ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Barrister Farogh Naseem was sworn in as the Federal Minister for Law at a ceremony at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad on Friday.
President Arif Alvi administered the oath to Naseem at the President House.
Senator Farogh Naseem returned to the federal cabinet as the law minster after defending COAS General Qmaar Javed Bajwa in the Supreme Court.
Farogh Naseem had resigned as the Minister of Law and Justice to contest the case of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday.
Earlier, Farogh Naseem refuted rumours that PM Imran had reprimanded the government’s legal team for mishandling the matter of army chief’s extension.
“I want to clarify this that no one asked me to resign – neither Prime Minister Imran Khan nor General Bajwa. I resigned
for my country voluntarily,” he said.
On Tuesday, Law Minister Farogh Naseem had resigned to fight the case of General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the top court regarding his extension of service.
The senator had to resign from his post as his license was suspended by the Pakistan Bar Council as he was a member of the federal cabinet. According to the laws, Naseem had to resign from his cabinet post to take up his private practice.
A day earlier, the SC granted
conditional permission for fresh appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as Chief of Army Staff.
A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Mian Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ruled that Gen Bajwa will stay on as the COAS for six more months.
After six months, General Qamar Bajwa’s service tenure, perks and other matters will as per new legislation. The new service tenure of the Army Chief will start at 12 night.
The court ruled that it had left the matter to the parliament and the government by displaying patience.
According to the verdict, the constitution and the law are silent over the retirement of the Army Chief. There is no mention of restricting or suspending the retirement. “The parliament should formulate the law by reviewing Article 245 and the Army Act within six months. The question before the court was whether extension can be granted or not,” the court ruled.
Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that they were termed Indians and CIA agents for reviewing the Army Act. “We were branded as part of the fifth generation war.”
He further remarked that whether the Army Chief should keep his eye on the defence of the country or remove the legal mistake.
A notification regarding extension in the service tenure of Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa was submitted to court.
According to the notification, General Qamar Bajwa was appointed, but there was no section regarding his service tenure. According to the attorney general, it has been a tradition.
The court, before adjourning the hearing close to 11:30am, had asked the government to submit the following:
The amendments will include the elimination of:
- an undertaking that the parliament will pass legislation in this regard within six months
- an amended notification
- the mention of the Supreme Court
- duration of the army chief’s tenure
- the description of army chief’s salary and incentives
It is pertinent to mention here that Gen Bajwa is set to retire at midnight, today’s hearing was the last opportunity for the government to satisfy the court on the legal grounds of the move.
Before adjourning the hearing briefly, the chief justice told Farogh Naseem that the government should submit a written statement to ensure that the parliament will legislate on the matter within six months. “If legislation is not done within six months, the appointment will become illegal,” he warned.
The chief justice observed that there was ambiguity in the Army Act. “Parliament has to remove that ambiguity,” Justice Shah said and added: “There is no better forum than the parliament to fix the system.”