Pakistan

Cabinet signs new summary for extension of COAS Gen Bajwa's tenure

Cabinet signs new summary for extension of COAS Gen Bajwa's tenure

ISLAMABAD – The federal cabinet on Tuesday signed a new summary for the extension in the tenure of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa for another three years.

The summary was signed after PM Imran Khan presided over an emergency meeting to discuss the issue regarding the extension in the tenure of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa after the Supreme Court suspended the notification of his extension.

He said the Cabinet approved amendment in the Rule 255 of Army regulation to assist the court, adding that the federal cabinet and its allied parties have expressed complete support for extension in service of Army Chief.

Sources said that the new summary was sent to President Alvi for approval.

Addressing a press conference after meeting, Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood said that the Supreme Court’s verdict was reviewed in the federal cabinet meeting.

He said that the President has the authority to extend Army Chief’s tenure on the advice of the prime minister.

Read also: SC suspends COAS Bajwa s service extension notification until tomorrow

“President Dr Arif Alvi has approved the extension in the tenure of COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa for another three years,” he said.

The minister said the cabinet made amendments in accordance with the Article 255 of Pakistan Defence Services Rules, adding that the word extension has been added in the new notification.

Shafqat Mahmood said it is also the prerogative of the Prime Minister to decide if there is need for extension due to special circumstances, adding that the prime minister sent advice to the President due to special prevailing circumstances as India for the first time had crossed LoC after Kargil and attacked Balakot area of Pakistan after 1971.

He said the serious tension and shelling on LoC, the curfew exceeding one hundred days in Occupied Kashmir is also unusual development, adding that there is also a risk of false flag operation by India. "The constant threats emanating from across the border also indicate to the special circumstances under which summary of extension was moved," he added.

Know more: Law Minister Farogh Naseem has resigned: Sheikh Rasheed

On the other hand, Minsiter for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that Minister of Law Farogh Naseem has resigned from his post and will represent the government s stance in the court along with Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan on the issue in the Surpeme Court, adding that PM Imran Khan has accepted his resignation.

During the meeting, the prime minister was briefed about the suspension of the notification of Gen Qamar Bajwa’s extension by the apex court. The meeting will be held at the PM office shortly.

Earlier, the members of the federal cabinet in a meeting presided over by the prime minister reiterated that the country’s Chief Executive has the authority to extend the tenure of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

Sources said that during the meeting, the federal cabinet decided to unanimously stand with the Pakistan Army.

The development comes a few hours after the Supreme Court suspended the notification for General Bajwa’s extension of three years as army chief. The top court has sent notification to the concerned parties involved in the matter and adjourned the hearing till tomorrow.

Justice Asif Saeed Khosa remarked that the Constitution doesn’t allow re-appointment or extension in the service of the army chief. The prime minister issued a self-deployment notification on August 19, stating that the Army Chief’s term was extended.

In a verbal order following the hearing, the court said that the prime minister had issued a notification of Gen Bajwa’s "appointment in his own capacity on August 19". "The mistake was realised after the notification [was issued] and the prime minister sent the summary to the president. The president approved it on August 19.

"The court was told that the extension is being granted in light of the regional security situation. Dealing with regional security situation is the job of the army as an institution, not just that of an officer’s.

"If the regional security situation reasoning is accepted, then every army officer would want a re-appointment." "The attorney general could not present any legal reason for an extension in tenure or a new appointment," the court observed.