ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Lower House of the Parliament – National Assembly – on Tuesday unanimously passed the “Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2020”, providing a legal cover to the tenure of incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa under the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Dispatch News Desk (DND) news agency reported.
The Session of the National Assembly was held with the Speaker Asad Qaiser in the Chair, and also attended by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The bill moved by the Defence Minister Pervez Khattak was supported by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and both the main Opposition Parties – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
However the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) didn’t endorse the bill, and staged a walkout from the House in protest.
The PPP had earlier suggested a few alterations in the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2020; however, as per the request of the Defence Minister Pervez Khattak to develop a mutual consensus on the issue withdrew their demands and the PPP leader Naveed Qamar announced that they would not suppress the bill.
Later “Pakistan Air Force (Amendment) Bill 2020” and “Pakistan Navy (Amendment) Bill 2020” were also unanimously approved one by one by the lawmakers.
Afterwards, the National Assembly Session was adjourned to meet again on January 8, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Earlier on Monday, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence unanimously approved the three bills pertaining to the tenure and terms and condition of the service of the chiefs of armed forces following a detailed deliberation.
Now the Senate – the Upper House of the Parliament – will take up the matter.