ISLAMABAD: PTI leaders Fawad Chauhdry and Shireen Mazari Monday “strongly” protested over the involvement of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the appointment of a new chief of army staff (COAS).
The former federal ministers berated Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif for seeking input from a “convicted person based in London” for the appointment of new army chief and claimed that this is a violation of the Official Secrets Act, 1923 and a breach of his oath.
The premier held a meeting with the elder Sharif in the UK capital on Sunday where the matters related to politics, elections and an important change in military leadership also came under discussion.
COAS General Qamar Bajwa is retiring in November and the military spokesperson has already clarified that he would not seek an extension in his tenure.
On Saturday, Minister for Energy Khurram Dastgir said that PM Shehbaz Sharif will take the decision on the appointment of the COAS in London after holding consultations with party supremo Nawaz Sharif.
Taking to Twitter today, Dr Shireen Mazari said, “do those who brought crime minister and cabal of crooks to power realise that this lot is a security risk and threat to Pakistan because everything is discussed with convict sitting in London which is a violation of Official Secrets Act, including confidential matters?”
Sharing a news item related to Dastagir’s statement, Mazari claimed that this is proof that a convict sitting in London will make this important decision and for that he would be given confidential info in violation of Official Secrets Act.
PTI spokesperson Fawad Chauhdry said that the people of Pakistan hold the Pakistan Army close to their hearts and the decision of a convicted person to choose its head is against the dignity and respect of the army and PTI strongly protests against this grave legal violation.
Meanwhile, the federal government has asked the PTI to not make this matter of national importance controversial.
In a statement, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the issue of the appointment of army chief should not be discussed as politicising the appointment of army chief would harm the institution.
He said that it is unfortunate that the opposition is playing politics over the appointment of the army chief.
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