Govt forms three-member committee
Committee comprises FM, Defence Minister and Minister for Planning
ISLAMABAD: The PTI government on Monday constituted a three-member committee comprising Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Minister for Planning Asad Omar to lead the effort for drafting new legislation on the extension of an army chief’s tenure.
The move comes after the Supreme Court (SC) gave the government six months to legislate and iron out the lacunae in the reappointment or extension of tenure of an army chief – paving the way for the incumbent, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, to stay on until a new law determined his terms of service.
The committee will also debate on the new legislation with opposition parties in the parliament. The government is hopeful that the requisite law will be drafted within six months. During the landmark hearings in the apex court, a three-member bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Asif Saeed Khosa, Justice Mian Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah, issued the verdict in the high-stake case after the state’s chief law officer submitted an undertaking to the court that parliament would bring in a new law on the matter within six months. The ruling averted a crisis as the army chief was set to retire on the night between Thursday and Friday. On Tuesday, the court had suspended a notification issued by the prime minister in August for Gen Qamar’s reappointment till 2022 citing procedural loopholes.