The National Assembly has approved all three amendment bills concerning the tenure of service chiefs and chairman of joint chiefs of staff committee (CJSCS).
The voting began on Tuesday when the NA session concluded the debate on the Pakistan Army Act 1952, Pakistan Air Force Act 1953, and Pakistan Navy Ordinance 1961.
All three bills were passed with a clear majority as both the government and the opposition voted in their favor. The drafts were approved from the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence on Monday, before being introduced for voting.
Earlier, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government had presented the bills in the lower house following the Supreme Court’s verdict.
In its 28 November order, the Apex Court, while awarding a six-month extension to Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa, had referred the matter to parliament.
Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa had given the government a six-month deadline to formulate laws and redefine the Army Act’s clauses about Army Chief’s retirement and extension.
The bills will now move to the Senate’s Committee on Defence for deliberation with the hope of getting approval on the same day. The approval of the Upper House will reinstate the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on his position for another three years.
Key Points of Army Act Amendment Bill
- The previous law did not define the retirement age-limit for the chiefs of armed forces and as well as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. The amended bill has set 64 years as a limit. Any officer beyond this will not be allowed to hold the post.
- It empowers the president to reappoint or extend the tenure of all chiefs and CJCSC on premier’s advice.
- No court will be allowed to question the President or Prime Minister’s discretion on the reappointment of chiefs on ‘any ground whatsoever.’
- The law will take effect from November 27, 2019, if it is passed.