Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday said the PML-N had no favourite name for the army chief’s appointment as the date for Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s retirement nears.

Speaking with journalists outside the parliament, the minister — when asked about the reports of a deadlock between PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari over the name of the next army chief — said that consultations over the appointment have not yet been held and, therefore, there was no question of a deadlock.

Khawaja Asif said: “The process for the appointment of new COAS will start on November 18 and the nominations will be shared by the Pakistan Army.”

Taking a jibe at PTI chief Imran Khan, he said that legal action should be taken on the former prime minister’s recent statements because he was playing with the national interest for his personal interest.

BILAWAL FOR FOLLOWING CONSTITUTIONAL PROCEDURE: Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has lamented that the appointment of army chief was being unnecessarily politicized.

Talking to media after attending a programme in Karachi at the Ojha Campus of Dow University of Health Sciences, Bilawal said that the appointment of the new army chief should be carried out as per the procedure laid down for the purpose in the Constitution and law of the land.

“I want that no one among our allies should ever raise any demands concerning this issue while addressing a public meeting nor anyone from the opposition should make this issue unnecessarily controversial for the sake of his politics,” Bilawal said.

The PPP chairman said that instead of unnecessarily debating on such issues, national priorities and interests should be focused on resolving the genuine issues of the people.

“The same course of action would also be helpful in defusing the present situation of political polarisation in the country,” he said.

He said that the politics of Khan, from day one to the present day, revolved around the army chief’s appointment.

“We need to move on from this mentality for the sake of the democratic system and the people of Pakistan,” he said.

When asked whether or not PPP has given any names to the government for the appointment of the new army chief, Bilawal reiterated his stance that the appointment of the next chief of the army staff should be held as per the procedure given in the Constitution and law.


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