Apex court suspends notification of army chief’s tenure extension
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the notification regarding army chief’s extension in tenure.
In his first suo moto notice, Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa converted the petition seeking annulling of the notification, granting extension to Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa in his service, into a suo moto notice under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution.
The decision has been taken after the petitioner, advocate Riaz Hanif, had requested to withdraw his appeal from the court. The top court rejected the request of withdrawal of the plea.
Through a notification on Aug 19, Qamar Javed Bajwa’s service period had been extended as the army chief for three years viewing the tense situation on the eastern border with India. He was set to retire on Nov 29 after completion of his three years’ tenure on this position.
The extension in tenure had been made on order of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“Gen Qamar Javed Bajwah is appointed Chief or Army Staff for another three years from the date of completion of his current tenure. The decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment,” read the notification issued by the Prime Minister’s Office in this regard.
Asif Saeed Khosa said the prime minister did not have the authority to give extension. Only the president could grant extension to army chief in his tenure, he added. Upon which, the attorney general said that the extension in Bajwa’s tenure was made on approval of President Arif Alvi and the summary had been approved by the federal cabinet as well.
The top judge said that only 11 out of 25 members of the cabinet had approved the extension, while majority (14) of them were not present on this occasion. He asked if the cabinet did not want to give the rest of the members a chance to think about it.
The court has been adjourned and hearing of the case will resume on Nov 27 (tomorrow).