Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa
Pakistan Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa

Pakistan Bar Council opposes move to extend Army Chief Bajwa's tenure

ANI | Updated: Jan 07, 2020 12:40 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Jan 7 (ANI): Hours after Pakistan National Assembly standing committee on Defence approved an amendment bill seeking to validate the three-year extension to Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Monday expressed concern over the manner in which extension in the tenure of services chiefs is being given through parliament without addressing the basic issues regarding the necessity and desirability of the extension.
A statement issued by PBC vice-chairman Amjad Ali Shah noted that giving extensions to incumbents in any institution "creates the perception of indispensability and weakens institutions."
"Personality-specific legislative and policy measures go against the spirit of representative democracy. Transitions are important for institution building and creating viable institutions," the statement read, as cited by Dawn.
"Our history is replete with examples of the damage done by extending terms of powerful office-holders. In the third term of a democratic cycle, the mistakes of the past should not be repeated," it added.
The statement comes after the National Assembly standing committee on Defence approved the Army Act Amendment Bill on Monday.
Last month, Pakistan's apex court, in a detailed verdict, had issued direction to the government to remove all ambiguities and frame a law to pave the way for giving extension to Army chief.
Following which the Cabinet had decided to introduce the Amendment Bill in the parliament after building a consensus with the opposition on the matter.
In its statement, the PBC said that it believes the doctrine of necessity used to justify and legitimise extraordinary measures should have no place in a democratic dispensation. It called on all democratic organisations in the country to endorse its stance in the greater national interest. (ANI)