Lahore: Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Saturday met Prime Minister-designate Nawaz Sharif for over three hours, exchanging views on regional situation and the war on terror. The meeting, sought by Kayani, was the first between the two since Sharif's PML-N emerged victorious in the May 11 general election and is all set to form the government.
During the meeting, which lasted over three hours, the army chief gave an overall view of the security situation prevailing in the country. The meeting was held at the Model town residence of Nawaz Sharif's brother and former Chief Minister of Pakistan's Punjab Province, Shahbaz Sharif. No other PML-N leader was present at the meeting. The leaders had lunch together and Kayani congratulated Sharif on his victory in the polls, sources said.
The two leaders agreed that all security institutions would work with the civilian government to overcome crises facing the country, Geo News quoted its sources as saying. Sharif, who has recently said that the Prime Minister would be the army chief's "boss", lauded the security establishment's role in strengthening democracy and allowing the previous civilian government to complete its five-year tenure, the channel reported.
The two leaders further agreed to work together to confront challenges facing Pakistan, including terrorism, the report said. Sharif is poised to become Prime Minister for an unprecedented third time. Sharif has already said the next army chief will be selected on the basis of seniority and said that he doesn't believe Kayani would seek another extension.
Kayani got an unprecedented three-year extension in 2010 from the previous Pakistan People's Party-led government and is set to retire in November. In a separate development, Sharif accepted President Asif Ali Zardari's invitation to a luncheon he is hosting for the visiting Chinese Premier at the presidency on May 22.