Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is out of line and creating “unnecessary fuss” in discussing the possible extension of Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, a matter which has already been legislated and defined in the Constitution.
“The Constitution that we’ve read [says] the army chief gets appointed for three years. There has never been a debate on extension of the army chief’s tenure, ” Abassi said.
The former premier said the prime minister should abstain from discussing the extension of the chief of army position, and should restrict themselves to discussing only relevant appointments.
PML-N Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal also criticized Imran Khan’s comments on the chief of army staff’s extension, calling it a ‘political tactic’.
“A new military chief is appointed during the last three months of the incumbent’s tenure, therefore, talking about the extension before time is just a political tactic,” he said.
Last week, Imran Khan told journalist Khawar Ghumman during an interview, “The current year has just started and November is far away. Then why there is worry about extension in the tenure of the army chief.”
In August 2019, the prime minister extended current Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure for three years. At the time, the measure was argued in the Supreme Court, which ultimately approved the extension but granted the government a further six months to legislate the matter. The government passed legislation in January 2020.