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HomeNationalShahid Khaqan criticizes PM, says premier can only talk about army chief’s...

Shahid Khaqan criticizes PM, says premier can only talk about army chief’s appointment

PML-N leader says PM not authorized by constitution to talk about army chief’s extension

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had been creating an “unneeded hassle” over the army chief’s tenure.

While speaking to media on Monday, Abbasi said that according to the constitution, the PM was authorized to talk about the military chief’s appointment but not of their ‘extension’.

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The former prime minister further asked about the use of the word ‘extension’ by PM Khan, regarding the military chief’s tenure.

He added that the constitution remained clear on the army chief’s tenure, adding that the army chief gets appointed for three years.

Responding to a comment by a reporter who said that the army chief’s extension had been made into law, Abbasi replied that “when the premier speaks on the issue, he speaks about the appointment and not the extension”.

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Current Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure had been extended by three years by PM Khan in August 2019, just months before he was scheduled to retire.

The Supreme Court questioned the extension, and after much deliberation permitted the COAS to keep his position for six months while giving the government time to legislate regarding the issue. The law was passed in January 2020.

Earlier on January 6, the prime minister said that he had not contemplated the extension of the army chief’s tenure. In an interview, he said that the year had just started and there was time before the decision needed to made.

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