Wednesday October 04, 2023

Imran making COAS appointment controversial: defence minister

By News Desk
September 13, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif said on Monday that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan was making the appointment of a new army chief controversial under a well-thought-out plan.

Replying to a question about Imran Khan’s suggestion that General Bajwa should be given extension till election of the new government, he warned that the former premier would not be allowed to realise his ulterior designs.

Talking to Shahzeb Khanzada in Geo News programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’ here on Monday, he said that discussing new army chief’s appointment was before time. He said the position of the chief of army staff (COAS), his appointment and the institution of armed forces should not be made controversial. He said dragging the army into politics was like damaging the respect of the institution.

Kh Asif alleged that the PTI chief was trying to mend fences with the establishment in his desperation for power. On one side, he is attacking them and on other hand he was suggesting something else, he added. He said the incumbent government was formed after passage of a no-confidence motion against Imran Khan. But after that, he started targeting the forces and called them names like neutrals, Mir Jaafar and Mir Sadiq.

He said the government would not allow him to make the appointment controversial, which was a constitutional right of a democratic government. He said the incumbent coalition government would appoint the new army chief according to the constitutional process, as it was a prerogative of the sitting prime minister. The defence minister alleged that Imran Khan’s interview to a private TV channel was all pre-planned. He also warned the media not to become part of any such plans of the PTI chairman.