Timeline: How COAS Bajwa’s Extension Controversy Unfolded
The Supreme Court suspended the notification of extension in services of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa today, which has led to questions about why this decision has been taken.
The first notification regarding the army chief’s extension was issued on August 19. The notification came amid the backdrop of rising tensions with India following its revocation of Articles 370 and 35A in Kashmir.
The notification also came when there were speculations of conflict between the prime minister and the army chief, with people claiming that the military was not happy with the ruling government.
Analysts had however argued that the decision may not be official as the final decision to extend the army chief’s tenure is with the president.
Moreover, in an interview given to a private TV channel on September 12, the president had said that he had not signed any summary of extension of the army chief’s tenure.
President gave me interview on 12 of September and said he has not signed the summary of extension yet as he has not received by that time while notification was issued on 19th Aug #ChiefJustice said the same thing today…. yeh Kia story hai? #COAS #SupremeCourt pic.twitter.com/9U9DrmhQCR
— Asma Shirazi (@asmashirazi) November 26, 2019
Analysts like Najam Sethi had stated that the reason why this decision was made three months before the extension was to prevent any controversy in case some started opposing the extension before November. Moreover, in the editorial of Friday Times, he had expressed suspicion over the fact that a notification signed by the president was not available to the public.
The lack of a notification signed by the president had led many to speculate that the extension order may yet be informal or General Bajwa may not get an extension at all.
On November 21, the Prime Minister’s Office had confirmed the extension of Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa along with appointing Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza as the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
Today, Supreme Court Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa issued the order suspending the notification of extension in services of COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa, saying that only the president can extend the tenure of the army chief.