A summary of PM Shehbaz Sharif’s nominations of Lt Gen Asim Munir and Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as army chief and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) has been forwarded to President Arif Alvi for approval.
The announcement of the appointments by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Twitter earlier today, which was promptly deleted and re-posted, put an end to weeks of heated rumor-mongering.
In a tweet, Aurangzeb stated that the prime minister made the decision in accordance with his constitutional authority.
- Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza is named CJCSC, and Lt Gen Asim Munir is named COAS.
- The president has received a summary of the appointments, according to the minister of information.
- The defense minister is hoping that the president will not classify the nominees as “controversial.”
- Following receipt of the report, PTI Chairman Imran Khan states, “I and the President of Pakistan will act in accordance with the Constitution and laws of Pakistan.”
- Nadeem Raza, the retiring CJCSC General, meets with the president and prime minister.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee is a platform for coordination between the three armed services. The CJCSC also serves as the primary military counselor to the Prime Minister and the National Command Authority.
She went on to explain that President Arif Alvi had been given an overview of the situation.
Minutes afterwards, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif addressed the media, claiming that the situation had been resolved in accordance with the law and the Constitution, and encouraging the public to avoid seeing it through a “political lens.”
He hoped that the president would support the premier’s advice and avoid from categorizing the appointments as “controversial.”
To prevent a “controversy,” the defense minister urged that the president should accept the recommendation of the premier. This will also help the economy and our country recover. Everything is currently coming to a halt.
He tweeted the same attitude, noting that the advice had been given to the president. The former prime minister, Imran Khan, would now face a test in which he could either improve the institution in charge of safeguarding the nation or raise controversy, according to the speaker.
This is also a test for President Alvi to see if he will listen to legal and constitutional advice or political advice, he added. It is his job as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces to safeguard the country from political concerns, he said of Alvi.
Imran Will Consult With Alvi
According to the PTI’s official account, Imran Khan further stated, When the summary comes, I and the president of Pakistan would act according to the Constitution and laws.
His remarks follow Imran’s assurance the day before that President Alvi would “definitely” consult him once the summary for the appointment of the new army chief arrived at his office.
President Alvi will surely consult with me on the summary for the appointment of the army chief and make a decision in accordance with the law and the Constitution. He told reporters at his Zaman Park house on Wednesday, I am the leader of the political party to which Dr. Alvi belongs.
Shibli Faraz, a PTI senator, commented after the names were revealed: President Alvi has a moral obligation to consult with the party chairman, and I believe he should do so.
This is not an impediment. Whatever happens, as Imran Khan has emphasized, would be in accordance with the law and the Constitution.
Retiring CJCSC Contacts Alvi And Shehbaz For Final Talks
President Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz met with retiring CJCSC General Nadeem Raza in goodbye meetings.
According to a statement from Aiwan-i-Sadr, Gen. Raza contacted President Alvi in a farewell meeting.
The president commended General Nadeem Raza’s work for national defense, the statement said. The president extended his best wishes to Gen. Raza.
Separately, the PML-N released a video of Gen Raza and PM Shehbaz chatting at the PM House. The prime minister commended Gen. Raza for his contributions to national security and the army.
Controversy Surrounds COAS Appointment
Qamar Javed Bajwa, the retiring COAS, was supposed to retire in 2019. However, only three months before his term was set to expire, then-prime minister Imran Khan opted to extend his term by three years in August 2019.
Despite expectations that he might seek another deal, Bajwa declared months ago that he intended to retire this year.
The general himself had stated twice in recent months that he had no plans to continue, once on a visit to the United States and again when speaking at the National Security Workshop at National Defence University. His retirement plan was later verified on at least a few occasions by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The selection of the next army commander is referred to as one of the main subplots in the nation’s current political crisis, which began earlier this year with the filing of a no-trust motion against Imran.
When faced with the vote of no-confidence, Imran was so skeptical of Gen Bajwa’s retirement strategy that he concluded the political action was motivated by Gen Bajwa’s impending retirement. According to a recent press conference held by senior military leaders, he had therefore promised Gen. Bajwa an indefinite extension in order to keep the then opposition from voting against him.
Gen. Bajwa began his farewell visits with the Army Air Defence Command on Nov. 1 before moving on to the Armed Forces Strategic Forces Command the next day. He has since visited several formations in silence.
In his farewell speech, Gen. Bajwa acknowledged that the military has been chastised for unconstitutionally intervening in politics, but he also chastised political parties for missteps and intolerance of opponents.
He stressed the importance of restoring political stability and urged political stakeholders to reconsider their positions now that the army has begun its catharsis.