In The Midst Of Political Unrest, Pakistan’s PM Will Appoint A New Army Commander
November 24, 2022 / By Zunair Tahir / Pakistan News
Despite current political unrest in the nation, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif is prepared to pick a new army commander after obtaining a list of applicants for the crucial role, authorities said on Wednesday.
For half of Pakistan’s 75-year existence, the army has dominated the nation and possessed significant political power.
The most recent action put an end to days of rumour regarding a impasse between Sharif’s coalition government and the military over Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa’s replacement, who is retiring early next week. Imran Khan, the former prime minister, had decided to extend his term due to rising hostilities with India, Pakistan’s neighbor.
Khan was deposed by Sharif in April following a no-confidence vote in Parliament, but tensions surrounded Bajwa’s position after the army chief was accused by Khan of working with the United States to oust his government. This accusation has been repeatedly refuted by Washington, Sharif, and the military.
Outgoing army leader Bajwa addressed the “false narrative” of Khan’s accusations in a televised speech, although he avoided mentioning the former premier.
“Would we be seated in silence if there was a foreign conspiracy? It would be a serious offence, he added.
Keep in mind that there is a limit to patience, Bajwa said, adding that the military had so far displayed restraint. This appeared to be a warning to Khan.
The statements made by the army chief elicited no instant response from Khan’s party. At least one meeting between the former premier and Bajwa was arranged by Pakistani President Arif Alvi in the nation’s capital, Islamabad, in an effort to bring the two people together.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry, which had already received the initial list of applicants, informed Sharif’s office through Twitter that it had received a synopsis of the contenders for the position of new army chief. Additionally, the military tweeted that six senior generals had been proposed.
Sharif has been under pressure to retire from Khan. After beginning a protest march from the eastern city of Lahore on October 28, the former cricket star survived an attempted murder this month that left one bystander dead and 13 others injured.
Sharif and Khan’s acrimonious political dispute breaks out as Pakistan attempts to recover from last summer’s devastating floods. Following the record-breaking floods that claimed 1,739 lives and affected 33 million, thousands of people are still living in temporary housing.
The names of the proposed generals for the top army position have not yet been made public by the military, the government, or both. The six most senior generals serving in Pakistan are Lt. Gens. Asim Munir, Sahir Shamshad Mirza, Azhar Abbas, Nauman Mehmood, Faiz Hamid, and Mohammad Amir.
The coalition government has rejected Khan’s proposal for Sharif to call early polls, stating that the next parliamentary election would take place in 2023 as scheduled. At the same time as Bajwa is retiring, Khan is urging Sharif to do so. In 2016, Bajwa was appointed army chief, and Khan prolonged his tenure by three years.
Gen. Asim Munir, a former spymaster, is regarded as one of the leading candidates for the top position. Any of the generals proposed by the military may be chosen by Sharif.
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