Pak Govt Hints At Naming New Army Chief Next Week
November 29 is when Pakistan’s army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is due to retire but there’s still no clarity on who would succeed him. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told a private TV news channel that the process for the appointment of the new army chief would begin on Monday. However, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the new army chief would be announced in the next couple of days, reports The Express Tribune. With all eyes on the prime minister, official sources said “closed door consultations” were under way to develop a consensus among the stakeholders for the key appointment. In the last couple of days, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar held a series of meetings, including with President Arif Alvi; PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Dar’s meeting with Alvi on Friday was seen as significant, as the summary of the army chief’s appointment has to be signed by the president. There are rumours that the president, who happens to be a PTI leader, may block the summary at the behest of his party chief Imran Khan. Sources said the government has called back the defence secretary, who was abroad, to start the process.