LAHORE - Before signing an important summary received from the Prime Minister House, President Arif Alvi dashed to Lahore on Thursday afternoon to meet with PTI Chairman Imran Khan to take him into confidence about what he was going to do about the appointment of new army chief and the chairman joint chiefs of staff committee. In this unusual meeting later also confirmed by the PTI’s spokesperson Fawad Ch, the president who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces tried to convince the party chief that it was not a matter to be politicised in the best interest of the state. “It is a serious matter concerning the state. In my capacity as the supreme commander of the armed forces, I cannot stop or reject this summary; neither can I send it back to the PM for review. It has to be signed today, and, if I don’t, it will create problems for the state”, sources privy to the meeting quoted President Alvi as having told Imran Khan who reportedly kept quite most of the time during the meeting which lasted 44 minutes or so. Reportedly, party’s Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi also supported the point of view expressed by the president and suggested that the summary should be signed immediately. Sources said that other party leaders including Asad Umar and Fawad Ch, however, toed a different line, that of the party chairman. They argued that the president should eventually sign the summary but should delay the important appointments for a few days using his constitutional powers. Sources divulged that Imran Khan finally gave in willy nilly seeing that the president was not going to budge an inch from his stance. Also, talking to the media at Imran Khan’s Zaman Park residence after the meeting, Fawad Ch said that political, constitutional and legal issues pertaining to the summary regarding appointment of the army chief came under discussion. He also confirmed that said the presidency will issue the notification about the new appointments by the evening between 6 pm to 7 pm. It may be recalled here that only a day before this important development, the PTI Chairman Imran Khan had talked of playing with the matter of army chief’s appointment once the summary reaches the presidency. But what has actually happened is quite contrary to what the PTI chairman had planned in his scheme of things to be followed in the next one week or so. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rana Sana Ullah took strong exception to the consultation meeting held between the president and the PTI chairman. Speaking in a TV talk show, the interior minister argued that office of the president was nonpolitical in nature which did not allow Arif Ali to consult the head of a political party on the issue of army chief’s appointment. Qamar Zaman Kaira of the PPP also expressed similar views in a TV programme.
General Asim Munir to be new Army Chief, summary sent to Presidency