Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. — AP (File Photo)

ISLAMABAD, Sept 11: Service extension given to Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has been challenged in the Islamabad High Court.

But Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman has directed the petitioner to satisfy the court about his locus standi (being aggrieved) and to submit copies of relevant documents annexed with the petition and adjourned the hearing.

Petitioner Col (retd) Inamur Rahim, convenor of ex-servicemen legal forum, told the court that the forum was of the opinion that the extension given to the army chief was immoral and unconstitutional.

He said there was no provision in the Pakistan Army Act of 1956 and in the rules under which an extension of complete tenure could be granted to any person subject to the Army Act.

The petitioner said the ex-servicemen society, which represented hundreds of thousands of retired military men, had been expressing serious concern over extension given to uniformed people because it would adversely affect the entire fibre of command – a hallmark of any disciplined force.

He said the extension of Gen Kayani was granted by the authority concerned in a mechanical manner. While granting a tenure extension of three years nobody bothered that it would surpass the age of superannuation (60 years) on April 20, 2012. As per the army list, the date of birth of Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani is April 20, 1952, and under the Army Act nobody is permitted to remain in uniform after attaining the age of 60.

He pointed out that the Supreme Court had already observed on a number of occasions that on account of extension/re-employment of government employees, eligible candidates deserving to be appointed on such posts could not make it because the position had been occupied by the re-employed employees.

The petitioner said it was a natural desire of every officer who joined the army to reach the optimum rank and after undergoing so many courses when he became a lieutenant general he is a potential candidate to be selected as COAS.

He said more than one dozen lieutenant generals would retire and could not even be considered to become a general because of the extension given to Gen Kayani in violation of Article 9 of the Constitution.

The petitioner claimed that Gen Kayani had played a vital role in the NRO deal struck at Dubai. Gen Kayani accompanied former president Gen (retd) Parvez Musharraf and virtually emerged as a guarantor of the deal. And the Zardari government gave him another extension illegally to protect the guarantor, he said.

He requested the court to set aside the extension order and send Gen Kayani home.

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