PM to appoint Army chief: Khawaja Asif

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ISLAMABAD
Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Monday categorically clarified that right to appoint country’s Chief of Army Staff lied with the Prime Minister, and current PM Shehbaz Sharif will not be accepting any pressure in making the all important appointment.
Controversies and speculations have been surrounding the appointment of country’s next army chief for past couple of months. Biggest opposition party PTI’s head and former Prime Minister Imran Khan has constantly been retreating his stance that an Army Chief should not be appointed or nominated by “thieves”, a term he uses for his political opponents, mainly the PML-N leadership. However, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent visit to London, where he discussed chief’s appointment with his elder brother and former PM Nawaz Sharif, fumed Imran Khan as he called it “a breach of official secrets Act”. On the other hand, PDM government has been accusing Imran of trying to influence army chief’s appointment through agitating politics.
On Monday, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif while talking to reporters here said no general was yet finalized as military’s head.
To a question about former PM Nawaz Sharif’s role in the appointment, Asif replied that deliberations over the matter were current Premier’s right. However, he said that final verdict will be taken by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.