ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has hinted at early elections ahead of the appointment of a new Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
Khawaja Asif, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said the country would form a caretaker government in November, or a new government could also be sworn in by then.
Khawaja Asif further stated that the current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) has clarified that he does not wish to extend his term.
He added that all names on the seniority list of the new army chief will be considered, and if on the list, Lt. Gen. Faz Hamid will also be considered.
Asif said that the appointment of new COAS will be made on merit and added that the procedure for the army chief’s appointment should be institutionalised now.
The Defense Minister also revealed that issue of appointment of new Army Chief was behind ouster of Imran Khan.
Criticizing former prime minister Imran Khan, the PML-N leader said that PTI Chairman wanted to use appointment of COAS for his personal benefit.
Khawaja Asif admitted that Imran Khan is a popular leader but said that the experiment of bringing him into power proved disastrous for the country.
PML-N leaders said Imran Khan’s anti-establishment narrative was shameful and reiterated that they would wholeheartedly defend the establishment’s neutral role.