A special cabinet meeting is underway in Islamabad with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair to consult over the appointments of army chief and chairman joint chiefs of staff committee (CJCSC).

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Minister of State for Law Malik Shahadat, and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari are in attendance.

The other federal cabinet members attending the meeting are Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman, Chaudhry Salik Hussain, etc.

Allies authorise PM to appoint COAS

The meeting comes a day after the prime minister summoned a meeting of the coalition partners, wherein, they backed PM Shehbaz and authorised him to make the army’s two top officers appointments.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) stated that the PM presided over a meeting of the heads of political parties to take them into confidence ahead of the appointment of the COAS.

According to the PMO, PPP leaders Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Balochis­tan Awami Party head Khalid Magsi, Balochistan National Party chief Akhtar Mengal, and National Demo­cratic Movement President Mohsin Dawar, among others, attended the meeting.

In his remarks, former President Dr. Asif Ali Zardari said that the Constitution of Pakistan entrusts the privilege to the Prime Minister to make constitutional appointments.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif thanked the coalition parties and their leadership for showing full confidence in his leadership.

It is pertinent to mention here that the summary for CJCSC and the COAS is currently with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif who is expected to forward it to President Alvi today.