Supreme Court Suspends Notification of Army Chief’s Extension

Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, has suspended the notification giving an extension to Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa’s tenure. The notification was issued on August 19 by Prime Minister Imran Khan and was reinforced last week.

“General Qamar Javed Bajwa is appointed Chief of Army Staff for another term of three years from the date of completion of current tenure,” the brief notification read.

While hearing a petition against the extension, CJP said that the due procedure was not adequately followed; thus, the notification stands suspended until tomorrow.

During the course of the hearing, Justice Khosa remarked that the premier can not extend the tenure of the Army Chief as that is only the President’s prerogative.

“Army chief’s tenure was extended after the president’s approval,” the attorney general (AG) told the court, adding that the cabinet approved the summary moved by the Prime Minister. CJP observed that out of 25 cabinet members, only 11 had signed the summary.

“Fourteen members of the cabinet did not give any opinion due to their absence,” Justice Khosa remarked, saying that the approval from the cabinet came after the signatures from the President.

The Jurist Foundation filed the petition against the Army Chief’s extension.  CJP, while hearing the case, converted it into a suo motu notice by the bench. The full bench includes CJP Asif Khosa, Justices Mazhar Alam Miankhel, and Mansoor Ali Shah.

The bench will hear the case from Wednesday. Note that the Army Chief General Bajwa is due to retire on November 29.

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