Will follow PM’s advice on army chief’s appointment: Arif Alvi
Will follow PM’s advice on army chief’s appointment: Arif Alvi

President Arif Alvi has said that he will sign the summary for the appointment of new army chief as he doesn’t have the powers to withhold or send it back, reported a private TV channel Friday.

Talking to his close aides, Alvi said he as a president did not have the authority to act against the prime minister’s advice on the issue, which would be executed in letter and spirit. He never hindrance in the state affairs, he added.

Given the uncertainty and rumours, these remarks are very important because there have suggestions that Alvi would not act on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s advice under the directives of PTI Chairman Imran Khan who has been accusing the present setup of trying to appoint their favourite as the new army chief.

Earlier, it was reported that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar met President Dr Arif Alvi at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Friday, where he briefed the president on the overall economic and financial outlook of the country.

He also shard details of various steps taken by the government to provide relief to the people, especially to the unprivileged population of underserved areas of the country and the flood- affected people.

On the other hand, it was also reported that Shehbaz had “finally” started consultations with the senior leadership of ruling alliance, the PDM, on the appointment of new army chief, as the date of General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s retirement nears.

The allies have “fully” mandated the premier for the “appointment according to constitution, set procedures and traditions,” sources said.

It is learnt that Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman telephoned the prime minister to inquire about his health.

During the conversation, they exchanged views on the situation in the country and the appointment of new army chief, the insiders continued.

They said the Maulana threw his weight behind the prime minister, saying he should appoint the new army chief as per the set procedure.

Former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari is also in Islamabad currently, and according to insiders, he is likely to meet Maulana and Shehbaz soon.

The federal cabinet sources, meanwhile, said that permission was never obtained from the cabinet for the appointment of an army chief in the past. This is the prerogative of the prime minister, they added.

Some ministers said no fingers would be pointed from any quarter if approval was obtained from the federal cabinet because approval of any important appointment is obtained from the cabinet in the light of the Supreme Court’s orders.

However, other ministers did not agree to the suggestion and backed the prime minister on the appointment of a new chief of the army staff.

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