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Khawaja Asif rejects reports of consultation between Nawaz, Shehbaz on COAS appointment

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  • “Premier will decide next army chief,” Khawaja Asif.
  • Minister refutes consultations on army chief with PML-N supremo.
  • Khawaja Asif says decision on army chief appointment yet to be taken.

ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif Monday maintained that the army chief’s appointment will be done on the prime minister’s discretion.

Speaking with journalists outside the National Assembly, the minister said: “The prime minister has discretion regarding the army chief’s appointment; therefore, the prime minister will make a decision on the appointment.”

When questioned if a decision on army chief’s appointment has been made, the defence minister responded in the negative.

Responding to another question about the role of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif in the appointment, Khawaja Asif said that it will be done on the “premier’s discretion” and he will decide.

When asked if Nawaz Sharif was not being consulted on the matter, the minister said: “Consultations have not yet taken place on the army chief’s appointment. These are just newspaper reports.”

Last week, PM Shehbaz flew to London — after returning from his visit to Egypt to attend and co-host the United Nations’ COP27 — where he met the PML-N supremo and party’s senior leadership.

It was reported that discussions during these high-level meetings revolved around crucial political matters in Pakistan including the new army chief’s appointment.

Meanwhile, after extending his visit twice following health reasons, the prime minister returned to Islamabad earlier today; however, the decision on the important appointment — according to the defence minister — is yet to be taken.

Commenting on the U-turn taken by PTI chief Imran Khan on the United States-backed conspiracy — in relation to his ouster in April this year following a no-confidence motion in the parliament, Asif asked if it was the first time that Khan has denied something.

“He denies everything. In the past four years, he has talked so much. Has he stood by any of his statements?”

After spending months giving statements about a cypher from the US which allegedly meant to topple his government, PTI chief Khan — in an interview with the Financial Times a day earlier — signalled the desire to mend ties with the US through cooperation with Washington in the future.

The minister added that the former prime minister himself does not remember the state he is in and what he says.

“Yesterday, Imran Khan said that the FIR [first information report] of his murder has not been registered. This man does not know what he says. If some people are ready to believe his words, it is their matter,” Khawaja Asif said commenting on the contradictory statements by the PTI chairman.

It should be noted that the PML-N leadership had resolved to appoint the senior-most officer whose name is at the top of the list that would be sent to the government, as per reports; while incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa will retire on November 29.

Business

Bulls Reenter PSX: The KSE-100 Rises More Than 886 Points

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As the market surged more than 800 points in the early morning trade, bulls grabbed control at the Pakistan Stock Exchange.

During the first trading session, the benchmark KSE-100 index increased by 886 points to 61,350.48 points.

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Pakistan

Mian Aslam of PTI petitions PHC for transit bail.

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Gohar Ali Khan proclaimed Mian Aslam as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s nominee for Chief Minister of Punjab, following Imran Khan’s approval.

According to specifics, the PTI leader entered a petition at Peshawar High Court, claiming that the plaintiff was charged in nineteen separate counts.

The petition asked the court to provide PTI candidate Mian Aslam transit bail so that she can run for chief minister of Punjab.

Gohar Ali Khan proclaimed Mian Aslam as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s nominee for Chief Minister of Punjab, following Imran Khan’s approval.

Leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, including Mian Aslam Iqbal, the party’s nominee for Punjab chief minister, had already proclaimed their absconding in the May 9 case.

According to specifics, on May 9, the Lahore anti-terrorism court heard a case involving the setting of containers on fire at Kalma Chowk. The judge declared 11 PTI candidates to be absconders.

Azam Swati, Zubair Niazi, Murad Saeed, Hamad Azhar, Imtiaz Sheikh, Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi, Mussarat Iqbal Cheema, Jamshed Cheema, Hamid Raza Gilani, and Siyad Khan are among the PTI candidates.

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Senate Session: Senate Proceeds With Debate On Important National Issues

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Today, the Senate reconvened in the Parliament House in Islamabad, with Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani presiding.

The House has persisted in debating matters of national significance.

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