Defence Minister Khawaja Asif believes the speculation over the appointment of the army chief will stop soon, as the deadline for deciding on who would be chosen for the top military post is near.
The Ministry of Defence sent a summary for the two top positions in the army this morning, and the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed receiving it. The much-awaited appointment of the next army chief, according to the defence minister, will be made in the next 48 hours.
Asif told the media on Wednesday, “There have been doubts [about the army chief’s appointment] for the past few months, which will stop in a day or two.”
Taking the federal government and its supporters into confidence, he said, the requirements are being met.
When questioned if Pakistan’s Constitution’s Article 243 didn’t include keeping people’s secrets, the minister responded, “I don’t know about many Articles.”
Asif stated that he doesn’t want to spread rumours since the public shouldn’t be discussing such an appointment. The president and prime minister, he continued, should make decisions that are in the best interests of the country and that are consistent with the law and the Constitution.
The statement was made following a discussion between the minister and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over the nominees included in the summary for the top two military slots.
In a casual conversation with reporters outside the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), the defence minister suggested that the new army chief may be appointed before PM Shehbaz embarks on a trip to Turkey on November 25.
It should be remembered that the outgoing General Qamar Javed Bajwa would take off his uniform on November 29 after holding that position for six years. The new army chief would then take charge.