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SC grants conditional permission to extend COAS General Bajwa’s tenure by six months

The Supreme Court on Thursday has announced a short order on Gen Bajwa’s extension, granting conditional permission to extend COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure by six months.

SC has also directed the government to legislate on the matter within 6 months. The federal govt. has to legislate on the army chief’s appointment, salary and incentives.

“We exercise our patience and leave this matter to the parliament,” the court said in the verdict.

“The parliament should now legislate on the army chief’s appointment according to Article 243 of the Constitution.”

A three-judge bench announced a short order on the case pertaining to the extension/reappointment of incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The verdict in the case related to the extension of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has announced by a 10- member full court.

The petition challenging the extension of COAS General Bajwa was heard for the third consecutive day by a three-member bench of the Apex Court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justice  Mansoor Ali Shah and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel

At the onset of hearing, the bench directed the government to draft the new notification in the light of the instructions that it would not mention the supreme court and will exclude the mention of three-year tenure of extension.

The court ordered that the notification would not include details regarding the army chief’s salaries and incentives.

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Furthermore, the apex court has sought an undertaking from the government that it would legislate on the matter within six months.

At the beginning of hearing on Thursday, the honourable chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa asked the Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan to present the notifications before the court regarding the extension in the tenure of former army chief General (R) Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and retirement of General (R) Raheel Sharif.

The CJP, earlier,  said in his remarks, “We were told yesterday that generals never retire”.

The attorney general informed the court that General Bajwa has been reappointed under Article 243, to which the chief justice remarked now you have to convince the court this is legal.

After the arguments from the attorney general and Barrister Farogh Naseem, the SC bench reserved the verdict and stated that a 10-member full court would announce the short order while the detailed verdict would be issued in the evening.

In the meantime, the government was further instructed  to prepare a fresh notification which does not mention the “tenure of the extension” and to submit it in the court at 1 p.m.

Later, the court granted General Bajwa permission to continue working conditionally that stated, “If the law pertaining to the extension is prepared within three months than the army chief will be granted a three-month extension,” the CJP added.

The court further asked the government for a written statement that “legislation pertaining to the extension” will be prepared within six months.

“You are giving the incumbent chief a three-year extension, so what if a more capable military officer is on service? Would you grant him a thirty-year extension?” questioned the CJP.

Samra Mazhar

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