On Aug 19, Prime Minister had made the official statement confirming the extension to Gen Bajwa for another three years. However, this all
happened without any considerations to the laid down procedures in the Constitution of the Pakistan. To put it simple, it was an action taken by the Prime Minister, guided by his able ministers and convinced that “You can do it”. Not realising
the consequences. Later to make amends, it was announced that the President Arif Alvi has put his signature on the statement. But there was a difference. PM signed on Extension but the President signed on Reappointment.
There were no protests, no appeals and no representations given to the importance of Establishment and knowing what they are capable of. But, the undercurrents had started and it was
gaining momentum with each passing day. So, the petition filed by Riaz Rahi set the ignition and as a result on last Tuesday, Chief Justice Asif Khosa, unlike Pakistani judiciary, suspended the extension order on the grounds of procedural anomalies, and the
fact there is no provision in the Army Regulations to support such an extension.
The entire episode has exposed the PTI government’s
authoritarian streak and its lack of maturity — a lethal combination, which was also evident from the emergent cabinet meeting called by the Prime Minister. Was it really that important that it merit a cabinet meeting? But it was indeed important for
Imran Khan as the Chief Justice decision not only undermined the PM’s authority but also exposed the obligation done to his mentor. Cabinet meeting was to discuss how to amend the Army Regulations to include a provision for an “extension in the
army chief’s tenure”. Never heard of such precedent.