Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khan Khan Khosa, hearing the petition challenging Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s extension, has said the court was told that “generals never retire”.
A three member bench of the Supreme Court (SC), headed by CJP Khosa and comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, on Thursday allowed the federal government to grant a six-month extension to Army chief Gen Bajwa.
In its short order the apex court directed the government to bring necessary legislation within six months’ time. The order, read out by the CJP, ordered the parliament to introduce legislation for appointment of the army chief under Article 243 of the constitution.
He remarked that the court was observing judicial restraint and leaving the matter to the parliament. “We have reviewed several laws including Army Act 1952 and Rule 1954.”
The court had earlier reserved its verdict in this high-profile case and directed the federal government to furnish a fresh summary of the army chief’s extension of services.
“We were told yesterday [Wednesday] that generals never retire,” the top judge remarked as hearing resumed on Thursday.
The attorney general (AG) informed the court that Gen Bajwa has been reappointed under Article 243, to which the CJP remarked that the government had to convince the court that it was legal.
After arguments made by the AG and Gen Bajwa’s counsel Farogh Naseem, the bench stated that a 10-member full court will announce the short order in the afternoon, whereas the detailed verdict would be issued in the evening.
In the meantime, the court granted Gen Bajwa permission to continue working, conditionally. It further instructed the government to prepare a fresh notification, which did not list the tenure of the extension.