President Alvi in Lahore to consult Imran over COAS appointment

PTI chief, Alvi to follow Constitution in appointment process, says Imran

Newsdesk November 24, 2022

President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday arrived at Zaman Park to reportedly meet Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief and deposed prime minister Imran Khan after the latter said that the two would "work" together on the appointment of a new army chief.

Footage of the president's caravan arriving at Imran's Lahore residence was shared on social media by the PTI amid claims that the two would discuss the party's plan of action ahead of the appointment for the army's top seat.

In a tweet posted on the PTI's official Twitter handle, the former premier stated that "after the summary is received, the president and I will work according to the Constitution".

Earlier, the PTI chief had said that President Alvi was in contact with him and would consult him on the appointment of a new army chief as he was the party chief.

He asserted that if the prime minister can liaise with an “absconder” – a reference to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif – then the president can consult with him as he is the party chief.

Read ‘Plan B’ ready if president creates hurdles in COAS appointment: Dar

“I am in contact with the president over the summary related to a key appointment. He will discuss everything with me. The prime minister goes to an absconder so I am a party head,” Imran said in an interview on a private news channel.

“The president will absolutely discuss the matter with me,” he further said and added that he was not aware of who they will appoint but “the president and I have decided that we will play with this within the law and do whatever is in law and Constitution”.

It may be noted that the tweet came only minutes after news broke that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to appoint Lieutenant General Syed Asim Munir as the next army chief and Lieutenant General Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the new chairman joint chiefs of staff committee (CJCSC), ending days of speculations.

The announcement was made by Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb in a tweet where she stated that the summary has been sent to President Alvi.

Read More COAS name to be finalised before Shehbaz leaves for Ankara: Asif

Under the Constitution, the president may stretch the appointment of the new army chief for 25 days. Sources told The Express Tribune that the government had several plans in case the president delayed the summary.

It has the authority to appoint the vice chief of army staff (VCOAS) as there is no requirement for the president's approval for this purpose.

The government may also promote a lieutenant general to a full-fledged general for extending the tenure of the officer whose retirement is due.

A government official expressed his surprise that an “unnecessary” discussion was underway over the possibility of delaying the army chief’s appointment summary. “I think this is not an issue at all,” he added.

A PTI leader told The Express Tribune that he did not think that President Alvi would delay the summary.


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