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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.

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Accepting provisional respite: Sanam Javed and family relocated to KP House

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Sanam Javed, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and her family have moved into KP Home, an Islamabad guest home.

As a result of the Islamabad High Court’s order to postpone her arrest until Thursday, Sanam Javeed is currently free.

Records of cases filed against her have also been sought by the court.

As instructed by Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur of KPK, the PTI leader and her family were received at the KP House. The CM communicated with Ms. Javeed’s father and husband.

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Adiala Jail is visited by a NAB team to question Khan and Bushra Bibi.

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As per a recent Toshakhana reference, a team from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has reached Adiala Jail with the intention of probing PTI founder Imran Khan and his spouse PTI Bibi.

The NAB team questioning Khan and Bushra Bibi is led by deputy director Mohsin Haroon, according to jail sources.

Regarding the latest corruption reference, the pair is behind bars. Today is the third day that the NAB team has been looking into them.

They answered questions from the NAB team for more than three hours on Monday.

After the fresh reference, Khan and Bushra Bibi were placed under physical remand for eight days by Judge Muhammad Ali Warraich of the Accountability Court.

See Also: Imran Khan and Bushra Bibi are detained in NAB prison for eight days in connection with the Toshakhana case

The release of Khan and Bushra Bibi in the Iddat case was earlier ordered by District and Sessions Judge Afzal Majoka, who also postponed their sentences.

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Imran Khan has been placed on a 10-day physical remand in relation to 9 cases that occurred on May 9.

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Imran Khan, the founder of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has been placed in 10-day physical remand by the anti-terrorism court of Lahore. This action is in relation to 12 charges from May 9.

The remand is related to several cases filed against the PTI founder at different police stations, including Sarwar Road, Gulberg, Race Course, Shadman, Mughalpura, and Model Town.

Imran Khan was presented via a video link due to the prosecutor’s claim of ‘security concerns’ as the reason for not physically bringing him to the location.

During the court proceedings, the PTI founder presented his argument to the judge, asserting that his objective was to engage in nonviolent protest, notwithstanding the allegations made against him.

He stressed his appeal for a judicial investigation into the events of May 9 and urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan to intervene.

The PTI founder firmly stated that he has never encouraged or provoked violence throughout his 28-year career, completely denying any participation in the disturbances that occurred on May 9th. He highlighted inconsistencies in the CCTV footage and the handling of his requests.

Advocate Azhar Siddique, who is representing the PTI founder, presented arguments in favor of his client’s innocence, emphasizing the absence of evidence against him throughout Pakistan’s 72-year history.

The public prosecutor cited a video posted by the PTI founder on May 9, 2023, which is currently being examined for authentication.

Judge Khalid Arshad Malik promised to record the arguments and render decisions based on the legal merits of the case. Nevertheless, he expressed reservations over the PTI founder’s nonattendance in court, citing security justifications offered by the prosecution.

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