ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The meeting of the Parliamentary Committee proposed an amendment in the Army Act on Thursday that allows the Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee (CJCSC) to hold the position from all three military services.
According to sources, three laws of the Pakistan Army will be amended to remove the legal ambiguity about the tenure of service chiefs. All services – Army, Navy and Air Force – will witness an amendment in their Acts which will allow their chiefs to act as the CJCSC. These amendments have been presented to the Parliamentary Committee.
It has been reported that the new rules will allow extension and re-appointment in the service of all military chiefs along with CJCSC, while their retirement age has been fixed at 64 years.
While talking after the meeting, Federal Minister of Law and Justice Farogh Naseem said that the meeting gave briefing to all the political parties and satisfied them on their concerned questions. He apprised that there will be another meeting at 12:30 pm on Jan 3.
Federal Defence Minister Pervez Khattak assured that the meeting gave positive results. He expressed that the proposed amendments will be approved by the Assembly tomorrow, whereas other political leaders such as Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman are yet to be contacted in connection with the Army Act Amendments.
Contrarily, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) stalwart Khawaja Asif asserted that the government failed to satisfy them but the proposed amendments will be presented.
PML-N and PPP decide to back the government
After Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples’ Party has decided to back federal government’s Army Act amendment bill in National Assembly.
As per the details, the decision was taken during a party’s consultative meeting presided over by PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
The meeting decided to ask the government not to hurry in making decision and the government members should be given time for preparation.
Earlier today, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) parliamentary committee decided to back federal government’s Army Act amendment bill in National Assembly.
According to details, the senior leadership of PML-N has directed its members of NA to approve the bill with consensus.
The decision came after government delegation headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak held meeting with PML-N leaders and sought their support on Army Act amendment bill.
The committee consisting Pervez Khattak, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Senator Azam Swati and Leader of the House in Senate Syed Shibli Faraz arrived at opposition’s chamber and discussed the matter with PML-N’s Khawaja Asif, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Tanvir and others.
Government requests Supreme Court to form a five-member bench
The federal government had also requested the Supreme Court of Pakistan to form a five-member larger bench in case pertaining to army chief’s extension and suspend the decision of November 28 till the review petition’s verdict.
The federation had filed two miscellaneous pleas seeking a stay order over the previous decision and to form a larger bench following the review petition which was filed earlier.
Federal Cabinet approves Army Act Amendment
On Jan 1, Federal Cabinet had approved amendment in Army Act for an extension in the tenure of all military chiefs.
The cabinet meeting proposed a three-year extension in the tenure of all military chiefs – Army, Navy and the Air Force.
The retirement age of three armed forces will be 64 years. The proposed bill stated that the Prime Minister of Pakistan can advise an extension in the tenure of any service chief.
It is pertinent here to mention that the top court had allowed extension/reappointment of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for another six months and asked the government to determine the tenure, terms and conditions of the service of the army chief through legislation within the period.
The court summarised its findings after exploring the scope of Article 243 of the Constitution — which governs the army chief’s appointment, reviewing the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, reviewing the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, the Pakistan Army Act Rules, 1954, and the Army Regulations (Rules).