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‘Suspension Of Army Chief’s Extension Due To Incompetence Of Govt’

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The suspension of the extension of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has been attributed to the incompetence of the law ministry by senior journalist Muhammad Ziauddin, who has said that the law ministry failed to effectively fulfill its responsibilities.

In an exclusive interview with Naya Daur former editor of Dawn Muhammad Ziauddin stated that the issue had arisen due to the incompetence of the law ministry, adding that former law minister Farogh Naseem and other law ministry officials were quite experienced in their field.

Regarding the notice given by the Supreme Court, reporter Abdul Qayyum Siddiqui told Naya Daur that the court raised questions on the manner in which General Bajwa’s extension had been approved. He said that the court in its order narrated how the prime minister had first extended the tenure of the army chief himself, following which he had sent a notice to the president. The court had further pointed out that a notice had been circulated in the federal cabinet, with only eleven people approving the notice.

According to Muhammad Ziauddin, the court had particularly raised issue with the fact that the extension was approved despite the fact that only eleven people had voted.

Moreover, Siddiqui stated that the court had also questioned the fact that there was no provision in the constitution for the prime minister to make such an extension.

Regarding the use of the prevailing security situation as a justification for the army chief’s extension, former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Kamran Murtaza said that if such a rationale was used, it could also mean that someone’s tenure could be extended for the third time.

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On the same matter, Siddiqui said using the security situation as a justification for extension, would make the issue of extensions ambiguous as every military officer’s legitimate expectancy would become vague.

Murtaza further added that even in situations of emergency, matters of extension should be carried forth in a routine manner.

Siddiqui also opined that the fact that the serving chief had been notified using Article 184 (3) of the constitution, adding that this was a volatile situation.

Ziauddin also termed this a serious situation as the army chief’s term was to end on November 27, and his extension notice had been suspended.

Moreover, Ziauddin also argued that the law ministry’s failure in this matter could either be a mistake or could be a deliberate move on their part to create a crisis.

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