ISLAMABAD: The new army chief on Wednesday received an outpouring of greetings from politicians of all hues.
Laced with wishes for better civil-military relations and strengthening democracy, all political parties welcomed the new army chief and wished him success in his new role.
“He is a thorough professional and we hope he will continue to strengthen civil-military relations and inter-services coordination, respect civilian supremacy and counter growing threats on our borders,” said Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari.
Welcoming General Raheel, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) issued a statement saying that it hoped that the new army chief will continue to support and strengthen democracy in Pakistan.
The spokesperson for JUI-F chief added that “there is a dire need to improve structured/institutional interactions between civilian and military leadership for complete convergence on issues including national security and defence policy.”
The statement also hoped that the new chief would support civilian leadership on internal reconciliation regarding dialogue as agreed in the last All Parties Conference (APC).
Similarly, the Awami National Party (ANP) also welcomed the decision. Responding to a question Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel said “for the first time, the change of command has taken place smoothly, replicating the earlier democratic transfer of power for the first time.”
Haji Adeel, however, added that the “last time the prime minister used discretionary powers in appointment the results were not good. But this time around, one of the three senior officers was selected which was not unusual,” he added.
Welcoming the new COAS, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain paid tribute to the outgoing COAS and CJCSC for their role in strengthening of democracy, Hussain expressed the hope “that institutions and democracy would strengthen with every passing day.”
Senator Saeed Ghani of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said that “we should hope for the best.” Defending the prime minister’s prerogative to use his discretionary powers, Ghani said the government should have made the announcement earlier to avoid speculations.
“We should hope that the new army chief will do his job as per law and constitution and would abide by the oath he has taken,” added Ghani, saying that if something went wrong in the past, we should not expect it to be repeated again.