Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, who is heading the Supreme Court (SC) bench hearing the case pertaining to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s extension, has said that “the army chief belongs at the border, but he was getting his summary fixed at the Prime Minister (PM) House last night”.
On Wednesday night, the federal government, aided by the military’s counsel, drafted a new summary removing all legal lacunae pointed out by the apex court earlier in the day, as it heard the petition challenging Gen Bajwa’s extension.
For the first time, the paperwork was completed with the assistance of Judge Advocate General (JAG) Branch of the GHQ, according to The News.
According to the publication, input from the JAG Branch was sought by the ministry concerned after the SC highlighted serious errors in the drafts presented to it following the suspension of the army chief’s extension.
The fresh summary was inked by midnight, and has replaced the words “re-appointment” with “extension in service”. Once finalised, the summary was sent to the federal cabinet through a circulation process late on Wednesday night and then submitted to the president, who issued the requisite notification.
The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan and the attendees included the COAS himself.
“The army chief’s job is to protect the country’s borders, but last night he stayed at the PM House to get his summary fixed. It’s embarassing,” the top judge reportedly said Thursday as the three-member bench resumed hearing the case.
He added that it was regrettable how the COAS’s time was wasted because of the incompetence of the government at such a crucial time for national security. “He [Gen Bajwa] had to be there to guide them,” CJP Khosa was quoted as saying.