the army chief candidates.
The summary includes the names of Lieutenant General 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 post, said the well-placed sources.
Meanwhile, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb clarified that the statement attributed to Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif regarding a summary for appointing a new army chief was false.
She said the PMO has not yet received the summary and asked the public not to speculate about it. The people will be informed as soon as the PM’s office receives the summary, she added.
Meanwhile, PM 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.
The much-anticipated appointment of the next army chief will be done in 48 hours, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif assured earlier today.
Talking to Geo News, Khawaja Asif said that the defence ministry will receive a list of senior officers from the GHQ by tomorrow, adding that the ministry is likely to move a summary in this regard to the prime minister during the next 24 hours.
Khawaja Asif has said that nominating candidates for the post of army chief is the prerogative of the General Headquarters (GHQ).
Rejecting the rumours, the minister said that there is no civil-military tension over the matter. “COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa respects Nawaz Sharif,” he added.
When asked a question about relations between Imran Khan and COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the minister said, “It is out of my jurisdiction. Imran Khan and General Qamar Javed Bajwa better know about it.”
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