COAS appointment: Decision made on merit, says PM Shehbaz

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday evening broke his silence on the names he had advised President Dr Arif Alvi to formalize as the next chief of army staff and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee, noting that a decision was made based on merit.

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In a statement, he said that applying the principle of seniority in state institutions would serve to strengthen them.

He was referring to how he picked the senior-most officer from amongst the six candidates shortlisted and sent to him to pick the new army chief and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee.

Shehbaz said that despite immense pressure, he had made a decision on merit and upheld the principle of seniority.

The prime minister did not clarify what the pressure was or from whom he was facing it.

He added that his administration’s top priority is tackling economic instability and strengthening.

In a veiled dig at the planned protest by former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for November 26 at the edge of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Shehbaz said that there was no space for anarchy and chaos in the country.

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