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HomeNationalSelection process for COAS to begin on Nov 18: Khawaja Asif

Selection process for COAS to begin on Nov 18: Khawaja Asif

Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif stated that discussions on the appointment of the army chief will start after November 18 or 19. He also made it clear that the party has no “favourite” for the role.

Speaking to reporters in front of the parliament building on Tuesday, Asif dismissed rumours of a standoff between PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and former president and co-chairman of the PPP Asif Ali Zardari over the choice of the next army chief.

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The minister claimed that the government was considering taking severe action against Imran Khan for “undermining national solidarity, security, and integrity for his vested interests.”

Nobody, according to him, has the right to undermine the honour and reputation of the country.

“Imran Khan has committed a crime against the state by undermining the nation’s bilateral ties and sense of unity.”

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He denied the impression that there would be any favourites among the candidates for a new COAS in response to a different query. “The government doesn’t have a favourite.”

Khawaja Asif also rejected these claims, stressing that it is the prime minister’s right to undertake consultations before appointing the army chief.

However, to date, there has been no consultation on the subject, the minister had stated, adding that no decision had been made about the appointment of a new army chief as well.

Following Shehbaz’s informal discussions with prominent PML-N members in London, rumours abounded that the seniority concept would be applied while choosing a new army chief. Many then began making their inferences by identifying certain names as Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa’s successor.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), announced last week that Gen. Bajwa would retire on November 29 after serving for six years in that position.

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