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General Bajwa extension case: Live updates from Supreme Court of Pakistan

General Bajwa extension case: Live updates from Supreme Court of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has resumed the hearing of COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa extension case.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Mansoor Ali Shah is hearing a petition challenging the extension of COAS General Bajwa.

At the outset of hearing on Thursday, the chief justice asked the Attorney General Anwar Mansoor Khan to present the notifications regarding the extension in the tenure of former army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and retirement of General Raheel Sharif.

“We were told yesterday that generals never retire,” remarked CJP Khosa.

The attorney general informed the court that General Qamar Bajwa has been reappointed under Article 243, to which the CJP remarked that you have to convince us this is legal.

The SC on Wednesday said there were three points which the court will consider on the issue of extension to the tenure of the army chief: the law, procedure involved, and grounds for granting an extension.

The federal government, aided by the military’s legal wing, prepared a new summary yesterday removing all the legal lacunae pointed out by the apex court earlier in the day.

The whole work was done for the first time in the light of assistance provided by the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Branch of the GHQ.

Well-placed sources told the paper that input of the JAG Branch was sought by the relevant ministry which had failed in producing documents required for the extension correctly and in the light of the observations of the SC that has pointed out serious errors in the drafts and notifications.

The sources pointed out that the whole process for fresh notification was completed by mid-night between Wednesday and Thursday. The same will be placed before the Supreme Court today.

The summary includes extension in service instead of appointment. The federal cabinet in accordance with the relevant rules approved the summary late on Wednesday evening through circulation process and subsequently submitted to the president who had issued the requisite notification.

The meeting of the stalwarts of the government and the relevant ministry was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan where all developments were discussed thoroughly and the meeting was also attended by the COAS on the invitation of the premier. The Attorney General, Anwar Mansoor Khan, former law minister Barrister Dr Farogh Naseem, federal law secretary and other senior officials were also in attendance. The meeting expressed its displeasure over the differences between summary and notification for extension submitted earlier in the day before the Supreme Court. The differences caused the displeasure of the court. The sources said that while the meeting took stock of the situation, made up its mind for both the best and worst situations.

The so-called plan B would be pressed into action if the government failed in convincing the learned court about the extension. The plan provides promulgation of presidential ordinance to facilitate the extension since the government is determined to save the situation and it wouldn’t allow any chaotic situation to develop.

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