Islamabad: Following his crucial meetings with PML-N supremo and his brother Nawaz Sharif and other party leaders in London, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced that the next army chiefs appointment would be decided constitutionally, and the senior-most officer would be appointed as the new Chief of Army Staff.
“Army chief’s appointment is a constitutional matter. It will be decided according to the Constitution,” The News International quoted Shehbaz Sharif as saying.
Geo News further reported that the meeting decided in principle to prioritise merit for the coveted military position.
The Sharif brothers would also take the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leadership into confidence on the matter, The News reported.
But Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said PML-N leaders discussed the appointment of new army chief but the decision will be taken after the start of constitutional process.
In a tweet, he said: “The media is rife with speculation that Nawaz-Shehbaz London huddle decided about the appointment of new army chief. The discussion, in this regard, did take place but the decision will be taken with consultation after the start of constitutional process.”
On November 2, the premier departed for London after wrapping up his two-day visit to Egypt to attend the COP27 summit.
In London, the Sharif brothers took important decisions, which also included deliberation on the next army chief’s appointment.
Two rounds of meetings were also attended by Asif and Punjab PML-N leader Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan.
The premier’s visit to London came two weeks before the end of COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure, who will retire on November 29.
Meanwhile, PTI chief Imran Khan also reiterated his stance on appointing the army chief on merit’ and criticised Shehbaz Sharif for consulting Nawaz Sharif for making the decision.