Wednesday, November 23, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has summoned a meeting of parliamentary leaders belonging to the ruling alliance, sources told Geo News Wednesday.
The meeting is set to take place at 6pm to discuss the overall political situation in the country, the sources said, as the government faces uphill tasks on several fronts.
The summoning comes a day after the prime minister met former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari at the PM House, a statement from the PM Media Wing said.
Both leaders discussed the "country’s overall political situation", the statement said.
Zardari also inquired about the health of the prime minister — who tested positive for coronavirus on November 15 after his arrival to Pakistan from London. It was the third time that he had contracted the deadly virus.
The meetings come as the government is set to appoint the next army chief as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa will retire on November 29.
The Inter-Services Public Relations, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, and Information Minister have all confirmed that the Prime Minister's Office has received the summary for the appointment of the top two positions in the military — COAS and chairman joint chiefs of staff committee.
Sources said that the names of six senior-most generals have been included in the summary of the army chief candidates.
The summary includes the names of Lt Gen Asim Munir, Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Lt Gen Azhar Abbas, Lt Gen Nauman Mehmood, Lt Gen Faiz Hamid, and Lt Gen Mohammad Amir as candidates for the slots, the well-placed sources said.
Before calling the latest meetings of the allies, the prime minister had already started consulting them last week on the crucial appointments, with the coalition partners fully mandating the premier for making the appointment as per set procedures and traditions, sources said.
According to sources, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman telephoned the prime minister, wherein both leaders exchanged views on the situation in the country and the appointment of the new army chief, the sources said.
Sources said the maulana threw his weight behind PM Shehbaz, saying he should appoint the new army chief as per the set procedure.
Sources said a majority of the ruling coalition leaders termed the army chief’s appointment an administrative and discretionary power of the prime minister.
PPP and JUI-F leadership fully authorised PM Shehbaz to appoint the new army chief as per his wishes.