President Arif Alvi on Tuesday said that it is not a bad idea to appoint the next chief of army staff before the time fixed for appointment — November.
The statement came during an interaction with journalists in response to a question. The president was asked what he thinks of the suggestion that the new army chief be appointed in advance due to the ongoing political crisis in the country.
“It’s not such a bad idea,” he said in response.
President Alvi said that it is suggested he “play his part” after meeting the army, naval or air chiefs, which he “cannot do”.
He said that a dialogue is possible only when all the stakeholders agree. “The President House can play its role only in this case.”
“The neutrals need to remain neutral always,” the president said.
Elaborating further, he said that as the president of Pakistan, he does not have the constitutional authority to ask parties to have a dialogue.
“The elephant in the room has not appeared now, it has been there for 50 years,” he said, adding that the matter is a ground reality and that it can be solved through dialogue.
He said that he has received 74 summaries since the coalition government has come into office and he signed and forwarded 69 of them on the day of receiving them.
“I held back the summaries regarding NAB amendment Ordinance, electronic voting machines and the Punjab governor but I didn’t have any pressure to do so,” he said.
When asked, President Alvi said that he didn’t have any talk with PTI chairman Imran Khan on the matter of EVMs and NAB amendment ordinance and the last time they spoke was when there was an issue regarding the Punjab governor.