RAWALPINDI: Lt Gen Asim Munir has been named as the chief of army staff and Lt Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza has been named as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
President Alvi reached Lahore on Thursday afternoon to meet with Imran at the PTI chief’s Zaman Park residence, where he is recuperating from injuries he sustained in an assassination attempt.
PTI leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Fawad Chaudhry were also present at Imran’s Lahore residence. Earlier, television footage showed Alvi’s convoy in the city.
Speaking to reporters outside the Zaman Park residence after the meeting, Fawad said in a brief statement that Imran and Alvi had discussed the army chief’s appointment. He went on to say that the president would be heading back to Islamabad.
“Between 6:30pm to 7pm, the Aiwan-i-Sadr will release a handout. Everything will be done in accordance with the law and the Constitution,” he said.
The appointments were announced earlier today by Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Twitter a tweet which was deleted and swiftly put up again capping weeks of intense speculation on the matter.
In her tweet, Aurangzeb said the premier made the choice while exercising his constitutional authority.
She went on to say that a summary of the same had been sent to President Arif Alvi.
Speaking to the media minutes after the announcement was made, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the matter had been decided 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 appointments “controversial” and would endorse the advice of the premier.
The defence minister reiterated that the president should endorse the premier’s advice so that a “controversy may not arise”. “This will also help our country and the economy to get on track. Currently, everything is at a standstill.”
He expressed the same in a tweet, saying that the advice had been forwarded to the president. He went on to say that it would now be a test for former premier Imran Khan where he could either strengthen the institution responsible for defending the country or make it controversial.
“This is also a test for President Alvi, whether he will follow political advice or the constitutional and legal advice,” he said. “As the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, it is his duty to protect the country from political conflicts,” he said about Alvi.
Outgoing CJCSC General Nadeem Raza held farewell meetings with President Alvi and PM Shehbaz.
A statement from Aiwan-i-Sadr said Gen Raza called on President Alvi in a farewell meeting.
President Arif Alvi and Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman General Nadeem Raza photographed in a farewell meeting on Thursday.—President House
“The president appreciated the services of General Nadeem Raza for national defence,” it said. “The president expressed his best wishes for Gen Raza.”
Separately, the PML-N tweeted a video of Gen Raza meeting PM Shehbaz at the PM House. “The prime minister paid tribute to Gen Raza for strengthening the defence of the country and for his services to the army.”
Gen Bajwa started his farewell visits to formations on Nov 1 with a visit to the Army Air Defence Command and followed up the next day with a visit to Armed Forces Strategic Forces Command. Since then, he quietly toured a number of formations.