PM summons party, govt spokespersons meeting today
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has summoned a meeting of its party and government spokespersons on Friday (today).
According to the sources, the meeting will review the current political and economic situation and discuss the new law it needs to pass on the army chief’s tenure.
The meeting will take place at the PM House around 5 pm today. The government legal team will brief the spokespersons on Supreme Court’s verdict in Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s extension in a tenure case.
The meeting will discuss the initiation of proceedings to enact the new law and implement both the prime minister and top court’s orders. The sources further said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will also give a guideline in this regard to the spokespersons.
The meeting was called a day after the Supreme Court decided to extend General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure as army chief for six months.
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:
- an undertaking that the parliament will pass legislation in this regard within six months
- an amended notification
The amendments will include the elimination of:
- 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.”