Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is currently in London meeting his older brother Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif to consult on ‘important matters’ and it has been revealed that the two have decided that the PML-N led coalition government will not be buckling under pressure when it comes to appointing the new army chief.
According to a report by Dawn, it has been learned that the Prime Minister and his brother have decided not to ‘surrender’ the powers of the premier to appoint the chief of army staff. Therefore, despite pressure from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan to appoint a ‘mutually agreeable’ army chief, or to call fresh elections, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government will be holding its ground.
Reports also indicate that the PM traveled to London to present the party supremo with options given to him by ‘certain quarters’, so they could make a decision appropriate of the current political climate.
“PM Shehbaz told Nawaz that almost all PDM parties are on the same page over the premier’s powers to appoint the army chief and complete the incumbent government’s tenure till August 2023. They (PML-N and allied parties) are even ready to sacrifice their government, but will not budge from their stance,” a source was quoted as saying by Dawn News.
Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif himself confirmed to reporters in London that he had been issued a new diplomatic passport. The passport will pave his way for his eventual return to Pakistan.
“I have had this passport for a few days now,” he told Geo News, while Dawn News quoted an Interior Ministry official as saying, “A red passport bearing number BV5128363 with a five-year validity was issued to the PML-N supreme leader on Feb 18, 2016.”