LAHORE - PPP wants the senior most General to be appointed as the next army chief who carries forward the defence policy of outgoing COAS General Raheel Sharif.

“Instead of resorting to pick and choose [from the seniority list], the Prime Minister should appoint the new Army Chief on merit who should be the senior most officer after Raheel Sharif”, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Syed Khurshid Shah said yesterday.

Nonetheless, he also said that it was the sole prerogative of the Prime Minister to appoint the new COAS from amongst the senior lot of Army officers.

Talking to the media at the residence of late Jehangir Badr where he went to offer condolence to the bereaved family, he said that new Army Chief should follow the policies of General Raheel in respect of war on terror.

“If the defence strategy adopted by General Raheel is reversed, it will be a big loss for the country. It must continue”, Shah asserted.

Paying rich tributes to the services rendered by the outgoing General, the PPP leader said he assumed Army command at the most difficult time when terrorists had become a biggest internal threat for the country. 

“He led the Army against the terrorists and pushed them back”, Shah affirmed. 

The Opposition Leader came down hard on the PTI chief Imran Khan whom he accused of dividing the Opposition parties.

He added that all the Opposition parties had reached consensus that they would launch a joint movement against the government in case it rejected the Panama bill. “But on the next day at 10 am in the morning, we heard that Imran Khan has announced to lockdown the capital”, he stated.

He was of the view that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was getting stronger day by day due to political follies of the PTI chief who was acting as his friend by such decisions. 

“Decisions taken in hurry don’t pay in politics. One has to take all [stakeholders] on board”, he said.

Shah at this point, also mentioned the 40-year friendship between Ch Nisar Ali Khan and the PTI chief Imran Khan, stating that the former might have misguided the latter. 

To a question, he said that PPP gave its monetary policy in its last tenure but “media dubbed us as thieves”. He complained that media was showing leniency towards those whose names had appeared in the Panama leaks.

“Media persons now don’t ask those who would sit at Minar-e-Pakistan with hand fans and made false promise of ending loadshedding within three months if they are voted to power”, he stressed.

On Panama leaks, Khurshid Shah said that Qatari Prince’s letter was the biggest proof against the Sharif family.

He said Nawaz Sharif never made mention of this letter in his speeches delivered in the Parliament on this issue.

“If nothing happens against him after this letter, then God Knows what will happen in this country,” he said.