Elections possible before new army chief’s appointment: Khawaja Asif – Pakistan

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has stated that the potential for holding common elections previous to the appointment of a brand new military chief can’t be dominated out.

In an interview with BBC Urdu, he stated, “It is possible that we hold elections before the [new] army chief’s appointment, before November. There will be a caretaker government at that time. It is also possible that the caretaker government is gone and the new government is [in power] before November.”

Incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa will stay in workplace until November 29 this yr, when his second three-year tenure will finish.

Gen Bajwa was given an extension by the earlier PTI authorities in 2019.

In response to a query about whether or not the PML-N-led coalition authorities might give the incumbent COAS one other extension, Asif stated Bajwa had already introduced that he doesn’t need his tenure to be prolonged.

The defence minister stated he welcomed the announcement as a result of it had “closed the doors of speculation” and famous that the earlier military chief, General (retd) Raheel Sharif, too, had not “directly or indirectly demanded an extension”.

Asif stated he believed the method for appointing a military chief must be “institutionalised” much like the judiciary. “There is no speculation about [a chief justice]. I know who will become the chief justice in 2028.”

“In my personal opinion, instead of discussing the matter of the army chief’s appointment, the process should 100 per cent be based on merit. This is a big and very important issue, it should never be the subject of political debate,” BBC Urdu quoted him as saying.

Talking concerning the impression that former prime minister Imran Khan was ousted over the brand new military chief’s appointment, Asif stated, “Imran Khan needed to do issues his personal method on the matter of the brand new military chief’s appointment.

More to observe.

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