Pakistan's Supreme Court on Thursday slashed Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa's 3-year-old extension to six-months, going against the decision of the Imran Khan government. Even as the Pakistan Supreme Court reduced Imran Khan's initial decision on the tenure extension, the Prime Minister of Pakistan lauded the top court for allowing Bajwa to continue as the Pakistan Army chief for half a year. While doing so, he even took a jibe at the country's "external enemies" and the "mafias within", saying the verdict must be of "special disappointment" to them.
"Today must be a great disappointment to those who expected the country to be destabilised by a clash of institutions," Imran Khan said in a series of tweets soon after the Supreme Court announced its short verdict. "That this did not happen must be of special disappointment to our external enemies and mafias within," the Pakistani PM said.
He did not identify Pakistan's "external enemies" and the "mafias within." However, he said the mafias have stashed their loot abroad and they wanted to protect the ill-gotten wealth by destabilising the country. Earlier on Tuesday, the Pakistan Supreme Court had suspended the decision to extend Bajwa's tenure. Bajwa's original three-year tenure is set to expire on Thursday at midnight and he can now continue as the Army chief for another six months.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justices Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel and Mansoor Ali Shah, in its short order directed the government to bring necessary legislation within six months'' time, Geo TV reported. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan through official notification of August 19 granted a three-year extension to General Bajwa, citing a "regional security environment."
Pakistan's powerful military establishment has dominated the politics of the country. Last month, Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa privately held a meeting with the country's top business personalities in a bid to bolster Pakistan's cash-strapped economy. "National security is intimately linked to the economy while prosperity is a function of balance in security needs and economic growth," Gen Bajwa, who is also part of the National Development Council, told the audience.
Army chief has been taking a keen interest in the revival of the economy after apparent failure of the Imran Khan government to deliver on the economic front even after one year in power Gen Bajwa was appointed as a member of the high-powered National Development Council, put in place in July to set Pakistan's long-term economic plan. The Pakistan Army chief had also accompanied Imran Khan to China and the US during his official visit this year.
Bajwa has reportedly directly interfered with the Pakistan government's decisions pushing for a cabinet reshuffle. This ultimately led to Bajwa's appointment as a member of the newly-formed National Development Council headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan. In August, Imran Khan extended Bajwa's term by three years after the termination of his current tenure to tackle 'regional security' issues in the current environment as stated in an official statement by the Pakistan PMO.
(With PTI inputs)