Supreme Court of Pakistan reveals detailed judgement over Pakistan Army Chief tenure extension case
*ISLAMABAD -**Supreme Court of Pakistan reveals detailed judgement over Pakistan Army Chief tenure extension case.*
* The Supreme Court, in its detailed judgement, has expressed its shock that Pakistan does not have any law to regulate the “terms and conditions of service”, including extension and reappointment, of the army chief.*
“It has been a shocking revelation to us,” reads the 39-page judgement authored by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had appointed the current COAS for another term of three years on August 19, 2019. The president then granted him the extension.
The extension was then challenged on the grounds that it is offensive to Article 243(4)(b) of the Constitution. The case was initially filed by the Jurists’ Foundation but after it asked to withdraw the case, the court decided to take it up itself.
During the hearing, the court explored the scope of Article 243 of the Constitution, and the Pakistan Army Act, 1952.
The court on November 28 extended Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure by six months and ordered the government to make a law regulating such appointments. The detailed verdict was released on December 16.
“The history of our army has seen successive appointments, retirements and extensions of several army chiefs since Independence.
However, for the first time, the matter has come to the highest court of the land questioning the legal framework under which these appointments, retirements and extensions take place,” the judgement says.
The verdict pointed out that “the stated purpose for the proposed reappointment/extension in the term of office of the incumbent chief of the army staff is ‘regional security environment’.
The said words are quite vague and, if at all there is any regional security threat then, it is the gallant armed forces of the country as an institution which are to meet the said threat and an individual’s role in that regard may be minimal.
If the said reason is held to be correct and valid then every person serving in the armed forces would claim reappointment/extension in his service on the basis of the said reason”.