- Bokhari says extension was given in view of country’s situation at that time.
- Says if Khan was a powerless PM because of Gen (retd) Bajwa, he should’ve shown courage to fire him.
- Khan is still waiting for some guarantees on dissolution: Bokhari.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Secretary General Nayyar Hussain Bokhari defended the decision regarding former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa’s extension during the previous government, The News reported Monday.
Bokhari said that the decision to extend Gen (retd) Bajwa’s tenure for three years after the completion of his term in 2019 was not a mistake, declaring that it was given in view of the country’s situation at that time.
The secretary general’s comments came in a statement given on Sunday. Bokhari said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan directly accused the former army chief.
“If Imran Khan was a powerless prime minister because of General (retd) Bajwa, then he should have shown the courage to fire him,” he said.
Bokhari said Khan, addicted to crutches, is still waiting for some guarantees on the dissolution of the assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He further said that as the “leader of lies brigade”, Khan calls Gen (retd) Bajwa a conspirator while his ally Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi says the former COAS sent him to the PTI chief. Now the people can guess for themselves who is talking right, he said.
Gen (retd) Bajwa was due to retire on November 29, 2019, at the end of his stipulated term, but was given a three-year extension in service by the then prime minister Imran Khan on August 19, 2019.
On November 28, 2019, the Supreme Court suspended the government order, observing there was no law to extend an army chief’s tenure.
However, the apex court granted a six-month extension to General Bajwa after being assured by the government that parliament would pass legislation on the extension/reappointment of an army chief within six months.
The notification extending General Bajwa’s tenure was finally issued on January 28, 2020, after the parliament passed a law to settle the issue pertaining to the extension of the army chief’s tenure.
Bokhari said that party leader Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar was greatly blessed by the party by making him a senator from Sindh. “Mustafa Khokhar contested four elections from Islamabad but never won,” he said.
He said that not only the PPP but the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) also have reservations regarding the census.
The PPP’s secretary-general said allies’ reservations on the Reko Diq Bill have been removed.