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Govt decides to table Army Act Amendment in parliament on Friday

Govt decides to table Army Act Amendment in parliament on Friday
January 1, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The government has decided to table the Army Act Amendment bill in the parliament on Friday. The federal government formed a negotiating committee to consult on the Army Act Amendment Bill with the opposition. The committee consists of Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammad Khan, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Senator Azam Swati and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Amir Dogar. The government committee will hold meeting with the opposition on Jan 2 and it will share the draft with the opposition on Thursday. According to Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, the cabinet approved amendments in Section 172 of the Army Act and Article 155 of the Services Rules. The amendment bill also includes a suggestion to extend the tenure of all the three services chief, Khattak said. Earlier, the federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the amendment to the Army Act. Sources said that the amendment will be applicable to Army Chief, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), Air Chief and Naval Chief. According to sources, the amended draft of the Army Act was presented before the cabinet which approved it. After approval from the cabinet, the bill will be presented in the parliament during the current session. On December 27, the Supreme Court (SC) had accepted government’s review petition for hearing against the verdict regarding extension in the service tenure of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa. A day earlier, the government had filed a review petition against the verdict of the Supreme Court regarding the extension in the service tenure of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. In the petition, it has been contended to form a larger bench to hear the case and hold the in-camera proceedings. “While pronouncing the verdict, the verdict regarding extension in the service tenure of judges has not been kept in the mind,” it stated. The petition stated that the SC had been extending the service tenure of additional and ad hoc judges. Law Minister Farogh Naseem said that the SC had not reviewed several constitutional points and the matters need to be reviewed. On December 17, the Supreme Court had ruled that Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa would stand retired after six months unless parliament allowed him extension of tenure by amending the relevant army laws. The 42-page verdict authored by Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah of a three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, said it was inconceivable that the constitutional appointment to the COAS post was unregulated under a written Constitution. It said: “The crucial matter of the tenure of COAS and its extension, which has somewhat a chequered history, is before the parliament, to fix for all times to come and it is now for the people of Pakistan and their chosen representatives in the parliament to come up with a law that will provide certainty and predictability to the post of COAS, remembering that in strengthening institutions, nation prospers.”