Shehbaz consults allied parties on army chief appointment

Certain ministers proposed to Sharif to obtain approval from the federal cabinet about the appointment of the army chief, but the majority did not agree to it.

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has consulted the senior leadership of allied parties of the government prior to the appointment of the new army chief.

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The allied parties have reportedly fully mandated the premier for making the appointment as per set procedure and traditions, The News reported.

Certain ministers proposed to Sharif to obtain approval from the federal cabinet about the appointment of the army chief, but the majority did not agree to it.

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According to sources, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman called the premier to inquire about his welfare and the two leaders exchanged views on the situation in the country and appointment of the new army chief.

The sources said the Maulana threw his weight behind Sharif, saying he should appoint the new army chief as per set procedure.

They added that majority of the ruling coalition leaders termed the army chief’s appointment an administrative and discretionary power of the Prime Minister.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUIF) leadership also fully authorised the Prime Minister to appoint the new army chief as per his wishes, The News reported.

PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari is likely to meet Maulana and Sharif soon, according to the sources.

They said that permission was never obtained from the cabinet for appointment of an army chief in the past, adding that this is the prerogative of the premier.

Some ministers said no fingers would be pointed from any quarter if approval was obtained from the federal cabinet, because approval of any important appointment is obtained from the cabinet in the light of Supreme Court’s orders.

However, other ministers did not agree to the suggestion and stressed solely relying on the Prime Minister for the appointment of the new army chief.

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