Cabinet’s strategy if President delays COAS appointment.
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The government of Pakistan has recently decided to appoint Lieutenant General Asim Munir as the new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and sent the summary to the President Dr Arif Alvi.
Before the appointment of the top two posts of army, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired a federal cabinet meeting.
In the meeting, the cabinet freezed retirement of Army Chief General Asim Munir and retained him under relevant amended rules. While the cabinet also approved amendments in Rule of Business.
Meanwhile, as per the discussion in the meeting, if the president returns the summary after passing the date of Lt-Gen Asim Munir’s retirement, it will be ineffective and if the President will hold on to the summary for 25 days, the army chief will still be Asim Munir.
Earlier, federal Cabinet meeting discussed legal aspects related to these important appointments and the Minister for Law and Justice Sardar Ayaz Sadiq briefed the members about the Army Act.
The agenda was also kept hidden from the cabinet members, while it was presented on the table.
As per sources, the cabinet members also advised the Prime Minister to exercise discretionary powers regarding the appointments.
“Keep acts and rules aside, exercise your authority,” cabinet members advised the PM.
After the meeting, the PM approved the summary regarding the appointment of two Generals. It was approved in the meeting and was sent to the President afterwards.
On the other hand, the President reached Lahore to meet the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan as the PTI Chairman said that the President will discuss matters relating to summary for appointment of Army Chief with him.
It is pertinent to mention here that the government on Thursday decided to appoint Lt General Asim Munir as new COAS and Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb made the announcement on Twitter, saying the premier had made the choice while exercising his constitutional powers. She further said that Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza had been picked as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC).
The information minister added that the summary of the appointments has been sent to President Arif Alvi for ratification.
Speaking to the media minutes after the announcement was made, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the “advice” had been forwarded to President Arif Alvi.
He said that all matters had been settled according to the law and the Constitution, calling on the nation to refrain from viewing it through a “political lens”.
He expressed the hope that the president would not make the appointment “controversial” and would endorse the advice of the premier.
Lt General Asim Munir is the senior most officer after outgoing Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and is currently serving as Quartermaster General in the Pakistan Army.
Lt-Gen Munir entered the service via the Officers Training School (OTS) programme in Mangla and was commissioned into the 23rd Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment.
Lt-Gen Munir commanded troops in the Force Command Northern Areas as a brigadier under Gen Bajwa, who was then Commander X Corps. He was appointed DG of the Military Intelligence in early 2017 and then ISI Director General in October 2018.
Eight months later, Lt-Gen Munir was posted Gujranwala Corps Commander. He was moved to the GHQ as Quartermaster General two years later.
Lt-Gen Munir is the recipient of the Sword of Honour from the 17th course of the Officers Training School in Mangla. Also, he is the recipient of the Hilal-i-Imtiaz.
He is a ‘Hafiz-e-Quran’ who memorised the Quran during his posting in Saudi Arabia as Lt Colonel.
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