The Imran Khan government has filed a review petition against the Supreme Court’s decision on the extension of Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as the COAS. Earlier, the Imran Khan government approved a three-year extension for Bajwa in August citing deteriorating national security situation and heightening tensions with India.
The Pakistan Supreme Court gave the PTI government six months to explain why it granted an extension to General Bajwa. The Supreme Court cited a series of irregularities and ordered the government and the army to produce legal provisions and detailed arguments on the rationale behind the move.
Eventhough the apex court granted a temporary six-month extension to General Bajwa’s tenure but said the PTI government must pass legislation through parliament in that time to clarify the section of Pakistan’s constitution governing the armed forces.
The Review Petition
“The enemies of Pakistan were extremely happy when they thought that General Bajwa’s extension or re-appointment had fallen into jeopardy,” reads the review petition. “Pakistan is undergoing a 5th generation war.”
“Very recently, the Pulwama incident bears testimony to the preparedness of our Armed Forces under the able captaincy of General Bajwa, who on his proactive initiative has also mustered healthy military international relations and support for Pakistan,” it said.
“The war on terror is not over. The wounds from the APS incident are not forgotten,” the petition reflected. “The preservation of two leading institutions of the state i.e. the Armed Forces and the Superior Judiciary are necessary concomitants to a healthy democracy, rule of law and safety and security against internal and external aggression.”
“The enemies of the state, now for a number of years have ganged up to destabilise and discrete Pakistan.” “General Bajwa’s contribution to take vital steps so as to facilitate safety and security in the country will go down in history. The pulse of the people at large is that General Bajwa’s re-appointment has been warmly welcomed.
There were seminars and processions in favour of General Bajwa’s re-appointment, from which the pulse of the public opinion can be appreciated,” said the petition. “In the present times, it was most appropriate to re-appoint General Bajwa, who himself never sought a re-appointment.”
“The Hon’ble Court could not interfere in the legislative domain or equip itself with the function of a parallel legislative authority. It is respectfully pointed out that the direction to the legislature could only be given by the Courts so as to avert a situation of unconstitutionality or illegality. No judicial directions to the legislature could be given so as to convert a convention into codified law.”
The review petition also revealed that On November 25, the respondent mala fidely preferred a direct Petition No.39 of 2019 before the apex court under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, challenging the appointment of General Bajwa as the army chief for a second term of three years, commencing from November 29, 2019, to November 29, 2022.
The Imran Khan government asserts that the “appointment of the COAS was strictly in accordance with the settled departmental practice followed for seven decades or so” “If one would look into the parliamentary debates or otherwise, which would make it rather clear that intentionally and deliberately the matter of the appointment or extension of the COAS was left at the discretion of the Prime Minister/ President.