Bajwa's Extension: Army Act Tweak Was a 'Mistake', says Abbasi

Bajwa's Extension: Army Act Tweak Was a 'Mistake', says Abbasi
PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Saturday called for repealing amendment in Army Act 1952 that allowed an extension in the term of former Chief of Army Staff Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The former premier termed the tweak a "mistake", during an interview with Dawn News, on Saturday.

“An extension is an extraordinary act; it should not be made into a routine act,” Abbasi was quoted as saying.

“The country’s premier (Imran Khan) — without taking advice — granted the extension in August, three and a half months before [the scheduled retirement of the then COAS],” he added.

Last month, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif claimed that the establishment had tried to strike a deal with the PML-N prior to the 2018 elections on certain matters, adding that upon refusal, PTI chief was made the premier of the country.

“The ‘Imran model’ was still in a laboratory. They tried their best to cut a deal with the PML-N on certain matters ahead of the 2018 polling, but Nawaz Sharif did not agree,” Asif had said.

“Had Nawaz said yes, there would have been no Panama case or court decisions against him.” he added while addressing a seminar the other day.

The minister, between the lines, had also spoken about establishment’s offer to Shehbaz Sharif to take up the role of prime minister.

On Dec 26, President Alvi debunked a report quoting him that “Gen Bajwa and his team” helped Imran in the Senate and aided PTI during the elections too. According to him, he was quoted out of context, in a “twisted and self-concocted” way, and that the remarks were “wrongly attributed to him”.

It came after a report by The News, which said Alvi made the remarks while talking to journalists, foreign diplomats and members of the business community on Saturday.

President Alvi, as per the report, was asked about the deteriorating ties between PTI chairman and the ex-army chief, to which he allegedly responded that he was still trying to figure out the same.

The former COAS and military are accused of helping the former ruling party take the reins, while also facilitating them in running its internal affairs.