ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – On Thursday, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif stated that the appointment of a new army chief is a test for President Arif Alvi and PTI chairman Imran Khan.
The minister shared his thoughts on Twitter as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif appoints Lieutenant General Asim Munir as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
According to the PTI chief, the incumbent coalition government wanted to appoint an army chief. He also accused the prime minister of consulting with ‘fugitive’ PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif about the appointment of a top general.
A day earlier, Imran Khan stated that President Dr. Arif Alvi would discuss the summary for the appointment of the Army Chief with him, a move that legal experts have deemed unconstitutional.
“Advice has been sent to President Alvi,” Khawaja Asif wrote. Now it is up to Imran Khan to decide whether he wants to strengthen the defence establishment or make it controversial.”
It is also a test case for the president, who will follow “political advice or constitutional and legal advice,” according to the defence minister.
As Supreme Commander of the Pakistan Armed Forces, he stated that it is the president’s responsibility to protect the institution from political conflict.