September 14, 2022
ISLAMABAD – Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has said that a change of government in Punjab would bring political stability given the current state of affairs and also confirmed reports about the federal government flexing muscles for a political change in the province.
Speaking in an interview on Dawn News show ‘Live with Adil Shahzeb’, he said: “Yes, we always have the option of [change of] Punjab government and we will act when we deem it feasible.”
When asked whether the change would bring upheaval to existing uncertainty in the country, he replied, “We are working on it politically and the change will bring political stability to this uncertainty.”
Talking about the appointment of the new army chief due in November this year, the defence minister said it was the prerogative of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the government’s allies would be taken into confidence.
He added that consultations would be made with the institution as well as it would forward the names of recommended officers for the new chief. “So far no consultation has been started towards it,” Asif remarked.
He also said that he was not in favour of a “minus-one formula” in politics. PTI Chairman Imran Khan had recently tweeted and blamed the government for “moving on minus-one formula” to remove him from the political arena.
Asif said it was not the government’s or politicians’ job to go for such tactics, adding that he personally would not advise it.
He also acknowledged that the PML-N was struggling politically for the past few months, adding, however, that the party “would come back successfully”.
Asif also said the return of party supremo Nawaz Sharif was not on the cards as of yet but he would return. “His return will be a big boost to the political situation of the country,” he added.
Talking about the situation of MNA Ali Wazir, the defence minister said his and other issues, like those of missing persons, need to be looked into and called for national consensus on them.
“But I would say Wazir’s case needs to be considered on humanitarian grounds,” he added.