Islamabad, July 24(ANI): Political analysts in Pakistan have warned that the three-year extension of Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani's tenure will undermine the authority of the country's parliament.
General Kayani was originally due to retire on November 28, but will now remain in office until 2013.
Rasul Baksh Raaes, a political analyst at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, said that the extension "reinforces that the civilian leaders have failed to establish their constitutional supremacy over the military and the military remains a very powerful institution."
Retired army officer Kamran Shafi said: "The Pakistan Army, we are told ad nauseam, is one of the best fighting forces in the world, commanded by some of the finest strategists in the universe."
"Is there no one who can replace Kayani then, when his tenure is over and he goes home like many generals before him, even some graceful Pakistani generals?" The Christian Science Monitor quoted Shafi, as saying.
Meanwhile, Human rights activist and renowned lawyer, Asma Jahangir, has also expressed concern over the extension.
She termed the decision a disappointing measure, and claimed that the country's democratic process is weak.
"Our 63 years of history is evident that every general damaged the democratic process whenever he was given a promotion or extension in his job," Asma said.
The extension is only the second such incident in Pakistan's history when a civilian regime has increased the services of the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS).
The first such extension was given by former president Iskandar Mirza to General Ayub Khan.
The three army chiefs-Field Marshal Ayub Khan, General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf had extended their own terms while holding the office of the President. (ANI)