After a stressful day, ease into new military assignments
ISLAMABAD – It was a day of uncertainty and anticipation until President Dr. Arif Alvi formally approved Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s nomination for the next Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. When the PM promoted and selected Lt. Gen. Syed Asim Munir as the next Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Lt. Gen. Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCS), rumors began to circulate that President Alvi could be PTI chief Imran Both the appointments should be delayed on Khan’s instructions. The President’s departure from Islamabad to Lahore to meet his party leader and former PM Imran Khan to consult on both appointments has led to more speculation that the ongoing political crisis could continue for more weeks if the President’s endorsement is delayed. Could However, the announcement from the Rashtrapati Bhavan about the final approval put an end to the uncertainty prevailing over the country’s political scene. Talking to a private TV channel, Defense Minister Kh Asif said that the President has shown understanding by signing the summary sent by the Prime Minister. He said that during the last two weeks everything was at a standstill as there was some uproar over the commencement of the summary for appointments to the top two posts of the Army. “All the programs regarding the beginning and appointments of the summary were already decided at least.” The Defense Minister further said that it was his assessment that the President has shown political wisdom by giving final approval to the summary. He said the government knew why Khan had called for a protest in Rawalpindi on 26 November and it was understandable that he had to finalize these key appointments before the protest day. PTI chief Khan had been publicly saying for the past several weeks and months that his party would oppose the nomination of the PML-N-led coalition government. But things changed completely on Thursday when the opposition PTI also congratulated the new appointees.