The amendments to the bill will empower the president, upon the advice of the Prime Minister, to properly specify the tenure, terms and conditions of the service of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC). This includes the grant of extensions and re-appointment. Moreover, the amendments will ensure that future extensions won’t be challenged in any court whatsoever.
The water-tight bill categorically states: “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law, or any order or judgment of any Court, the appointment, reappointment or extension of the Chief of the Army Staff, or the exercise of discretion by the appointing authority in this regard, shall not be called into question before any Court on any ground whatsoever.”
Similar wording has been used for if the civilian leadership decides to give an extension to the CJCSC.
The Pakistan Army (Amendment) Act 2020 was tabled after a go-ahead for the legislation from the major opposition parties – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Many political experts, who have not explicitly expressed their opinions about the bill, believe that the bill is expected to sail through the two houses of parliament.
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