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Pakistani Army, not govt, to call shots over appointment of next chief as Bajwa retires in November

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Islamabad [Pakistan], May 31 (ANI): With the race for the appointment of Pakistan’s new Army Chief on, it is highly likely that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is constitutionally permitted to select the Chief, will not play any role and the Army itself will call the shots.

The Pakistani Army, not only decides on who will be the new Army Chief, but also on all activities relating to the government. The Army remained neutral on the ouster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan but now it seems to be taking a U-turn and getting back to its old game.

Pakistan’s economy which is in shambles with rising inflation is also a matter at hand that concerns the Army. There is good reason for the Army to be worried because without money their own survival is at stake.

Meanwhile, it also seems to be clear that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will act on the directions of the Pakistani Army. However, the worry remains the state of the Pakistani economy. Without that foundation, no amount of politicking will help the Army stick to its position as the supreme power in Pakistan, reported Islam Khabar.

The influence of the Pakistani Army remains was evident when Major General Babar Iftikhar, Director General, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) while addressing a media briefing (14 April 2022), said that Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa and Lt. Gen. Nadeem Anjum, DG ISI were approached by the Prime Minister’s Office when the ‘deadlock’ was on.

The recent shift in the national politics of Pakistan was widely reported as triggered by power play between Imran Khan and leading figures in the country’s powerful military establishment — Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and the former head of intelligence services (ISI) Lt General Faiz Hameed.

Hameed, who was widely expected to replace Bajwa, got replaced in October by Lt General Nadeem Ahmad Anjum against Imran Khan’s wishes. Last month, Khan became the first Prime Minister in Pakistan’s history to be ousted from power after losing a no-confidence vote in the country’s Parliament.

Khan was later charged with blasphemy on April 28 after his supporters allegedly hounded the new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Saudi Arabia’s Madina on the same day. The power struggles are continuing among the opposing factions in Pakistan’s establishment.

After Khan’s ouster, Lt General Anjum has ordered his top men to launch an investigation of officials belonging to Lt General Hameed’s clique which includes officials and leaders in ISI’s secret Desk.

Last year, reports had surfaced of an alleged standoff between the military and the government over the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum as the new ISI chief.

The army had announced on October 6, 2021, that the former ISI chief, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, had been appointed the Peshawar corps commander, while Lt Gen Anjum was appointed in his place. But the country’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had not issued an official notification of Lt Gen Anjum’s appointment until three weeks later, leading to frenzied speculation of strains in civil-military relations.

After delays, Pakistan’s PMO eventually notified the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum as the new ISI chief on October 26.

According to experts in defence matters, the procedure for appointment of the ISI director general is neither mentioned in the Constitution nor the Army Act, and all previous appointments were made as per traditions under which the army chief proposes three names to the Prime Minister who then makes the final decision, Dawn newspaper reported. Imran Khan, who was elected as the Prime Minister in 2018, was ousted through the no-trust motion by the opposition alliance last month. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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