Islamabad: A senior Pakistani Minister on Friday critisised the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf party for trying to interfere in the appointment of the new Army chief by summoning Pakistan President Arif Alvi to Lahore to meet its chief, Imran Khan.
Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Climate Change of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) while addressing the National Assembly slammed the Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for holding a meeting with President Alvi over the key military appointments.
A day earlier, General Asim Munir was designated as the country’s new army chief while Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza was appointed as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had chosen the new appointees and sent the summary of the same to President Alvi for approval.
Soon after, Alvi air-dashed to Lahore to meet Khan over the appointments of the top military brass and held a 45-minute-long discussion.
“They have even made the president controversial <…> they called the president
“But PTI <…> they tried to interfere in a political matter <…> they tried to interfere in a key appointment," she added.
Khan had earlier claimed that President Alvi will "definitely" consult him as soon as the summary for the appointment of next army chief reaches his office.
Alvi was a member of Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party before he became Pakistan President in 2018.
PTI leader Shibli Faraz defended the decision by President Alvi to consult PTI chairman Khan, saying though the President is the representative of the country, but there was no harm if he consulted his party chief as he was supported by the PTI as president.
It was initially speculated that the President could return the Prime Minister’s advice for reconsideration after he visited Lahore but the process of appointments concluded without delay and Alvi signed the summary immediately upon his return to the capital, the report said.
Subsequently, early on Friday morning, the Ministry of Defence notified the appointments of Gen Asim and Gen Shamshad as the COAS and CJCSC, respectively.
Earlier, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) had praised President Alvi on showing 'great political wisdom' on the appointment of the new Army chief.