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SC’s Suspension Of Army Chief’s Extension Receives Polarised Reaction On Twitter

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With the Supreme Court suspending the notification extending the tenure of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, social media is abuzz with discussions on this development. While there can be witnessed a polarisation of opinion with regard to the decision, people are also discussing the technicalities and repercussions of the decision for Pakistan’s security.

According to the Supreme Court’s decision, the major issue with the notification extending the services of General Bajwa was that only the president could extend the tenure of the army chief.

It is pertinent to note that according to the petition challenging the notification of extension, only 11 members of the federal cabinet were in favour of extending the army chief’s tenure, which showed that majority opposed the army chief’s extension.

According to the order, the court will also consider whether Pakistan’s law allows an army chief’s tenure to be extended.

In today’s hearing, the attorney general also stated that there was no provision in the laws of the Pakistan Army regarding the reappointment or extension of the army chief.

Social activist and politician Jibran Nasir took to Twitter to state because the Supreme Court had said that the COAS must be given an extension to ensure ‘regional security’ as security matters were the job of the institution and not one person, politicians and media officials who portray the COAS’s extension as necessary for Pakistan’s survival should be embarrassed.

Journalist Babar Sattar took to Twitter to state that the Supreme Court’s decision was surprising because it was deemed that ordinary rules only apply to public servants and not the army chief. He added in his subsequent tweets state patronage and contracts offers could not be made at whim.

Journalist Kamran Yousaf stated that the implications of the chief justice’s suo motu notice were far reaching as the court had not only declared the appointment illegal but would also set rules for the extension of services chiefs.

People have also opined that the reason the army chief’s extension was given without due procedure was the fact that it was a crucial national security matter and we could not afford to waste time. Political analyst Jan Achakzai stated that some decisions were only meant for optics and to cause headlines, adding that executive orders pertaining to national security could not await the niceties of debates on procedures.

Some observers also raised the question whether the move had something to do with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s recent mobilisation.

Some users came out in open support of the decision, imploring the chief justice to stick with his decision.

Others opined that judicial activism was unacceptable and people should stop interfering in other’s duties.

On a lighter note, one user stated that there was never a dull day in Pakistani politics.

Moreover, the Supreme Court through its decision has made the army chief a respondent in the case and a notice regarding the petition would be issued to him tomorrow.

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