Pakistan Supreme Court today suspended the notification which had confirmed the three-year extension of General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS). In August this year, a notification issued by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s office had extended his tenure “in view of regional security environment”.
General Bajwa is due to retire on 29th November. The Court issued notices to Pakistan’s defence ministry, federal government as well as General Bajwa. The hearing will now take place on Wednesday, 27th November. The Pakistan Supreme Court said that the tenure of COAS can be extended only by the President and not the Prime Minister. While Pakistan’s Attorney General said that General Bajwa’s tenure was extended after President’s approval, Pakistan Supreme Court observed that only 11 out of 25 cabinet members had approved the extension.
Last week, a plea was filed against General Bajwa for serving the top post in Pakistan despite being an Ahmadi Muslim. Former Major Khalid Shah had filed a petition in Peshawar High Court alleging that Bajwa belonged to Qadiani community aka Ahmadi Muslims who are declared as ‘non-Muslims’ in Pakistan. The plea had also named former ISI DG Rizwan Akhtar for ‘failing his duty as a Muslim’ for not informing the government that Bajwa is ‘not a Muslim’.