Qamar Zaman Kaira, the PPP’s leader and advisor to the premier on Kashmir affairs as well as the leader of Gilgit-Baltistan, stated on Sunday that all generals have an equal chance of succeeding to the position of chief of army staff (COAS), adding that the PPP “has no favourites.”
The minister continued by saying that the party will back Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister, in his selection of the next army chief.
Kaira went on to say that the premier has all constitutional rights to make the final choice. He said that Shehbaz has got confirmation from the PPP of the latter’s unconditional support in this matter.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) propaganda, according to Kaira, when questioned about the criticism of the PM for consulting with his brother Nawaz Sharif.
Shehbaz, according to the PPP leader, might confer with any prisoner on this issue. The prime minister was free to confer with whoever he wanted, subject to no legal restrictions.
He insisted that the individual in issue had extensive expertise, was a three-time premier, and was consulting with him was completely fair.
On the other side, a PPP leader claimed that advocating for any particular name would have been a big gamble. The party would have been best served by remaining silent and allowing the biggest coalition partner to handle the appointment matter.
A Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader said that the summary would be pushed early the next week to begin the selection process, adding that he hoped it would put a stop to the never-ending rumours.
Additionally, he confirmed that in this particular case, PPP is fully behind them.
A private TV news channel had earlier been informed by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif that the selection process for the new COAS will begin on Monday (tomorrow).
The new army chief, according to interior minister Rana Sanaullah, would be revealed in the coming days.
The two ministers’ conflicting statements show that the government is under serious pressure, and some observers believe that this may be a sign of a potential impasse between the civil and military authorities over who would become the next army chief.
Official sources claimed that “closed-door consultations” were taking place in the corridors of power with all eyes on the prime minister to reach a consensus among the stakeholders for the key appointment.