Khawaja Asif hints at elections before appointment of new COAS

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday hinted at general elections before the appointment of the new COAS.

In his interview with the BBC, Khawaja Asif said the appointment of the new COAS is due in November, but there is a possibility that general elections can be held before the change of command.

The minister said that COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa has categorically said that he is not interested in another extension in his service term. “I appreciate the announcement made by General Bajwa,” the PML-N leader said and added that now the speculations regarding the matter should end.

Asif said that the appointment of new COAS will be made on merit and added that the procedure for the army chief’s appointment should be institutionalised now.

Responding to a question, the minister said the name of Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed will also be considered if is also on the seniority list.

He criticized former prime minister Imran Khan for trying to appoint a new COAS of his choice.

Earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had said that the appointment of a new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) is a constitutional right of the PM and it will be done in accordance with rules and regulations.

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