Amendments to army act to be challenged in Supreme Court: Imran.

PTI chairman Imran Khan said on Friday that the incumbent government's planned amendments to the army act would be challenged in the Supreme Court (SC), claiming that the coalition leaders were making these changes 'for their own benefit'.

Earlier this week, a Dawn report revealed that the government was considering amending the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 in a way that would empower the appointing authority - i.e. the prime minister - to retain any candidate through a simple notification, rather than having to go through a complex, constitutional process.

The summary regarding a slew of changes is all set to land before the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC), following approval by the Ministry of Defence last month, after which the proposed legislation is expected to be laid before parliament.

As per the proposed amendment in Section 176 titled 'Power to make rules', sub-section (2-a), in clause (a) of the PAA, the word 'retention' shall be inserted after 'reappointment' in the current text of the law, while the word 'resignation' would be inserted after the word 'release'.

In the backdrop of the incumbent Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa's impending retirement later this month, the development is being viewed as a critical one which may change the equation around the change of command expected in the military.

In an informal meeting with journalists in Lahore today, the former premier claimed that the government was bringing the amendments for its 'own benefit'.

Nawaz Sharif wants to bring an army chief who would weaken the PTI, he claimed, alleging that the government was trying to make the armed forces 'like the Punjab police'.

The PTI chief also said that the appointment of the army chief should take place just like that of the chief justice. According to the Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1997, the CJP and all high court judges are appointed on the basis of seniority.

The law states that a person with five years of experience as a high court judge or 15 years of experience as a high court advocate was eligible to be appointed as the top court judge.

'Didn't meet Gen Bajwa in Lahore'

During the meeting today, Imran said that he had not met Gen Bajwa in Lahore, clarifying that President Arif Alvi had had a meeting with the army chief.

Imran's comments come after a meeting between Alvi and Gen Bajwa was reported earlier this week. Subsequently, PTI sources had told Dawn that the president had...

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