Supreme Court Suspends Notification of General Bajwa’s extension as Army Chief

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: In an unprecedented move, the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday suspended the notification granting a three-year extension to the tenure of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The three-member bench of the Apex Court headed by the Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, and consisting of Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah suspended the notification issued on August 19.

The petition against the extension was filed by the Jurists Foundation through Riaz Hanif Rahi; however, today the petitioners didn’t appear before the bench and submitted a plea to withdraw their petition.

But the Chief Justice Khosa converted the plea into a Suo Moto Notice in public interest under Article 184 (3) of the Constitution, and issued notices to the concerned parties including the COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

In his remarks during the course of hearings, the Chief Justice said that “apparently the Summary and the approval of Army Chief’s extension is not correct”.

Later, the hearing was adjourned to meet again on Wednesday.

It is worth noting that it was the first Suo Moto Notice taken by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa since he assumed the Office as the 26th Chief Justice of Pakistan on January 18.

The incumbent COAS was set to retire on November 29 along with the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Zubair Mahmood Hayat.

However, Prime Minister Imran Khan appointed Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza as the CJCSC with effect from November 27, and extended the tenure of General Bajwa as the COAS for another three years.