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November 27, 2019

Defence experts say govt incompetence made COAS’s extension controversial

National

November 27, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Senior defence experts say the whole confusion created due to the Supreme Court’s decision of suspending the notification of General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s extension has been created due to government’s incompetence.

Former Secretary Defence Gen (R) Asif Yasin Malik believes the government’s incompetence is the sole reason of this controversy. “This is an insult to the office of the prime minister, not of army chief. The government isn’t aware of the procedures and cannot even remove the procedural mistakes. The government should have simply apologised from the apex court for these procedural errors. The court might have accepted their plea and asked the government to remove these mistakes. But now I believe things will further deteriorate after the Supreme Court’s initial verdict,” he commented.

He said Gen Bajwa will stand retired if the court delayed the verdict till November 29. Major Gen (R) Ejaz Awan while talking to The News said that many army chiefs have been awarded extension in past but they were never challenged or suspended by the courts.

“Call it an incompetence, ill-intention or stupidity of the present government but this is not a good tradition. Making the army chief’s extension controversial is certainly distasteful. A question here arises why the previous army chiefs’ extensions were not challenged or suspended,” said Gen (R) Ejaz.

“When Pervez Musharraf toppled the government and suspended the Constitution it was the court which provided him the legal cover. Gen Ayub Khan was given or awarded himself extension. Gen Ziaul Haq, Gen Musharraf and Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani were also given extension but they were never challenged or suspended by the court. Even I wasn’t aware of the fact that there is no mention of ‘extension’ in Army Act,” commented Ejaz Awan.