KARACHI: President Arif Alvi has said that he had signed the notification for extension of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa well before September 12.
In an interview with Dawn News channel host, Meher Bokhari, on Nov 13, Arif Alvi said the confusion had started after he said in an interview that he did not sign the extension because it had not reached him. “While, I had already signed it, as I believe,” he said adding that he was then reminded that the extension letter had arrived and he had signed it.
The president said he said so because he thought as if there would be another procedural step after signing the extension, but there was none. He said the confusion was erupted because of his that statement.
In the interview with Aaj TV host, Asma Shirazi, on Sept 12, Arif Alvi had said that he would sign the extension on advice of the prime minister. However, he had said, complications start brewing if there’s no civil-military cooperation.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the notification regarding army chief’s extension in tenure.
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).