ISLAMABAD: Addressing a Presser here today Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor Khan, flanked by Farogh Naseem and PM’s aide on accountability Shahzad Akbar, has lauded Supreme Court’s short order allowing the government extend the COAS’s tenure for six months.
Terming the decision as historic AGP held: “This is not a matter of adversity for the government. Today’s decision is a historic decision. The way the Constitution has been interpreted will provide guidance for us in the future…various laws were debated upon and many things came to the fore which were never before decided in court…
“It is important to state here that the Army Act is pre-partition and after 19-20 changes, it is being amended. It was never before challenged in court…no one ever realized the mistakes involved in the procedures that were being followed”.
AGP informed that in the past “…summaries were the same and the rules were followed in the same manner. There were no additions or any changes made.” He further told that the Apex Court had observed that presently a general did not have a superannuation age and no law guides as to how COAS would be appointed or what his term of service would be.
He held: “You must have seen Article 243, as well as Regulation 255 of the Army Act, mentioned in the proceedings a lot. Article 243 deals with the appointment of the chief of general staff and Regulation 255 deals with his rank…Of course, each was examined separately.”
Supreme Court of Pakistan hearing the petition regarding notification about extension of COAS tenure has allowed the Federal Government to grant six-month extension to the Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa commencing from today (28th day of November, 2019).
Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa read out the order, according to which the Federal Government has been asked to bring essential legislation within 180 days, providing parliament time to clarify the constitutional guidelines under which an army chief’s tenure could be extended. Apex Court had pointed out that in all past notifications and summaries, Regulation 255 was cited and had said that the rule does not pertain to COAS and so should not be mentioned.
Supreme Court has sought an undertaking from the government that it would legislate on the matter within six months. Court noted that according to Article 243, President of Pakistan was the authority to appoint COAS but duration of appointment was nor specified in the Article.
Commenting on the verdict Prime Minister Imran Khan took to the Twitter to hold: “Today must be a great disappointment to those who expected the country to be destabilized by a clash of institutions. That this did not happen must be of special disappointment to our external enemies & mafias within…
“For the record, 23 yrs ago we were the first Party to advocate an independent Judiciary and Rule of Law. In 2007, PTI was in the forefront of the Movement for Independence of the Judiciary & I was jailed for it…
“Also, for the record, I have the greatest respect for CJ Khosa, one of the greatest Jurists produced by Pakistan.”