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Pakistan SC’s decision on Army chief’s extension likely today

Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa

Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa  

Court slams government for procedural lapses in notification

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the case regarding the extension of the tenure of Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa until Thursday.

If the court decides in favour of his extension or reappointment, Gen. Bajwa will be able to continue his tenure as Army Chief. His current term ends on Thursday at midnight.

Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa said the government has made the Army Chief a shuttlecock due to the procedural hiccups regarding the extension notification. Justice Khosa said that even an assistant commissioner is not notified the way the government handled the Army Chief’s extension notification.

He asked the government to find a solution till Thursday to the questions raised by the court; otherwise the court will act as per its constitutional obligations. Prime Minister Imran Khan called an emergency session of the government’s legal team as well as senior Cabinet Ministers. Gen. Bajwa also attended the meeting.

A senior politician said, requesting anonymity, that what has happened “in the last couple of days is unprecedented”. The politician said that former dictator Pervez Musharraf’s case on alleged treason is on its last legs. If convicted, it will set a precedent that will be hard to ignore for future chiefs. “Abrogating, suspending or holding the Constitution in abeyance and imposing martial law will have consequences. Also the Supreme Court’s intervention in questioning the legality of Gen. Bajwa’s extension has brought to fore the conversation which was hitherto missing from national and legal discourse.”

On the other hand, the Islamabad High Court halted the verdict of a special court in Gen. Musharraf’s high treason case, which was to come on Thursday.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 5:55:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistan-scs-decision-on-army-chiefs-extension-likely-today/article30099257.ece

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