Defence Minister makes key statement on next elections and appointment of new Army Chief
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said that the possibility of holding general elections prior to the appointment of a new army chief cannot be ruled out.
In an interview with BBC Urdu, he said, "It is possible that we hold elections before the [new] army chief's appointment, before November. There will be a caretaker government at that time. It is also possible that the caretaker government is gone and the new government is [in power] before November."
Incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa will remain in office till November 29 this year, after his three-year tenure was extended in 2019.
In response to a question about whether the PML-N-led coalition government could give the incumbent COAS another extension, Asif said Bajwa had already announced that he does not want his tenure to be extended.
The defence minister said he welcomed the announcement because it had "closed the doors of speculation" and noted that the previous army chief, General (retd) Raheel Sharif, too, had not "directly or indirectly demanded an extension".