PM Shehbaz to consult with Nawaz, others on army chief pick, but final call is his: Dastgir

Published September 17, 2022
Power Minister Khurram Dastgir addresses a press conference in Gujranwala on Saturday. — @kdastgirkhan
Power Minister Khurram Dastgir addresses a press conference in Gujranwala on Saturday. — @kdastgirkhan

Power Minister Khurram Dastgir on Saturday said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif would consult PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and his confidants for the appointment of the next army chief — but the final decision would be his.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa is set to retire in the last week of November. The matter of the new chief’s selection has since caused a stir in political circles with the PTI and government coming to verbal blows on the matter.

Questioned over the matter being made “controversial” by politicians during a press conference in Gujranwala, Dastgir said: “There is only one thing fully clear in all this fog. This decision is of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and he will make the final judgement. He will consult his confidants and Nawaz Sharif, but he has to make the decision.”

He said that anyone holding urgent meetings with someone did not matter since according to the Constitution, the matter was at the prime minister’s discretion and it was his decision to make.

It must be mentioned that PM Shehbaz departed for London earlier today to represent Pakistan at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on September 19. He will then proceed towards New York where he will attend the United Nations General Assembly.

On PTI Chairman Imran Khan, Dastgir said that if he claimed himself to be a representative of the people, he should visit flood affectees in Sindh and engage with them about their concerns.

Regarding high electricity prices, the minister said that fuel adjustment charges would see a great reduction from October onward and electricity bills would begin to reflect that. “By December there will be a great decrease [in power bills],” he added.

The power minister also briefed the media regarding his visit to Sindh’s Dadu to survey power operations amid the current flooding situation and measures taken to avoid any breakdown in power generation due to flood waters.

He said the unavailability of electricity was now limited only due to a few tehsils in Sindh because of stagnant flood water.

Responding to reports of changes in net metering, he clarified that there was no such thing on the cards right now and no changes were being made for domestic solar energy users.

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