Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday suspended the notification confirming the extension of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. The extension was granted for another three years after his term expires on November 29.
The judge noted that the PM doesn’t hold the authority to extend the tenure of the army chief, as that is under the power of the Pakistan President.
However, the Pakistan government’s attorney told the court that the notification of the extension had been issued after approval by President Arif Alvi, apparently not satisfied with the answer, the top judge had questions on the approvals and official language of the letter from Government.
“It is not clear why the Pakistani prime minister approved the notification again after the president had signed it,” the chief justice said. The attorney general replied that the PM signed the notification after cabinet approval.
“It cannot be said that a majority of the cabinet members approved the notification,” the chief justice remarked, adding that such decisions are approved by a majority in democratic countries.
“The final approval has to be given by the president. If the cabinet approved it after the president, the notification might not be in line with the law,” Pakistani Judge said.
The Judge also wondered why the notification referred to the extension as a re-appointment.
To this, the attorney replied that the Pakistan government would ask its President to approve the notification again.
On August 19, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had approved the extension of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as the Chief of Army Staff.
“General Qamar Javed Bajwa is appointed Chief of Army Staff for another term of three years from the date of completion of current tenure,” said a notification from the office of Prime Minister Imran Khan back in August.
“The decision has been taken in view of the regional security environment,” the notification had added.