Imran Grilled for ‘U-turn’ on COAS Appointment

COAS Appointment

Extension for Chief of Army Staff

The former prime minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday that he had not requested an extension for Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, as he had only proposed the deferral of the appointment until the general elections. Imran Khan had come under intense criticism for making the appointment of the new army chief controversial after making a “U-turn” on his earlier stances. 

Although Mr. Khan did not specifically request an extension for the current army leader during his interview with Kamran Khan on Dunya News, it was claimed by a number of media sites that the former premier’s proposal would result in an extension of the army chief’s tenure. 

When the anchorman questioned Mr. Khan on the extension to the current COAS, Mr. Khan responded, “I have not thought about this matter in detail.” 

Army Leader’s Tenure Being Extended

According to Mr. Khan, “I never talked about the army leader’s tenure being extended; I only recommended deferring the appointment of the army head till the upcoming elections.” 

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The PTI also released an official statement in which it claimed that Mr. Khan had stated that he opposed the new army chief’s nomination by the current administration since both the PPP and PML-N had a history of picking their “favourites.” 

Explanation Followed Criticism

The explanation followed criticism Mr. Khan received from PML-N and PPP leaders, who objected to his comments regarding the army chief’s appointment and branded them as Mr. Khan’s another “U-turn” in an effort to regain power. 

According to a tweet from the defence minister Khawaja Asif, Mr. Khan is so “desperate” to take back the presidency that he is connecting the nomination of the new commander with new elections. The current administration will decide how to name a new army chief while taking into account the Constitution and the institution’s history. We won’t tie partisan interests to judgments made at the national level, Mr. Asif declared.

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