Peshawar High Court seeks explanation on Kayani's tenure extension

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Peshawar, Aug 12(ANI): The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has demanded an explanation regarding the tenure extension of Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani from Pakistan Deputy Attorney-General Naveed Inayat Malik.

It comes after Shahid Orakzai, a journalist-cum-lawyer, filed a writ petition under Article 199 of the Constitution, and requested the PHC to declare the move "ultra vires the constitution".

PHC judge Justice Mazhar Alam said that since no government representative was present during the hearing, the DAG should submit a statement about the case within the next fifteen days, The Nation reports.

The petitioner had said that through the 18th Amendment, Article 46 of the constitution was amended, under which the Prime Minister shall only "keep the President informed on all matters of internal and foreign policy".

He said that under Article 243(3), the President was bound to make military appointments on the advice of the Prime Minister, but there was no room to double the tenure of any of the four officers - the COAS, naval and air force chiefs, as well as the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman.

Orakzai claimed that the decision of Kayani's extension was questionable, as it could adversely affect the maintenance of discipline among members of the armed forces, as emphasised in Article 8 of the constitution.

Kayani was originally due to retire on November 28, but will now remain in office until 2013.

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)

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