ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa has given an extension to Army Chief for a period of six months.
In its short order, the apex court directed the government to bring necessary legislation within six months’ time.
The order, read out by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, asked the parliament to introduce legislation for appointment of army chief under Article 243.
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.
The court had earlier reserved its verdict in this high-profile case and has directed the federal government to furnish a fresh summary of the army chief’s extension of services.
Furthermore, the apex court also has sought an undertaking from the government that it would legislate on the matter within six months.
For the third day today, 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.
Earlier during the course of the hearing “Bear your own burden, why do you use our name? Do your own work, why do you drag us in the middle?” Justice Khosa questioned.
At the outset of the hearing, the CJP, while referring to the retirement of army generals, remarked: “If an army general never retires, then under what rule did Raheel Sharif retire?”
“You said that generals never retire; if they don’t retire, then they wouldn’t be entitled to pension either,” he observed.
Meanwhile, the attorney general General Anwar Mansoor Khan, who represented the government, said that he wanted to assist the court on the matter.
Later, the Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Anwar Mansoor Khan presented a new summary regarding extension in the service of COAS General Bajwa.
The CJ expressed disappointment over the summary for mentioning the Supreme Court’s proceedings in the draft notification.
He directed the AG to remove the name of the court from the summary.”We can only give advisory when the President of Pakistan asks”, he continued.
The court proceedings have been adjourned till 1 pm today, while the decision in the case, will also be pronounced today.
During the hearing, the chief justice observed that there was “ambiguity in the Army Act”.
“Parliament has to remove that ambiguity,” Justice Shah said and added: “There is no better forum than the parliament to fix the system.”
Justice Miankhel said that it should also be clarified if in future, the tenure would be extended or if there will be a reappointment.
Addressing Attorney General of Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan, the top judge remarked: “Put your house in order.”
Notifications of previous army chiefs
At the outset of the hearing at 9:30am, the bench directed AG Khan to submit the extension notification issued for former army chief Gen (retd) Ashfaq Pervez Kayani as well as that of Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif’s retirement in the court.
CJP Remarks During The Hearing
The CJP observed that propaganda was launched against the judges as they took up the matter. “It was said that the three judges are CIA agents and are working on Indian agenda.”
On this, the attorney general said that the matter was discussed in India. Justice Khosa rued that a constitutional office was being made controversial, stressing that “it is our right to ask questions.”