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HomeNationalPolls can be held before new army chief’s appointment: Khawaja Asif

Polls can be held before new army chief’s appointment: Khawaja Asif

Defense Minister says a new government could be in power before November

Defense Minister Khawaja Asif has said that there was a possibility that general elections could be held prior to the appointment of a new army chief.

In an interview with news outlet BBC Urdu, he said that there would be a caretaker government at that time. Asif went on to say that it was also possible that the caretaker government would be gone by then and a new government would be in power before November.

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He was replying to the interviewer after she discussed that former prime minister Imran Khan was ousted over the new army chief’s appointment.

“Imran Khan wanted to do things his own way on the matter of the new army chief’s appointment. He wanted to ensure the protection of his political interests and the continuity of his rule,” Asif said.

He said that Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa will remain in office till November 29 this year, when his second three-year tenure will end.

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General Bajwa was given an extension by the previous PTI government in 2019.

Responding to a question whether the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led coalition government could give the army chief another extension, Asif said that General Bajwa had already said that he did not want his tenure to be extended.

The defense minister said he welcomed the state as it “closed the doors of speculation” and noted that the previous army chief, General (retd) Raheel Sharif, also, had not demanded an extension either “directly or indirectly”.

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