By Senator Rehman Malik
Today’s condition of our colourful TV channels reminded me of the trial of OJ Simpson in USA where the all of America was glued to their TV just like the way we were today. I could see how some of our media houses were not even bothered about the national security yet some unconcerned people were giving views detrimental to the interest of the country.
All that is happening since last week was not in good taste though it exposed the incompetency of some important members of this government hence I decided to pick my laptop and started to express my views. It is constitutional right of the PM to grant extension to the Army Chief and he was within his legal right to recommend to the President for re-employment of Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa for next three years.
It was accordingly approved and was notified with some visible errors because of the incompetency of some members who brought big embarrassment for the government in the court and media.
This is a topic which I will take up sometimes later to identify the careless and non-professional conduct in handling this important matter. I hope PM will be able to identify if this undesirable attitude dealing this matter was deliberate or it was usual incompetency.
I tweeted about the powers of the PM and the Mr Aitzaz Ahsan has also opined the same that it was legal right of the PM to give extension and majority of the legal fraternity has also endorsed it.
I have served my country in different capacities including in the capacity of Interior Minister and I know it fully well that sometimes nether the government nor security institution can make few matters public in the national interest due to high security risks. I recall when our government gave extension of three years to Gen. Kiyani and we genuinely felt that the continuity of Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani was in the national interest, hence we followed the constitution and the extension was given without any noise. I personally feel that Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiyani was a competent General and I am witness to his professionalism and his services for his institution. There had been two other such extensions in service in the past where Gen. Zia ul Haq gave four extensions to himself being the President at the same time and ruled for 12 years. Similarly, Gen. Pervez Musharraf had given three extensions to himself as COAS while also being the President of the country. He ruled the country as President for nine years. The extension in service to Gen. Bajwa, was, therefore, not the first and the only one in the history of Pakistan.
I wish the PM had asked his staff to have replicated our course of action observed by PM Yousaf Reza Gilani and he would have not experienced these odd moments today.
I in my personal capacity feel that country is going through number of challenges including the LoC violations and the worsening situation of Kashmir where India is on war with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters and basically it is war against Pakistan. Afghanistan is daily playing dirty and I can prove to the nation that we are already on war with India which has already initiated 5th generation war which is being fought well through well through Bajwa war doctrine and we need him to continue to counter India with his way and capability.
I support the extension of Gen Bajwa due to some additional following reasons.
He controlled the terrorism in the country especially after APS attack and came hard on the terrorists in the tribal areas and we have now peace there.
Pakistan used to be under the influence of USA, and he is the first Army chief who has weeded out the American interference in our domestic politics and other affairs & I salute him for saying No to the American influence and extended hand of defence cooperation on equal footings.
He refused to succumb to the pressure of Afghanistan and his western associates and ensured fencing on the Pak-Afghan border.
He did the best shuttle diplomacy between Iran and Saudi Arabia and according to my personal information, he will be able to get both the countries on friendly terms which is a great service to the Muslim Ummah.
He has worked out strategic plan for defence of Pakistan against any aggression from India through his Bajwa doctrine.
If we examine with all fairness the role of General Bajwa then an extension in his service as COAS is well deserved and merit recognition of his services to the national security. He is much more competent chief with extra ordinary professional qualities and services to the country.
It is important for the government to read between the lines the remarks of the honourable Supreme Court which has very politely pointed about the mistakes committed by the government functionaries. I tweeted my proposals today and based on my experience I propose as under in view of the advisory remarks by the court and the government should proceed as under to overcome this crisis. In a way the Supreme Court has given a chance to the government to rectify it.
A fresh summery to be initiated by the ministry of defence to PM via the law ministry and ensure flawless summery with brief justification for the extension in service as COAS with the achievements etc.
The same summery of extension may be got approved by hand by all concerned.
A draft Notification based on the approval of the President be made in supersession of the previous notification and place it before the Honourable Supreme Court today in the morning with the prayer for the cancellation of the earlier suspension orders of the Notification enabling the government to issue this new notification, prepared in the light of the remarks of the Supreme court.
I hope and pray that this matter is resolved in Supreme Court with a good future lesson to the governments & its functionaries to follow the law & the given procedures.
(This is the personal opinion of the writer and not necessarily represents his party views. The article was written before the Supreme Court’s judgement which was expected on Thursday.)