ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Tuesday approved the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act, 2020 bill with majority of votes.
The bill regarding amendment in the Army Act was presented before the National Assembly for approval by Federal Defence Minister Pervez Khattak. Prime Minister Imran Khan was also present on this occasion.
Clause-wise approval of three bills (including Pakistan Air Force (Amendment) Bill 2020 and Pakistan Navy (Amendment) Bill 2020) regarding tenure of the services chiefs (chief of army staff, chief of naval staff and chief of air staff) was held at the NA session.
The bills would be presented before the Senate now. Following approval of the new law, President could sign extension in tenure of an army chief, a naval chief or an air force chief for three years on advice of the prime minister. The extension or reappointment would not be able to be challenged in the court.
Pervez Khattak had requested the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to withdraw their recommendations for the bill. Upon which the PPP withdrew the recommendations saying that they only meant to bring improvement in the law. “We would like to send a unified message to the hostile elements through supporting this bill,” said PPP leader Naveed Qamar.
Following a parliamentary meeting of the party, the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) had agreed to amend the bill regarding tenure of the services chiefs and the chairman of the joint chief of staff committee.
While, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and Jamaat-e-Islami opposed the bill. The NA session has been adjourned till 4:00 PM on Wednesday.
In Nov 2018, the Supreme Court had approved the extension / reappointment of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for another six months asking the government to decide the tenure, terms and conditions of the military chief’s service by means of legislation within the time limit.