ISLAMABAD (ENNS/MD) The Supreme Court here on Thursday allowed the federal government to grant a six-month extension to Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa conditionally.
In its short order the apex court directed the government to bring necessary legislation within six months’ time.
Read out by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, order said the parliament to introduce legislation for appointment of army chief under Article 243.
The order stated regarding the Article 243: “Article 243 of the Constitution clearly mandates that the Federal Government shall have control and command of the Armed Forces and the supreme command of the Armed Forces shall vest in the President.”
The CJP remarked that the court is observing judicial restraint and leaving the matter to the parliament.
We have reviewed several laws including Army Act 1952 and Rule 1954, the chief judge said.
Furthermore, the apex court also sought an undertaking from the government that it would legislate on the matter within six months.
In its written verdict, the court mentioned some pertinent points, with the fifth point describing the need for legislation.
“Considering that the COAS is responsible for the command, discipline, training, administration, organization and preparedness for war of the Army and is the Chief Executive in General Headquarters, we, while exercising judicial restraint, find it appropriate to leave the matter to the Parliament and the Federal Government to clearly specify the terms and conditions of service of the COAS through an Act of Parliament and to clarify the scope of Article 243 of the Constitution in this regard. Therefore, the current appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as COAS shall be subject to the said legislation and shall continue for a period of six months from 28th November, whereafter the new legislation shall determine his tenure and other terms and conditions of service.”
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, heard a petition challenging the extension of COAS General Bajwa.
When the hearing resumed, the chief justice asked the Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan to present the notifications of extension granted to former army chief general (retd) Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, as well as the notification of the retirement of General Raheel Sharif.
“We were told that generals never retire,” remarked CJP Khosa.
In the meantime, the court granted General Bajwa permission to continue working.