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President Alvi to meet Imran Khan after govt picks new COAS

PTI Chairman Imran Khan had earlier claimed that President Dr. Arif Alvi will “definitely” consult him as soon as the summary for the appointment of the next army chief reaches his office.

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The PML-N-led federal government announced Pakistan’s new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif selected Lt General Asim Munir as Pakistan’s next army chief and also appointed Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the CJCSC. The summary has also been sent to PTI leader and President Dr. Arif Alvi for ratification.

Read more: Govt selects Pakistan’s next COAS & CJCSC

However, reports are emerging that the President – an important member of PTI – has left for Lahore today to meet with the former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan to discuss the summary forwarded by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif regarding COAS and CJCSC appointments.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan had earlier claimed that President Dr. Arif Alvi will “definitely” consult him as soon as the summary for the appointment of the next army chief reaches his office.

“President Dr. Arif Alvi will definitely consult me on the summary for the appointment of army chief and take a decision as per the law and Constitution. I am head of the party that Dr. Alvi belongs to,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, the President has said that he will follow through on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s advice regarding the appointment of the COAS. While talking to his close aides, President Alvi said that he could not create hurdles in the much-anticipated process.

“I do not have the legal authority to stop the prime minister’s advice; I have never interfered in the affairs of the state,” President Alvi said.

Read more: President Alvi to support PM Shehbaz on COAS appointment

As the new appointments were announced, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Thursday that the appointment of the army chief and chairman joint chief chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee is a “test” for PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

“The advice has gone to President Alvi. Now it’s Imran Khan’s test whether he wants to strengthen the institution of the country’s defence or make it controversial,” Asif said in a tweet.

“This is also a test for President Alvi if he will follow political advice or constitutional and legal advice. As the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, it is his duty to protect the country from political conflicts,” Asif added in his tweet today.