Defence Minister Khawaja Asif stated that the proposed reforms in Pakistan Army Act (PAA) were necessary for consideration of the Supreme Court’s 2019 ruling, which called for legislation regarding the terms of the services chiefs.
Despite attempts on Wednesday by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif to downplay the discussion surrounding a leaked proposal to change the army act, the revelation has revealed the ongoing power struggle taking place in preparation for the appointment of a new army chief.
According to local media reports, the extensive changes envisioned by the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) of 1952 touch on a wide range of issues relating to the army’s operations, command organization, and terms and conditions of service.
Section 176 modifications are presently the focus of discussion, particularly the addition of the words “retention” and “resignation” in subsection 2(a) of the same clause.
According to the Defence Ministry’s Summary for the Cabinet Committee for the Disposition of Legislation Cases (CCLC), General Headquarters first recommended the amendment, which at first glance appears to be an attempt to persuade Gen. Bajwa to stay on.
The government or any of the services are technically permitted to keep any retiring officers of the rank of lieutenant general and below for as long as is necessary without the requirement for additional law, according to a retired defence secretary cited by media reports.
The defence minister also sounded uncommitted on the extent of the changes and the timetable for legislation, stating that no significant changes to the army act were under consideration and that any necessary adjustments would be made in due course.