The issue of the appointment of the next army chief continues to occupy centrestage of Pakistan’s political discourse, with the government saying that it would be done according to the Constitution. The extended stay of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif along with his key advisers in London purportedly to discuss the appointment and other issues of national importance with his elder brother Nawaz Sharif heightened confusion and sparked rumours about the issue. After holding what media reports called a crucial meeting with his elder brother, the prime minister stated that the constitutional path would be followed while deciding the next army chief. Moreover, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted to state that the PML-N leadership had only deliberated upon choosing the outgoing chief of army staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s successor but no final decision had been taken. The minister said that the Prime Minister and the elder Sharif along with senior party leadership had mulled over the name of the new military czar in London and added that a “final decision would be taken once the constitutional process formally begins”. Army Chief Gen. Qamar Bajwa is set to retire on November 29, reports The Express Tribune.
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