President Dr.Arif Alvi has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has not consulted him regarding the appointment of the new chief of army staff (COAS) yet, adding with certainty that he would do so when the time came.
The president said this while appearing as a guest on a local TV show with anchor Adil Shahzeb. The comments came the day that COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa met with both the president and premier in a rare occurrence for the army chief to meet both leaders the same day. PM Khan had met with the COAS on the sidelines of the apex committee’s Afghanistan session.
In the show, the anchor referred to a column published in a local media outlet and said that it claimed that the PM had gotten the president’s signatures on two important summaries regarding an “important personality”. He said that the column asserted that the contents of the orders were a mystery.
To this, President Alvi said the PM had not gotten anything signed by him and kept the papers, adding that all documents he signed off on were publicised.
Earlier last month, PM Khan said that no decision was taken regarding the appointment of the new COAS. Gen Bajwa’s time as COAS would finish in November this year and the premier had said that he had not pondered over a possible extension for him yet. Gen Bajwa’s tenure was earlier extended by the PM in 2019 for three years, just three months before he was set to retire.
It would be worth mentioning here that the PM acquired the ability to extend the COAS’s tenure after a legislation passed on the matter in January 2020 allowed him to do so. The matter of the top army official’s tenure extension was taken up by the Supreme Court, which allowed Gen Bajwa to keep his position for six months while the government worked to pass the legislation allowing his extension.