Federal Govt can’t extend retirement date beyond the superannuation – Hashmat Habib

By Nasir Mahmood

Hashmat Habib President Tehreek-e-Tahafuz-e-Adlia commenting on Supreme Court’s decision on COAS extension said that court enjoys discretion to resolve the issue although having no legal backing which is a remedial act. He pointed out that extension in retirement date is available in the law and the Federal Govt can extend retirement date however not beyond the superannuation.

Hashmat Habib stated that even in Establishment including Judiciary neither extension can be given nor re-appointment of retired officers is allowed. He said the services of General Bajwa can be availed either by appointing him as ambassador or he can be elected as parliamentarian on expiry of two years after retirement otherwise Imran Khan will be subject to law of nature.

He said Supreme Court proceeding and final decision stamped the Govt function as stupidity to the extent of scrutinizing the education degrees of the responsible involved in defective drafting. The senior lawyer said that Supreme Court has facilitated Govt to resolve Gen. Bajwa extension by legislation in 6 months although request was for 3 months however 6 months extension was granted to COAS against the constitution, law and Army Act.

Hashmat Habib said Imran Khan committed blunder by issuing 3 years extension order by himself while there is no provision for the extension of Commander’s tenure. Under these circumstances legal team failed to discharge its duty under law putting govt to humiliation, he added.

It may be mentioned here that about 3 months ago Hashmat Habib had warned that there was no provision to extend the tenure of COAS. He had stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan was not competent to grant extension to General Bajwa because state is governed by constitution and laws. President is supreme commander of the armed forces and competent authority. However, he is bound to act on advice of cabinet/ prime minister.

According to senior lawyer the organization of armed forces is important which should be maintained in dignified way without causing any ill feeling to other seniors’ lot who should not be deprived of their chance to head the organization. He said under the army act and rules there is no provision to extend the tenure of COAS and such extension is also violative of Supreme Court dictum.

Article 243 of the Constitution deals with the “command of armed forces”, it says the federal government shall have control and command of the Armed Forces. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces shall vest in the president.

The president shall, subject to law, have power to raise and maintain the Military, Naval and Air Forces of Pakistan; and the Reserves of such Forces; and to grant Commissions in such Forces. The president shall, on advice of the prime minister, appoint the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee; the Chief of the Army Staff; the Chief of the Naval Staff; and the Chief of the Air Staff, and shall also determine their salaries and allowances.

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