Senate passes bills allowing extension in tenures of services chiefs

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ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Wednesday approved three bills related to the tenures of services chiefs.
Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani presided over the session during which Defence Minister Pervaiz Khan Khattak presented the bills.
The three bills introduced in the House were Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2020, Pakistan Air force (Amendment) Bill 2020 and Pakistan Navy (Amendment) Bill 2020.
These bills also determined the tenure, reappointment or extension in tenure of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
While both the major opposition parties Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party supported the bills, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, National Party and Jamat-e-Islami protested against the legislation and kept raising slogans.
The National Assembly had on Tuesday accorded approval to the amendment bills to give legal cover to empower the prime minister to advice the president to appoint Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and three services chiefs and extend their tenure or re-appoint them for three years.
After the passage from the Upper House, the bills will then be forwarded to President Arif Alvi for his assent.
As soon as the bills were passed, the Senate chairman adjourned the session.
The proposed amendments set the maximum age limit of the three services chiefs — chief of army staff, chief of air staff and chief of naval staff — at 64 years.
Once the bills are passed, the prime minister will have the power to extend the tenure of any service chief and the president will give his final nod to the extension or reappointment.
Under the clause 8B of the bill, the president, on the advice of the prime minister, may “reappoint the Chief of the Army Staff for additional tenure of three (03) years, on such terms and conditions, as may be determined by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister, in the national security interest or exigencies, from time to time”.
“Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law, or any order or judgement 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, “ the bill states.


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