Khawaja Asi. Twitter

Govt not to deviate from principle, says Khawaja Asif

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Khawaja Asi. Twitter 

The new army chief will be picked from among the top five generals, said Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, while criticising PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s remark on the appointment of the next military leader. 

“The PDM’s coalition government will not break this rule [of appointing an Army Chief]. The appointment is made by the Prime Minister, who takes the state institution on board,” the PML-N leader stated on the Geo News’ programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath” on Monday. 

Imran Khan’s remarks at the Faisalabad rally, according to Khawaja Asif, are the second instalment of what his aide Shahbaz Gill said earlier on a private news channel. 

He said that Shahbaz Gill attempted to incite unrest among the rank and file of the defence forces. 

But this time around, Imran Khan himself launched the second episode and tried to create rifts among five or six three-star generals of the army, he pointed out.

Khawaja Asif said that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif also always picked one of the top five generals as the army chief.

It was in the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto regime that General Ziaul Haq was appointed from the eleventh or twelfth position, he added.

What Imran Khan said in Faisalabad rally

On September 4, the PTI chairman said the coalition government wanted to “appoint an army chief of their own choice” therefore it was stalling the elections.

The PTI chairman said that PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and former premier Nawaz Sharif “feared” a strong and patriotic army chief, who could hold them accountable for the looted money they had stashed abroad.

The former prime minister said a new army chief was going to be appointed in November this year. They [Zaradri and Nawaz] wanted to appoint a favourite [general] as the next army chief, he said.

Both have committed corruption worth billions, and they wanted to appoint an army chief who could protect them and their corruption, Imran Khan alleged.

The PTI chair alleged that PM Shehbaz, his brother Nawaz, and Zardari had been laundering public money. The two families had been looting the national exchequer for the last 30 years, he said.

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