Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday said there was no pressure on the government regarding the appointment of new army chief and the process would be completed according to the constitution.

In a tweet, the defence minister said, “The process of appointing [officials] to Pakistan Army’s highest positions has started today, God willing, the appointments will be made soon as per the constitutional requirements.”

He used the words appointments as the military is set to get new chairman joint chiefs of staff committee and the army chief.

But during an informal chat with reporters, Khawaja Asif said the Prime Minister’s Office had not yet received the summary for the purpose. This statement negated the earlier reports by the same TV channel and others that the summary containing five names reached the Prime Minister’s Office.

Khawaja Asif, after meeting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, 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 we receive the summary, we will discuss the names — 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.

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure is ending on Nov 29, but the appointment of new chief is likely to take place before Nov 27, the day when one of the candidates is going to retire.


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