According to a statement issued by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, the former President asked how PM Shehbaz was doing and was congratulated for his visit.
It is important to note that on November 15, following his return from the UK, Shehbaz tested positive for Covid-19. The Prime Minister had already positively identified for the virus twice.
Today’s discussion between the two leaders took place as the selection process for the next army chief was underway.
The government is ready to select the replacement for departing Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa by Friday, thus the Prime Minister requested from the defence ministry a summary of the nomination process for the next army chief as well as the service histories of all potential candidates yesterday.
The selection process should begin on Monday, the Prime Minister requested in a letter that was delivered to General Headquarters, according to Defense Minister Khawaja Asif, who spoke during Monday’s National Assembly session.
In less than two days, he said, the summary would be delivered to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), together with the career files of the senior-most lieutenant generals who had been suggested for promotion and appointment as chief of army staff and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee.
He claimed that the selection of the army chief might be finished in two to three days while making a point of order.
Asif accused the media of exaggerating the situation and added, “The media itself is in a state of confusion … I request them from the floor of this house to maintain the sanctity of the process”.
The Chief of army staff nomination report was said to have already arrived at the PMO, according to some media reports from earlier on Monday. After a meeting with the Prime Minister, Asif, meanwhile, informed the media that no summary had been created yet.
“We are not under pressure, nor are we in a hurry. The process is expected to be completed by Nov 25,” he had emphasized.
On November 29, Gen. Bajwa will retire, while Gen. Nadeem Raza, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, will do so on November 27.