The PTI is considering legal options, including approaching the Supreme Court, to block Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s appointment of a new army chief.
But when contacted, Fawad Chowdhury denied this and said he was not aware that any such move was being considered, a senior leader of the party told The News.
According to a senior PTI leader, the party does not want the Shehbaz Sharif-led ruling coalition to appoint the army chief by the end of November.
He said that Imran Khan had already said in a TV interview that the appointment of the army chief should be postponed until the new government comes.
However, when Fawad Chowdhury was asked if the PTI was considering approaching the Supreme Court to block the appointment of army chief by Shehbaz Sharif in November, he replied that he had no such information.
When asked whether Imran Khan had mentioned the matter to his party’s legal experts to block the Army Chief’s appointment, Fawad replied in the negative. He said Non-League leader and federal minister Khurram Dastgir had made a statement that Nawaz Sharif would be consulted for the appointment of army chief; The team discussed this. He said that in view of Dastgir’s statement, the PTI leaders made a statement in this regard. In recent meetings, Imran Khan has said several times that the power to appoint the army chief cannot be given to the government.
In an interview given to a private TV, he said that it is the work of legal experts to see how this issue can be dealt with at the legal level, but the issue of appointing a new army chief should be postponed until the next election. A new government is coming, he added, the newly elected government should appoint an army chief.
A few weeks ago, Imran Khan had no problem with the current government appointing the army chief. In a TV interview he said that such appointments had nothing to do with the opposition as it was the job of the Prime Minister and the government of the day.
It is not clear why Imran Khan changed his mind about this appointment and made it a part of his new political agenda.
On the other hand, the government is determined to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities. Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif will appoint the army chief in November.
Although Imran Khan wants to delay the appointment, it seems current Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa does not want to serve after November 2022. Legally speaking, the power of appointment rests with the Prime Minister. There is no legal option for indefinite delay in recruitment.
Note: This news was published in Jung newspaper today 23 September 2022