UPDATED 7:30 PM Nov 26: The federal cabinet approves new summary seeking COAS General Bajwa’s extension. Prime Minister Imran Khan had summoned an emergency cabinet meeting hours after the Supreme Court suspended the notification granting General Bajwa an extension as army chief. Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem has resigned because he will represent the government in a case regarding Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure extension in the Supreme Court tomorrow, as stated by Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed.
It was a surprising move when PM Khan agreed to General Bajwa’s extension for another three years in light of the security situation within Pakistan. This further added fuel to the fire, as opposition parties were already alleging that the new PM was ‘selected’. After the PM agreed to the extension, it all added up for opposition parties as a form of win-win for both parties involved, PTI and the Army.
After that agreement, however, Chief Justice of Pakistan has blocked the move and delayed the decision until tomorrow.
the summary and approval of army chief’s extension is not correct.
This was in reply to the brief notification issued by the PM Office with regards to the extension:
General Qamar Javed Bajwa is appointed Chief of Army Staff for another term of three years from the date of completion of current tenure
The hearing went as follows:
After the cabinet gave its approval, did the president approve it again? Only the president of Pakistan can extend the tenure of the army chief.” the chief justice asked.
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“We can take approval from the president again,” the attorney general said.
Fourteen members of the cabinet did not give any opinion due to non-availability,” Justice Khosa said. “Did the government take their silence as agreement?Does the cabinet not want to give members the time to think? The 14 members of the cabinet still have not said ‘yes’ to army chief’s extension
The court then summarized the events and presented the verdict:
The mistake was realised after the notification [was issued] and the prime minister sent the summary to the president. The president approved it on August 19.The court was told that the extension is being granted in light of the regional security situation. Dealing with regional security situation is the job of the army as an institution, not just that of an officer’s.If the regional security situation reasoning is accepted, then every army officer would want a re-appointment.The attorney general could not present any legal reason for an extension in tenure or a new appointment.The points raised in the case need to be examined in detail.