ISLAMABAD: The ruling party and opposition held separate meetings of parliamentary leaders ahead of the National Assembly session on the amendment bills concerning tenures of the services chiefs and chairman joint chief of staff committee.
PTI parliamentary meeting
Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived at the Parliament House to chair a party meeting comprising its parliamentary leaders to discuss strategy ahead of the NA session. The meeting was attended by all top PTI members of the Parliament.
Parliamentary meeting of the opposition benches
Meanwhile, the PML-N is also held a parliamentary meeting with Khawaja Asif, Ayaz Sadiq and Raja Zafarul Haq in the chair. Former premier Shahid Khan Abbasi boycotted the meeting in protest while Khawaja Saad Rafique and Ahsan Iqbal also stayed away.
PTI reaches out to PPP
On the other hand, Federal Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak and Azam Swati arrived at Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s chambers in the Parliament House to discuss the amendment bills.
Sherry Rehman, Naveed Iqbal and Raja Pervez Ashraf are also present in the meeting.
The amendment bills in a nutshell
The new amendment states that the president, on the advice of the prime minister, can specify tenure and terms and conditions of the service of the army, naval and air staff, and the chairman of the joint chief of staff committee. This includes the grant of extension and re-appointments of the services chiefs. The amendment also fixes the age of the services chiefs at 64 years.
Most importantly, the amendment bill ensures that future extensions won’t be challenged before any court on any ground whatsoever.
The water-tight bill categorically states: “Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or any other law, or any order or judgment 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.”
Similar wording has been used if the civilian leadership decides to give an extension to the CJCSC.