Govt will fulfil obligation to legislate on matter of army chief’s appointment: Pak AG

Govt will fulfil obligation to legislate on matter of army chief's appointment: Pak AG

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Attorney General Anwar Mansoor on Thursday said that the government would fulfil the obligation to legislate on the matter of an army chief’s appointment and extension of tenure.

Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, who headed a three-member Supreme Court bench, granted a six-month extension to Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa after getting an assurance from the government that Parliament will pass legislation on the extension/reappointment of army chief within six months.

Addressing the media along with Barrister Farogh Naseen, who resigned from his post as law minister on Tuesday to represent Gen Bajwa in the case, Mansoor said the legislation on the issue would be “a matter of honour for the government.”

He said that the court rightly pointed out that the current laws were inadequate about the appointment of army chief. “Today’s decision is a historical decision. The way the Constitution has been interpreted will provide guidance for us in the future,” he said.

Mansoor said that the Army Act was colonial-era law and was implemented in Pakistan after some changes. He said it was seldom discussed openly due to which no one realized the mistakes in it.

He said previously all army chief was appointed and some of them got an extension as it became an established “tradition” until the Supreme Court pointed out the flaws.

Mansoor also asked the media not to “talk against Pakistan”. “Our enemies abroad are taking undue advantage of that. Pakistan is yours as much as it is ours. Do not talk against Pakistan or speak about anything which gives them the opportunity to talk against us,” he said.

Naseem in his remarks said army chief’s new tenure would begin from 12 am-midnight. “It is now the prerogative of Parliament and the executive to decide the tenure of the army chief,” he said.

He also thanked the judges of the Supreme Court for guiding government on how to settle the issue of the appointment of army chief. PTI