Pak CJP questions how can army, ISI chiefs take up foreign jobs soon after retirement

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CJP Saqib Nisar

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday wondered how former chiefs of the Pakistan Army and Inter-Services Intelligence could take up foreign jobs without completing the mandatory gap of two years after their retirement.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, asked defence secretary retired Lt Gen Zamir ul Hassan to furnish before the court no-objection certificates issued by the government to former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif and ISI director general Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha for joining foreign jobs.
The apex court wondered how the top officers of the armed forces, who were at the helm of affairs and privy to sensitive information related to Pakistan’s security, could accept jobs in other countries without completing the mandatory two-year period after retirement.
A senior government official on condition of anonymity said that federal government rules, as well as army rules, disallowed officers from accepting any employment without a minimum gap of two years after retirement or unless an NOC was issued by the federal government granting permission to join such services.
At the hearing of a suo motu case related to dual nationality of civil servants and judges, the bench issued notices to 27 civil servants with a direction to come up with an explanation for holding dual nationality. The SC also asked the defence secretary to furnish complete details about the dual nationality of all the commissioned officers in the armed forces and their spouses.
The defence secretary, however, explained before the court that no officer in the armed forces held foreign nationality. The court asked him whether or not Lt Gen Pasha accepted a job in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) just a few days after his retirement whereas Gen Sharif also accepted the post of Commander of Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
CJP Nisar asked whether or not the ban on job without completing the two-year gap was also applicable to the two officers of the armed forces. Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan explained that the federal government could give permission to government officers to join service in foreign lands. Raheel Sharif The Supreme Court was informed by the attorney general on Tuesday that former army chief Gen Raheel Sharif did not obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the federal cabinet before leaving for Saudi Arabia to head a 41-nation military alliance.
During the hearing of a suo motu case regarding dual nationality of civil servants and judges, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan said that as per the law, the NOC is issued by the federal government to government officers willing to join service in foreign lands.It is required for the NOC to be approved by the federal cabinet under government service rules, he added.
The attorney general presented the legal perspective after defence secretary retired Lt Gen Zamir ul Hassan informed the court that it was the defence ministry which had granted NOC to the ex chief of army staff after General Headquarters (GHQ) cleared him to accept the post of Commander of Islamic Military Counterterrorism Coalition in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Speaking about Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the secretary told the court that the former ISI director general has informed in his reply that he is currently unemployed.