Process for COAS’ appointment to begin within weeks, says Khawaja Asif

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said that the process for appointing the new chief of army staff would begin within weeks and assured that it would be done according to the Constitution.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the defence minister said the appointment procedure would commence by the end of the current month or latest by the start of November.

Hailing Gen Bajwa’s statement, the defence minister said it had ended uncertainty that existed for the past several weeks.

Asif said that appointment of the army chief was the prime minister’s discretion and would be done in accordance with the law and Constitution.

According to Article 243 (3) of the Constitution, the president would appoint the services chiefs on the recommendation of the prime minister.

He said the usual practice was to appoint an army chief from a panel of five nominees routed by the General Headquarters through the defence ministry. But, at the same time, he recalled that there had been instances in the past when army chiefs had been appointed from outside the recommended panel.

It is believed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would make the appointment in consultation with his brother and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif and other allies in the ruling coalition.

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