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PM to appoint new army chief in a ‘day or two’: Rana Sanaullah

The announcement regarding the replacement for Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa will be made in a "day or two," according to Interior Minister.

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Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, said on Friday that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has finished the consultation process regarding the appointment of the next army chief.

Sanaullah stated at a talk show that the future army chief’s name would be revealed in a day or two.

On November 29, the incumbent, Gen. Bajwa, will retire.

The interior minister stated, “Just formal announcement has yet to be made,” implying that the name for the position had been decided upon.

He insisted that the prime minister has the authority to pick the army chief and that he would make the final choice soon.

Further postponing the appointment, he continued, “will not be appropriate.”

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of the PPP, on the other side, stated that his party firmly supports the Pakistan Army’s internal promotion system.

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After PTI leader Imran Khan suggested that the selection of the head of the armed forces should be handled similarly to that of the top justice of the Supreme Court, Zardari made his comments. The PTI chairman has pushed for the army chief to be chosen on the basis of merit.

The PPP leader claimed in a statement that all three-star generals are equally qualified and have all necessary skills to lead the army. The next army chief would be chosen by the prime minister in accordance with the law, he continued.

The former president emphasised the need to avoid politicising the choice of the army chief and added that doing so would be detrimental to the institution.

The nomination of the army chief should, according to PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, be made independent of politics.

The standards established by the constitution and the law for the nomination of the army chief should be followed, he told journalists after arriving from Saudi Arabia. The senior leader counselled his colleagues not to use language to make the appointment controversial. He pleaded with the lawmakers to refrain from making more remarks.

Moreover, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Friday said: “The process will start rolling on Monday and hopefully the decision of this whole matter will be before you by next week and the new army chief’s name will be revealed.”