Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is binding as he confirmed the summary comprising names for appointments of new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) has been sent to President Arif Alvi.
He was talking to the media after a special meeting of the federal cabinet which finalized both names.
Asif expressed hope that President Alvi - who belongs to Imran Khan’s party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) - will not create hurdle in the process and would endorse premier’s advice as per the law.
The defence minister said that he hopes that the president will not politicize the matter and would not view the summary from a political angle.
“This is the advice of the prime minister and no one else,” he added.
PTI had taken strong objection to Lt Gen Asim Munir’s name as the COAS.
Notably, PTI Chairman Imran Khan in a recent interview said that President Alvi would consult over the names for key appointments with him.
‘Imran’s litmus test’
Khwaja Asif in a tweet put Imran Khan’s intention for the state institution in question, saying that everyone would see whether the ex-PM wanted to strengthen the institution or make it controversial.
He added that President Arif Alvi would also be under scrutiny whether he would follow a political advice or a constitutional one.
Being the supreme commander of the country’s armed forces, the president is obliged to protect the nation from political conflicts, he said.