Prime Minister Imran Khan has formed an eight-member cabinet committee to look into the legislation aspect of extending the army chief’s tenure.
The Supreme Court extended on November 28 Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure by six months with the provision that the government submit an undertaking that Parliament would enact a law on this in six months. In the interim, it extended General Bajwa’s tenure. His tenure will now end in May 2020.
“The current appointment of General Qamar Javed Bajwa as COAS shall be subject to the said legislation and shall continue for a period of six months from today, whereafter the new legislation shall determine his tenure and other terms and conditions of service,” read the short order. It directed the government to “clearly specify the terms and conditions of service of the COAS through an Act of Parliament and to clarify the scope of Article 243 of the Constitution in this regard”.
The committee PM Khan has formed will be looking to fulfill this condition set by the Supreme Court. Law Minister Farogh Naseem will head the committee.
It will comprise Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, the law secretary, Special Assistant on Accountability Shahzad Akbar and the joint secretary of PM Office.
The committee will discuss whether it will bring in a new law regarding the army chief or amend the existing law, the Army Act, 1952. It will present its proposals to the cabinet.