ISLAMABAD: The General Headquarters (GHQ) has a sent summary to the Defence Ministry containing the names of six senior-most generals for selection of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), the Inter Services Public Relations confirmed the story Editor Investigations The News, Ansar Abbasi, earlier broke on Geo News show Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath.
According to Ansar Abbasi, the summary contains the names of Lt Gen Asim Munir, Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Lt Gen Azhar Abbas, Lt Gen Nauman Mehmood, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed and Lt Gen Muhammad Amir.
Talking to anchorperson Shahszeb Khanzada, Ansar Abbasi said that the COAS’s appointment will be done without any impediment.
The Ministry of Defence has sent the summary to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) late Tuesday, according to Ansar Abbasi quoting a highly-placed official.
The ISPR late at night tweeted: “GHQ has forwarded the summary for selection of CJCSC and COAS, containing names of 6 senior-most Lt Gens to MoD.”
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif later also confirmed the story, saying the PMO had received the summary.
“The Prime Minister’s Office has received the summary from the Defence Ministry. InshaAllah, the rest of the stages will settle soon,” Asif said in a tweet on early hours on Wednesday.
But before that on Tuesday night, Asif had tweeted: “InshaAllah, the PMO will receive the summary at the confirmed time.”
Following this, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb also tweeted that it was incorrect to attribute to a statement to the defence minister and said that the Prime Minister’s House had not yet received the summary concerning the appointment of the new army chief. She had advised against gossiping on the issue and said the information would be shared soon after getting the summary.
Earlier, talking to Geo News, Asif said the decision to appoint the new army chief rested with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
“As soon as the defence ministry gets the names of senior-most officers, we will forward these names to the prime minister. The premier will then take a decision,” he said.
Asif said it was the General Headquarters’ (GHQ) prerogative to suggest the senior-most officers’ names.
He made it clear that there existed no tension in the civil-military ties and the matters were heading in the right direction.
Asked how much time the PM House could take in deciding the name of the new army chief, the defence minister said it was a matter of just twenty-four hours.
Asif said the Pakistan Army had abandoned the old tradition and now they had decided to stay neutral.
Earlier, Khawaja Asif called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to discuss matters pertaining to the appointment of next army chief.
According to local media, Special Assistant to the PM Malik Ahmad Khan was also present during the meeting.
Meanwhile, former president and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari met Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s House Monday evening.
During the meeting, besides other matters, the appointment of the new army chief also came under discussion.
Zardari also inquired after the prime minister who has now recovered from corona.
“The two leaders discussed the country’s overall situation,” the Prime Minister House said in a statement. However, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif told Geo that the two leaders must have discussed the issue of the army chief’s appointment.
Meanwhile, the prime minister has also convened an important meeting of the federal cabinet on Thursday (tomorrow) on the one-point agenda.