Lt Gen Asim Munir to become Pakistan’s new army chief, govt announces

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ISLAMABAD: PM Shehbaz also picks Lt Gen Mirza as Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee; sends summary to president. The summary has been sent to the President.

President Arif Alvi cannot consult anyone before approving a summary for the army chief’s appointment as it would be contrary to the Constitution and its spirit, given that he has no authority to reject any advice from the prime minister, experts of Constitutional law said.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan said a day earlier that President Alvi was in contact with him and would consult him on the appointment of the top two slots — COAS and chairman joint chiefs of staff committee — in the military.

But the Aiwan-e-Sadr did respond to PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s claim of maintaining contact with the president on the matter.

Former president of Supreme Court Bar Association Senator Kamran Murtaza told The News that on all the issues where the president is bound by PM’s advice, he has no option to consult any person.

The senator said that the president could take advice given by the PM, but could not reject it in any way. He cited the constitutional provisions and Army Act’s Section 8 which regulates the appointment.

Meanwhile, sources said if President Alvi opted to consult the PTI chief and tried to block the advice for even one day, it could land him serious trouble, as already warned by PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Alvi ventured to dissolve the National Assembly in April this year contrary to provisions of the Constitution and his action was viewed by the superior judiciary as defiance of the Constitution.

The orders in this regard were set aside by the apex court. The government, sources said, took no legal action against the president for violation of constitutional provisions.

“But this time, it would not be allowed to happen,” the sources said. The president is supposed to stay above the political divide and cannot seek guidance from his party head.