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Army chief’s service extension: IHC takes up appeal today

October 22, 2012

ISLAMABAD, Oct 22: A division bench of the Islamabad High Court will take up on Tuesday an intra-court appeal against the extension of service granted to Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in 2010.

On Sept 24 this year, IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman had dismissed the petition citing Section 3 of Article 199 of the Constitution which stated that high courts could not hear cases relating to the service of armed forces personnel.

Talking to Dawn, Col (retd) Inam-ur-Rahim, the appellant and convener of the Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society, said he had completed a legal requirement by filing the appeal because the earlier order had been passed by a single judge which could only be set aside by a division bench. “I will take the case to the Supreme Court if the IHC does not entertain my appeal; I am quite hopeful of getting justice from the apex court.”

In his appeal, Col Rahim contended that Gen Kayani was not subject to the Army Act 1952 because he had attained the age of 60 years on April 20, 2012. After that age no-one could serve in the army. “After reaching the age of superannuation the incumbent army chief is a stranger to the seat.”

He alleged that the extension granted to the army chief was part of the NRO deal. Gen Kayani was a guarantor of the deal between Gen Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari and the extension was ensured in the deal.

The establishment division, defence ministry and the army chief are respondents in the petition which said Gen Kayani had lost the confidence of the nation after incidents like Ramond Davis, Abbottabad operation and attacks on Salala post and Malala Yousufzai. “He (Gen Kayani) is no more eligible to stick to the post of COAS.”

Col Rahim contended that 24 lieutenant generals had been deprived of their legitimate rights of promotion because the three-year extension given to the army chief.

He said there were forces which were pushing the army into the tribal belt to destroy Pakistan’s defence. “The Ex-Servicemen Society doesn’t want the army to get devastated while fighting its own people.”

Col Rahim requested the division bench to set aside the previous order and declare illegal the extension granted to the army chief.