Bilawal Bhutto decries 'national obsession' over Army chief appointment

by IANS |

Karachi, Nov 16 (IANS) Terming the gossip, debate and speculation over the upcoming appointment of the chief of army staff "unfortunate", Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has warned that "the national obsession with this particular office would not contribute to the stability of our democracy, nor would it help the nation to grow", the media reported.

Talking to reporters after attending a ceremony at the Dow University of Health Sciences' (DUHS) Ojha Campus, Bhutto-Zardari was quite upfront with his views, even criticising leaders from the ruling coalition who were constantly discussing the army chief's appointment in the public domain and on national media, Dawn reported.

"It's so unfortunate that for a quite long time, this appointment of COAS is being discussed," he said to a question about the recent remarks of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's "consultation" over the choice of the new chief.

"We are witnessing totally unnecessary politics on this subject. Whether these people are in the ruling parties or in the opposition, we should not do this. We should keep our national interest as our priority. His (Imran Khan) politics actually revolve around this issue (COAS appointment), and let me say that until our politics don't come out of this subject, our democracy will not get stronger and we won't grow as a nation."

He reiterated that any decision on these lines would reflect the government's resolve to stick with the Constitution, Dawn reported.

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