SC permits govt to extend COAS General Bajwa’s tenure by six months

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed the federal government to grant a six-month extension to COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

In its short order the apex court directed the government to bring necessary legislation within six months’ time.

The order, read out by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, ordered the parliament to introduce legislation for appointment of army chief under Article 243.

The CJP remarked that the court is observing judicial restraint and leaving the matter to the parliament.

We have reviewed several laws including Army Act 1952 and Rule 1954, the chief judge said.

The court had earlier reserved its verdict in this high-profile case and  directed the federal government to furnish a fresh summary of the army chief’s extension of services.

The court requires that the summary — the fourth of its kind — to:

  • not mention the Supreme Court
  • exclude the mention of a three-year tenure of extension
  • not include details regarding the army chief’s salary and incentives

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

For the third day today, a three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, heard a petition challenging the extension of COAS General Bajwa.

When the hearing resumed, the chief justice asked the Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan to present the notifications of extension granted to former army chief general (retd) Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, as well as the notification of the retirement of General Raheel Sharif.

“We were told yesterday that generals never retire,” remarked CJP Khosa.

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

After arguments made by the attorney general and General Bajwa’s counsel Farogh Naseem, the bench stated that a 10-member full court will announce the short order in the afternoon, whereas the detailed verdict would be issued in the evening.

In the meantime, the court granted General Bajwa permission to continue working, conditionally. It further instructed the government to prepare a fresh notification, which does not list the tenure of the extension and to submit it in the court at 1pm.

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