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Govt changing Pakistan Army Act to empower Prime Minister Shehbaz to retain army officer for important post

As per the proposed amendment in Section 176, 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’.

ISLAMABAD: The federal government is going to amend the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 to the prime minister to retain any army general through a notification, rather than having to go through a complex, constitutional process.

The summary regarding changes in the PAA 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 this process, the proposed legislation is expected to be laid before parliament for final approval.

The proposed changes in the Pakistan Army Act are being made just a few days before the appointment of new army chief as COAS General Bajwa is retirning on Nov 29, Dawn.com reported today.

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’.

The clause in question currently reads: “The [Federal Government] may make rules for the purpose of carrying into effect the provisions of this act… Without prejudice to the generality of the power conferred by sub­section (1), such rules may provide for the appointment, reappointment or extension, retirement, release, discharge, removal or dismissal from the service of persons subject to this Act, including the Chief of the Army Staff and / or the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.”

In the prevailing political scenario, the development is being seen critical one which may change the equation around the change of command in the military.

Finance Minister denies

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has dispelled the impression that the government was incorporating any change in the Pakistan Army Act. He told this to a senior journalist in Islamabad on Tuesday night.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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